TV Fugit: Time Flies When There’s Too Much Stuff on Your DVR

I can’t believe it’s October.

Five days into October, actually.

I say that frequently. So frequently, it’s embarrassing. “I can’t believe it’s already X…” January, February, April, Memorial Day, my birthday! Fall. Christmas! Time flies so quickly and I just can’t keep up. It’s frustrating.

I’m sure we all feel this, but I honestly don’t know where the time goes. At the end of the day, I can’t figure out what I’ve been doing all day. After eight hours I forget some of the things I’ve accomplished, so it really feels like I’ve done nothing, even when I’ve checked things off my list.

The main reason I can’t believe it’s October already is that the summer just . . . disappeared. I had so many amazing things planned for this summer—all revolving around television. I kept thinking of summer as this grand, white blank canvas, just waiting for me to paint all sorts of wonderful stories on it with the help of Netflix and my constantly-at-93-percent-capacity DVR. I wanted to catch up on so many things. Recent shows that I’ve lagged behind on, like American Horror Story or The Vampire Diaries (both with full seasons filling up my DVR; why I can’t just give up on them is something for another blog post). Older shows whose brilliance I’ve heard about for years, like Orange is the New Black or The West Wing. Even a few lofty goals, like trying to catch up with the first 3 seasons of Scandal before the fourth season started again in September.

Now here we are, in October, and have I gotten to any of these things? I’m three-quarters of the way through Orange is the New Black. That’s it.

I think of the summer season as a television wasteland compared to the fall and spring, but in truth there’s still a good bit of decent television on in summer. The final season of True Blood was great, which is a relief considering how bizarre and complicated the last few seasons had become. Showtime’s Masters of Sex returned for another season, even though the first season just ended in December. I’m probably in the minority, but I loved Undateable, Bill Lawrence’s new sitcom on NBC. Of course I avidly watch (and recap) So You Think You Can Dance. I’m currently enjoying Finding Carter, MTV’s new drama about a teenage girl who learns that the woman she thinks is her mother is actually her kidnapper. And there’s always Wipeout, that bastion of lowest-common-denominator television that I enjoy so much, even though I feel badly about watching it.

With all the good things on television this summer, no wonder I haven’t accomplished much in terms of catching up. I’ve also been working more, which is good—and getting very distracted by social media, especially since joining the Facebook writing group I mentioned a few posts back, which is not always good. So I find myself watching just two hours or so of TV a night.

Now many people might say, “Wow! Two hours a night is a lot!” But for me, for the sheer volume of stuff on my DVR, two hours is nothing. I can barely make a dent in my constantly-at-95-percent-capacity DVR with two hours a night. Depending on the program, that’s only one thing! Definitely not enough.

It also doesn’t help matters that I spend too much time watching Friends reruns on Nick at Nite. It’s particularly bad on that channel too, because not only do they extend the time block for each episode by six whole minutes to cram in more commercials, but they also edit the hell out of the episodes, leaving them but a shell of what they once were. One of my favorite episodes, where Chandler realizes he’s in love with Joey’s girlfriend Kathy, is edited so much that they cut an entire subplot out of the episode. How do I know this? Not because I know the episode so well (though I do), but because they left the synopsis of the subplot in their description, even though there’s no trace of it left in the episode. How can I see Rachel learn to dine by herself if they’ve cut it completely from the episode?

Yet, clearly, their advertisers know a good thing when they see one, because obviously idiots like me are still watching, even though we’re sitting through tons more commercials—especially when I have the dang DVDs sitting on my overpopulated living room shelf.

So as deceptively light as Summer TV feels, Fall TV seems like it will be insane. Too many things to keep up with, and all new television (and so far, I like way too much of it). No more time to catch up with old programs. I’m clearly going to have to make some serious choices about what I keep up with and what I let fall by the wayside. But I’m obviously not very good at that, as evidenced by my constantly-at-97-percent-capacity DVR. I even have a few things on there that I’ve seen, but don’t want to get rid of, like believe it or not, Mixology and Super Fun Night, two poorly received ABC sitcoms that I absolutely adored. Looks like I’m not the only one who liked both of those shows, but they’ll probably have to go to make way for new things.

So while I’m looking forward to, and enjoying, the fall schedule and the return of some of my favorite shows (The Good Wife, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Sleepy Hollow, to name just a few), I’m also not ready. At all. In the slightest. What happened to my summer? Living here in L.A., it sure still feels like summer. Can’t we just extend it for a few months?

What about you, readers? Have you accomplished everything (anything) you hoped to this summer? Do you also constantly wonder where the time went? What TV shows did you enjoy this summer?

5 thoughts on “TV Fugit: Time Flies When There’s Too Much Stuff on Your DVR

  1. […] November! I can’t believe it. As I mentioned in my last post—some 26 days ago already—I frequently lose track of time, marveling at where it goes and how […]

  2. […] easily lose track of time, and frequently feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. Even when I’ve checked things off my list, […]

  3. […] “live” are daily fake news shows like The Daily Show and The Nightly Show (well, and reruns of Friends); if I start recording The Daily Show, it’ll quickly get out of hand. Since I can only record […]

  4. […] I’ll have to save my post about Alanis for another time, but she was on the Late Late Show with James Corden last week, where they updated the lyrics for her song “Ironic.” It’s so brilliant and so much fun, I figured I’d share it here. I especially love the line about late night talk show hosts, and about Netflix—because goodness knows I have plenty of DVDs. […]

  5. […] is ending, and while I look forward to the slightly more relaxed summer schedule (not that it saves me any time), I’m very sad about being without some of my favorite shows for three to five months. It […]

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