I bought my TiVo because my editor keeps scheduling meetings during that soap opera with Timmy the Living Doll. But when I programmed it for the first time after coming home one Saturday night the last I would ever spend outside my apartment I decided to try to impress it, so I'd get pooled with the smart people. I asked it to tape "Meet the Press," "Full Metal Jacket" and some British sitcom called "Keeping Up Appearances."
But by the next morning, TiVo had also taped "Married with Children"; "Malibu, CA"; "El Chavo del Ocho"; and "Aqui Esta la Chilindrina." Not wanting to insult my new home appliance, and not speaking any Spanish, I first watched "Malibu, CA," which is about the zany antics of a group of "Baywatch"-y teens. I'm sure there were similarly interesting plot lines offered by "El Chavo," but I used TiVo's superfast-forward and stopped only on the cleavage shots. ¡Muy bueno!
Still, when I looked at the list of shows it planned to tape for me in the future, I was creeped out. TiVo thought I would enjoy "Boy Meets World," "Moesha" and an Olsen twins movie called "To Grandmother's House We Go." I spent my entire Sunday afternoon using the special thumbs-up, thumbs-down button to try and set it straight. I gave thumbs-down to figure skating, "Hollywood Squares," "Judge Judy" and "The View." Yet when I came back from getting the laundry, I caught it taping another "Boy Meets World." I went into a clicking rage, giving thumbs up to hockey games, "The Man Show," "Real Sex," "Sex Bytes" and any other show with the word sex in it. I was relieved to see "Friends" drop to No. 17 on TiVo's list of suggestions, while "The Jerk" was now at the top.
The next night I came home to find that for some reason, my TiVo now thought I was a stoner, perhaps because of the three thumbs ups I gave to "The Jerk." It was planning to tape not only The Secret Life of Ants but also a documentary about termite mounds and a "National Geographic Explorer" about educating gorillas. I went through three bags of Tostitos during a termite special.
After several months, TiVo has finally learned who I am Elvis' "Girls! Girls! Girls!" currently sits at No. 2 on the recommended list and I've learned a little about myself. I do like Boy Meets World, especially the episodes about problems between Corey and Topanga. If it took a machine to find that sensitive spot, it was worth the $249 lifetime fee. Plus it tapes movies on Cinemax while I'm sleeping. That machine has no shame.