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Welcome to Mr. ReddHedd's new obsession toy television set.  Crafty man that he is, he caught me at a tired and weak moment during the wait for the Libby jury, and pounced on my "well, maybe it wouldn't be so bad" about having a television in our living room.  And we now have a humongous 50" television HD extravaganza on a lovely new cabinet right here in my formal living room.

You see, for years I fought having a television in the living room — because then, I thought, the time you spend there becomes all about the television and not about conversation or reading or classical music or anything else but the hulking boob tube in the corner.  I happen to like a good conversation, and have protected the sanctity of the living room with a fierceness until last weekend when, in a moment of weakness, I relented just the tiniest bit and…whammo!  The television of his dreams now sits at one end of the room.  I was not prepared to like it, truly. 

Don't tell Mr. ReddHedd…but I think I love it.

We watched Out of Africa Thursday evening — one of my favorite films for its scenery alone, not to mention that it stars Meryl Streep and Robert Redford – and on the new wide-screen television, it was amazing.  Like watching it in a theater, something that we rarely get to do these days, due to lack of babysitters. 

And suddenly, an entire realm of possibilities for our Netflix queue just opened up in my mind.  All those glorious, sweeping films that I adore, with their panoramic views, their historical landscapes, their glorious cinematography triumphs.

There is now a desperate desire to watch Lawrence of Arabia again.  Or Dr, Zhivago.  Or pretty much any film that David Lean or Freddy Young ever put their hands on in their lifetimes.  And the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Back to back.  (After The Peanut goes to bed, of course, or we'll have to figure out some anti-orc nightlight remedy.)  Or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, just for the fight scene among the tall bamboo alone.  Or any of the series of films that Li Gong did in the 1990s.  Or…heavens, there are SO many, aren't there?

And then it occurred to me that this is just the sort of thing that the amazing readers of this blog would have suggestions for — we have such a literate and amazing readership, and I'd love some of your thoughts on film suggestions. 

The Peanut has been loving the opportunity to watch a cartoon or some anime where the characters are almost as big as she is on the screen.  And I just know that there are some wildlife documentaries out there that she would adore.  So, suggestions along those lines for the Netflix queue would be most welcome as well.

We're having the new cable installed at some point today — including the expanded HD package which adds in all the ESPN channels.  (Yes, not only was I weak on the television purchase, but I signed us up for sports as far as the eye can see with the cable guys.  Guess what we'll be watching all of March?  Thank goodness I like basketball…)  The thing that sold me on this was that all of the Discovery channels come in HD as well — and I kept picturing coral reefs and rainforests in high definition, a bowl of popcorn, and The Peanut and I snuggled on the couch talking about life on this blue planet of ours.  We could do worse than raising a marine biologist, I say.

So, with that, let's talk about diversions on film this morning.  What have you watched lately that you'd give two thumbs way up?  What films do you think merit special placement in the Netflix queue?  Now that the trial coverage has finished for the moment (pending sentencing and appeal), and we've eased back into our usual only semi-crazy schedule at FDL, Mr. ReddHedd and I have a few date nights to catch up on — so, any good movies we've missed over the last year or two of parenthood that we should see post-haste?  Any faves you'd recommend from whenever?  Any documentaries that are worth watching again and again? 

For as long as I can remember, film and books and music have been the constant escapes that I have sought, as a sort of creative refuge from the world around me when I've needed a break.  To find that perfect marriage of exceptional writing with a great script, and add to that amazing visuals and good acting and a pitch perfect score as well?  That's truly heaven.  And to be able to watch it in the comfort of my living room?  Clearly, I have built up some good karma somewhere.

Well, as long as we still get to have some great conversations, I suppose I can live with that.  So, what would you suggest for the watching?  Pull up a chair…

PS — Bob Geiger has some great Saturday Cartoons this week.  Don't miss the Steve Sack.  hehehehehe