Thursday, September 4, 2008

The real reason I love my DVR...

...or how to avoid the idiot shivers.

(The seven comment rule is still in effect. I don't move on until I get seven comments. Hooray for cheaters!)

I doubt I'm alone in my DVR love. As far as completely non-essential luxury items go, it rocks my world. It may be at the top of my list of favorite non-essential things (assuming books count as essential. Which they totally do).

At first it was a time-saving thing. No more rushing home to catch a show when I had other things to do. Not that I ever did that. Because that would clearly suggest a problem with my priorities. Then it was a quality thing: I could see my favorite shows played back in digital beauty instead of the graininess of the videotape I was recording over for the seventeenth time. And then it was about giving corporate conditioning a thumb in the eye: ha! ha! I don't have to watch your stupid commercials!

But that all pales beside the greatest reason ever for having a DVR. I can fast forward through idiot shiver inducing moments.

You know what idiot shivers are. I used to call them cringeworthy moments until my husband (I think) coined the term "idiot shivers." That's when someone says or does something so embarrassing that it sends a little shiver down your back. There are shows that I flat out cannot watch, regardless of their hilarity or genius, The Office being top of my list. That show is too good. It makes me so uncomfortable! Other shows I have to skip include violent arguments between TV pundits and their guests (O'Reilly Factor, anyone?), large swathes of the Colbert Report, prank shows, Dr. Phil when the guests are dumb and ditto most talk shows, news programs where the sound feeds get messed up, and the tryout portion of American Idol.

Today I fast forwarded through part of a Project Runway episode where Kenley didn't have the good sense to keep her mouth shut. I love that handy little DVR application! I know some people love the crazy high wire of unpredictable TV but I can't stand watching people make fools of themselves on accident. On purpose is different. That doesn't bother me at all. Bring on the freaks in their bizarre audition costumes for American Idol; it's the sadly misguided auditioners that I shy away from.

There is probably something profound that I should say about my inability to face this realness in others....but I'm not going there! I firmly demand that people make me laugh with them and not at them.

I'm sure this is all part of a latent OCD tendency, but I shall wield my DVR remote fiercely.

(When my creative writing students ran out of things to say during timed free write brainstorms, I used to tell them they could just write "blue dog" over and over and over again. If you think I'm making the idiot shivers up or could not care less about DVRs, by all means, blue dog away. But only as a last resort. SEVEN comments, folks.)


Annette Lyon said...

Blue dog.

Kidding. I love my DVR. I watch less TV with it than ever before, and the family is in control of the TV instead of the other way around. It rocks. And I never miss a show I really want to see. There was a time I didn't even know when or where my favorite shows aired--I just caught them whenever I noticed them recorded.

Love the term "idiot shivers."

Heather of the EO said...

can you believe I don't have one yet?
But I suppose that's because I've given up tv for blogs and other such things.
Um, so if there are 14 comments, does that mean you have to do two posts in one day?

Heather of the EO said...

Oh! And I forgot...I'm totally not cheating right now, I really forgot.

I'm stealing the term "idiot shivers." Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I also have non idea when my favourite shows are on. Arrested Development is definitely an Idiot Shivers show and I LOVE IT!!!

I am with you on the American Idol tryouts. I can't stand them.

Kimberly said...

Oooo...I love that term! Idiot shivers, yes! I have the same problem, and the same source issues, I'm sure. I get shivery and upset, and I wince and turn away or suddenly decide I need to do laundry when someone is embarrassing themselves without realizing it.

Maybe I "need" a DVR after all...

Alison Wonderland said...

I love this! I love that there is someone else who has this problem. I'm told all the time what a great show the office is but I just can't get behind it. (I used to think that I identified a little too closely with the characters but I like the idiot shiver thing much better.)

the husband said...

I must give credit where credit is due...I first heard the term "idiot shivers" from my friend Ethan. I'm not sure where he got it from. I think he made it up.

p.s. ukmxeoel - an Inuit medicinal plaster made from seal oil and fermented tundra flowers.

charrette said...

I tried to get my hubby to pop for a DVR the last time we upgraded our cable, but it turns out we never watch t.v. anyway, so I haven't sulked. Yet.

But I must admit I would love it for fast-forwarding and on-demand viewing.

And "idiot shivers" is my new favorite term. (So aptly applied to Michael on The Office!)

Nancy said...

martha has been begging for a DVR - Her tape didn't work on project runway last week...
TV has been driving me crazy for a while. This is probably heresy, but I don't like Seinfeld or Raymond...
but I like you! James, Sophie, William, Freida and Vlado are coming in a couple of weeks. I need some new grandma toys. Suggestions?
No list this Friday - ?