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December 05 2003

Is ANGEL too dark, literally? Bad transmitting equipment may be causing AtS to appear too dim in some markets.

Anybody else having this problem?

Yeah but I've been assuming it's cuz my TV sucks. I got an old crappy little TV. X-Files never looked ideal on it either, in moments like when they were in the sewers looking for leech boy. In the rare occasions when I'd bitch at tv stations about anything, the result was a waste of my time.
AtS is kinda too dark. I like the mood made by the dark, but it gets annoying when you can't see what's going on, or when Cordy looks like she's black.
Well I got a copy of the werewolf episode ages ago and could hardly make out a thing, can't remember which US TV station logo was on the screen though.
I recall adjusting the bright up just for the episode and back down when it was over. Seemed easier than contacting the network.
Maybe they should rethink how they film it. I have a satellite dish and most shows look great but for some reason Angel always looks pretty crappy. I assumed it was our local WB station but other shows I've watched on the WB don't look as bad.
I've actually had that problem more often with Buffy than Angel. I usually just turn up the brightness on my telly till the show's over.
My TV's brightness and contrast are both on at full all the time. It's sufficient for most shows, but there isn't an 'eleven' for the knobs when Angel comes on.
The timing of this is great, as Howard Stern complained about how dark the show is the day after "Destiny" had aired. He told Robin that he couldn't see who won the fight, Angel or Spike. And earlier this week, Howard mentioned that the director of photography for the episode had sent him a DVD after he heard Howard mention his problems on the air, so he watched it, and it was still too dark for him.

I know a lot of people don't like Howard, but he and Robin have been longtime fans of Buffy and Angel, and Howard's had Sarah, Alyson, and Charisma on his radio show. Interestingly enough, I once asked James about doing Howard's show, and he was very opposed to it.
Correct me if I'm wrong but presumably the head honchos at Mutant Enemy and WB actually watch the final version of the episode before it airs? So what goes through their minds when they watch it. Does it cause a problem with the budget to reshoot it cause it's too dark? Do they think the Angel fans will watch anything? Cause if thats what they're thinking it's a bit bloody arrogant.
It's too dark for me too. I find that if I turning the lights off helps.
Weren't people complaining that the show was too [visually] light about a month ago? Maybe ME got the message and is now overcompensating.

Oddjob - It makes sense that JM wouldn;'t want to appear on the Howard Stern show. JM tends to taka a very protective attitude toward women and I imagine th atmosphere on Stern's show pisses him off.
Angel is pretty dark. With the compression on satellite, it makes motion shots rather pixelated. It is hard for me to see what's going on at times. I know it's for atmosphere and all, but I think it would be nice if it was just a tad brighter.
Maybe someone should send a link to this site to Mutant Enemy because not one person has said it looks great on their TV.
Yea...quite a few people were complaining that ME should, "turn down the lights" after the season opener...You can't please everyone apparently...
too dark sometimes for me too, by example I see nothing in the 5x03 :(
For the record, ANGEL looks great on my TV (and my brother's). The VCDs of the wildfeed look great too. I've never had any problems.
I for one think it looks great. Of course, I do have sensitive eyes.

But I've never said to myself "I can't see what's going on."
I have and I agree who ever is setting the scenes seems to be missing the whole picture. If 2 of the characters in the scene are both in black you do not put them in a surrounding that is black or blankly dark they will tend to blend. They need to offsett to bland darkness that surrounds them in that dark scenes by adding texture to the background that will make them stand out. The fight scene in Destiny is a good example of not paying attention to the backdrop, it was like a blank canvas they could have thrown in a richer level of texture and the scene would have popped out. I compare it to the Angel episode with the ballet, that backstage had dimention and texture to it that made the characters stand out. It was still a darker set but it was broke up by background and wasn't so bland. If all else fails they could have also played with the lighting as well and added notions of texture that way.
Just thought I'd chime in as well, adding that I've had absolutely no problems with Angel's brightness this season(or lack thereof) on either of our TVs. Of course, I've always been impressed with our local affiliate, so it's possible that they've prevented this problem from the beginning.

It makes me worry about the state of the eventual DVDs though.
I have to say that it is darn near perfect for me. I'm one who finds it extremely irritating when a night scene is shot and you can see everything clearly. The blue “day for night” filter almost always creates this horrible look. I really want the deep black shadows, the hidden movements and the not knowing exactly what is happening in some (very few) scenes. I’m pretty sure that is exactly what Joss asks the cinematographers to do and they’ve succeeded at it admirably. That said, I do have good low light vision (can read a novel by moonlight) and that may be the difference.
I always download the wildfeed and connect our TV in the living room to my computer. I think it looks almost as good as the broadcast version, and in a way even better since everyone's head doesn't look squished (I can set the aspect ratio to play correctly on a widescreen tv from my computer, but regular cable tv is either stretched sideways or has the black bars.)

Does anyone get the WB HD channel? We only get ABC, CBS, and FOX, but shows like 24 and Monday Night Football look amazing in HD, and I'm guessing Angel does too.
Haven't noticed this problem--maybe it's a WB affiliate and/or individual TV issue.
In my case, I think it's the affiliate because my DVDs look great and when I had bought VCDs to watch it before we got the WB network they also looked much better.
Has anyone here ever watched "Fastlane," where all the night scenes were filmed in this "oww, my eyes" flourescent blue? On any other show it would've bugged the heck out of me, but I think it actually worked well for that show.
Here's a wrinkle: I always thought the problem was with digital cable. Angel had always looked dark on my TV, but since we switched to digital the previously rich darkness has turned into an undifferentiated mass of ink. I know Time Warner sells DTV as having a superior picture quality, but I've noticed the opposite. It effects every show, but the dimly lit ones are worst of all.
For me it is definitely the fault of the UPN affiliate that airs the WB shows (we don't get WB in our digital cable area). When I compare my DVDs to what I get via digital cable, the DVDs are hundred of times better -- what is aired inevitably has fuzziness, wavy lines, and dimness. This was true for Buffy on UPN as well.

TNT does a better job with Angel and Charmed.

Complaining does no good -- the digital cable people blamed the affiliate in their response to my email, and the affiliate never answered my email.
I distinctly remember Buffy looking absolutly terrible and I had perfect reception...Interesting.
Buffy S6 looked terrible on our UPN affiliate (so did S7); all you had to do was compare it to the FX reruns to notice.

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