These Are The TV Show Soundtracks You'll Never Get Out Of Your Head

Four must-listens, and one strong avoid-at-all-costs.

You know, for a long, long time the soundtrack to the average TV show was, at best, an afterthought: whacking some obvious song cues in for a romantic scene or a car chase, and then some contemporary hits of the day, maybe with someone we’ve been forced into including on the show.

It wasn’t until shows like The OC and Buffy came out with a strong niche-age audience that someone went “hey, let’s get someone with an actual idea about music to choose some songs to go in the ear-place of our viewers.”

And thus was the Musical Supervisor born, and now no show worth its tie-in media is without it. And it made career too. Think Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars’ and Grey’s Anatomy, or Sia’s ‘Breathe Me’ and Six Feet Under. Goddamn, those people are kingmakers.

And we live in a goddam golden age of good sounding shows, including the ones we’re about to get into.

Just to be clear, these are playlist-ready tunes rather than ones with amazing commissioned soundtracks. So not the stirring scores-made-for-the-actual-show (thanks for playing, Game of Thrones; goddamn you’re perfect, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein’s Stranger Things score).

The Genre Nailer: Glow

The jubilant eighties vibe of the show starts with the (sort of) theme song – ‘The Warrior’ by Scandal featuring Patti Smyth – and it would have been super easy to just pull out the standard pop hits as per the cues in Stranger Things.

It’s when they go deep, like pulling out Siouxie & the Banshees or Yazoo cuts that really deserve the chef’s kisses.

The Accidental History Lesson: This Is Us

When you’ve got a show that leaps between timelines it’s helpful (and easy!) to indicate where you are via musical references, but This Is Us just pulls them off so damn well.

One scene will have Cat Stevens or Stephen Stills, and then BANG! we’ve jumped forward and it’s the Cure or Jason Mraz or Inara George. It’s a TV show soundtrack as an education.

The Primer: Luke Cage

The Marvel series about the indestructible man kept him soundtracked with deep jazz cuts and modern soul, managing to evoke the Shaft comparisons without being beholden to them.

And sure, Wu Tang and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings work perfectly, but it was one of the quieter moments that really made clear just how inspired their music supervision was: pulling out Nina Simone’s version of the standard ‘Plain Gold Ring’.

The New Original Classics: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

With songs that jump from 80s synth pop to country to protest marches to slow jams to hip hop to everything in between Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s music was always its secret weapon even as the show got more convoluted.

But if you’ve ever thought “hey, what would Huey Lewis and the News sound like if they did more songs about being bisexual?” then yes, they’ve answered that question for you too.

You’re welcome.

The Worst: Riverdale

Sure, the show is turning into some sort of parody of a parody of itself, but just when you think “that’s it, I can’t even watch this show any more” they’ll suddenly drop some a goddamn awful cover of Duran Duran’s ‘Union Of The Snake’ or something which raises so many more questions than it answers.

The existence of the Pussycats should mean awesome pop tunage, as per every single other incarnation of them, but in this universe they do nothing but covers and they’re always ghastly.

Burn it to the ground and then burn the ashes just to be sure.

Who Is Definitely Not Going To Win The Bachelor: An Analysis

Experience truly is the greatest teacher.

So, who will not win The Bachelor? Be honest: in your heart of hearts, you already know.

It’s easy to forget that the show isn’t unfolding in real time before our very eyes, despite the azure skies and balmy evenings where one can lounge around in sleeveless gowns without hypothermia kicking in.

But yes, gentle reader, the die has already been cast. All the evictees have been evicted, The Bachelor has chosen his lady love, and we are merely watching a carefully-curated drama play out before our eyes.

And also, we’ve already established that the winner will almost certainly be a blonde woman because all the non-blondes bar one have been eliminated and, and mentioned previously, the remaining one doesn’t appear long for the show.

What…what’s going on?

So, get ready for some truth bombs such as…

Elly Won’t Win

Dash them hopes!

The entire point of setting up a favourite is to have their shock elimination be a huge shocking shock that shocks people shocked.

So it’s handy having everyone having conversations about how much the favourite she is because there is nothing less exciting than going “she’s going to win!” for weeks and then… her winning.


Abbie Also Won’t Win

Bum bum BAAAAA!

As we’ve mentioned before the “villain” of these shows tends to be the first person to correctly realise that this is a competition and start competing accordingly.

And Abbie drew the catty straw this series, playing a vital role in the several dramas in which people left the house for betraying Matt’s trust in various capacities.

But if Elly winning would be unsatisfying, it’s nowhere near as unsatisfying as if Abbie won when the audience have been carefully trained for hate her. They’d be booed in the street!

So who will not not win The Bachelor, then?

Eh, it’s probably Chelsie.

We all assume that, right?

Spider-Man Would've Had A Secret Venom Scene Had Marvel Not Said Nup

Will they both live in a future friendly neighbourhood?

It seems that the Sony versus Marvel rivalry has been bubbling along for a while as rumours are now emerging that Tom Holland filmed a Spidey cameo for Venom – the Tom Hardy Gets Possessed By An Alien Spider-Man Outfit movie – but the scene was reportedly nixed at Marvel’s insistence.

How Tom felt about the decision.

For those not entirely across their Spider-lore, Venom is a Spider-Man villain-slash-character of ambiguous moral standing which is owned by Sony.

And now, despite all the fervent wishes to the contrary, Spider-Man is back in the Sony fold and out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Disney (who owns Marvel these days) and Sony (who bought the rights to Spider-Man ages ago, back when the MCU wasn’t even a crazy fever dream in Kevin Feige’s scone) couldn’t agree on terms for future movies.

And poor little Tom Holland was stuck in the middle, weeping in a pile of webbing (we assume).

And this bitter rights battle is a sad thing for all of us that love the MCU, sure – but it might do Sony a power of good since Venom was the most wildly and unexpectedly successful use of a Marvel property they’ve had in a good long while, and a Spidey/V-bomb team up would be a smash.

And come on, who do you think would win in a Holland-vs-Hardy stoush? I mean, Tom has a dancer’s grace and all but it wouldn’t even be close, surely?

Now, at this point this is all speculation and rumour and delicious possibility for the next Venom film, which might be absolutely filled with Spiders-Men. Or maybe Disney/Marvel and Sony will sort out their differences and make nice, and Venom will have to… um, what does he do, exactly?

Time will tell. Time, and endless corporate copyright battles.

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