Remember that monologue in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" where the Grinch listed all the things he hated about the holiday?
He went on about his various issues with Christmas and then touched upon his biggest gripe: "That's one thing I hate! All the noise, noise, noise, noise," he lamented.
That quote has been circling my head the past week or so, thanks to the decibel levels coming out of our television.
Perhaps, I've concluded, the Grinch has been misunderstood all these years.
Not about Christmas. No, he was dead wrong about hating that. But the noise? Mmmmm.
There's an ongoing war in my house over TV sound levels. And, confoundingly, everyone is on the right side of the battle at any given time, whether as viewer or the person in another room with ear plugs in place.
Maybe there's some magic control button on the TV that we just haven't found yet, but some shows and films are unwatchable unlistenable? because of the supersonic sound.
Case in point: As soon as "The Avengers" hit DVD shelves recently, my son was at the store, money in hand, to get his copy. As soon as he got home, said DVD was in the player and the movie was blaring on our television.
Blaring being the operative word.
The battle sounds! The background music! (Ha! background music: puh-lease). It sounded like we were smack dab in the middle of it all. And I was in a different room with earphones in trying, to no avail, to listen to something else.
I've sat right in front of the massive speakers at more than one 1980s rock concert and the decibel level of this film made those shows seem like soothing little lullabies.
We asked my son to turn down the volume.
"But if I do, I can't hear it when they talk," he complained.
And it was true. He turned the sound down to a bearable battle level and we listened. As soon as the music died off or the battle was won and a character had something to say, the words were completely unintelligible.
Not just a lower volume completely unintelligible.
This is not a good home movie experience and certainly not what a person should expect when they plop down their hard-earned cash for a DVD.
I was looking forward to watching the new drama series "Last Resort" when it premiered on television last week. Much of the first episode's action took place on a submarine.
The submerged sub-sounds in the ha! background completely overtook the dialogue. I watched almost the entire show before I gave up and deleted it from the DVR. Frankly, I still have no idea why Andre Braugher disobeyed orders or who anyone else on the show is supposed to be.
Don't much care now, either.
Now, I'm not privy to the art of sound editing, but methinks some folks in Hollywood are doing all this on purpose.
Yes, I understand that bringing the cacophony into your living room is done to help the viewer feel immersed in the film or show's action.
But, you know what? If I wanted to feel immersed in the action on a submarine, I'd join the Navy.
What I want is to be able to hear the dialogue so I know why the heck all that noisy action is going on in the first place.
In the spirit of full disclosure, it's no secret that my hearing isn't what it used to be; too many of those aforementioned rock concerts both in stadiums and in the confines of my car over the years.
But it's not just me who's suffering the occasional sound and fury of the television in our house two others find themselves confounded by it, too.
More than once, I've been asked to turn down the TV because it was at senior-center sound levels. More than once, I've asked my husband or son to do the same.
Yes, we've checked our TV's audio settings. It's all where it should be to block extraneous noise.
And, yes, I looked up the issue on the Internet. There were all sorts of "solutions" that made no sense or had no bearing on our set.
So here's a crazy idea: How about Hollywood makes movies and TV shows that don't create an issue that needs to be "fixed" in the first place?
Not for me and my household, Hollywood do it for the Grinch.
Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at email@example.com.