CHARLESTON, W.Va. --I discovered something quite exciting earlier this week. Previously, I was under the impression that with my Suddenlink DVR, I could record two programs or watch one and record another, but that was all. As it turns out, I can record two shows and watch something from my already-recorded list.
This was probably more exciting to me than it should have been, but when your DVR is 83 percent full with unwatched TV shows and movies, you tend to get giddy when you find ways to maximize your viewing.
Some of you are probably thinking, "Well, if you're recording two shows, why don't you just watch one of them?" The problem is that they're serial dramas and I've gotten behind on them. It's true most of them aren't serialized to the extent that missing an episode would leave me lost, but since I've got them all recorded, why not watch them in order?
That's where marathons come in. I've grown to thoroughly enjoy spending a few hours to a whole day, depending on the number of episodes, absorbed in a particular show. The immersive experience of a marathon can make you feel closer to your favorite characters and their worlds.
It also can help you renew your flagging interest in a show, or, conversely, or make you realize that you've moved on from it.
In January, I had a"Hawaii Five-0" marathon spanning seven or eight episodes. I like the show, but it's never been one of my can't-miss favorites. I was so far behind I was debating whether to give up on it. I decided to at least start on the episodes I'd recorded; if I didn't make it through, it was time to say goodbye. However, after spending several hours taking in the eye candy (scenic and otherwise), I was reminded why I liked the show (Alex O'Loughlin, its setting, the characters' rapport) and my interest was rekindled.
Marathons have sold me on shows, too. That's how I came to "Breaking Bad" and, more recently, another AMC show: the Western "Hell on Wheels."
I'd set my DVR to record the "Hell on Wheels" season, as I do with all new shows. However, I'd never gotten around to watching the first few episodes to see whether to keep or to ditch it. So I just kept recording. Eventually, I had the whole season (10 episodes).
Then, while most of America was watching the Super Bowl, I had a marathon. As it turns out, I'm glad I watched it that way. There was enough that was interesting about each episode to make me curious as to where the next one would go, and since I had that episode at my fingertips, I could indulge my curiosity immediately.
Had I been watching it at its regularly scheduled time, I know my curiosity wouldn't have been strong enough to last from week to week. I would have gotten bored and abandoned it. (As it was, there were two episodes in the middle where I considered doing that.)
Now, though, I'll definitely tune in to season two -- even if I'll probably wait for an end-of-season marathon to do it.
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Earlier this week, Fox had news for viewers on both its network and cable channels. The bad news is on Fox: the network canceled its expensive dinosaur drama "Terra Nova."Though it had decent ratings, they weren't good enough to justify the enormous expense of the show, which cost $20 million for the pilot alone.
The good news is for viewers on its cable network, FX: that channel renewed the gritty crime drama "Justified" for a fourth season. The show, about a federal marshal dispensing tough justice in Harlan County, Ky., is based on work by acclaimed author Elmore Leonard. The third season ends April 10.
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Series premieres: "Shahs of Sunset," 10 p.m. Sunday, Bravo (Persian socialites in L.A.); "North Woods Law," 11 p.m. Sunday, Animal Planet (Maine game wardens); "Navajo Cops," 10 p.m. Sunday, National Geographic (police on the continent's largest Indian reservation);"Fashion Star," 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, NBC (fashion design competition); "Interior Therapywith Jeff Lewis," 9 p.m. Wednesday, Bravo (home and human improvement); "Monster Man," 11 p.m. Wednesday, Syfy (a special effects prop shop).
Season premieres: "Degrassi," 9 p.m. Friday, Teen Nick; "Bob's Burgers," 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox; "Wild Justice," 9 p.m. Sunday, National Geographic; "Coming Home," 10 p.m. Sunday, Lifetime; "Kitchen Nightmares," 9 p.m. Tuesday, BBC America; "South Park," 10 p.m. Wednesday, Comedy Central.
Returning:"Harry's Law," 8 p.m. Sunday, NBC (new timeslot); "Ugly Americans," 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Comedy Central.
Season finales: "The Bachelor," 8 p.m. Monday, ABC; "Hoarders," 9 p.m. Monday, A&E.
Specials: "Them Idiots Whirled Tour,"7 p.m. Saturday, CMT (blue collar comedy); "Joe Bonomassa: Beacon Theater -- Live in New York," 10:30 p.m. Saturday, PBS; "Live from the Artists Den: Adele," 10 p.m. Sunday, PBS.Reach Amy Robinson at flips...@wvgazette.com.