Tuesday, July 29, 2008

All TV mailbag: Emmy snubs, background music and more

Today's column has me answering reader questions about people and shows snubbed by the Emmys (including Vincent D'Onofrio, pictured above), plus the return of possibly the most frequent mailbag question I've gotten in all my years as a TV critic.


Eric said...

Funny, I'd think your most common question would be the closely related "Why are the commercials always so much louder than the show?"

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don't think anybody cares about commercials enough to keep writing in about it the way a certain segment of my audience is constantly railing against the volume of background music drowning out the dialogue.

Anonymous said...

D'Onofrio is the reason I can't watch that show. I've liked other stuff he's done, but for some reason when he's playing this character, he just really bugs me. "Overly mannered" might be an understatement.

Unknown said...

I'm confused. Why is Orson Welles brandishing a firearm? That doesn't look like a still from *Touch of Evil*, and I don't recognize what movie it could have come from.

PamelaJaye said...

Not being able to hear the dialog for the music was only a tiny part of why I dumped the Bionic Woman (prime example).

My brother adjusted my DVD player so that the sound came out of what speakers I actually have - and now the songs on my Enchanted DVD are loud enough to sing along with. Yay! (reverse engineering your suggestion - I can't afford the other way, but there may be a switch in MythTV to do it, who knows)

No matter what I do to my speakers, Patrick Dempsey will continue to mumble - usually at the most inopportune moments (the most romantic thing he said in season 2 was killed by my brother rewinding it three times to try to make out the words)

We finally have captions in MythTV, but they're only half there. So you kind of have to guess the rest... (it used to be I couldn't watch ER without captions)

Someone somewhere is selling a "complete" set of West Wing DVDs titled Seasons 1-7 on the website but showing a box labeled Seasons 1-6. If you still haven't bought the set (these were $99) watch out for this place. The actually complete set is titled
"The Complete Series Collection"
(and we still can't afford it (though *I* only want seasons 1 and 2 (and to see Posse Comitatus again - it's not on my tapes and Bravo hasn't played it in 2 and a half years))

More people would watch commercials if they weren't so darn loud (and funnier - I collect the good ones - have you seen Sarah Chalke's?)

Since I sleep to Grey's Anatomy, I cut the commercials - I can put cut marks around them so they won't play (love Myth) but they are still there, (just hidden) as long as I don't transcode (compress) the episodes.

Anonymous said...

An often missed thing about the dialogue volume is this:

If you only have two speakers, but your receiver/TV/amp is in 5.1 mode, then you're going to hear LF, RF, *and no Front Center -- and hence no dialogue.

Inline DVD player/recorders can cause this problem, too.