Let Genre TV Use Modern Music

1899 When willow Both were released in the last few months of 2022, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the similarities end there. The two shows are vastly different in tone, style and appearance. 1899 A dramatic period piece turned sci-fi thriller, it’s full of surreal visuals and vague mysteries about the nature of the steamship on which the show takes place and the people who live there. willow is the sequel to the 1988 film of the same name and follows the next generation of heroes in a fantasy world filled with colorful magic, evil monsters and epic sword fights. But both of these shows have one thing in common. That’s what haunts people with the choice of music to play in the credits.

Both shows have decided to feature contemporary music as the credits roll rather than orchestral or more specific period pieces. willow When 1899the mostly pop-rock song slowly builds up in the background of the episode’s final scene before the credits play. However, the music was a deliberate decision on the part of the show’s creators and was clearly intended to achieve a thematic or aesthetic goal. , it is reductive and unhelpful to use more contemporary music in genre shows such as: 1899 When willow frankly.

‘1899’ and ‘Willow’ aren’t the only TV shows in the Hot Water genre

In August 2022, Amazon will Lord of the Ring Prequel, ring of powerThe trailer featured the song “Breath” by the British music group Ex Machinean ethereal electronic song that is very different from the sound Howard Shore Founded for Middle-earth peter jackson’00s movie trilogy. Many fans took issue with this music choice, claiming it was thematically unsuitable for the adaptation. JRR Tolkiensan’s work. The exact complaints varied, with some claiming the lyrics were too modern and clashed with Tolkien’s philosophy, while others simply felt they didn’t fit Middle-earth. The show itself didn’t feature the song (or contemporary music for that matter) used in the trailer, but many people were really annoyed by the song’s presence in the trailer alone.

Not that people are totally against using contemporary music in genre television (or movies!), despite the historical or fantastical setting. Umbrella Academy‘s biggest draw is its eclectic soundtrack, featuring a wide variety of music spanning decades.of guardian of the galaxy The film skillfully uses classic ’70s pop hits as a diegetic soundtrack and as world-building elements that influence the characters on an emotional level.To be fair, both of these are stories that exist in a world like ours (at least to some extent) and probably explain the lack of pushback. knight’s tale, used deliberately anachronistic musical cues to essentially turn a film about a medieval squire’s quest to become a knight into a reskinned high school sports film.If all this is successful, why something like ring of power Does the trailer seem to bother people that much?

Why do people object to modern music on genre television?

Much of this problem stems from preconceived notions about what genres of TV shows should be, especially those in fantasy worlds and historical settings. Serious fantasy stories are expected to maintain an epic tone. Lord of the Ring Also John Powellexcellent soundtrack of how to train a dragon). Much of modern fantasy has its thematic and aesthetic roots in Tolkien’s work, so fans of the genre expect the same level of grandeur in contemporary works (especially direct adaptations of Tolkien). case). ring of power). More comedic fantasy and historical fiction often deviate from this expectation ( knight’s tale), but those who attempt to present themselves with some seriousness are expected to fit the mold, which means there is no contemporary music.

Related: New ‘Willow’ documentary takes fans ‘behind the magic’ of Disney+ series

The main reason for this is immersion. When you invest in this alternate, fantastical or historical world that is different from ours, hearing a song you’ve heard dozens of times reminds you of the real world you’re trying to leave behind. For some people, this is a deal breaker. They’re plucked from the show and struggle to maintain their investment. knight’s tale open in queen‘s iconic tune, “We Will Rock You,” is sung by spectators at a medieval jousting tournament, and you instantly know what tone is being called for.But when Frodo and Sam start jamming alicia key“Foreign” on the way two towers If the last four hours of movies haven’t played an early ’00s pop hit, it’s a bewildering choice.

There’s a reason ‘1899’ and ‘Willow’ chose music

Image via Disney+

1899 I agree with that rule.outside of Elliott Sumner When Ben Frostthe cover of jefferson plane‘s “White Rabbit”, its musical choices are limited to rock and pop songs from the 60’s to 80’s, played as a credits roll. They clash with the dark and brooding style of the episode itself, but there’s an argument that it doesn’t really matter when the episode ends, and is already partially kicked out of the world of the show. , 1899‘s credit selection.Songs were chosen to reflect the events and themes present in each episode (including the finale) Hilarious Use of David Bowie‘Starman’). Not only that, but the sense of anachronism is intentional. The choice to feature contemporary music is a sure precursor to the reveals of the final few episodes.

willow It is not limited to using contemporary music during the credits. A modern song flows in the middle of 3 episodes out of 8 episodes.Unfortunately willow doesn’t break the credit pattern until episode 5, so if you’ve been obsessed with separating the show from the credits, it could come as a nasty shock. But even when the music choices are inconsistent and not theme-specific, 1899, they’re still there for a reason.contemporary music in willow It highlights the difference between the new younger protagonist and the older protagonist from the original film. Like this new cast of characters, willow Much more energetic and fast-paced than other recent fantasy series, and the music choices reflect that.

Our expectations of fantasy and historical TV shows are unnecessarily restrictive. It doesn’t make sense. 1899 Even if you use such music to great effect, willow I often struggle to justify every needle drop. Let other shows follow in their footsteps, blending modern musical sensibilities with fantastical and historical language. .

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