The Virtues: ‘Sort it out!’ Technical glitch leave viewers frustrated

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Bold new drama The Virtues starring Line of Duty’s Stephen Graham premiered on Channel 4 tonight. 

Airing in four parts, the show follows recovering alcoholic Joseph (played by Stephen Graham) as his life falls apart following his ex Debbie’s (Juliet Ellis) decision to move to Australia with their son Shea (Shea Michael-Shaw). 

After a tense and emotional final meal with Debbie, her new partner and Shea, Joseph spirals out of control and viewers watched as he battled with hazy flashbacks. 

However, viewers watching the show had difficulty hearing the characters’ conversations and took to Twitter to complain. 

One said: “What the hell is wrong with the sound. Had to turn my TV volume up really loud and when the adverts come on had to turn it back down again!!! Not good you can hardly hear them talk #TheVirtues.” 

Another remarked: “Please, @ChannelFour, is the sound quality fixable on #TheVirtues? I really want to watch this series but it’s just awful, I can hardly make out a word they’re saying.” 

“Sound quality on #TheVirtues is terrible. Not sure I can watch this with just a load of mumbling!” said a third. 

“Why is the sound so s**t? #TheVirtues,” tweeted a fourth. 

A fifth wrote: “Really wanted to watch #thevirtues, but the sound is awful…….unless my hearing suddenly went at 9pm!!!” 

Another fan said: “Sound quality is terrible in #TheVirtues @Channel4 Please sort it out! Have been looking forward to this!” 

As he turned his back on his life in England, Joseph decided to board a boat bound for Ireland to comfort his terrifying fragmented flashbacks from his time in care. 

Next week’s episode will see Joseph arrive in Ballybraigh, where he will have an emotional reunion with someone from his childhood. 

He is also introduced to a new family as the show tackles themes of revenge and redemption. 

In an interview with Channel 4, Stephen discussed why his character made the journey to Ireland. 

He said: “Does he press the ‘f**k it all’ button and throw his sobriety away or does he try and do the best he can? 

“He needs to piece it all together, so he goes on this journey back to Ireland, to answer some of the questions from his past.” 

As well as featuring in this year’s Line of Duty, Stephen had starred in This is England, Save Me and Taboo. 

The Virtues sees actor Stephen reunite with This is England creator Shane Meadows. 

Chanel 4’s new drama is co-written by Shane and Jack Thorne, part of the creative team behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 

The Virtues continues Wednesday at 9pm on Channel 4.

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