Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The TV MegaSite's Blog Post #109

I hope you're all enjoying the return of your favorite shows now that the holidays are over and we're in February sweeps. I know I am, especially "Justified" on FX.  I think it's the best show on TV, although there are some reportedly great shows I don't watch, like "Walking Dead", "Homeland" and "Game of Thrones".

I've been trying to catch up on all of the soaps (I know there's only four, but it still takes up a lot of my time!) while trying to balance watching and catching up on primetime shows.

Let me tell you about my history with recording the soaps... I started watching the soaps in the mid-80's while I was in college. I could only watch between classes, so I missed a lot.  Then in the early 90's, we finally got a VCR, so I could tape them and watch them later. This was great! Unfortunately, I just taped over them the next day. For one thing, it never occurred to me that I might want to collect them or watch them later on. For another, video tapes were not that cheap, and we were not that rich. 

Even though I started watching more and more soaps, and getting more VCR's, I still didn't tape most shows to keep. I did start keeping some primetime shows, but not soaps, for the most part. I mean, they aired every day, and there were at least 10 of them, and they'd been on many years, so it seemed like they would still go on for many years. Taping them all didn't seem like a good idea. I would save bits and pieces I liked or special episodes, but that's it.

Once I had a collection and started keeping track of what I had, I started trading shows with other people who also collected. This is how my web site started. I had a large list of tapes, and sending it via email became difficult, so I put it up on a website. That was the start of The TV MegaSite!

Then in the 90's, my husband and I started traveling a lot more. I would record the soaps while we were gone, or I'd have a friend record them for me. Sometimes I would fall behind and try to catch up.  So eventually, as we traveled more and I had more money to buy videotapes, I started getting a collection of tapes from here and there (mostly summer and the holidays, since that's when we traveled).

In the late 90's, we had a lot more money than time, and we traveled a lot, so I started taping more and eventually I had thousands of videotapes (not all soaps - lots of primetime as well).  Of course at some point I got more tapes than I could ever possibly watch.  They don't put the daytime soaps out on DVD, so my logic was that I had to record them because I couldn't buy them if I wanted them (it seemed to make sense at the time).

Once I was able to record onto DVD, I also had a lot of DVD's as well as videotapes. I have a lot of soaps going back to 2000, some on tape and some on DVD. At some point, I just decided to tape it all because I might use it someday and it would be cool to have a collection.  That was fine until we moved into a smaller house, so I dumped a lot of tapes (although not soaps, still - mostly primetime shows and movies that I knew I could get on DVD).

When we lived in our last house, I had tried to copy the soaps from videotape to DVD, but I found that it was difficult because the DVD recorders didn't always work. They were very picky about what they recorded to DVD and would often give me an error message on older tapes. I don't even mean super old, just 90's tapes.  Also, the quality deteriorates if you record to DVD or any media. It's one more generation removed from the original. I recorded them all on EP/SLP speed so they're not great quality to begin with. Then I would get discouraged.

I stopped actively trading at least a decade ago and also stopped keeping track of what I had on tape because there was just too much. This past summer, we moved to Hawaii into a 2 bedroom apartment, so I had to put a lot in storage, including all of my tapes and most of my DVD's. I brought with me all of the DVd's that I had recorded myself, including soaps.  I was recording the soaps for my friend Amanda, too, so I would record for me and then make copies for her.

Then last month, Amanda said she didn't want soaps any more. She had stopped watching. I thought, why am I still taping all these soaps? LOL! I'm still watching, but why am I taping them to DVD and keeping them? It makes no sense and takes up too much of my time.  So I made a decision that I never thought I would make. I'm not recording soaps to DVD or tape any more.  I'm still over a month behind, so once I reach the end of 2013 soaps, I'm done. No more recording to DVD (I still do record to my DVR but then delete the shows as I watch them).  It's truly the end of an era!

But don't worry, my site isn't going anywhere, and I'm still watching the soaps. I just don't feel any great need to collect (or should I say HOARD) them any more.  Maybe one day I'll be able to whittle my collection down to just the episodes I liked, or at least the decades I liked. If I ever get them out of storage!

I'm all caught up on the previous daytime transcripts that I was missing for our site for the past month. The new computer works great! It's so fast. The software is buggy, but I'm used to that. :) It just means that sometimes I have to reboot and run the transcript again. Now I can start running some of the ones we're missing from July and August.

I've been enjoying the new Syfy show "Bitten" as well as the return of "Being Human". I'll be so sad when the latter is done. I still miss the British version. I can't wait for the return of "Defiance", and "Warehouse 13"'s last season. I tried the new show "Helix", but it's not my kind of show. Too dark, gross and creepy.  I really wanted to like Intelligence, but it's slow and not that great. I watch too many shows already.  It was nice to get a break from new shows over the holidays so I could catch up a bit.

Mostly I edit our Primetime News Forum and our News Pages, and that keeps me pretty busy as well as running the transcripts, sending out our soap newsletters and reviewing new shows... then sometimes I have time to interview actors, too!

But I sure don't work on the site alone! We have tons of volunteers who work on the site besides me, writing articles, daily soap recaps and updates, picking best lines, coming up with puzzles, writing fan fiction, proofreading, making banners, etc.

Make sure to check out our What's New page to see all of the new things we put up every day on our site!

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