What I’m reading and not watching now… (Closed Caption Rant Included Free of Charge)

I’ve been reading a lot more Kidlit posts than writing my own, for one thing, since I’ve been sick as a (Insert Jack Gantos simile here.)
Oh yeah, I just finished “Joey Pigza Swallows the Key.” WOW.
 (couldn’t find a picture of the cover of my edition which had a series of photos of the key-swallowing.)
After that short detour I’m back to Phineas Finn by Trollope. it’s good stuff, but almost feels like a remix of themes he has covered so many times before.
I did not watch the Grammy’s and thus missed Keely Smith singing with Kid Rock.
I haven’t heard it, but Black Magic was a great choice, since that one really contrasted Smith and Prima’s personalities/voices/planets of origin.
I am also not watching The Mayor of Castorbridge on DVD. Why not? Because ONCE AGAIN the folks at A&E video shipped it out without captions or subtitles.
This is not only rude and unfair to people with hearing impairments, it makes this particular program nearly unwatchable since the sound is bad and the actors mutter in English accents.
One of the big problems with rushing a show out the door without captions is that once it’s out, no one else is going to re-re-release it just for the hearing impaired. So the companies that make a quick buck this way are decreeing that deaf people shall not watch it for many years to come.
I have a term reserved only for companies that rerelease shows without captions. It is a term that is inappropriate for this or any other forum.

4 Responses

  1. I find it very weird that a DVD could be shipped out in this day & age without any sort of captioning at all. Next to throwing a few trailers onto a disc, I would think that captioning would be one of the least costly and least time consuming things that a company could do. Kind of makes A&E look a little cheap.

    And as you mention, captioning isn’t only handy for the hearing-impaired. I usually don’t have a problem with English accents, but in the TV series based on the Inspector Lynley mystery novels one of the two main characters is played by an actress who’s accent and manner of speaking makes all of her lines indecipherable to my ears. I could not watch an episode of this show without having the closed-captioning turned on.

  2. I appreciate close-captioning, and I’m not hearing-impaired. As Steve A. points out, sometimes particular English accents are enhanced by cc. I found The Full Monty waaaay more funny once I had ’em. I’ve noticed in general that the BBC productions I get don’t have subtitles.:(

  3. British accents, especially mumbled, muttered or whispered, demand captioning. (But really EVERYTHING should be captioned.)

    here’s a related question:
    When Academy members get those DVD screeners of movies to help them vote, are those DVDs captioned?
    I would think Atonement’s Oscar chances might hang in the balance.

  4. You had a letter about this issue in the latest (Nov. 2009) Entertainment Weekly, no?

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