Anyway, browsing around another site today I came across a great explanation. The full article is here:
http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/08/12/help-key-why-hd-video-looks-weird/ and a great excerpt:
First is to simply display each frame longer, this is the oldest technique in LCD tech. However, its undesirable side effects include the possibility of motion blur, or of judder. Judder is an artifact of adjusting the framerate and it looks like a sort of stutter in movement that would otherwise be smooth (a slow pan, for instance).
The second technique is one used on Plasmas and CRT TVs. Instead of showing a bright image the whole time, they display the frame, then a short frame of either darkness or a very dimmed picture. This alleviates much of the issue with judder and motion blur as it allows your brain to fill in the gap faster than you can consciously notice. It is also an old technique, and is used in theaters. It provides the traditional cinema feel.
The most recent and advanced technique is motion interpolation. Motion interpolation is a process by which your TV analyzes the current frame, and the next frame, then creates an average. It inserts these averaged frames in between. The result is extremely smooth motion with no motion blur and judder becomes almost non-existent. There are a few technical issues with this, including the possibility of ghosting or artifacts in rare cases. Also the smooth movement this creates is slightly disconcerting.
This overly smooth effect is called the "Soap Opera Effect" because the soap operas were often shot on cheaper film at 30 fps instead of 60.
Anyway, I'm satisfied to know why I was so confused, but now my eyes are used to it and I just love that TV.