My wife and I woke up to a surprise this past Saturday. We settled into our weekend routine of waking up by watching The Soup, and when we hit our DVR button to access the show, nothing happened. We reset it. Still nothing. Live TV was fine (and still is), but our ability to pause and record it was gone.
After I called Dish Network, they promptly sent us a replacement receiver that I installed easily. The problem, though, is that all the recorded shows we were saving for whatever reason are now gone.
We lost a lot of TV that we’d been stockpiling, almost 80 hours worth. Part of the reason we kept so much was simply not having enough time to watch it as it airs; we often do marathon sessions in free evenings or on weekends.
What We Lost:
- Pushing Daisies, Season 2 – We were saving this because we can’t bring ourselves to watch such a wonderful show end in obscurity. This was our rainy-day season.
- 24, 2 episodes – I was hoping to watch these Sunday afternoon, and the DVR ‘sploding made me miss this week’s, too, for being behind.
- LOST, Season 6 – I intended a serial re-watch as soon as the episodic season ended. Sad times.
- Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus – This one was actually still on there at my wife’s behest, not mine, if you’ll believe me.
- Stargate Universe – Same plan as LOST.
- Two weeks of The Colbert Report – There are few shows that lend themselves so well to starting, stopping, and continuing as well as this one. 22 minutes of minute-long humor is fantastic for those scattered days. Luckily, these are a dime a dozen even without DVR.
- FlashForward – I had been saving these for the past 4 weeks until after finals are over so I can finally figure out if I like the show. Now, who knows if I care enough?
- How I Met Your Mother, Season 5 – Much like The Colbert Report, HIMYM fills those 22 minutes when I should be doing something else pretty nicely.
- The Soup – Only one episode and we were able to catch it on a rerun, but it broke our habit!
- Glee – However many episodes my wife had stockpiled.
- V – We were waiting until after LOST finished to be able to tackle this one. We loved the first 4 episodes, and were looking forward to these when we had time.
All in all, we lost about 80 hours of TV (our DVR is one of the 100-hour dinosaurs). What’s worse, though, is that we lost all of our timers. So we have to go back through and manually set our timers, hoping we don’t miss anything or get a priority wrong.
Some of these shows will be no big deal to catch up on. Pushing Daisies, for instance, is out on DVD already. We just have to hop to the store or Netflix and decide we want to watch it. Others, like Stargate Universe and 24, are available online, and we had few enough episodes saved that I can catch up without being out any real effort. Others, like FlashForward and V, were far enough in their season that the typical 5-episode window for online catching up has run out.
Admittedly, this is no end-of-the-world situation. But it is kind of irritating. I had my plan for the summer laid out where I could watch a few episodes here and there, catching up on certain shows at my own speed. Now, though, who knows?
Hook, Line, Sinker
The worst part is that I realized how dependant on that single piece of technology I had become. Jennifer and I often joke back and forth between clips on The Soup with it paused. We couldn’t do that Sunday night. So we had to remain silent in order to hear all the jokes and only cut up with each other during commercials.
Yes, you read that right. The DVR influenced the way my wife and I interacted with each other, and its being out of order affected us in a negative way. Before you go thinking we’re pathetic, I’d like you to note that The Soup is a half-hour comedy for half an hour each week.
But the point still stands.
I have become so utterly dependent on technology in my life—just for entertainment; don’t get me started on productivity software—that even the way I interact with my wife is affected by it in some small way. Is that a bad thing?
I don’t know. Maybe.
I mean, I keep my iPhone on me at all times. I keep Outlook open at work all day long. I even keep a Hootsuite tab opened at both work and home for those moments when a fleeting 140-character message might catch my attention and blow my mind. Is being attached to how my DVR lets me watch TV really any different?
With all this in mind, I think that maybe the best thing I can do right now is take a step away from my technological tethers and just go read a book. Now, where did I put that Kindle?