Samsung's CES TV event was bizarrely normal

The biggest surprise of CES so far

Three years ago, at Samsung’s CES TV event, the company imprisoned women in metal dresses equipped with cupcake and champagne stands.

Two years ago, at Samsung’s CES TV event, the company suspended women from the ceiling and got them to pour attendees glasses of champagne upside-down.

One year ago, at Samsung’s CES TV event, the company gathered reporters to a glitzy Las Vegas hotel’s rooftop swimming pool to look at women floating and dancing in weird, glowing donuts.

samsung tv ces 2016

This year, the biggest surprise at Samsung’s CES TV event was that nothing weird happened at all. It turns out that Samsung is, in fact, entirely capable of putting on a regular, well-organized TV showcase. Who knew!

This year’s gathering, held at the stunning Frank Gehry-designed Keep Memory Alive Event Center in Las Vegas, was an exercise in restraint. The lighting was atypically great, the presenters were reasonably concise, and the TV lineup was uncomplicated yet impressive.

samsung tv ces 2016

There were no models in uncomfortable situations — just Samsung employees on hand to explain the technology. The sedate, chill nature of the event came right out of left field; it was so much easier to actually take pictures of these TVs than I've ever been used to.

I came expecting Samsung Weird, so it’s only fair that I acknowledge Samsung Normal this time around. There’s room for improvement, of course — Samsung’s presentation featured four men and exactly zero women — but overall I left the event feeling impressed by TVs rather than reeling from the way they were shown.

For me, that’s been the biggest surprise at CES so far this year.

samsung tv ces 2016

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