Saturday, April 01, 2006

Something I really, really HATE about TV

Twinkly music.

When you've got a show (usually an hourlong) and you want to indicate that something ZANY and LIGHTHEARTED is happening, you often turn to twinkly music. The three shows that are the biggest offenders are The O.C., Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. I used to like the first two, and I still really like Grey's.

But I don't like the music.

I sort of find the music insulting as a viewer. It's as though the shows are worried I won't get that something FUNNY is happening unless they play bouncy, oddly twee music to get me on that wavelength. But I'm smart, dammit. I KNOW when something is funny.

This is particularly grating on Grey's, where it doesn't really feel like the music belongs in the show's milieu. It's set in a HOSPITAL for goodness sakes. I've been to hospitals. They do not engender bouncy music!

There are LOTS of quirky shows that use music well. Gilmore Girls has its trademark "la la" girl. Northern Exposure had that great, great blend of styles of music from all over. Freaks and Geeks never needed the bounce.

So lose the chirpy strings, producers. Let us laugh on our own.


Chopped Nuts said...

Dream sequences get on my nerves. The main problem with them is that they're shot so you know they're not really happening, or they give information that couldn't possibly match up with the story so far.

Ninety-nine percent of the time they don't forward the plot, and character-wise they keep you in the same place that the character has already reached, so the story as a whole isn't advanced either.

Since you know it's a dream sequence they're not scary (except for something that might jump out and startle you).

There are of course exceptions (the dream at the end of "Carrie" is diggedy-dang creepy), but for the most part they seem to serve the same purpose as your more hollow action sequences - take up space in a script.

Todd VanDerWerff said...

I agree that dream sequences can get annoying, but dang if I can't think of one that I outright disliked at the moment. The Sopranos always seems to do dream sequences pretty well, and that dream episode of Buffy was one of the series' highlights, I thought.

Chopped Nuts said...

Taking Buffy as an example though, look at all those dream-sequences that showed Buffy's fear of Angel dying. We already knew from events in the shows that he was in danger and that Buffy was anxious about it, so the dreams didn't move us along anywhere.

If dreams are the base of the plot of the story though, like that Buffy ep, then yup, you can really get at something about the characters (like making their worst fears come true). :)