Way back in caveman days when I was a kid, I used to dream about a magical place where you didn’t have to wait a week for the next episode of your favorite tv show. In this fantastical place not only could you see an entire season back to back, but if you missed an episode because the Boss of the TV decided he’d rather watch Let’s Go Fishing or some football game, it was no big deal. You didn’t have to try to catch it on the summer repeats; it was there, waiting for you whenever you were ready.
Of course, some shows never got a summer repeat. I’m still traumatized by missing the series finale of MASH. It took me twenty years to catch it on a rerun. Can you imagine? We’ve come a long way, baby.
Back in college when VCRs became cheap enough for people to own, I thought I’d won the lottery. I had three ratty VHS tapes I rotated through, recording shows over and over until the images were grainy and spotty. It was awesome. I could record shows and fast-forward through the commercials, perfect for my ADD/OCD viewing style.
When DVRs came along, I thought people were finally getting it. No more crappy tapes. I could watch one show live and record another or even record two shows and watch a third from the day before without sparing a single moment on ads for things with wings or class action lawsuits.
But with more channels and content available than ever before, I often had to make hard choices over what got recorded and what didn’t because of scheduling conflicts and limited disc space. I became the Queen of Programming, a.k.a. the DVR Disc Space Nazi to the rest of the family.
You’ve seen it? Delete it!
What do you mean, you were gonna watch it? If you didn’t find time in the last two weeks what makes you think tomorrow’s gonna be any different?
Nobody needs 20 episodes of The Brady Bunch, not even Alice. You get two, tops!
We all have our crosses to bear.
A couple of months ago we upgraded our DVR system with mega storage capacity and the ability to record five programs at once–and that’s just the family room. I doubt I’ll ever have to choose what doesn’t record again. You wanna store 30 episodes of Shake it Up? Fine. Just don’t expect me watch it with you, especially now when you can watch your show in the family room and I can watch mine everywhere else. Recorded shows now play on my iPad, my laptop, smart phone, and any other computer or tv in the house. Tell me again why I need to get out of bed?
But, wait! There’s more!
With so many shows available to download on demand, I’m going back and watching series that didn’t make the record list the first time around. Not shows. Entire series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Sopranos, House of Cards, Mad Men, Merlin… It’s a long, long list.
Magical? You bet. But to a story junkie, it’s like an endless supply of Columbia’s finest. It makes downloading books at 2 am via Amazon look like near beer.
Like a Weight Watchers escapee at an all you can eat Vegas buffet, I better pace myself. Maybe waiting a week for the next episode wasn’t so bad after all.