Thursday, September 13, 2007

trend setter

An article in this morning's USA Today describes something I did yesterday. My TiVo Central page had a new menu item: "Download NBC Pilots for FREE!" The shows are available through Amazon Unbox and would be sent directly to my TiVo via the Internet. I used the remote control to click through the various steps of entering my log-in information. Even though I was only interested in the free downloads, I had to go to the computer and link a credit card number to the Unbox account. That part was easy. Amazon had remembered the credit card number I used the last time I bought something from them. I could have gone back to the television to choose my downloads. Since I was still online, I just did it from the laptop before taking my nap.

When I woke up, the pilot episodes of "Bionic Woman" and "Journeyman" were waiting for me. I didn't get to them right away because I had some other stuff I wanted to watch with my family last night. Today I had time to watch "Journeyman" while I was reading my email. "Bionic Woman" can wait until tomorrow when I can watch without distractions.

"Journeyman" wasn't bad. I don't know that I'll give it a Season Pass, but I might leave it on if I'm watching "Heroes" in real time. In the pilot, Dan Vasser has to figure out that he travels back in time but has no control over his quantum leaps. His family, friends and co-workers assume he's on drugs when he goes missing for days at a time. He'll be lucky if he can keep his wife from throwing him out and his boss from firing him. It was fun to see the 1987 technology in contrast with today's. In one scene, Dan flashes back while wearing his goofy looking Bluetooth earpiece. He looks like a weirdo to a guy talking on one of those brick-sized cell phones.

Something else turned up on my TiVo Central menu today, a preview of "The Big Bang Theory." I didn't have to do anything, it was just there. I was curious to see how much of the episode they pushed to my machine. It appears to be the whole thing. They completely redid the opening scene in the genius sperm bank. In the new version Sheldon and Leonard leave without making a donation. In the earlier preview I had seen, they have second thoughts and try to get their donation back from the nurse. They changed at least one other scene too, about halfway through when the lead characters are driving. The new dialogue is a bit better.

Last night my family and I started watching DVDs of the new Fox shows that our local affiliate was kind enough to send me. I'll write about them in the days ahead. So far, my high expectations for one new show have been exceeded but I was disappointed by a returning favorite. Here's a hint: I might be able to alleviate some Monday congestion.

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