Television when it’s convenient

The DVR player gets a real workout at our house. It seems I never watch television programs when they are actually on live. Rather, I get to pick and choose when I want to watch my favorite programs – when it’s convenient.

In that respect, the DVR was a genius invention. In other respects, it can mean a colossal waste of time. It’s very easy to get caught up in a series and watch several episodes all in one sitting.

I find that to be true of Netflix and other streaming video options. My dear husband and I have been known to watch an entire season of a show on a Sunday afternoon. We look at each other after the first episode – both obviously hooked on the story – and say, “just one more.” We usually say that after the next five episodes, too.

That’s how I found Downton Abby. I heard about it from a co-worker and decided to see what it was all about. I loved it after just the first few minutes of the first episode. I’ve rewatched the first three seasons, now I’m anxiously waiting for season four. It promises to be a tear-jerker since two of the main characters died at the end of the last season.

For some reason, I can’t get enough of the British period dramas. Another one was shown on PBS this summer. “Mr. Selfridge” was about an American entrepreneur who opens a grand department store in London. The program, another sort of “Upstairs, Downstairs” affair that follows not only the lives of the sales girls, but also the bigger-than-life Mr. Selfridge and his family. No word on when the next season of that show will be back.

The DVR also made it easy to catch some of the premieres of the new fall shows that piqued my interest. In order to watch them, though, one must first wade through all the pre-teen programming that Daniel has recorded. Sometimes, I’m not sure whether Daniel or Larry has filled up the memory of the recorder. I asked Daniel why we need 47 episodes of “Batman the Animated Series.”

“I don’t know,” he said. “Ask Dad.”

To each their own, I guess. There seems to be plenty of room to record everyone’s favorites.

We don’t buy or rent DVD’s much any more. The convenience of ordering movies and shows right on your mobile device or television is very convenient. Just think, 15 years ago we were worried that DVD’s would replace our favorite VHS tapes.