Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tivo Thinks I'm Gay

Okay, well, that's not news. My Tivo has been recording gay-themed entertainment for me for a while now. And Tivo doesn't care who I sleep with--it really doesn't care whether I'm gay or just gay-friendly. So I'm okay with that.

But recently, Tivo got a service update which "improved" its ability to offer suggestions. Like all the Tivo improvements, it's striking me as a wee bit judgmental. Tivo thinks I am made of time. It somehow thinks that in addition to all the stuff I normally watch, I'm going to watch movies. Lots of 'em. I admit it, I like movies. I'm happy it recorded "Young Frankenstein" (one of my favorite movies--good Tivo). And I'm glad it somehow figured I might like "Hoop Dreams," which I've been meaning to watch ever since Ebert and Siskel recommended it in 1994. And who's going to argue with "The Maltese Falcon?" I mean, Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre? Now that's a good movie.

But seriously, Tivo, this is not a balanced diet. Where are "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Star Trek" or "The Dick Van Dyke Show?" I don't open the Tivo Suggestions folder because I have two hours to kill. Usually I'm just looking to kill the first twenty minutes of my program so that I don't have to sit through the commercials. And, to misquote Harry, somewhere between twenty minutes and two hours is our problem.

With this new improvement, Tivo has become even more like my mother. My mother combs through every publication that crosses her doorstep, scouring it for articles on or even obscure references to things I like or have ever liked at any point during my 34-year history on this planet. Sometimes she has to highlight the specific word in the article when she sends it to me, which says, in effect, "I think of you EVERY SECOND. Even if I never told you I loved you, you would be able to infer my love from the sheer heft of the envelopes that arrive in your mailbox." And sometimes in with all the love, I see something that says, "You're fiscally irresponsible" or "You'll never be a grownup."

So maybe that's what's happening to my Tivo. Now, in among the messages that say, "I know you love Gene Wilder," or "I saw this Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn movie and I thought of you," I get the message that says, "Your ass is kind of wide--I bet it's all the movies you watch."

Oh, it's so exciting. My Tivo loves me! Excuse me--I have to go buy it a card.

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