Times were much simpler in the days of those automotively inspired television classics, "Car 54 Where Are You?" and "My Mother the Car." These two NBC series debuted in mid-September four years apart, "Car 54" in 1961 and "My Mother" in 1965.

I'm sure people tried their best to clear their evening schedules - Tuesdays in the case of "My Mother" and Sundays in the case of "Car 54" - so they could view their favorite shows, which, by the way, were and are unappreciated by those pretentious snobs who call themselves TV critics. If something else took precedence, loyal fans made a mental note to catch that episode as a summer repeat, and if they missed that one, too - oh well.

But now, thanks to On Demand, DVR and online streaming, it's impossible to ever miss - really miss - your favorite show. That might be OK if you have only one favorite show, but I have about 17.

I'm still watching "Lost" (the entire six seasons) on DVD, all the while discovering surprising nuances about that mysterious island. Nagging questions still linger. Is the man in black the devil? Were Hurley's winning lottery numbers inherently evil? How long did it take for Nikki and Paulo to wake up after being buried alive to realize that they'd soon be dead? When did Eloise Hawking lose her looks and her girlish figure?

"Revolution" has been on hiatus for weeks now, but I've been rewatching recorded episodes just to stay fresh. I can't wait until it's Wednesday so we can learn if those nuclear missiles actually hit Philadelphia and Atlanta and whether the power stays on. I thought the U.S. president at Guantanamo Bay in the season finale seemed a bit creepy, and, besides, I think that in those 12 years without electricity, his term of office would have long ago expired.

How could I not watch "Revolution?" One of the stars is Elizabeth Mitchell, who, as Juliet, was one of my favorite characters on "Lost." She was also the only reason why I was obsessed for a while about staying current with the deservedly short-lived science fiction series, "V."

I'm distraught that my favorite show of the summer season, "Under the Dome," will be off a while. I spent two hours before coming to work yesterday watching the last two episodes. I think those kids are eventually going to have to kill Big Jim because he's one bad dude and that's the only way the big dome over Chester's Mills will ever come down. I don't think Big Jim will actually hang Barbie because Barbie is the main character, although nothing would surprise me since they already killed off Alice and Dodie. Barbie probably has a real future with Julia, even though he shot her husband.

I hate to miss any airing of "Major Crimes" because Mary McDonnell, as Sharon Raydor, is an awesome actress. At least I am able to watch episodes any time I want, and thank heavens my DVR works, so I can record her over and over every time an episode of "Battlestar Galactica" is on BBC America.

Same goes for "Rizzoli and Isles." Any show that stars Sasha Alexander is worth watching over and over again. She was great on "NCIS," but so, too, is Cote de Pablo. How are we going to survive when Ziva David is gone? I experience withdrawals if I don't see "NCIS" every week, "NCIS Los Angeles" not so much.

Worse than withdrawals, I get downright cranky if I forget to record "The Big Bang Theory," which features one of the best ensemble casts in the history of television. The show's long-time success is due to the way the nerdy characters were allowed to evolve. I predict Sheldon and Amy will have sex in the series finale, and you can bet if I'm busy that night, I'll make sure I have that episode recorded.

I'm almost always working Thursday nights, so that means sometime over the weekend I have to catch up on "Project Runway." I'm still allowed to be a real man and watch a show about fashion design. Besides, if I wanted to, I could probably thread a bobbin, unlike some of the incompetent contestants who only know how to use a draping technique. Dom is the nicest of this year's batch of designers, so I'm hoping she wins, although the judges seem to like Helen the best. Zac Posen and Nina Garcia act like they know it all, but sometimes I think their taste is all in their mouths. Now, Tim Gunn - there's a class act.

By chance, I happened to catch a bit of "General Hospital" one afternoon and, God help me, it's got me suckered in. It doesn't seem all that different than it was 25 years ago. Luke and Laura are still in it, although not married to each other, and, wouldn't you know it: Even though she's supposedly dead (although who can say for sure when a soap opera character is really dead), Helena Cassadine has managed to exact a last lethal revenge on Luke. I get tired of everybody fawning over that thug, Sonny Corinthos, and I experience a nauseated feeling when I hear Duke Lavery's voice. And why on earth don't Maxie and Spinelli finally tell the world that the baby Maxie gave birth to is actually theirs, and not Dante and Lulu's? The truth will come out when that infant gets sick, needs a blood test and the necessary medical tests determine her real parentage.

I've calculated that if I get hooked into watching just one new show of the fall season, I'll have to forego my current occupation and make TV my full-time job. Is there some pill I can take to resist "Sleepy Hollow," "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," "Hostages" and "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland"? And if the pill doesn't work, would that mean I'll have to watch "Once Upon a Time" again, too? I just can't take the pressure!

(Betz is an assistant editor of The News-Item.)