Uncommon Sense

April 25, 2021

Netflix, Please Give the Atmospheric Scores a Day Off

I tuned in to watch a new Netflix movie, Without Remorse, with Michael B Jordan, an actor I like to watch. I had to turn it off several minutes later because of one of Netflix’s bad habits. It funds many movies and most of them have very “atmospheric” soundtracks, that is the music is almost continuous and mood setting. It also makes the movies hard on those of us who are a bit hard of hearing.

After struggling to hear and then make sense of the dialogue, I get frustrated and just turn the show off. And it is not that I haven’t tried other things. I watch a fair number of foreign generated shows, which use subtitles for those who don’t speak Korean, or Japanese, or Spanish. I do not mind this but it has certain limitations. When an English language show is on, I can go to the bathroom or the kitchen and still follow what is happening. If I am dependent upon subtitles, if I lose sight of them all I hear is words I do not understand. I either have to pause the show or rewind it when I get back (sometimes the bathroom calls strongly).

I do understand what a good movie soundtrack does, but I am learning what a bad movie soundtrack does now. Are any of you experiencing the same issue?


  1. Not sure that I follow … ?? Whenever I require a bathroom break, I just put the movie on “Pause.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — April 25, 2021 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

    • I often drift off to the bathroom or kitchen without thinking of pausing because I can follow the dialogue audibly. Sometimes I neglect to notice the signs that a bathroom break is needed and of a sudden there is a four-alarm rapid response.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 25, 2021 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  2. Steve, I am convinced that all tech companies, every single one of them related to streaming media, including Netflix, DO NOT GIVE ONE IOTA about our pleasures. They ultimately do not give a SHEET 😡 how much valuable time of their consumers, their customers/paying members they waste and monopolize by forcing us to be electronic software engineers, doing THEIR jobs while not paying us to do it!!! 🤬 This, your issue here is a perfect example.

    If you want to somehow resolve this audio/soundtrack issue, you are going to have to either A) spend an exorbitant amount of your personal time working with their “Customer Service” or “Technical Staff”—assuming of course those helpers actually work for Netflix—to maybe resolve your problems. Or B) spend more of your time/years acquiring your Ph.D. in Electronic Software Engineering so that you can resolve by yourself most all of the problems THEY create… and hopefully your new career field pays very very well, and you spend the rest of your life in “Continued Education” keeping up with the quarterly updates, revisions, reversions, and NEW fangled products/apps making your previous 5-years antiquated.

    Hey! As a fellow test-rat, good luck breaking out of our/this Cage of Test Rats for Gratis Electronic Software Engineering Experiments. I hope you find the Golden Cheese. Send us a postcard from that world out there if you free yourself! We’d love to hear from you… inside this Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, QIY, Disney+, Youku, Apple, etc, (ad infinitum) laboratory. 😄 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Professor Taboo — April 25, 2021 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  3. I have exactly the same problem. I find the music and sound effects often obscuring important bits of dialog. I used to attribute it to poor sound mixing by the editors, sometimes. They’re sitting there in front of a computer with an audio console, wearing top of the line headphones, not crappy television speakers. To them it sounds perfectly fine, but when pumped through a 3″ speaker made by the lowest bidder the TV factory could find? Doesn’t work so good. But it has become so common now that even though my hearing tests out perfectly fine I still have trouble with the dialog in a lot of movies and have to turn on the captions.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — April 25, 2021 @ 10:38 pm | Reply

  4. I cannot watch any program without closed captioning. I’m 41 and I swear everyone on tv and in movies mumbles. No one speaks clearly anymore. I have some hearing issues and have had for many years so I know my limitations. Closed captioning or I read a good book.

    I find the soundtracks so horrible that I usually watch movies or tv with the volume off, unless it’s Ryan Reynolds. I would happily listen to him mumble for hours. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by TheNutBarn — April 25, 2021 @ 10:54 pm | Reply

  5. I also watch what I can with closed captioning. I pretty much learned English thanks to CC – it’s an amazing learning tool once you can read fast enough to follow, and I still turn it on whenever it’s available.
    Once, thanks to CC, I even watched a movie at 2x speed and was still able to follow pretty much everything. 🙂 Though, to be fair, it was some action movie so the there wasn’t too hard to follow the dialogue.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by List of X — April 26, 2021 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  6. Can I add a complaint not related to sound/hearing? I’m soooo tired of movies scenes taking place in the dark! If it’s not sneaking around in a darkened house, it’s sneaking around in the woods at night. Of course I’m well aware that it’s a cost-saving tool for the movie producers, but geez! It tends to be a guessing game as to exactly what’s going on!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Nan — April 26, 2021 @ 10:32 am | Reply

    • Especially since most screens are quite reflective, which means that if you are viewing during the day, all you see are reflections of things in the room holding the screen.

      I second your complaint!

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 26, 2021 @ 10:53 am | Reply

    • But Nan! That’s exciting, riveting stuff there! Keeps you on the edge of your seat!

      Or perhaps under the sheets and blankets shivering, if you’re real scared. 🤭 😉


      Comment by Professor Taboo — April 26, 2021 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

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