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Hello, I’m Renee and I’m a TV junkie

September 10, 2009
How Direct TV Ruined My Life

By Renee

retro-tv2I remember the days when I was “above” TV. It seems like only yesterday that I was in my early twenties with no cable and when the topic of television was brought up, I’d reply, “I’m more into film”.

This was also the era of making weekly trips to Blockbuster, to rent said films. I feel comfortable using the term “film” because I actively sought out and enjoyed moody foreign films, back before I started to find reading while I watched a movie too tiring.   The town where I moved to start art school was exceptionally small; we were lucky to have a Blockbuster and Huddle House (Waffle House being too cosmopolitan for our backwater southern town).  While I might go to the cool, independently owned video store back home, (holla Video 21!) with its back porn room and rows upon rows of independent movies, while at school it was Blockbuster all the way.  So I had no real need for TV, cable was expensive and most of it was crap.  

Remember what that was like, when we all had walls of video cassettes in our living rooms, and laser disks were supposed to be the next big thing? Before Netflix and iTunes and bit torrents and online streaming and youtube? That was the dark age of entertainment media! But now a golden age of media has begun, a virtual renaissance of instantaneous entertainment.  And its Sistine Chapel is the DVR.

With DVR, a bevy of horrible and addictive programming has been ushered into my life. Back in the olden days, I wouldn’t have made it a point to watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but with DVR and its ability to bend time and space, all that has changed.  Now I can record an entire season of Gossip Girl, and watch the episodes at 3 AM…which I may or may not do after a night out (don’t judge me!). Don’t even get me started on PAUSING and rewinding TV shows, I’m now so accustomed to podcasts and DVR-ed shows that when listening to NPR in the car I find myself trying to rewind it when I miss something.

Despite evidence to the contrary (what with me trying to rewind life and all) I think I may be getting over Direct TV’s initial contact high.  I’m making a conscience effort to watch less trashy TV and not channel surf.  Although that may just be the TV junkie in me talking.  If “films” were my gateway drug, than DVR-ed TV is the heroin that I just can’t seem to quit.


4 Responses to “ Hello, I’m Renee and I’m a TV junkie ”

  1. pancake on September 10, 2009 at 8:32 am

    A Golden Age indeed! Your perspective is spot-on – have you seen this bit?

  2. Shannon on September 10, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I remember the olden days *shudders*. You will have to come pry the remote for my u-verse television from my cold dead hands. It is particularly great for those of us with kids, who don’t always cooperate and go to bed at 4:30 in the afternoon like mommy and daddy wish. At least I can catch up on everything on my own time now.

  3. Dayanna on September 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    We don’t have TV, and I am sooo much more productive! However, I do watch a few hours of TV a week anyway… Project Runway, True Blood, House, The Office… all on-line of course. If it wasn’t for internet TV I don’t know if I could do without cable… even though I did for years in my early 20′s as well.

    I love this new World Order of entertainment, there are some shows I want to watch, but I don’t want to pay for cable, especially since I only want to watch like 4 shows.

  4. Rebecca on September 22, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I completely agree about pausing and watching TV shows. I too have been afflicted. I’m spoiled and hardly watch anything ‘live’ except sports. It’s hard to believe that once upon a time we used to sit through all those commercials, where as now, we can speed right through them. It’s a good thing I don’t have TiVo becuase then I would find out just how shallow my TV watching really is. Regarding your new drug of choice- the DVR is something that I don’t want to quit.