Culture

Oh my: Recorded 86 television shows this past season

I love television. I love it even more than Coke Zero but slightly less than New York. That’s my materials-love continuum. I grew up with TV and I came out fairly normal.  Or so I believe, but have been told as well.  Despite my television love, I don’t have much time to watch live television. I, like many others nowadays, record television shows with the hope of catching up with my shows on the weekends or late at night. There are even some shows I record because, within five to ten minutes, they put me to sleep. I would say it’s healthier than taking sleeping pills. You agree, right? Although, some shows are so badly written that they do pain you.

 

I have been recording shows for a good eight years. I think I started when my son was born. It may have been before that, but there are many things I do not remember BL (before luka). All I know is that the recoded shows sure came in handy at 3am when I had to get up to breast-feed.  I also remember catching certain shows (i.e. Forever) that helped cure my insomnia. Now I use certain shows with my son to get him to go to bed as he is so bored by them. Sadly, he is bored by iZombie. Such a shame. I love the show and it sends my son to dreamland.

 

I was cleaning our my DVR recently, as I started preparing to move.  I found that in exacty a year, I set my DVR to record 86 different shows. I recorded superhero shows, dramas, science fiction and a smattering of comedy shows.  I often recorded whole seasons of each of these shows. If a season, is at minimum 10 episodes, I recorded at minimum approximately 860 hours of television.  That is still way less than the approximately 2000 hours of work we have each week. And I am one of those people that prefers to binge watch shows than to watch week after week. I think the ability to binge watch television shows is one of the best things ever.  Now as I look at this list of shows I have recorded since being in Los Angeles, I wonder if 86 shows is a lot, average or less than others?  Some DVRs allow households to record up to six shows at the same time. If you did that everyday at the same time, you could record 48 shows. Hmm. Seems to me that perhaps my 86 recorded shows may not be all that much in comparison to the possibilities out there.

 

Sadly, I have not been able to watch all the shows that I recorded. Admittedly, by the time I was able to get to them, I didn’t care for them much anymore or they already got cancelled by the powers that be.  I suppose that is one bad consequence of waiting for so long and relying on binge-watching.

 

Overall, I know that I cannot be alone in this behavior. Or so I tell myself.  I just wonder how television viewing will continue to evolve. My mother saw the transitiosn from black and white, to cable to DVRs.   Each of those changes in the television viewing experience meant something to her. They represented large cultural shifts in our society. Lets see what the new season and new technology brings us in this coming television season. How will we be trnasformed further?

5 replies »

  1. “My mother saw the transitiosn from black and white, to cable to DVRs.” OMG! I did, too!
    “Each of those changes in the television viewing experience meant something to her.” OK, so maybe they did to me, too.
    “They represented large cultural shifts in our society.” I hadn’t thought of this before but now I can see that you are right!

    As I arrived nearer the end than the beginning of the Baby Boomer generation, I would also say that I grew up with television and, like you, I also consider myself to be totally normal.

    My comparatively old DVR does not hold as much data as the new ones, which is probably fortunate. In between trips out of town, I am trying to catch up on what I have recorded since the end of last year. I hope to view multiple versions of “How the Grinch Stole Xmas” before that holiday is here again!

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  2. I must be as old as your mother. Have been recording shows for 30 years, since the introduction of VCRs.

    I have found that the quality of the picture on the screen still doesn’t have anything to do with my enjoyment of most shows. I can watch an old movie from the 30s in B&W without the slightest interest in colorizing it. They were shot with monochrome in mind and colorizing them sometimes makes them worse. Going from SD to HD is nice for shows about nature or high end special effects but is wasted on the typical TV series and most movies.

    The big advantage today is the wide screen matches the movie format much better. A lot is lost in cropping a 16×9 movie down to 4×3. Sometimes very important things happen near the edges of a movie.

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