These are the things I want to record on my DVR for Wednesday night.
Most things are just for one-time watching, then erasure. The only things on this list that are keepers are Restaurant Impossible and Restaurant Stakeout. Not that I can’t bear to be without them; I’m just keeping them for a series of posts I want to write comparing restaurant makeover shows. But I’ll save that for another time.
I can only record two things at one time. Once I’m recording two shows I can’t watch anything else. If I want to switch channels I can only switch between the two things being recorded. So how do I solve this 1st world problem? Coordination.
Fortunately a lot of things I want to record are on cable. Cable networks show the episodes multiple times within a few days, or even a one week period. Broadcast networks only show it once. They may play it again months later, but by then the season’s over and you’ve missed a lot of important plot points.
So my basic DVR strategy is record the broadcast stuff, since those are basically a one-shot deal. It also helps if you check out a show and then write it off. Like last week I recorded Chicago Fire. About a half-hour into watching the DVR I realized I don’t actually care about any of these people or what happens to them. So I probably won’t be recording it again. Although a couple of good friends with great taste (Hi Brad and Tracy) say they enjoy it, so in the future I may look at it again. Who knows? But for now, it’s easier to let it go.
Life After Top Chef? I enjoy the Top Chef competition show so I thought I’d like this – familiar faces, updates on what happens next, etc. But after checking it out a couple of times my feeling is – eh, they’re all kind of annoying. If I want an update I can find their webpage, or check the internet, so I probably won’t be recording this again either.
Remarkably, it’s also helpful if your cable system dumps a channel that your show is on. My cable company – Cablevision/Optimum dropped the CW (along with a great local channel, WPIX 11) leaving me without one of my favorite shows, Supernatural. Of course I was ridiculously pissed. Fortunately the CW is kind enough to show the new episodes online. So no recording, but I can catch up during the following week. I just have to make sure to remember to do it before they take the episodes down.
Now for the cable stuff. As I said the cable networks show things multiple times before the next episode airs, so I make sure to know my options when I’m scheduling stuff. It’s always a little tricky during the Fall TV season when new shows premiere on staggered schedules. Tonight American Horror Story finally premiers so I had to plug that in.
You also have to prioritize. Everyone has their favorite genres and programs. As you can see from my list the things I watch are all over the spectrum. Some things I know I’m going to want to see right away, some things have less of a sense of urgency. I want to see them but they’re not “must see TV”. For example: Criminal Minds, Luther and American Horror Story would be “must see TV”, for me, whereas Couples Therapy? Not so much. And yet I’m still drawn to this train wreck that makes me feel icky for watching. (Funny, it didn’t make me feel icky last year. Maybe it’s something about having child bride Courtney Stodden and dirty old man, practically pedo Doug Hutchison featured on it just brings the out the nausea)
Another, relatively new, problem with modern DVR TV show coordination is the timing. Remember when shows used to come on for an hour or a half hour? Well now if a show comes on at 9, it doesn’t go off at 10. For some reason it has to go off at 10:01! Why?! That little 1 minute overage into the 10 o’clock throws off so much. If there’re are 2 shows (or in my case, 27,000) I want to record at 10:00 one of them can’t be recorded at 10:00 because the DVR already shows me recording something at 10:00 – that little 1 minute overage. Yes, that little 1 minute overage fucks up everything. It’s like playing DVR Jenga! But yet I manage.
So my TV night will consist of writing this post and futzing around online in the 8 o’clock hour; live watching Criminal Minds at 9 and American Horror Story at 10:00; then staying up late to either rewind recorded stuff or live watch and record something that was coordinated to record later.
No wonder I don’t get any sleep.