Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Dangers of Tivo

Watching TV used to be an agonizing experience, with endless commercials interrupting the flow of a show. Sometimes, an artful cliffhangar could make a commercial break tantalizing. But that was back in the day when hour long dramas would only get interrupted say, three times. Now, hour long shows have five or six or even more commercial breaks, ruining any potential build-up of excitement. So thank God for DVRs, which let you tape shows easily and breeze through the commercials. But now I've discovered a new menace. When you watch a show with friends, the DVR lets you stop the action repeatedly to laugh over a line, argue over a plot twist or complain about a performance, a line, or the direction of the series. Directorboy and I set a new record last night: we stopped the show one second into "previously on Gilmore Girls" recap and started to complain. I imagine a show's creator would weep if they could see how viewers slice and dice the viewing experience of their carefully crafted shows.

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