Come on, watch it really on your 32" from 3 meters
away and look especially on the episode names on the right menu (black on yellowish background). Do you really find this text size well adapted for the human eye?
I sit about eight and a half feet away from my 32", which is just under three meters if I remember my conversion correctly and I don't have any issues seeing the menus.
As far as the shadowing goes, I like it far better than the flat, even lighting we got in later seasons where everything looks washed out. It gave the show a dramatic look.