I remember the first time I set a PVR to record a TV show — it was South Park. I moved through the guide, found South Park displayed at its appropriate time, pressed the record button and I was done. For the next 10 weeks or whatever it was, my PVR went through and recorded South Park for me to watch whenever I wanted. Beyond the initial few minutes to set up the schedule, I was done and ready to watch my favourite show. Now, I understand that being grateful for PVR technology may seem weird, but I'm also old enough to remember what it was like to work a VCR. The process was just more complicated and involved. I'm not saying that setting a VCR was hard by any means, in fact, I was still setting my dad's VCR for him for years after I moved out of his place, but there were way more steps and room for error than there is here in 2020.
I couldn't tell you how many times I fucked up with the timer, the tape didn't have enough time left on it for whatever I was trying to record, or any other variation of ways I could mess things up. Back in the early 2000s, the MTV Music Awards were something that I really wanted to watch and I remember setting the VCR to record the show since I wasn't going to be home, and I'll never forget the rage I felt after rewinding the tape only to discover that I had the stupid thing set for the wrong channel. These days, PVRs prevent that kind of stupidity from ruining our evening and making us miss our shows. Here in 2020, we can set our PVRs to record whatever we want with very little effort or likelihood of screwing up and for that reason I'm grateful.