This is a common issue with TV shows, both older and newer shows. For some reason, the soundtrack of the shows is always a lot louder than the dialogues. Why is this?
It seems to be a common problem. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll see tons of results. Penguinsage gives this response on Amazon’s Askville:
So what happens when the execs don’t think they’re getting the reaction they want at the right points in the plot? They don’t fix the plot…they turrrrrnnnn up the volume. Should have the same effect, right? Seriously, they just turn it up and figure that the louder it is, the more of an impression it’ll make on you – the viewer. And besides, maybe the less of the dialogue we can actually hear, the better!
It’s extremely frustrating, especially consider that I’m partially deaf, to have to either have the TV extremely loud to hear the dialogue, or to have to keep adjusting the volume. It’s possible that my TV has an option to normalize volume levels somehow, but the TV came with the house and the previous owners didn’t leave the manual if they even saved it.
For the most part, I avoid this problem by not watching much TV, and what I do watch is usually on my computer through netflix or other such means. However, the problem also exists with DVDs. As 67alecto says on the above mentioned Askville page, I usually resort to subtitles and closed captioning to make sure that I don’t miss any dialogue. It tends to bug people, though, to have the words on the screen. I’m not sure why, because it rarely if ever blocks the action, but there’s usually a fair amount of bitching whenever I turn the words on.
So, why is this such a problem? I’m a bit scattered and short on time today, but this is what I’m thinking about.