Fast Talking Dialogue in TV

You know what I’m talking about – or maybe you don’t. TV shows like The West Wing, Suits or Scandal. Those shows when the characters talk so fast and while in motion you wonder if any human being ever talks like that. I have to say in some shows it works – I The West Wing it did for me, Suits … well Harvey Specter, need I say more? Works. But Scandal? Not so much. So does anyone else ever notice this? Do you like it or does it drive you nuts? Call me curious!

20 thoughts on “Fast Talking Dialogue in TV”

  1. I agree, so times it works and some times it doesn’t. For me it drives me a little crazy trying to stay focus on what there saying. :wtf:

  2. I must not be watching the same shows. I was recently watching a Person of Interest and the dialogue was soft and I couldn’t hear it!! Thank goodness for DVR and I’m able to rewind and turn the volume up. LOL ๐Ÿ™

    • Who cares what John is saying — he’s just yummy to watch! LOL Seriously though — Person of Interest is a great show but the dialogue can be faint so I use my close-captioning for it (actually for most shows).

  3. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I occasionally sit down when my husband is watching a show. I don’t really notice the speed of the dialogue. If I think about it, dialogue may be slow in the shows – Blue Bloods & The Mentalist. I have seen Suits, but I didn’t notice! Maybe because I am focusing on my book instead of the TV. And Harvey Specter is a cutie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m so glad I’m not the only person who didn’t love Scandal. It just never worked for me. However, both The West Wing and Suits work for me.

  5. I know exactly what you are talking about and Aaron Sorkin (creator and writer of The West Wing) is a master at it. Do you watch his show on HBO called The Newsroom? Also very quick dialogue but it works well because it sets the pace for how crazy news shows are!

  6. My take on the dialogue is different. I am hard of hearing in one ear and probably in the other. (Haven’t had that one tested yet.)I use closed captioning and lip reading (a little). I hate music that is so loud it drowns out the dialogue and mismatch of the closed captioning and what is on the screen. For example-closed captioning says “knock on door” and the door bell rings. So I really prefer to record my programs and watch them later so I can back up if I miss something. Needless to say, I don’t notice the speed of the dialogue.

  7. Fast talking is an East Coast thing. I agree that it works in some cases and not in others. Remember however it is not always the writers fault but the actors ability to pull it off. This is not unusual with any creative venue, ability & taste.

  8. Good morning Carly,

    I can’t say that I have as I’ve not seen any of the shows that you noted. But, if I watched a show that did, I wouldn’t like it.


  9. it depends on the show…however, I do know people who talk in the same manner, so I can usually follow

  10. I call those shows “I can’t do anything , but watch” shows. I can’t multitask during those ๐Ÿ™

  11. I loved it on the West Wing but sometimes? I have a hard time understanding what the character is saying (especially if they have an accent) and I struggle to follow. But when it works — I love it! :>)

  12. The politics on The West Wing meant nothing to me. It was the characters. The writing. The acting. Fabulous.
    And yes, I have noticed the fast talking thing. And you are right, some times it works and some times not.
    Husband and I have watched Scandal. And discussed the way Olivia talks. And I think its more her facial expressions that throw me off than anything else. If I just listen to her, its great. I can understand her and she does it well. But when I look at her, she scrunches up her face and contorts it in odd ways. She tries to use her face to make her feelings clear. I don’t know.
    I have other problems with that show too. haha
    There was another short running series with the guy who played Josh and Rob Lowe. They were Hollywood writers. It was fabulous. Of course, me liking it is the seal of doom. haha
    Thanks, Carly. Now, I will be thinking about this all day.
    haha Have a great week everyone.

  13. Carly, I now turn on the closed captioning whenever I watch something that I have a hard time catching. Some times it is the loud music of sound effects that throw me off or the accents of the characters. :dog:

  14. I adored The West Wing and am watching it on netflix with my 20 yr old!! But we also both love Scandal. I love the fast talking, but Suits doesn’t do it for me at all

  15. I loved West Wing! Do you remember an earlier Aaron Sorkin series called ‘Sports Night’ – that had the same style of fast witty repartee.

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