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TiNos, TiFauxs & Shows That Get Recorded But Never Get Watched

Now that I’ve admitted that I don’t watch live television anymore, it’s time for the second of my television-viewing-related confessions: My TiVo list is filled with multiple episodes of shows that it’s very possible that I’ll never quite getting around to watching. That’s not just me, right…?

The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman, back when he was writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, came up with the idea of “TiNo”, which he described as “the word for when you don’t watch what you TiVo.” That’s a good enough sign that it’s not just my DVR that is near capacity thanks to shows that I had the best of intentions of keeping up with way back when, but lost the urge to actually watch at some point.

(Talking of TiVo puns, it’s probably worth pointing out that what I call my TiVo is actually a TiFaux, which is apparently “a DVR such as the type Comcast offers,” according to the Urban Dictionary. Okay, so I’m DirecTV rather than Comcast, but still…)

Just the other day, I found myself deleting every episode of Awake after, what, the second episode, just because I wanted to free up space. I loved the pilot and eagerly added it to my record list, but as soon as the “Maybe it’s a conspiracy!” plot appeared, I lost interest at worryingly rapid speed. Right now, episodes of Being Human (Yes, I know it ended months ago. Yes, I know I still have half of the season to watch. Shut up), 30Rock and Castle are sitting there, wondering if they’re going to face a similar fate.

The reason those shows are still there are varied, from a vague guilt based on how much I used to love the show (Hi, 30Rock!) to a suspicion that I’ll love the show as soon as I feel in the mood to watch that first episode, it’s just that I’m not there just yet (Being Human). And then there are shows that just get dumped because, sure, they’re fun but they’re not fun enough or that hit a slump that I don’t love enough to wait for them to pull out of.

And then there are the shows that I accidentally skip out of synch with and all of a sudden, there’s a terrifying backlog of: Seven episodes of Mad Men? I love that show more than I should, but there’s something so daunting about that that I find myself continually putting off tackling the backlog. One day, I swear. And hopefully, not a day too far away; I just need to magically find a day with seven hours of free time to fully enjoy the idea of a marathon viewing (I did the same thing with Parenthood, this year, and found it a ridiculously enjoyable way to watch the slow-burn show; for those who watch the NBC show, I highly recommend it).

I’m curious: Do you make efforts to keep up with your DVR lists, or just the opposite and wait until seasons are done to watch them in multiple-episode sittings? What’s the longest something has lived on in your recorded list, and when do you decide that it’s time to hit that delete button because you’re clearly never going to get around to watching it? Hit the comments to reveal all.


  • Al D.

    I don’t pvr but I do watch shows in “chunks” almost exclusively now.  I actually watched all of Star Wars: The Clone Wars S4 all over the course of about a week and a half and it was great.  (but, on the flipside, I don’t just sit down in front of the TV and watch all at once, I port shows to my iPod and keep watching any given TV show and/or movie throughout the day)  Live watching is basically reserved just for sports almost entirely now.  (although, considering how hard it was to avoid Walking Dead spoilers during S2 simply through osmosis I think I’m gonna watch week to week this season).

  • Bill Reed

    My DVR does not have as much storage capacity as yours. I more or less keep up with it fine. Though I did record Death of the Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby a few months ago and never got around to it.

  • RossWB

    Both.  There are several shows I keep up with week-to-week (Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Community), but there are also several shows I let back up and watch when I get around to it (Girls, Veep, Teen Titans).

  • RunnerX13

    I think we need better terms here, because one day we’ll see “Tivo is to Xerox, as Kleenex is to ____” as an SAT question.