May
15
2010

  Reserving Judgment on Tivo

I was able to really try out the Tivo today. I'm not sure about it. I went to the "now showing" section, which lists all the shows available to watch, and several had recorded since 9pm yesterday. But when I went to the "to do" section, which lists all the shows scheduled to be recorded, it was waaay too long. I had signed up for some Tivo "guru" lists to see what they were about.

These "guru" lists automatically include shows for various demographics. I selected "Stay at Home Mom" and "Pop Culture Junkie" (or something like that). Ugh. They had filled the lineup with Entertainment Tonight and TMZ and reruns of Friends, among half a dozen other things. I deleted them all and unsubscribed. I do not have the same taste in TV that they ascribe to my demographic. Although to be fair, I'm not really a pop culture junkie, I was just curious to see what they'd pull. But I am a stay-at-home mom, and I don't want to waste my time watching pablum about celebrities. That's why I read the celebrity magazines, I can get my fill of celebrity news while the baby is playing, without exposing him to trashy TV.

I did start to watch last night's Letterman show around 6pm this evening. But it wasn't satisfying. It was terribly, terribly different than watching it in its proper time, late on a weeknight. The monologue was dull, so I skipped through it-- I found the button that fast-forwards 30 seconds at a time. Mike Myers was the guest, and while one of his appearances on Conan was one of the funniest things I've seen on TV (Myers was improvising to the tune of "that's amore"), he was pretty dull on Letterman. I moved on to watching Jimmy Fallon. I accidentally figured out how to skip 15 minutes at a time, and was able to more quickly get right to his interview with Maya Rudolph. Now that I'm glad I got a chance to see! They were very funny together, and I am eager to see the Macgruber movie now, even though apparently it's so filthy they couldn't even get a clip to show on network TV. Awesome.

I taped the Preakness, so maybe I'll watch that tonight. I also have some episode of "This Old House" that aired at 3am that demonstrates how to re-frame an existing wall so it will accomodate a new door or window. I think I have some garden show taped also, as well as an episode of Frasier from 1997 I think. I'm taping SNL, although T and I will probably stay up to watch it since it is the season finale. For the past few seasons (since Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph left), if the sketches were generally dull, I just went to bed and didn't finish watching the show. T always would stick it out, just in case they got funnier towards the end. They rarely did. Now, I guess we can both go to bed if things seem dull, and just check the Tivo tomorrow to see if things got better or not, without having to stay up late.

Overall, I'm still not so sure about having a Tivo. Although I don't think I'm going to return it, I'm not convinced it's altogether a good thing. There is a chance I'll watch more TV and wind up being even less proctive than I usually am. On the flip side, it might just take away from the time I spend playing computer solitaire or other games. And I really don't do anything else while I'm playing the games (unless it's watching TV. . .), but when I watch TV, if I have a little light where I am sitting, I do knit. So theoretically Tivo could make me MORE productive by increasing the proportion of the time I watch TV, if by doing so it reduces the amount of time I spend playing video games.