Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A DVR Full of Teen Angst

Owning a ReplayTV (a Digital Video Recorder, you know, like a TiVo) has allowed me to follow more shows than I probably should. The whole concept of time shifting, that is, recording shows and watching them at my convenience (and without commercials), is a greater thing than sliced bread. After all, the person who came up with sliced bread neither invented bread nor the technique of cutting things; he just put them together. No, the DVR is really in a class above that. In fact, since the dawn of time, there really are three inventions/discoveries in that top class: fire, the wheel, and the Digital Video Recorder. Those of you that have one know what I'm talking about and the rest of you should go read the Allegory of the Cave.

Anyway, back to the original point about "my shows." At the beginning of each television season I pick a few new shows that I will try out and, if they are good, watch faithfully. The reason I have to pick "a few shows" is the bane of my existence. For some reason, the shows I like always get canceled due to poor ratings. I don't know if it's because I can't pick good shows or if America is growing increasingly more stupid. The success of Deal or No Deal and Dancing with the Stars makes me think it is the latter. So far this season, several of my shows have been canceled or will be soon. I was really into Smith starring Ray Liotta, but it got the axe after only three episodes. Vanished is a little hokey, but I've gotten into it. It has been relocated to Fridays where it will probably die a slow death.

However, it appears my luck might be changing as today it was announced that Friday Night Lights, the fictional TV series based on the semi-fictional movie which is based on a nonfiction book written about a real high school football team in Texas, has been given the go ahead for a full season of episodes. The show has better teen angst than The O.C. or anything on the WB or WC or whatever they're calling that channel now. The football is realistic enough, and the characters are very well written. It's an engrossing show that will leave you wanting more. Now, I'm not one of those of those people who makes saving TV shows my personal mission, so I'm not going to tell you have to watch this show or it won't get picked up for a second season. Rather, I have devoted a posting on my web log to it (or half of a post as I wasted quite a bit of effort getting to the point). So next time you're watching TV on a Tuesday night and your flipping through the channels (something DVR owners don't have to do) and you come across Friday Night Lights, just say to yourself, "Oh yeah, I heard this was a good show. Maybe I'll try it out."

And in case you were wondering, other shows I watch are Heroes, House, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Nine, The Office, Without a Trace, and, of course, an occasional episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter. After typing that out, I realize I watch too much TV. Thus we see that the DVR, like fire, also has a downside.


Anonymous said...


Why does Baskin Robbins have 31 flavors? Why do t-shirts come in a variety of colors? And why are there so many different shows on tv? The answer, we all have different tastes. One is not better or SMARTER than the other, just different. One (YOU) should not say that just because you do or do not like something that it is good or bad. That's just your opinion. I, personally, have watched Friday Night Lights and found it unwatchably boring and soap operaish (don't get me wrong, I love my fair share of things that are dramatic). But that doesn't mean that I can't understand why somebody else may like it.

As I discussed last nights episode of Dancing With the Stars with my friend who has a PhD from Columbia University, I reflected on how much joy the show brings me. And I am not alone. Her husband, a lawyer who also graduated from Columbia, loves to watch with her. There is a reason that it is one of the most watched shows on television. It's great television and great dancing. I guess us stupid watchers just can't get enough.

In conclusion, please take me off your mailing list. I would rather get my entertainment news from a more reliable source like Us Weekly.


morty said...

Apparently I ruffled a few feathers with this post. Allow me to explain. I didn't mean to imply that anyone is stupid for watching Dancing With the Stars, but I suppose that is what I said. In my defense I was trying to express my frustration in the continuing shift of the broadcast dollar to low cost forms of entertainment such as Dancing With the Stars and Deal or No Deal. Recent examples of this include cutting the TV movie of the week from the schedule and eliminating all or most original programming on Saturday nights. Friday night is headed that way too as it has become a dumping ground for shows before they get cancelled. Also, NBC recently announced that next season they will go exclusively with unscripted shows at the 7:00-8:00 hour. Next, we might see the entertainment evening reduced from 3 hours to 2 hours as is already the case on Fox and the CW. My post was meant to convey my frustration of getting into a show only to see it cancelled and replaced with shows like Deal or No Deal and its subsequent clones. I apologize to Kate and her Columbia University PhD friends for implying they are stupid. Maybe we can find some middle ground. There must be a show that some might consider stupid, but that we can all agree it brings us joy. Might I suggest Dog the Bounty Hunter.