In the modern age of the TV drama (or dramadey in the case of one entry) it’s become common practice to punctuate dramatic moments with songs. The song takes over and there’s very little dialogue because the song is saying all there needs to be said. This technique gets overused, but, when used properly, the music, the acting and the moment create something magical.
No show has, in my opinion, ever done this better than the medical comedy, Scrubs. Most of the powerful moments in the show were punctuated by music. The same could be said of Grey’s Anatomy, but it’s almost become it’s own radio network. There are usually no less that six songs per episode, and it’s rarely intrusive and works with the show, which I honestly still watch at this point to find new bands. You’d never expect a biker drama to make this list, but Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy used it’s personal band, White Buffalo, and the vocal talents of the cast to create some heartbreaking finales including SPOILER WARNING, the very last bit of the show. Aaron Sorkin employs songs more sparingly in his shows, but when he does…man, do they pack a punch. I can’t listen to Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms” without picturing Bartlett walking through the rain toward that press conference. Then from it’s “gangstagrass” theme song to poignant ballads like “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”, the just finished Justified knew how to sparingly pack a punch with a tune.
I’m going to include some of my favorite musical moments from each show and just let them stand on their own. What shows did I leave off? Can you remember a moment where a song met a show and the two forever connected in your memory? Continue reading Top 5: TV Shows With Good Taste in Music→
Some of my favorite television shows of all-time take awhile to get into. Breaking Bad, The West Wing, even Game of Thrones have a lot of world-building to do and, while I can tell you exactly what the opening scene was to each, they didn’t immediately reach into my brain and addict me. These five shows, from the very first scene (which I have done my best to include; in the case of Justified, you get the whole pilot with my compliments) light you up. You want more; you want it now. Whether it’s Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) delivering the best monologue in TV history, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) having an old west shootout in very modern Miami, the chaos of ER and the plane crash of LOST, or Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) breaking a dog’s neck and the fourth wall. You wanted more, and that is skillful writing. Grab the viewer’s attention so completely within 3-5 minutes that you have them for the run of the series. These five did the job and then some.
I’ve been a huge Justified fan since it dropped one of the best pilots in TV history six years ago, but all good things…. F/X has released the first teaser for the sixth and final season of the exploits of US Marshal Raylan Givens and things are not looking good for him or his nemesis/best friend (depending on the moment) Boyd Crowder. Justified is back in January 2015 so you’ll have to hang on to find out more.
Let not the sands of time get in your lunch.
~Tony Hendra, “Deteriorata”
Killing Time history has been made. I am pleased and somewhat smugly proud to announce that we have had our first hit from the recalcitrant, elusive French Guiana. For those of you new to the site, French Guiana was the only country in South America not to visit the site and, having something of a geography obsession I wanted to color in that last bit of the map. Continue reading Killing Time – January 16, 2014→
One of the most unique and nuanced voices in American literature was silenced today. Author Elmore Leonard has passed away at 87 from complications from a stroke. Leonard’s works covered the genre spectrum from the Westerns that defined his early career to crime novels like Get Shorty and Rum Punch (made into the movie Jackie Brown). Both styles combined in his creation of the character, Raylan Givens. First appearing in Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole”, Givens went on to get several solo novels and is portrayed by Timothy Olyphant in F/X’s Justified. For those of us who loved his style and humor, he will be sorely missed. The written word lost a friend today.