Arabian (arabian) wrote,

A sign of bad TV writing in otherwise good shows ...

You know, I used to be emotionally effected when an episode of a good TV show ended with a strong song that fit the mood. A good example is "Time" at the end of the S1 Joan of Arcadia episode "Jump." It enhanced the stellar episode, the strength and emotion of it and it didn't play under any dialogue, the show instead used the music to cap it all, enhancing the visuals onscreen. Now, this wasn't a thing they did often and so it had a power that still gets to me today. On the other hand, nowadays, show after show after show uses emo songs to bring emotion and resonance to their final scenes, more often than not playing the songs under dialogue.

This, to me, is a weakness of writing when it's used time and time again because it then becomes a crutch. A writer shouldn't need to rely on someone else's words, voice or music to relay the emotion of their scene. That's THEIR job! And yet, shows keep on doing it as if that's the only way they know how to wring emotion from their audience. Grey's Anatomy and Rescue Me are really big offenders -- of the shows I watch, the worst. Also, Nip/Tuck and House have begun to use it more than necessary. Of all the new shows I've watched so far (Studio60, Jericho, Men in Trees, Justice, Shark, Six Degrees, Standoff), I believe that Studio60 and Justice are the only ones who haven't used this device.

Frankly, because of the proliferation, such episode closers aren't really effecting me all that much anymore because I'm used to it, it's so same old, same old. (And it doesn't help that so many shows seem to regurgitate the same songs). I just am thankful that Veronica Mars rarely goes there. Yes, they use a lot of songs in the episodes, but they are mostly background music used to enhance, not create, the emotion in the scene. Even those episodes that have ended with songs, use it not as a crutch to wring emotion from viewers, ie. playing under what is meant to be deep and meaningful dialogue, but rather to enhance the visuals or a few lines of dialogue. It isn't used the way the above shows I referenced do. The music on VM is used in the right way to enhance the emotion in the scene, not create or overpower it so that you end the episode remembering the dialogue (if a song plays under dialogue -- which happens rarely), the scene and not just the song.

Anyhoo, after watching two new shows tonight and having both end on emo songs to sell their final, emotional moments, I just needed to vent.
Tags: joan of arcadia, rant, tv, veronica mars

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