Music and TVLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 11:36PM EDT
HBO's Succession score is one of the show's biggest characters
Nicholas Britell, who is in charge of Succession's score, is “more than just a composer," says executive producer Adam McKay. That's because Brittell was once a very successful currency trader. Thanks to his background, Britell has created a score that is so essential it feels like another lead character. ALSO: The pros and cons of Succession.
Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 11:36PM EDT
The Handmaid's Tale sabotaged itself with its Season 2 finale song choice
The song choice for the Season 2 finale closing credits sequence "is the show’s worst music cue, and ... it sabotages what had been a relentlessly dire season in which unyielding oppression seemed to be a harsh lesson that was also precisely the point," says Kathryn VanArendonk. The song choice was "hilariously unsubtle," she says, adding that the song "attempts to build a new character out of June in the short space of a musical hook, reversing everything we knew about who she is and what she wants." She adds: "The Handmaid’s Tale has a mixed record of music choices. Some of its needle drops feel almost unbearably on the nose, in a way that can come off as either too much or exactly the right amount of painful."
- Here are some Handmaid's Tale scenes we've earned the right to see
- The Handmaid's Tale needs to swing big in Season 3
- Nine burning questions for Season 3
- Executive producer Warren Littlefield: "I think we're ready to hit the next dimension — and that's one where I think there's a sense of June as a warrior and rising"
Posted Thursday 6/07/18 at 12:59AM EDT
TV shows need to quit with the solemn musical sequences: "I’m here to watch a show, not listen to your Spotify favorites"
"I cannot watch any TV show anymore without having to sit through a music video no one asked for," says Drew Magary, pointing as his prime example the two solemn extended montages on The Americans series finale. "This is horsesh*t," he says. "I’m here to watch a show, not listen to your Spotify favorites. Television shows have been burning airtime for YEARS now by overstuffing episodes with endless, maudlin sequences set to the Coldplay imitator of your choice," like Snow Patrol. Magary adds: "I say this as someone who enjoys music. Why, sometimes I even enjoy music and television together. But when you allocate a significant portion of your show to a solemn dirge from some coffeehouse gremlin, it starts to feel like a very big crutch. Even worse, it’s wholly unnecessary for a drama like The Americans, which already does such a good job establishing suspense and unease on its own. The music, which is meant to raise the emotional stakes, often ends up taking me out of the story instead."
Posted Thursday 6/07/18 at 12:59AM EDT
From Andy Cohen to Kat Dennings: Here are 31 celebrities you might have forgotten were on Sex and the City
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Matthew Morrison and Timothy Olyphant also made cameos on the HBO comedy. ALSO: Looking back at SATC's perfectly corny music.
Posted Thursday 5/31/18 at 1:46PM EDT
Why The Americans' use of a Dire Straits song was perfect for the series finale
The song "Brothers in Arms" is an "elegiac slow burn, of the kind you might expect to close an episode rather than carry its middle section," says Sam Adams. "(Indeed, that’s exactly how it was used in The West Wing’s 'Two Cathedrals,' which found President Jed Bartlet facing storms both literal and metaphorical with a smile on his face.) But The Americans’ home stretch was a tribute to the power, and sometimes the frustration, of taking it slow, letting conflicts simmer like the unresolved organ chords and thundering rumbles that fade in on the soundtrack as Philip, Elizabeth, and Paige face what is left of the rest of their lives. Although it was released at a time when the threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union—as chronicled in Season 4’s 'The Day After'—still seemed acute, 'Brothers in Arms' is steeped in sorrow instead of anxiety, sung from the perspective of an old soldier who’s come to the end of a war he wishes he’d never had to fight."
- The Americans avoided the Happy Days "Chuck Cunningham Syndrome" with its treatment of Henry Jennings
- What should Keri Russell do next? How about a Ryan Murphy or Shonda Rhimes show?
- A tribute to the best, sexiest and dorkiest Americans disguises
- The Americans finale was elegant, potent and unforgettable
- It's a Top 10 series finale because of how it "thoroughly and almost radically it puts a bow on the series’ central preoccupation: the Jennings marriage"
Posted Monday 5/07/18 at 5:09PM EDT
Prestige TV keeps co-opting and repurposing pop music
Westworld and The Handmaid’s Tale are the latest offenders, says Rob Harvilla. "What’s frustrating is that as we’re bombarded with more and more allegedly top-tier shows, they’re forced to bombard us with more and more bygone musical splendor, all clamoring for the right combination of sentimental nostalgia and modern internet-breaking audacity. It’s an arms race we are all bound to lose," he says. "There is simply too much TV dredging up too much of the music we love in a usually vain quest to steal some of that love for itself. The results can be appalling, sometimes intentionally so."
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Wild Wild Country is coming out with a soundtrack: Meet the music supervisor
Chris Swanson landed the music supervisor gig after sending the Way brothers a fan note, but he only had $100,000 to work with. "They told me they wanted an 'American West' kind of 'Cowboy Narrator' vibe for the music since the series was named after a Bill Callahan song, and Bill kind of embodied that," he says.
Posted Monday 4/16/18 at 11:31PM EDT
Beyoncé's Coachella performance wouldn't have been as special as a regular TV broadcast
As a TV critic, Robert Lloyd saw Beyoncé's Coachella performance as something on par with a Super Bowl halftime performance or an Olympic opening ceremony. "Had this been an ordinary television broadcast, commercials would have preceded it for months; billboards would have told you when and where to tune in. You would have had to cover your ears and eyes in order not to know it was happening," he says. Instead, viewers watching the livestream were treated to "very much an emotional, visceral, virtually communal experience," he says, adding: "As it is, they will be watching Saturday's performance in 5,000 years if anyone is around to watch it and eyes are still a thing. But seeing it in real time, even if not in the real space, mattered. Far from the event, there was still a sense of occasion, of a shared moment in a shared space — and much of this had to do with the quality of the camerawork and the intelligence of the direction."
Posted Saturday 4/14/18 at 12:07AM EDT
Live music is thriving on TV, from daytime to primetime to late-night
James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke" has helped promote music, but so is ideas like Conan having on Luis Fonsi to perform "Despacito," which has garnered 28 million views. “At the time, the idea of doing a Spanish pop song on our show seemed insane, but Conan likes taking chances," says Conan music booker Rosie Hershkovitz, adding that Conan O'Brien responded to the idea saying: “I’m about building bridges, not walls.”
Posted Thursday 3/29/18 at 8:36PM EDT
Why does The Americans rely so much on Peter Gabriel's music?
"The Americans has used his music so often, and in such heightened moments, that the sound of his voice functions like an alarm the show is sounding to make sure we pay attention," says Jen Chaney. ALSO: Will Holly Taylor quit acting when she's done with The Americans?
Posted Thursday 3/15/18 at 9:38PM EDT
For Atlanta's music supervisors, "there are no rules"
Music supervisors Jen Malone and Fam Udeorji say their job is highly collaborative, since the show's writers put some of the music in the script. "When we first started working on Atlanta the whole thing was, 'Let’s make this as punk as possible. We don’t care if we get canceled,'" says Udeorji. "And I think that applies to the music, because who are we trying to prove ourselves to? Really, nobody."
Posted Wednesday 2/28/18 at 10:47PM EST
Why isn't Murphy Brown available for streaming?
Blame ownership issues and music rights, which have delayed the streaming and DVD release of other classic TV shows.
Posted Thursday 2/22/18 at 3:48AM EST
The National's frontman is making a TV show about himself
“We’re hoping it’s a comedy!” singer Matt Berninger says of his TV show plans, without revealing further details. “It’s something we’ve been cooking for a while.”
Posted Monday 2/12/18 at 8:22PM EST
Black Mirror's "Hang the DJ" songs by Sigur Rós and Alex Somers get a soundtrack release
The Season 4 episode songs will be available on vinyl and CD.
Posted Tuesday 2/06/18 at 2:36AM EST
Bruno Mars urges NFL to celebrate hip-hop at next year's Super Bowl halftime in Atlanta
“@NFL you have the opportunity to celebrate incredible Hip Hop Artist from Atlanta Next year,” tweeted the Grammy-winning musician, who performed at the Super Bowl halftimes in 2014 and 2016. “Outkast. T.I Gucci, lil jon, Jeezy, Jermaine Dupri just to name a few. it would be the best party Tv has ever seen!” he tweeted. Mars also offered to curate the show, joking that “I’ll only charge like a billion.” He added: “all jokes aside please lets make this happen.”