It seems that some of the cast of BBC drama Happy Valley could have done with attending the best workshop in communication skills London has to offer after the series has attracted complaints over not just the quality of the sound in the series, but also mumbled dialogue as well.
The show, which airs on Tuesdays, was described as inaudible by some Twitter users who had their hands glued to their volume button, trying to get the right combination between the dialogue they could hear and background sounds and music that didn’t explode their eardrums.
Despite its name, Happy Valley is a gritty crime drama, and often issues with dialogue clarity come up when actors are trying to make a scene as realistic and full of emotion as possible. In real life, of course, not everyone speaks with perfect diction and annunciation all of the time.
While channelling reality is a great skill, when it comes to dialogue, we love this quote from perpetual TV watcher Scarlet Moffatt from Gogglebox. Though she was talking about the lighting in another BBC series, Wolf Hall, the point stands: “I know it’s like pretending to be olden days, but for the purposes of actually being able to see what’s going on?”
Of course, actors for TV and film are creating something to be watched and entertain the nation, and while gritty reality might sound like a surefire way to make an actor the critic’s sweetheart, no one will much be feeling the love for a performance if they have no idea what’s going on.