Mr. Burrow is very much a part of the TV generation. He grew up in the '60s and '70s watching shows like Emergency! and Adam 12, and he still enjoys these programs as an adult. He also enjoys watching cable re-runs of old comedies from the '70s and '80s.
He watches very few network shows among today's offerings, choosing instead to watch cable channels like the Food Network and HGTV. He does enjoy satiric animated comedies like The Simpsons, but otherwise he prefers documentaries, and shows like Sportscenter and Baseball Tonight on ESPN; The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC; and the nine o'clock news on WGN.
Like many people, Mr. Burrow was a big fan of ABC's original evening version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He watched the show regularly and enjoys the on-line and CD-ROM games, where he has honestly won several fictitious millions. He also called whenever possible to try to become a contestant. By the time ABC cancelled the network show, he had made it past the first cut (answering three or five increasingly difficult trivia questions) thirty-five times, but he had never received call-back (which is a pure luck computerized random drawing) to actually go on the show. He watches the new syndicated version of the show, but likes it less than the original. While he is a big fan of Jeopardy and Cash Cab, it is unlikely he will ever be on those shows. Jeopardy requires participants to pay their own way to Los Angeles, and whenever Mr. Burrow has been to New York (the home of Cash Cab), he has gotten around by subway.
Mr. Burrow fails to see the attraction many people have to digital pictures, full-surround sound, and big screens. Perhaps this is because he remembers growing up watching snowy black and white pictures with barely audible sound, and thinking that was a miracle. His childhood home of Mt. Pleasant was one of the first areas in the country to get cable TV, and he remembers being impressed and amazed at the prospect of receiving twelve channels, most of which came through fairly clearly. While the transition to digital TV didn't really affect him (since he is a cable subscriber), he sees it as rather pointless. The TVs in his apartment are still portable, analog models.
Mr. Burrow sees the VCR as a far more important invention than advanced TVs. Because of his father's job as a media director, the Burrow home had a video recorder (on reel-to-reel tape) even in the early '70s, a full decade before most other homes had one. Mr. Burrow grew up taping programs, both for time-shift viewing and for archiving, and he continues to do so today. He has yet to invest in a DVR or similar system, and is unlikely to do so in the near future.
With the advent of DVDs, Mr. Burrow especially likes listening to audio commentary tracks and other special features. He has a sizeable collection of DVDs, including both feature movies and classic television collections.
David Burrow watching TV on Christmas morning, 1979
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