[identity profile] cabaretlights.livejournal.com

Schaun Tozer

: Okay, okay, first things first: let's share the EXCITEMENT!!
I fully intended to post the amazing theme to Portlandia -- Washed Out's "Feel It All Around" -- and discuss my giddy bliss every time the introductory sketch cuts abruptly to this song, with the accompanying shots of Portland. But, just to be sure I wasn't skimping on another theme, I decided to check the DVD shelves. Lost? Nah. A tuneless crescendo is not that musically interesting. Stargate Universe? Does that show even have a theme? -- and so on. Until, near the end of the row, Intelligence .

Intelligence is one of those things I'd never have watched without prior actor obsession knowledge -- in this case, the guilty pleasure love of my life, Matt Frewer. As is not often the case, however, it ended up actually being good. Intelligence (a gritty take on the corruption of both Vancouver's drug market and law enforcement) is a fucking good show. But, like most quality Canadian TV (I'm looking at you, This Is Wonderland) -- it got canceled before its time; 2 seasons and a cliffhanger ending and that's all they wrote.

Flashback to 2008/2009, when I got into the show, and INSTANTLY fell in love with the theme. And, because that was the case back in the day, try as I might, I could not for the life of me figure out the name or artist. No clue. No one could help. It was an obscure piece that no message board could get their hands on, and I couldn't find the soundtrack to buy. So, those strange sitar-y chords were sadly relegated to the back of my musical memory ---

UNTIL THIS WEEK, when, upon happening on those seasons, I remember how much I'd loved the theme -- how perfect it had been, just like Portlandia's, every time it graced the opening and closing credits -- and I said to myself "FORGET INDIE DREAMPOP, let's see if we can find Canadian eastern-influenced instrumentals!" And lo & behold, ITUNES NOW ACTUALLY FUCKING HAS THE SOUNDTRACK. My joy, my joy, my excitement!!

A good TV theme for a good TV show is kinda just that, though -- not just a flash of recognition, of familiar ground, but of excitement. The show is about to start; you know these characters, you may even know the situations in which they're about to get, but if you feel connected -- well, like Fringe -- when you hear those notes, your heart skips and beats faster and you start grinning or even crying depending how long it's been since you've seen an episode and how much it meant the last time you did and then BOOM the music stops & the show starts and it hasn't even been long enough for you.

This is all contingent on feeling emotionally connected to TV, though -- on finding it, in some ways, a place to call home. And the best shows really do become home, in their way, and the theme is like the doorbell: you don't quite know who's on the other side, but you know it's your guest, and will be experienced on your terms (and maybe the guest takes over your house for awhile...but that's for another post). The theme itself is a harbinger of emotion, of possibility, and "Followed" captures that -- and the mood of the show it's announcing -- perfectly.


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March 2014

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