The first thing you notice about giant HDTV is that most television shows are still made for regular TV, or at least regular HDTV. In giant HDTV, for example, it is quite easy to see the pale pink guy lipstick that all action heroes wear. Elaborately fake wounds or painted-on black eyes look like elaborately fake wounds or painted-on black eyes, not like real injuries. That handsome news anchor is revealed as a scary old guy with dyed hair, his browned face crevassed with the wrinkles caused by years of maintaining his made-for-the-camera tan. On regular TV, he only looks old enough to be the perky weathergirl's father. On giant HDTV, he looks old enough to be her much more remote ancestor, possibly risen from the grave, not for zombie or horror purposes but just to segue over to her chirping about an approaching cold front.
And that chirpy weathergirl is skinny. Giant HDTV cameras, unlike regular TV cameras, do not add pounds. This is possibly the most startling thing about the technology, if you are used to watching regular TV. Men, those gorgeous TV bombshells , the objects of your faraway lusts, no longer make you think to yourself "My God, look at that unnaturally sumptuous creature who would inspire me to unrestrained, crazed desire if she were wearing that barely-there dress and standing next to me." Instead you'll be thinking "My God, girl, go get a sandwich, and don't forget the bacon and extra mayo." One of my S.O.'s favorite series features two female leads that I thought were two of the most attractive women on the screen, an opinion that I carefully concealed from her in the interests of household harmony. No danger of that now, as I realize the two of them put together weigh maybe 175 pounds.
Giant HDTV is no doubt the wave of the future, so we'll adjust. In some ways, it will be better. TV actresses will be able to eat more than a couple slices of cucumber a day. If guys want to wear lipstick, they'll have Matt Damon and Channing Tatum for role models. I predict, however, that it is going to turn politics upside down.
Ever since the popularization of TV, Presidential elections have generally gone to the better-looking candidate. The last Presidential contest between two fully bald guys was in 1956. In 1960, Kennedy's mane outshone Nixon's greased-down, receding locks. In '64, the ugly guy did win, but the loser had to wear huge glasses and threaten us with World War III in order to be defeated. In '68, the Dems found someone less attractive than Nixon and lost; in '72 they went back to a bald guy and were spanked again. In '76, they ran a candidate with a full head of hair and won. In '80, the desperate Republicans pulled out all the stops. They went full-blown B movie star and kept him in office through '88, when Bush One was fortunate enough to have the Democrats nominate Snoopy to run against him.
Not so in '92, when the elder Bush's yes-I'm-handsome-but-I-keep-my-testicles-in-a-trust-fund Waspiness was no match for the huggable serial womanizer from Arkansas who felt your pain, and possibly your breasts. Knowing they were doomed to lose, the Repubs nominated a Viagra spokesperson in '96.
At the turn of the century election, you couldn't say Bush was really better-looking than Gore but then you can't say he really won, either. Bush Junior tacked on victory 2 over our current, equine-faced Secretary of State. In '08, John McCain knew he was hopelessly outgunned, looks-wise, by the slick young black guy from Chicago who played hoops with his shirt off. He fought back valiantly, like you would expect from any war hero, by selecting as his VP nominee someone who looked snappy in a short skirt. Unfortunately for him, she didn't think very snappy in a long interview, so they lost. Mitt Romney had the edge in Obama in looks the last time around, but chose to go the Goldwater route of losing by consistently refusing to say anything that made sense.
Which brings us to the current day. These predictions are based on how the crop of candidates for 2016 appear on giant HDTV. Lipstick is obvious on HDTV, as I have pointed out. So are toupees. Good-bye, Rand Paul. People have pointed out that Ted Cruz looks like a weasel. He doesn't look any less weaselly in giant hi-def. He's out. Rick Perry may look attractively weather-worn on regular TV, but on giant HDTV it's easy to see those ravines in his cheeks are deep enough to have sagebrush growing in the shade at the bottom of them. Out.
HDTV doesn't add pounds, but it doesn't subtract enough to make Chris Christie the nominee. Your HDTV prediction for the Republican candidate in 2016—Marco Rubio!
That's bad news for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee. There's only so much plastic surgery you can have before you start looking like Joan Rivers and that's still not younger than Marco Rubio. Hillary's going to have to go McCain's way, and add some sex appeal at the bottom of the ticket.
I hear Channing Tatum's available.