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What are you recording?

It's fairly common for bloggers to put their MP3 players on shuffle and list the first ten songs that come up. Adding a little sight to sound, I thought I'd post the current list of what I'm recording on our DVR.

The DVR is one nifty gizmo. It's hard to believe how much it has changed my viewing habits. Before, I'd make time for Alias, and that'd be about it. Now, I have what I call staples and samples.

Staples are series recordings. These tend to be shows that I don't want to miss or that are a regular part of my viewing diet. Samples tend to be one-time recordings to see if I want to continue with the program or not. If I do, they get moved to the Staples list.

Simply Wine with Andrea Immer
A Cook's Tour
(just started watching this and it became an instant favorite)
Nigella Bites
Barefoot Contessa
Good Eats
Boston Legal
Battlestar Galactica

America's Test Kitchen
Everyday Italian
Ming's Quest
The Shield
Wine, Food and Friends
Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck Classroom

Tried but didn't keep:
Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello (Although he has some useful information, I don't much care for his dishes or his personality.)
Quiet Places (Ironically, I'm often in too much of a hurry to watch it.)
Food Hunters
Follow That Food
(Love the concept, but the host has too much faux gregariousness for my taste.)

Plan to try:
Great Chefs

I've learned so much already: Alton's given me great tips on washing leeks, Michael Chiarello provided pointers like preheating a baking sheet before making something like croutons so the bottom will cook at the same rate as the top, Ina Garten suggested mixing flowers of different types but the same color for a lovely bouquet, and someone suggested lightly greasing a measuring cup prior to using honey in a recipe so that the honey would slide out cleanly instead of having to wait for it.

It's no surprise that the vast majority of my viewing involves food preparation and technique. There's not a lot of sci-fi programming these days that's engaging my interest, and for the most part I prefer to use my couch potato time for educational programming that focuses on my hobbies. I actually don't watch that much television: shows cycle in and out, depending on what else I have to do. Only the top three staples count as "must-see TV" for me, though Battlestar Galactica is rapidly becoming a fourth.

I feel sure I'll scale back as I develop a routine, but right now, it's like a smorgasbord with all these options and I have to sample each one. :)

Any great suggestions on stuff to tune in for? What are your favorites?


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 7th, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC)
I don't get a lot of time for TV these days
but my SageTV PC is currently set to grab every episode of Good Eats, Frontline and Deadwood.

I caught some of the first season reruns of Galactica but totally slacked on staying current and now feel too intimidated by the backlog to try and catch up.

but, yeah, the way I typically describe it to friends, Frontline is why I have a TV, Good Eats is why I pay for cable, and Deadwood/Six Feet Under/Carnivale is why I pay for HBO.
Apr. 7th, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't get a lot of time for TV these days
You're not alone: I jumped into Galactica about two episodes prior to the season finale. :/ I'm just trying to swim with it, and maybe catch some reruns.

I wish we had access to Carnivale: everything I've heard about it suggests it might be something we'd like. What is Deadwood about?
Apr. 7th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't get a lot of time for TV these days
Deadwood is a Western set in the gold rush town of Deadwood, South Dakota. It's really less of a town and more of a camp of prospectors that's been around long enough that essential services like saloons, hardware stores and whorehouses have sprouted up around them, but not so new that things like, say, police precincts have followed in their wake. So, ostensibly it's about one man's attempt to carve a life for himself on the frontier, but the main draw is in watching the politics of a new community play itself out.

The concept (lawless frontier town in the grip of corrupt swindlers that's rescued by a stranger who rides in from civilization) isn't new, but what's nice about it is that you get to see the story and subplots evolve over multiple seasons and several hours rather than, say, a two hour movie.
Apr. 7th, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't get a lot of time for TV these days
the main draw is in watching the politics of a new community play itself out.

That sounds appealing. In a way, almost like a Western version of Sim City, except with video, story, and actual characters. :)
Apr. 7th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't get a lot of time for TV these days
One thing I love about Deadwood is the dialog. It fluctuates between vile profanity ("cocksucker" seems to be the the favorite of Old West), and ultra-polite formality.
Apr. 7th, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC)
I want to get a DVR, but it's not going to happen soon.

I recommend checking out Lost. The more I watch the more I'm drawn in (and the less I feel bad about dumping Smallville in the middle of the season).
Apr. 7th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC)
I watched the first few episodes of Lost and couldn't quite get into it. Everyone in the world tells me it's gotten really good, and I believe them, but now I'm so far behind that I'm afraid I'd be totally, well, lost. :)

I'm not recording Smallville right now. We got the DVR mid-season, and I want to watch the episodes in order, so we'll probably just wait for the DVDs. I've heard that many fans are dissatisfied with S4 as well.
Apr. 7th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
Second Deadwood, it's amazing. Check out the latest issue of The New Yorker for an absolutely amazing article about the creator, it will hook you immediately.

I just started watching The Shield this season, and I'm absolutely hooked. I'm going to have to rent the back seasons on DVD.

Coupling kills me, genius writing, the whole dinner party/porn monologue had us in stitches. Boo has a crush on the kind of stupid/bumbling guy.

MI-5 I've caught a few episodes of and was impressed. It's everything I liked about C.S.I. without the heavy-handed, moralizing sermons that bug me.

The new season of Project Greenlight is really good, which fucking amazes me.

Apr. 8th, 2005 01:30 pm (UTC)
Okay, when three out of the four people that responded to this thread mention Deadwood, it's surely time to take a look. Is the first season out on DVD?

MI-5 . . . I've heard of that, and even caught one episode, I think. Is Anthony Stewart Head in it? Is that why I remember it?

I keep meaning to tune in to Project Greenlight for an ep. I'll admit that your coverage of it has piqued my interest.
Apr. 7th, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
my list (aka I watch WAY too much TV!)
West Wing
(in all its permutations)
Without A Trace
Good Eats
That 70's Show
Arrested Development
Sealab 2021
Teen Titans
Justice League Unlimited

Ones only I watch
(We somehow got all the premium channels when we got our DVR!)

Ones only my wife watches
Desperate Housewives
Cold Case
Medical Investigations

Dag. We do watch a lot of TV!

Apr. 7th, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)
Re: my list (aka I watch WAY too much TV!)
What is Numb3rs? I have had everyone and their grandmother recommend 24 - I suppose I can start it next season.

Another Carnivale and Deadwood watcher? That's three out of four respondents. Dang, must be good stuff.

You were speaking of the spousal shows - David got me watching Battlestar Galactica, and he enjoys watching Nigella and Alton with me. Sometimes Andrea Immer, too. I don't think there are any husband-only shows at the moment.
Apr. 7th, 2005 09:28 pm (UTC)
Re: my list (aka I watch WAY too much TV!)
Numb3rs is a show on CBS which features an FBI agent and his mathmatical genius little brother. The concept is that genius little brother fights crime with math. And that's about it. Cop brother is good with people and human elements, genius brother good with statisics, probablity etc.

It's not a bad show imo, but it seems a bit contrived at points. The FBI seem ineffectual without their ace-in-the-hole mathmatician. They have to strech a bit too much to sometimes fit math into crimes. Finding where a killer lives based upon the supposed random placement of his victims? Ok that's new and different. A serial killer leaves complex math problems as clues to his next victim? Kinda iffy.

Personally I'd rather watch CSI, but like I said it's not a bad show (especially as I am usually home on Friday evenings which is generally a tv wasteland).
Apr. 8th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
Re: my list (aka I watch WAY too much TV!)
Numb3rs is a new drama on CBS that focuses on solving crimes with math. It's set in LA, and revolves around an FBI agent (played by Northern Exposure's Rob Morrow) and his math-genius younger brother. One of my favorite things about this show is the family dynamic of the bros. Eppes and their father (played by Judd Hirsch). These family/character parts are integral to the show, and don't feel at all tacked-on, unlike similar attempts in shows such as CSI.

Carnivale is probably my current favorite show. (Lost is a very close second.) It's like someone tood Twin Peaks, mixed it with The Stand dropped into The Grapes of Wrath. The first season was a little slow at times, but, by the end, it built up a lot of momentum that was carried throughout the entire seconed season. (Which, sadly, ended a couple of weeks ago.) The first season DVD seems inordinately expensive, but I'll probably get it eventually.

I've been hearing lots of good things about Battlestar Galactica, but I've been reluctant to add any new shows. That means, of course, that I'll start watching reruns this summer (assuming Sci-Fi airs them) and be completley hooked for the fall!
Apr. 7th, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, I nearly forgot, my wife watches Alias too.
Apr. 8th, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC)
It's an entertaining show propelled by a strong cast. Since the Whedonverse has moved to the realm of cinema, Alias is the one show I won't put on hold to do something else. I've gotten my husband into it, too.

Victor Garber is particularly strong as Jack Bristow (aka Spydaddy), and they get better guest stars than any show I've ever seen. Quentin Tarantino, Lena Olin, Djimon Hounsou, Amy Irving, Ricky Gervais, Isabella Rossellini, Sonia Braga, director David Cronenberg . . . all sorts of people.
Apr. 8th, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC)
I've seen a few episodes (or parts of episodes), and I admit the show looks awesome. I've been resisiting adding new shows to my already lengthy list, but, considering that my wife owns all the DVD's, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I succumb!
Apr. 8th, 2005 05:21 pm (UTC)
Funny you should mention the DVDs: we're about midway through Season 1, and it's interesting to see how much Sydney's character and environment has changed. To phrase this in a vague, non-spoiler way, she's evolved from resisting Vaughn's request that she use her friendship with someone to get spy information to initiating that act on her own and planning the whole thing. She no longer has a foot in the outside world.

And hey, since you're already watching Lost, it's pretty easy to just roll right into Alias afterward. :)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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