By Adrienne Day
Updated August 04, 2020 at 01:11 PM EDT
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The time had come to upgrade to a high-definition cable box/DVR, so yesterday afternoon the well-meaning folk at my cable company sent a guy over to do the swap for me. I was so busy admiring the shiny new piece of equipment atop my TV that I didn’t bother hitting “List” button until he left, and that’s when it struck me. I saw — nothing. A big mess of blue where my roster of saved shows should’ve been. Everything I had recorded over the last few months was gone. Oh, the horror of it all. To quote my colleague Michael Slezak (who recently suffered his own cable-company indignity), “They figured out how to replace the human heart — why can’t they figure out how to transfer the contents of your cable box?”

What makes this so much worse than it should be is that I rarely watch shows when they air. Much like Annie Barrett is part of the slow movie movement, I am part of the slow TV movement. This also makes me a gorge-watcher: I wait until a rainy weekend, and watch 10+ hours in one sitting to catch up. Things that I lost in the trade: a half-dozen Wire episodes from season 5, four eps from season 4 of Lost (I’m not proud), all eight eps of the PBS doc The Great War, the first ep of Project Runway‘s fifth season, (and, erm, a half dozen from season four), two eps of Burn Notice, plus a severe Daily Show and Colbert backlog… oh, I can’t go on. I thought writing this would be cathartic, but I just feel like I’ve been kicked in the solar plexus.

Have you ever lost your cable box, or an entire season of a show, and (temporarily) lost your mind? (And I know a lot of shows can be streamed online, but whatevs, it’s just not the same thing!)

Share my pain — and your own stories — below.

Hell to the No!

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