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The DNR List: DVR’s Must-Save Episodes

Everybody who uses a DVR has to have them, right? Those episodes you just can’t get rid of because you want to watch them over and over again? Please don’t say it’s just us. Instead of negative news like unfair cancellations and those shows that have become so unbearable we’re forced to break up with them, we would like to focus on something more positive. There are those special hours and ½ hours of television that we have deemed our “DNR from the DVR” episodes. DNR = Do Not Remove. They are not to be erased for the foreseeable future, if ever. Everything else is fair game for deletion. And yes, we’re well aware that this makes those of us at TV Goodness super geeky, but we’re willing to live with that. In fact, we’ve accepted it.

Tina’s DNR List: I used to have many more episodes in my DNR repertoire, but I had to delete so I could clear off some space for the fall TV season. Boo. And don’t get me started on those episodes I can’t get rid of because I am majorly behind. Don’t know if/when I’ll even be able to catch up. Sorry, Hawaii Five-0. I’ll get to you. Eventually. -Tina

  • Supernatural Season 6 Episodes 1 – 22. Yes, I am someone who hangs on to every single episode of the current season of Supernatural. And I do not delete said episodes until that season’s DVD comes out the following fall. Please don’t judge. And thanks to TNT, I can hold on to some of the S1 – S5 episodes as well. I’ve been known to hang on to the S4 trifecta of “Sex and Violence,” “Death Takes a Holiday,” and “On the Head of a Pin” just a wee bit too long. Same goes with “Faith,” “In My Time of Dying,” “What Is and What Should Never Be” and “Lazarus Rising.”
  • The Vampire Diaries “The Return” and “Masquerade.” I can’t bring myself to hit the erase button when it comes to those two episodes. “The Return” because of Damon. That whole hour is great but specifically the heartbreak Damon endures at the hands of Katherine and Elena – well let’s just say I can’t bring myself to part with it. I want it to be available for re-watch whenever I get the urge. And “Masquerade” because it’s one of the hottest episodes of this fall season. And when I say “hottest” I mean the cast looks extremely gorgeous at the Masquerade Ball, especially Matt and Jeremy. In fact, this one episode caused me to change my mind about Jeremy. I didn’t really pay attention to the character before “Masquerade” but now he has my focus. Thank you Steven R. McQueen! Did I mention that I tend to be a bit shallow when I watch TV?
  • Community “Epidemiology.” I wish I had held on to the “Basic Rocket Science” episode as well because I have much love for the group’s flight simulator adventure. “Epidemiology” is great too. The Halloween-themed episode where the students turned into zombies was just so freakin’ funny.
  • NCIS “Truth or Consequences”: Sure this is a Season 7 episode but it repeated on USA Network. And sure, I have it on DVD. But Michael Weatherly did such a fantastic job playing out Ziva David’s rescue that it’ll be taking up space on my DVR for quite a while. I just missed the “Flesh and Blood” repeat on USA but you can bet that the next time it airs, I’ll be adding it to my DNR collection. And speaking of NCIS, there’s a good bet I’ll be hanging on to the upcoming “Broken Arrow” episode featuring the Senior Tony Dinozzo played by one Robert Wagner.

Kara’s DNR List: Not only do I have a DVR that records 100 hours but I have to erase things practically every day – THAT I HAVEN’T WATCHED YET – because I keep recording new things. The day some company comes out with a DVR that will record 500 hours? I’m buying it. I’m addicted to television. Don’t even try to send me to rehab. – Kara

  • Every performance episode of So You Think you Can Dance. I don’t mean the auditions and I don’t mean the results shows. I want to be able to go back at any time during the season and watch any given performance as many times as I choose. This past summer is was Alex and Twitch’s Hip Hop Ballet. I think I watched it at least ten times. It was amazeballs.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand “Whore.” Don’t judge if you haven’t seen the show. It actually took two tries for me to get into it but then I was hooked. I enjoyed this particular episode because Lucy Lawless’s Lucretia intentionally pairs Ilithyia with Spartacus instead of her choice Crixus. Not only that, Ilithyia gets so enraged when Licinia learns of her extracurricular activities that she kills her. Wow. This is a great episode. I watched it twice. And the sex scene was hot. What?
  • The Vampire Diaries “162 Candles.” It was so nice to see Stefan smiling and enjoying his birthday. And his best friend Lexi (also a vamp, naturally) is in town to help him celebrate. It’s heartbreaking when Damon turns on her and stakes her in front of Sheriff Forbes. I was fully committed to the series before this episode but after, I made sure I watched every episode Thursday night. I had to know what happened so I could discuss with my friends on Fridays.
  • That ’70s Show “You Shook Me.” This one is an oldie but a goodie. It’s the one where Fez has a sex dream about Kelso. But the funny part (at least for me) is that Kelso thinks he’s gay (meaning Kelso) even though Fez had the dream. I actually recorded a repeat (I didn’t watch the show when it aired originally). I had to Tivo back so many times because I was laughing so loud I couldn’t hear the dialogue. This is my favorite episode (along with “Dine & Dash” and almost any episode from season 5). If I know “You Shook Me” is coming on I’ll record it and if I just happen to catch it, I’m always happy.

Heather’s DNR List: Not just you, Tina and Kara! These are just a few of mine. I bought a DVR expander so I could boost my cheap-ass cable DVR from 30 hours to 300! Don’t look at me like that. –  Heather M.

  • Dark Angel “The Berrisford Agenda” – This was a season two showcase episode for Jensen Ackles, shedding light on Alec’s backstory and why he was such a smart ass. On an earlier case, he fell in love with the daughter of the mark, Rachel Berrisford, getting her killed (or so he thought). When he thinks he’s being haunted in some way, he goes out on his own to chase down the heartbreaking truth. The episode gave him a chance to shine and put him on the map for me.
  • The X-Files “The Field Where I Died,” “Oubilette,” and “Post-Modern Prometheus” – These are just the episodes I have right now; the list changes now and again. These episodes stand out for me for different reasons, whether it’s a quick laugh, a heartbreaking moment of goodness or a reminder of how damn good this show was.
  • Supernatural “Pilot,” “Lazarus Rising,” “Abandon All Hope,” and random season one episodes when they roll by on TNT. Season one is the strongest for me and I like to revisit it. “Lazarus Rising” is significant because I watched it after Hurricane Ike on a TV being powered by my car (I DVRd it later), so it’s important as a personal touchstone and also as an episode. “AAH” because the ladies kicked it in the ass. I’m also keeping season six so far on the off chance I’m going to need to “review the tape” to make sense of something later.
  • Will & Grace “Finale” – The series lost its ways in the later years and even during the course of this episode, but the reconciliation in the last 15 minutes redeemed it, even though I call bullshit that Will and Grace would have spent 18 years away from each other.
  • The Big Bang Theory “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis” – I don’t care that this technically wasn’t the episode that got Jim Parsons his Emmy, but I choose to believe it was. When Penny presents Sheldon with a napkin containing the DNA of Leonard Nimoy and he loses his mind, we get the Saturnalia miracle of him hugging Penny.
  • Justified/Haven/The Gates/Eastwick Season one – Because they’re not being rerun, aren’t all online, aren’t on DVD yet, and I want to revisit them on occasion because they’re made of awesome. Timothy Olyphant rocks it as Raylan Givens in Justified. I reviewed Haven here so you know why I liked it. The Gates was my summer guilty pleasure. Eastwick was a neat little show on the wrong network, or maybe just too soon, and cancelled before the back nine. It would have actually worked as a companion to The Gates.
  • Da Vinci’s Inquest various episodes – Because they’re not all on DVD yet and it’s the gold standard for police procedurals. The show ran 91 episodes, tackling cases on the streets of Vancouver in a straightforward, quiet, and intelligent manner. The very large cast – which included Nicholas Campbell (Haven), Ian Tracey (Sanctuary), and Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica) – still work all over TV (including on Smallville and Supernatural) for a reason.
  • Moonlight “Sonata”– Because this is how you end a show when you know you’re not coming back. Mick and Beth finally realize they can’t keep shooing each other away with vampire and human “drama,” so they lay everything out and declare that the only thing that matters is that they love each other. I also had “Fated to Pretend,” the episode where Mick was human for a day before having to revamp to save Beth, but my DVR decided that was silly to keep and ate it.

Do you guys have a DNR list? What episodes have made the cut this fall as well as all-time?

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