How to buy a $45,000 Smart LED TV from…


James Otis Thach really wanted his own Samsung UN85S9 with its 85” screen—even though the price was a tad steep.  Fortunately, Amazon was ready to help.  They began with a $5,002.00 discount!  Then, they threw in free shipping.  With no more incentives on the table, James Otis and his loving wife, Peg, had to get really creative!


Here’s his story, in his own words.


My wife and I bought this after selling our daughter Amanda into white slavery. We actually got a refurbished. It’s missing the remote, but oh well– for $10K off, I can afford a universal, right? The picture is amazing. I’ve never seen the world with such clarity.


Amanda, if you’re reading this, hang in there, honey! We’ll see you in a year.




I just wanted to add an addendum to my review. Since posting it, we have received a flood of responses. People have said some pretty hurtful things–even questioning our values. Let me assure you, this was not an easy decision to make, and we made it as a family. Obviously, it’s very personal. But in light of all the second-guessing, I wanted to explain our thinking.


First and foremost, screen size. I really think you can’t go too big. 85″ may seem huge, but you get used to it fast. Second, resolution. Is 4K overkill? Please, that’s what they said about 1080P! More dots = better. Period. And as far as this being a $40,000 “dumb” TV, people need to re-read my initial post: WE BOUGHT IT REFURBISHED. It was only $30,000.


Some of you may think I’m avoiding the “elephant in the room”–the real reason why this was such a heart-wrenching choice. So let’s just get it out there. Yes, the 120 Hz refresh rate is a disappointment, especially on a 4K. But life is full of compromises. And frankly, we hardly notice. All in all, no regrets.


P.S., as for our daughter, NO ONE has the right to question our parenting. Totally out of bounds. Amanda was going into 7th grade, so it was going to be a transitional year anyway. Now she gets to see the world. How many kids her age get to go to Bahrain? I sure as heck didn’t, but you don’t hear me screaming “child abuse.” Bottom line: MYOB! Seriously.




Has it been a year already? Wow! I guess that’s what 8 hours a day of immersive TV will do for you! Many of you have expressed your eagerness for an update. Well, here goes.


Generally, the Samsung has held up beautifully. We have noticed a little bit of lag, mostly in multi-player gaming–but not enough to cost us any firefights. There have been some issues up-imaging low rez content, but that’s to be expected when you early-adopt–we’re still “waiting on the world to change,” as John Mayer would say (gosh he’s talented.) On the plus side, we feel like we are now officially part of the cast of GOT. The other night Peg almost had to open a window to let Daenerys’ dragons fly out!


And you’ll all be happy to know our darling Amanda is back with us, safe and sound. She has changed a little. She’s less talkative than before (though she had some choice words for me when I asked her to clean her room). And she’s started wearing eye make-up, which has Peg a bit concerned. But welcome to thirteen, I guess. We’re just glad to have her home. And she loves the TV. That’s the main thing. In fact, she spends so much time in front of it lately, you’d swear she owns it.


This spontaneous lampooning of what has immediately become an icon of American consumerism is an interesting bit of social commentary.  James Thach and several other amateur satirists have drawn attention to the over-the-top excesses of a $45,000.00 television.  But those of us who have concerns about the many not-so-extreme examples of consumerism should take note.  Satire can be an effective tool for examining contemporary culture.  But it’s used too infrequently—at least in my purview.  Perhaps, this is an instrument of social critique that more of us should devote ourselves to refining—the raw material for writing projects is rather endless!!


James Thach’s review, along with numerous other hilarious additions, can be found here.



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2 Responses to “How to buy a $45,000 Smart LED TV from…”

  1. HaHaHa! Thank you for a great Christmas laugh.

  2. This bit of humor, along with numerous other witty “reviews,” adds a new dimension to And it makes even more apropos the title of the new book “The Everything Store.” But then again, that may not be the case. Reviewers say the book offers a less than flattering view of Jeff Bezos. And working for Amazon may come without the wit and humor.