And then I'm often crushed. I expected that TiVo would require some training, but I thought it would learn very quickly. It took me several weeks to convince it that I do not speak Spanish and therefore will not enjoy Spanish-language programming. In order to do this, I had to give a thumbs down to every program in Spanish it recorded. I felt a little bit bad about this. I'm sure some of those programs were very good and did not deserve a thumbs down. But I would not know, as I do not speak Spanish and needed to convince TiVo of that.
Once we finally got the language issue worked out, I then had to convince TiVo that I am not a 8-year old girl. I did not, oh, please, please, please want to it to tape That's So Raven. For the longest time didn't even know what the title meant. Something having to do with a girl named Hannah Montana was also out. It went through a phase where it recorded every Lifetime Afternoon Movie it could get its grubby electronic mitts on, and then it went on a reality show spree. Thumbs down. Thumbs down. Thumbs down. No, thanks, TiVo.
I thought perhaps I should attempt to teach it what I do like. I kind of thought all the Season Passes would help, but apparently not. So thumbs up to Law and Order, thumbs up to Independent Lens, thumbs up to reruns of the Gilmore Girls and to some travel porn on the Travel Channel. Cooking competitions? Yes! CourtTV? No!
But it seems that TiVo has considered all of this and decided that I still have lousy taste in television. I imagine it very earnestly trying to find things I might like. "What about this review of the 100 best video games?" it asks. "Boooooo," I say and pout. "I think you'd really like this show about dead girls whose killer went free. Don't you?" it says hopefully. "NO!" I say emphatically and scowl. "Charmed?" "THUMBS DOWN! THUMBS DOWN!"
It's not like my list of shows I'd like it to record gives me away as an idiot, I don't think. I have a season pass to Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica and Robin Hood, but I have Masterpiece Theatre and The American Experience in there, as well. I definitely have never recorded anything having to do with video games. But still, it doesn't believe me.
I'm starting to think that the TiVo senses something deeper about me. I think it knows the truth: though I usually prefer to immerse myself in interesting ideas and challenging stories and enjoyable, well-crafted characters, I'm really just a television junkie who wants little more than to sit on the couch and pet my dog's ears and zone out. It knows I'm lazy. It knows that if I came across that show about the dead girl whose killer went free and there was nothing else on, I'd probably watch it.