I have a small problem.
No. Not that. There’s nothing wrong there. I’m talking about hearing.
Herself and I generally pass evenings watching a film or a series on television. My problem is that I am finding it increasingly difficult to hear what is being said on screen. Whole scenes pass me by and I haven’t a fucking clue what it was about as I couldn’t hear the conversation. Herself has the same problem and at the end of such scenes we just look at each other and shrug. “Do you know what that was about?” “Nope. Not a clue.” We have had to abandon whole series because of the inaudibility of the speech.
My hearing is pretty good in general apart from the old Tinnitus which I don’t even notice unless I deliberately tune into the whistle. For example, I can listen to ClassicFM at a very low volume and still hear the announcer between each piece. Even Herself can’t do that trick. Herself has the radio on most of the time and I can [unfortunately] hear every word that is said even though the radio isn’t that loud and is in a different room.
So is the problem with the actors? Has the concept of diction gone out the window, and any old muttering will do?
Is the problem with the balance between speech and background noise? Frequently the problem areas involve background sounds or music. I know my Tinnitus has this weird effect that a background noise such as a boiling kettle can drown any attempt at communication. Down at the coffee shop, the Lads have learned not to try speaking to me if there is a lorry, bus or motorbike going past. That is only a real-world problem though and didn’t crop up on television before.
Is the problem with the script? Have scriptwriters become very fond of the sotto voce and whispers? Last night we watched “Gentleman Jack” [Herself’s choice] and there was an entire lengthy scene that was sotto voce and neither of us had a fucking clue what was said despite turning the volume way up. It was a key scene too at the end of an eight part series and I’m sure it was supposed to be important.
Or is this just old age creeping in slowly?