Whenever I listen to “Day is Gone” by Noah Gundersen, I immediately picture Jax discovering Tara’s body and crying on the ground. When I hear “Chasing Cars” I am transported to Denny Duquette dying. When “Where Does the Good Go” by Tegan and Sara comes on, I immediately need a Meredith and Cristina inspired dance party in my life. If done right, adding music to a television episode can skyrocket the emotional levels within seconds. However, when done wrong (like Shonda learned in Season 11 of Grey’s Anatomy) it can ruin the entire tone of the show. The use of music in television shows is completely unappreciated and I am here, not only to try to change that, but also to demand them to do better.
I say this completely aware that I am late to the party but; I finally finished Big Little Lies! Though the storytelling, the cinematic beauty and the exemplary acting is at the forefront of this show I need to discuss the beautiful music that was within every single episode. They had me with “Cold Little Heart” by Michael Kiwanuka and they just about destroyed my heartstrings when they used “River” by Leon Bridges. Then they had Zoe Kravitz cover “Don’t” and my music-loving heart could hardly contain the emotions.
There is a fine line when using music within a scene; it can very easily go from adding to the scene to distracting and changing the tone completely. Grey’s Anatomy has mastered the skill (minus the Season 11 fluff), Sons of Anarchy had it right from the beginning, Scandal has also been pure perfection in the music department and This Is Us is starting to get the hang of it. Though music can’t easily fit into every television show, I do believe that there are many that underuse it completely.
Think of the melodramatic tunes that could be displayed within each Criminal Minds episode, think of the fun ballads that The Mindy Project could use and the lack of emotional music on the new show 13 Reasons Why is incredibly disappointing. I can see how using music in each episode could seem overwhelming; how do you pick the right tune? How do you make sure that you don’t take away from the great writing of the show?
Movies have been doing it for years though and I think it’s about time that Television hops on board this musical train. Big Little Lies was impactful; it shook me to my core and by the end of the Season (which I finished in two days – don’t judge me) I found myself looking up every single song and adding them to my playlists.
So maybe it’s my love for music that demands a merge between my two biggest loves: music and television, but am I crazy to believe that there is always room to make us feel more?
Ps. I’ve heard rumors that there may be a Season 2 of the show and to that I say: Why must Hollywood ruin everything? The first season was perfection and the end didn’t leave us wanting more. It was a wonderful mini-series. DO NOT RUIN IT WITH A SECOND SEASON.
What do you think? Did you watch Big Little Lies?
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