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All Dawson, All the Time

03/25/04 | by Sara [mail] | Categories: computer/tech

dawson's creekWhen Danny first suggested that we, frugal (tight, stingy, scrooge-like…insert your own tight-fisted adjective here) people that we are, should splurge on a seemingly needless technological advancement like a TiVo, I was barely able to stifle a laugh. First of all, it took at least a year to convince him that we could afford more than the 12 (including local) cable channels we were paying for. (Actually, it took them canceling his precious TechTV from our lineup.) As you have already read, we got a great deal on the TiVo, so I couldn't really argue, but I wasn't quite convinced that it would help me in any way. Now I'm hooked. Today, Danny lamented that if he had known we could get DSL before we bought the TiVo, he would have gotten it instead…I quickly responded "No way!" Here are the top 5 reasons I love my TiVo.

5. Constant Dora the Explorer access. My daughter Emma is mildly obsessed with this Nickelodeon cartoon character and her show. (Emma's fixation on this show is actually the main reason we were floored when DishNetwork said they were not going to provide Nick anymore. But we took care of that problem!) Now I can enter our "Now Playing" list and call up any of the episodes we have saved. No more tantrums…until we visit someone without 24-hour Dora access.

4. The 'Search' Feature. If there is a movie or TV show I want to watch, I just have to enter the search menu and type in the first few letters of the title. I then have a playlist for the next two weeks, and can even choose to "Season Pass" a show, recording every new episode that appears. And, if I'm feeling really brave, I can view a menu of all movies, scroll through it, and select the ones I want to record. If you will remember my past confession of decision-making, I am always pleasantly surprised at the movies that magically appear days later.

3. Watching a show while one (or two) others are being recorded. You might think this is a bit much, and perhaps it is. But hear me out. I love the WB and watch Everwood, Gilmore Girls and Smallville regularly. But with our old setup, if any of these shows were recording, we couldn't watch anything else. So if Emma wanted to watch Dora on TV and not one of the many we have on DVD or VHS (which, believe me, isn't that far-fetched), we had to keep her mind off of this desire for a full hour. Have you ever tried to occupy an hour of a toddler's time? I rest my case.

2. No VHS tapes. Speaking of our finicky toddler, she also has the habit of running by a piece of electronic equipment and "leaving her mark". In the case of our VCR, this means ejecting the tape we were planning on using for one of the aforementioned WB shows. Translation: I would come home expecting to see Everwood and would instead see the front end of an empty VHS tape sticking out of the VCR. With TiVo, there are no tapes. It's Emma proof!

1. Dawson's Creek. (Brendan…I'm counting on you to stick up for me on this one.)
Here's the thing. TBS airs two Dawson's Creek episodes every morning. They run in succession, so, in theory, if I watched both episodes each day I could finish a season in like a week or two. Unfortunately, I don't have the time (nor the patience) to sit through two episodes per day, plus their airtime infringes on 'Dora time'-and we know who wins on that one. Now, I can get my teen love/drama/angst fix whenever I want. It's like being in high school without all the taunting and bad food.


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