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OMG, my DVR is destroying me! November 13, 2009

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

The moment seemed so carefree. Having sat down for a casual conversation with my coworker Susan Gawlowicz, we eventually found ourselves turning to the topic of television.

She mentioned how her family—4-year-old daughter included—enjoys watching The Food Network. I rarely watch the channel, probably because I’m not much of a cook. But I’ve heard more people mention how much they enjoy it, so I told Susan I probably should make a point to check it out. If only I had more time.

"When am I going to find time to watch all this crap!"

"When am I going to watch all this crap?"

“Do you have a DVR?” she asked me. Suddenly, I felt my body stiffen—almost as much as it had earlier that morning as the dental hygienist was ripping apart my gums.

“Yes,” I said meekly. All I could think about was the stress associated with keeping up with MORE digitally recorded programming because, like on so many other occasions, I thought, “I have to watch that!”

It’s true, my DVR may ultimately prove to be my demise. What originally seemed like a gentle stream of ongoing broadcast entertainment, available to watch at my convenience, is now Hurricane Katrina. Once it’s sitting there on the server, I feel like I’m obligated to watch it before I drown in the sheer volume of content I’ve collected. It’s incredible! Never before has watching TV felt like work.

There are two primary issues at play here. The first is lateness. I’ll be honest, I rarely make it past 10 p.m. But there’s Mad Men, for example, on AMC. I think it’s already won like 267 Emmy Awards, so I really wanted to check it out this season. But I’m pretty much in bed while it’s on.

Second issue is conflict. I still watch Survivor, religiously. But ABC has this new FlashForward program that airs at the same time. It’s Lost-esque, and I like that. Actually, I missed the first couple of episodes, so I’m still not clear how the world taking a 2-minute nap gutted downtown Los Angeles and scorched half of the U.S. Capitol dome—but I digress. I’ve been recording FlashForward so that I can still watch Survivor live.

There are other programs too, and frankly they’re piling up. I recently noticed that I was still hanging on to last season’s finale of Southland. Having managed to ignore it all summer, I remembered hearing that NBC had decided to cancel it prior to the airing of its second season. “What’s the point of watching it now,” I thought. Delete.

With the holidays coming up, I’m hoping there will be enough downtime to start clearing the decks. But clearly I need to refine my DVR strategy moving forward. So when I plop myself on the couch, maybe I just need to spend more time with the remote in my hand—and less time with the laptop writing this damn blog. 🙂



1. sue - November 13, 2009

You’re very funny! And brave to admit your tv obligations/addictions!

2. Pam Smith - November 13, 2009

Paul Stella – I so enjoy you!

3. Michelle Franchi - November 13, 2009

Interesting how a technology that was created to solve a problem in the market, actually created a new problem. I think they should add additional features like a audience star rating for each episode. When you have limited time, it will help you pick the best episode/show to watch. Also wish you could organize by show rather than date, but that’s just a pet peeve. I wonder if Time Warner needs a product manager? Needless to say, I have the same issue you do. My solution? Pick an entire series, and get rid of it!

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