Posted by: Kate | October 25, 2009

John Malkovich is in my Living Room

The kids are away for the weekend, having a sleepover with Jenny’s kids.  I already suspect they’re going to have a hard time returning home, because, as is the way of all things in this world, Jenny is inherently more fun than me – being not-Mom and all – and so coming home is going to mean rules, and homework, and trumpet practice (which, in an apartment this small, becomes a whole-family activity, like it or not).

But we do have an ace up our sleeve, this time; a carrot to convince them that perhaps home’s not such a terrible place after all.  It’s a little thing we call… a 42″ plasma television (a Panasonic Viera, if such things mean anything to you).  Oh, it’s pretty.  And big.  And detailed, and basically puts our former cute little 27″ antique (OK, eight years old, close enough) dinosaur to shame.  It’s really just as well that the delivery guys took the old TV away for whatever nefarious purposes they might need old TVs for, because it would only have been cruel to make it sit around in the same room while Willem smiled uncontrollably all evening.

Sports are, apparently, several flavors of improved when seen in high definition.  And while there’s no amount of television technology that’s going to succeed in turning me into anything remotely resembling a fan, I can attest that the new toy makes me willing to sit and watch a college football game for five straight minutes.  The last time I did so was in 1997, when I attended a Penn State game and felt obligated to at least pretend to watch the field.

We further celebrated the evening by watching a very long movie, without fear of interruption… I’ve had The Changeling sitting here for weeks, sad and neglected because it’s very rare for me to even turn on the TV when I’m home alone (admittedly, this may change now) and unheard of for me to break into the Netflix stash without Willem around.  The school year has been horrifyingly busy for us all, and so here it is, late October, and we’re finally watching it.

All by itself, even if you still have a less grin-inducing television model, the movie is very much worth the watch.  My only complaint is that, since my kids are 50-some miles away and (I would hope, since it’s after midnight) sound asleep,  I can’t go in and kiss them and reassure myself that they’re safe and sound.  It’s the kind of movie that necessitates an extra post-bedtime hug.

But, with the high definition, not only was I sucked in by the storyline, but I was also impressed by the lifelike nature of it all.  John Malkovich was in my living room, and I’m frankly a little surprised he didn’t ask to use the bathroom or something while he was here.

I tend to suspect it’ll be me driving down to pick up the kids tomorrow.  I just don’t have the heart to pry Willem away on his first post-Panasonic-purchase football Sunday.



  1. Oh, yes, ITA with the sports in high def. Willem will get spoiled very quickly and when he goes to watch a game that isn’taped in hi-def it will seem completely archaic.

    Football is definitely better in high def, hockey is great, baseball is AMAZING, but the most improved sport, in my opinion, is soccer. It goes from meh to GORGEOUS.

  2. Oh, wait until the Olympics. Our TV has this “smoothing” something-or-other (Mike picked it out, I just okayed the price) that makes the HD picture even more realistic. The little football I’ve watched is scary-realistic. I’m glad I’ve got this TV to watch them – I imagine skiing and skating are going to be nuts.

    I always thought our old TV was good enough for me, but I will concede that the new one is really an impressive piece of technology.

  3. That was my reaction to a new big-screen TV too, only I was watching the Food Network. Suddenly, the cakes were coming right into my living room!

    Somehow, I assumed you were talking about Being John Malkovich, so I was curious to see where you found a passage that leads straight into his head. That would be… weird, to say the least.

    Enjoy your new toy, and I hope it doesn’t get taken over by sports all the time!

  4. Welcome to the dark side. We love our big flat screen – way cool.

  5. I fought the digital revolution and didn’t switch us over until almost the last minute. Still wasn’t convinced when I hooked up all the new wires.

    Then football season started. I recognized family in the stands at the ‘Stick of a 9er game. Whoa.

    Too bad you’re in an apartment, there really is a difference in how much more bandwidth you get over-the-air as opposed to cable or satellite.

  6. We have the same tv, except when we went to upgrade our cable to HD after buying it, we balked at the price and ended up canceling it instead! We’ve now gone 10 months without cable and really don’t miss it-we download the things we really want to watch, and get dvds from the library.

    If you haven’t already, you should check out the BBC’s Planet Earth and South Pacific series on dvd to really show off the tv’s abilities. And I just watched The Fall, which was the most visually stunning movie I’ve ever seen-still not sure about the story, and maybe your kids aren’t old enough for it, but it certainly made the tv look good!

  7. Oh, one other disclaimer. I love watching Nova, but I can’t watch it on the HDTV near bedtime anymore. It’s so visually stimulating that way, it actually keys me up.

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