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What's On Your TIVO?
2008-02-14 15:52
by Scott Long

Considering that I'm on the road performing standup around 150 nights per year, it is difficult for me to get a real attachment to any specific television show. Because of my peculiar lifestyle, I have owned a TIVO since it first came on the market. It's great to be able to pause or rewind certain scenes, or fast forward through commercials, I rarely watch TV when I'm on the road. The only real-time television I watch at home is news and sports programming.

There are few things that are more potentially embarassing than revealing what is in your DVR. I'm pretty comfortable in releasing most of what is in my TIVO, as I mainly watch documentaries. Now the making of Deep Purple's Machine Head album on VH-1 Classic might not seem too intellectual, but I have just as many episodes of Frontline, American Experience, and NOVA to balance the pop culture stuff out. I have previously discussed here how I really like Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Bobby Flay's Throwdown. While on the surface the only thing they share is a discussion of food, I think they also explore creativity and passion for life. I feel no shame about these type of shows. Below are a few shows that I can't be as confident in claiming any type of intellectual integrity to, as these shows in my DVR just feed my base desires.

Rock of Love- This show was tag-teamed with Scott Baio is 45 and Single last year. The Baio show started off stronger, but has lost its steam, with this year's Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant being pretty worthless. Poison is one of the worst bands in rock history, so I had a negative bias going into watching lead singer Bret Michaels try to meet his soulmate. After watching the initial episode, I said I was done with it, but something deep inside me that I don't want to even know what it is brought me back for week 2. Since then I haven't been able to turn away from this skankfest, as the whores contestants are willing to do anything to become his queen. Considering that the honor provides for a life of staying at home while our boy Bret is out on the road bangin' County Fair Queens, I'm not sure why it is such an illustrious throne, but I'm guessing they've probably sat on worse.

Besides the complete lack of class these women demonstrate, Bret Micheals does a couple things I love to watch, as well. First, it is fascinating to watch the different bandanas that seem to be connected to the weave sitting on his head. I also enjoy how the only song that seems to be played on the show is Every Rose Has It's Thorn. On a special date during season 1, Bret worte a new song for a private date which just happened to have the same melody as Every Rose Has It's Thorn. How inspired! Finally at the end of the show Bret hands out backstage passes to the contestants who will continue on to fight another day for his love, asking them "Will you stay and rock my world." It is so f-ing corny that I have a hard time not breaking out my own version on people, just for the ironic charm of it. Season 2 of the show hasn't been as good as season 1, but I still can't stop watching. What's next? I'm hoping for Jani Lane's Be My Cherry Pie reality show. Yum.

Celebrity Rehab- Another VH-1 pseudo-reality program, this show puts a bunch of D-list celebs in a rehab clinic and exposes them for the addicts they really are. The only thing that they seem to have a bigger addiction for than drugs and alcohol is publicity, so watching them act like attention starved 12 year-olds is kind of fun. Breakout stars have been Taxi's Jeff Conway, who puts in an academy award performance as a 1st-class F-up. Dishonorable Mention goes to Daniel Baldwin, who could not behave more sincere when he is offering up one after another bullshit takes on life. There is one part of the show that keeps it from careening into a complete farce and that is their therapist, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He is the best TV doctor I've ever seen, as he can keep a level head despite how much the whole situation around him is 3-Ring Circus.

The L Word
- When this showtime original series hit the airwaves, I gave it a few watches and couldn't get past that it was a pretentious left-wing lesbian soap opera. I hadn't watched it the past couple of years, but have picked back up on it this year for one reason----it has the hottest lesbian sex ever. I don't know when it happened, but the show has given up the pretext that it should have artistic screenplay notions. Now the show works like an episode of Zalman King's Red Shoe Diaries, with the script just moving the story along to get to the naughty bits. The beautiful element of the DVR enables you to fast forward to the sensuous lesbian love trysts that litter each show. I watch these scenes and wonder how a man could ever compete with the seductive sapphic charms of the L Word's main players..

American Idol
- I was a later convert to this show, but I guess I can keep my American citizenship as I now watch the show each season. I was initially a bigger fan of the bad singers, but that has run its course for me, as it has become a generic formula. Smartly, Simon Cowell has pulled off from slamming each bad singer with the ferocity of Greg Giraldo at a Comedy Central roast, as it had moved from being funny to being cruel. I actually skipped watching the early rounds this year, but I'm on board for the rest of the season now that the real talent is competing. It looks like a lot stronger, more diverse field than last year, which lacked a good rock or country voice. This is another great show to TIVO, as zipping through a 2-hour Idol presentation in 40 minutes is a lot more time effective method.

So there they are. Not particularly proud, but this piece is about honesty as much as anything else. 

2008-02-14 18:13:05
1.   vockins
That pic of Jani Lane is pretty good, but I think this one is better:

I've also watched this about 100 times:

It's pretty incredible how much douchebaggery can be packed into about :55 seconds. Every sentence is gold.

2008-02-14 19:45:59
2.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Dr. Drew (Pinsky) is the long time Doctor (actually a medical doctor, yes) on the teen-angst call-in radio show called "Loveline". The show has been around for ages, originating on Los Angeles' KROQ with "the Poorman", who actually did a thinly veiled version of the show in the movie, Heathers. According to the wikipedia article, he's been on that show since 1984. It doesn't surprise me that he's a rock upon which Celebrity Rehab stands.

These days, my Tivo has a whole lot of nothin' on it. Damn writers strike. I'll be crushed when the current string of Losts expires five weeks from tonight, to be seen again when??? Not wanting to take sides, I've been reduced to reading! ;)

2008-02-14 20:31:20
3.   Scott Long
While I think the face is slightly worse, the tats kind of make him look more rock and roll than the sloppy shirted version that I chose.

I'm waiting for The Shield and have used this time during the writers strike to catch up on DVD sets I bought of Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me. All FX, all the time?

2008-02-14 21:00:04
4.   joejoejoe
I don't have TIVO or a DVR. I was pricing switching from cable to a dish and the dish comes with DVR at basically the same price. Is it worth the move? How easy are DVRs to use?
2008-02-14 21:15:12
5.   chris in illinois
Well, right now on my DVR:

Colbert Report
about 17 Good Eats
Star Trek: Voyager (2 or 3)
Bev. Hills 90120 (My wife's, she's younger than me)
American Idol
Bourdain's No Reservations (New Orleans edition)
John Cusack's 'Hi Fidelity'
The tail end of Donnie Darko
and about 37 episodes of 'Diego' for the two-year old twins.

joejoejoe, my (almost) 4-year old can easily use the DVR.

2008-02-14 21:17:54
6.   Chyll Will
Lots and lots of Adult Swim... which is where I figure I'll end up sooner or later >;)
2008-02-14 22:56:25
7.   Scott Long
I highly recommend going Satellite. Much better pricing, especially for DVR and extra sports channels. I have DirectTV, but I hear that Frank Caliendo says Dishnetwork is the way to go.

I have Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, and Calliou episodes for my daughter. Add a bunch of episodes of In Treatment from HBO.

2008-02-15 07:51:33
8.   Shaun P
For the parents - your kids ever watch a PBS show called "Word World"? My two-year-old daughter is hooked on it, and I think its actually really neat, for a kid's show.

We have the usual stuff (Lost, Real Time, Deal or No Deal), more kids' stuff (The Wiggles, Word World, and HBO's "Classical Baby"), movies we haven't had time to watch (Syrianna, You Me and Dupree, Trail of the Pink Panther) - oh, and everything I could find about the recent Super Bowl.

2008-02-15 09:04:55
9.   Cliff Corcoran
I just upgraded to HDTV, so my DVR, which is usually up around 80% full, is fairly tidy and mostly movies (which take the longest to get around to watching):

Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Great White Hope
The Barbarian Invasions
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (episode with Dillinger Escape Plan - the guitarist is a childhood friend, so I'm saving this one for a while)
Beat Street
NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell
The Odd Couple (the 1968 movie)
The Red Shoes
AKC Agility Invitational Finals (my wife and I do dog agility, so this is like watching game tape for me to observe what the handlers are doing)
Classic Albums - Bob Marley - Catch A Fire

I usually have far more VH1 Classic programing on there, but I've been good about keeping up since getting the new box.

Shows on our regular taping list:

House, Grey's Anatomy, ER, Lost, Dexter (network version, we don't have Showtime), The Office, 30 Rock, Late Night With Conan O'Brein, The Simpsons, The Family Guy, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time With Bill Maher

2008-02-15 14:44:29
10.   misterjohnny
I've got Chuck, which has great writing and smoking hot actresses, and Las Vegas, which has cheesier writing and smoking hot pseudo-actresses. That and a bunch of kids shows, although I have gotten my 8 and 6 year old hooked on Mythbusters.

And Dish Network isn't close to Directv if you are at all interested in HD. I love HD. I get angry when I watch an HD channel and Fox Sports Net goes cheap and doesn't film the event with HD cameras. GRRRRR!

2008-02-15 16:17:38
11.   Scott Long
I appreciate the honesty, misterjohnny.
2008-02-15 16:28:12
12.   Ken Arneson
We just got our first DVR last month. So far, we've signed up to regularly record:

Battlestar Galactica
Michael Palin's New Europe
The Tick
Pinky & The Brain
Knitty Gritty

The first two are mine, the next three are whole-family deals, and the last three are my wife's.

2008-02-15 21:46:13
13.   Scott Long
This is kind of fun game to better understand the personality of each contributor. TIVO is the window to our soul.
2008-02-16 00:07:04
14.   overkill94
My personal scheduled recordings break down to a few main categories:

1. Comedies without laugh tracks (The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Flight of the Conchords, Pushing Daisies, Simpsons)

2. Trivia shows (Jeopardy! and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire)

3. Various popular non-comedies (CSI, 24, American Idol - I too am a recent convert and think this year's crop is leaps and bounds more interesting than last year's)

Plus, I usually have a handful of movies saved for the nights when I have nothing to do and do not have a Blockbuster Online movie sitting around. Most of the times it's classics off TCM, but occasionally there are movies from some of the other various movie channels. Off the top of my head, I currently have The Bridge, Foreign Correspondent, The Thin Man, and A Place in the Sun saved.

Other occasional tapings include episodes of Classic Albums from VH1 Classic, the occasional softcore porn, and of course any Lifetime made-for-TV movie.

2008-02-16 19:02:58
15.   Suffering Bruin
The Daily Show. Never miss it. Being married, a teacher and having a child doing fine in spite of learning challenges, we don't get to watch much television. We can't really afford the premium channels. If we could I would absolutely TiVo The "L" Word.

Just sayin...

2008-02-17 14:35:19
16.   Scott Long
I want to apologize for all the proofreading mistakes that were in the original of this piece. I have never claimed I will produce error less copy, but this was a real train wreck. I hope I fixed most of the main mistakes. I wrote it on my sidekick and didn't and it is hard to proofread on it. Plus my thumbs were worn out.

I wanted to comment to Brent that I used to listen to Lovelines occasionally when Adam Carolla was the co-host and I always was amazed how good the 2 of them were together. A very juvenile syndicated show that rose above its callers and actually would have some really inspired moments.

2008-02-18 19:20:52
17.   El Lay Dave
Thanks primarily to a long commute, being a parent, and being a homeowner, there isn't much time for TV. (The Super Bowl is still on the DVR - my wife wants to see the commercials, me the highlights in context - since we were demoing the kitchen counters that day.) Disclaimer - we are network and basic cable only.

She regularly records General Hospital because habits that are ingrained for over a quarter-century are apparently hard to break.

We record Boston Legal. Yes, it can be strident, but watching James Spader (and sometimes Shatner) [over]act is great fun. Also Desperate Housewives, a guilty pleasure and a slightly quirky easy watch that is about all I can handle by Sunday night. Does make me miss Twin Peaks though. Pushing Daisies is fun too.

We are starting to play catchup with Lost and The Office on DVD, so they are not on the DVR yet.

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