The Agony of DVR Defeat

We'd love to talk about all the fun stuff that happened on TV last night, but we can't. Because our DVR hates us.

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Every morning we address the important topic of something big, significant, funny, weird, etc. that happened while we were lying on the couch in front of the TV last night. Today we talk about what we didn't watch, because we couldn't.

You know what we watched last night? Nothing. We watched nothing! Why? Because our most trusted friend in the entire world, the DVR, betrayed us terribly. Why would it do such a thing to us?

"Oh OK, so Top Chef didn't record, but at least there's Law & Order SVU," we thought when we checked the "list" last night. And then, infuriatingly, we discovered that only four minutes of SVU had been recorded. For no discernible reason. There were no conflicts, no breaking news interruptions. It just decided to stop. O accursed DVR! Is the failure of such a necessary, and we mean necessary, tool one of the worst things that can happen in this modern, everyday world? Yes, it really is.

We know it's foolish to feel such complicated emotions, among them long-simmering resentment, for a piece of machinery, but gosh if there isn't a whole hell of a lot hinged on the success or failure of this fickle device. It holds our night in its hands! Our cultural fluency! Our very connection to the larger world. And usually it works for us, lulling us into a dependent kind of complacency. But then, oh then, it decides, in its mercurial way, to mysteriously not work. It skips things it never skips, records only a few teasing moments of a show, or, and we swear to this like we swear we saw a ghost at summer camp that one year, it records things we never asked it to record. (Surely the roommate didn't want to record Whitney?) And there goes our night, or the next morning, or whenever we planned to tuck into the comfort of a favorite TV show sitting there waiting for us.

Anyway, this all to say that maybe last night's TV was tremendous. Maybe thrilling things happened on The X Factor. Maybe Top Chef was a culinary miracle. Maybe Law & Order was ripped from the perfect headlines. But we wouldn't know. Because our DVR stepped out on us, just headed off into the night on its own and left us behind. And we'll never understand why.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.