The His and Hers DVR

by , Apr 17, 2006, 12:47 PM
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My digital video recording habits are pushed, pulled, and forever joined with my wife, Hope Rayman Friedman. Though I write about the entertainment business for a living, Hope had a DVR long before I ever thought about it. Here's the strange part: She was probably one of a handful of people in the United States who had a DVR, but no cable or satellite service.

"Wayne, tell them that's because regular TV is superior to cable."

"Hope, you tell them."

"Cable primarily relies on some actor getting naked instead of a well-crafted plotline (except for 'The Sopranos,' but I'm so over the Mafia)."

Here's what's on our DVR right now: "Blue's Clues" (we have a one-year-old), "Gilmore Girls," "The Sopranos," "The West Wing," a folder of "Cycling & Sports" programs, and "Friday Night Lights."

"That's what's saved, Wayne. We almost immediately watch our favorite shows --- American Idol,' 'Lost,' 'Prison Break,' 'Desperate Housewives,' and 'Grey's Anatomy.' And by the way, you'll never get me to watch that football movie. And let me remind you to delete those stupid cycling shows you've already seen. Who watches repeats of cycling anyway?"

"Almost every cycling nerd I know."

"But I need more room for episodes of 'Jack's Big Music Show' and 'Blue's Clues.' How can you deny our baby?"

"Yes, dear."

Most of the time Hope and I watch shows together. But I find her sneaking a few minutes of "Veronica Mars" while I'm doing a grueling 60-minute bike trainer workout in the garage.

We usually eat in front of the TV, sitting in our respective armchairs, each with a remote. Hope holds the DVR control and I'm in charge of another TV remote to monitor our volume battles.

A night of DVRing resembles learning to drive: There's a lot of stopping and starting. We're about to begin our night, but I keep forgetting things from the kitchen.

"Babe, hit pause." I head to the kitchen for a drink, not looking to see if she is rolling her eyes.

"I'm rolling my eyes. We could be watching these shows in 45 minutes; instead it drags out to an hour and 15 minutes."

Then, 33 minutes into, say, "Housewives," Francesca wails for her mama.

"That's my cue, Hon." She hits pause and leaves the room to nurse the baby. With time to kill, I move to my laptop, hunting for TV Watch story ideas.

Commercials? We stumble sometimes and actually see a few. Hope whizzes through a bunch until a Victoria Secret commercial comes up.

"Wait. Wait," I blurt out, trying to decoy my real intention. "I need to see something."

Unfooled, she continues to zip by the ads. Guess I'll have to wait until "SportsCenter" comes on to learn whether the Victoria's Secret media plan includes the NCAA highlights. In the name of journalism, I must find out.

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