In the new movie Extract, writer-director Mike Judge includes an uncommented-on visual joke that speaks to America's TV and home-theater obsession. In the tiny living room of a small, rundown house owned by a pair of trucker-cap wearing, rusted-pickup-driving, Texas-drawling losers is an absolutely enormous flat-screen television. Their furniture is crap, their clothes are torn, and they probably can't spell ... but they have the biggest TV that'll fit through the door, placed about three feet from their stained sofa.

It instantly reminded me of all the people I've visited over the past year who have ginormous televisions -- people who don't make much more money than I do or live considerably better than me, but who made the decision to fill one wall of their home with a TV monitor. I've yet to make that leap.

I admit to occasionally feeling like a home theater Luddite. My DVD player's about eight years old, and occasionally refuses to play discs out of sheer elderly cussedness. My Sharp 27" TV seemed huge when I bought it six years ago, upgrading as I did from a 17-inch model. When I moved a few months back, I wished for the first time that I had a fancy flat-screen, mainly because it would have been easier to carry and would have taken up a lot less space in the van.
categories Features, Cinematical