It seems like many people have rediscovered their love for Michael Giachinno after his recent successful directorial debut with Marvel’s television special Werewolf By Night. Prior to that, he was best known for creating unforgettable soundtracks for multiple iconic TV series like Lost, Alias, and Fringe.
Music in the television world is just as important as in the cinema. More often than not great soundtrack establishes a crucial emotional connection between the long-form material and the audience. Reddit users are weighing in on which TV series unanimously deserve a gold medal for their soundtracks.
Lost is a unique piece of television that provides its audience with a philosophical and spiritual experience, redefining the ideas of fate, belief, destiny, and second chances. All these themes are solidified on screen with the help of the iconic score by Michael Giacchino.
Every single character’s journey on a mystical island is expressed through music, which proves the point made by teddyburge: “LOST would only be half the show it was without Giacchino’s score.” Tracks like “Life and Death,” “The Constant,” and “Moving on” create an eternal bond with the show and its universal themes.
A night out at the Bronze is probably a dream fantasy for every Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan out there. Despite being a perfect place for vampires to find young drunk victims, the Bronze was, according to articulate Cordelia, “the only club worth going to” in Sunnydale. It hosted tons of cool bands throughout its functioning up until it was burnt to the ground following the Battle at the Hellmouth.
Redditor Historical-Meal-5525 gets specific on his favorite music that was featured on the show: “I think Buffy has had some great bands and tunes on it, Cibo Matto, The Sundays, Aimee Mann, The Cure etc.” Aside from indie rock bands, Buffy also used memorable scored pieces of music like Angel and Buffy’s love theme “Close your eyes” composed by Christophe Beck.
A criminally underrated HBO drama The Leftovers, created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, is deemed by many who have seen it a rare piece of television art, largely due to its hard-hitting hauntingly beautiful score by Max Richter.
The soundtrack from The Leftovers doesn’t just hit its listener, it soccer-punches him in the gut, pulling out the deepest emotions inside, whether it’s the “Main Title Theme” or “The Departure.” Redditor captain_nibble_bits also notes that certain compositions are incredibly moving even out of context: “Tracks like ‘She remembers’ are so strong it could make me sentimental even if you put it on an instructional clip about changing a diaper!”
The bell rings, which means the iconic theme song “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is on. By that point, the audience is fully transported to the early 20th-century activities of the Peaky Blinders street gang.
But it’s not just Nick Cave’s songs that set the tone for the show. Redditor Historical-Meal-5525 says that Peaky Blinders generally “really manage to pick the right vibe” by authentically adapting contemporary songs to the historical setting of the story.
Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” has become a global hit this year thanks to Stranger Things, but it wasn’t the first one to incorporate this particular track into the storyline of a TV episode. Placebo’s version of “Running Up That Hill” plays in the premiere of season 4 of The O.C. perfectly capturing the impact of Marissa’s death on her mother Julie Cooper and Ryan.
Redditor fari121106 even goes as far as to say the Fox teen drama utilized music better than Netflix: “And as much as I like stranger things, the song has never been used as well in TV as the O.C… the placebo cover was just perfect.” The show gave exposure to bands like Rooney, Youth Group, The Killers, and many more.
Almost no other show from the early 2000s captures teenage angst and discontent better than One Tree Hill with its cool indie-rock scenery. Redditor tcoh1s highlighted the central importance of music selection in the series: “It may be the most important aspect of the show for me. Almost as important as being another character in a way.”
Not only did One Tree Hill utilize a lot of great songs like the iconic title theme “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw, “Kill” by Jimmy Eat World and “Shoot Your Gun” by 22-20s, but also, according to creator Schwahn, each episode of the show got its name after a song, a band or an album.
Even though Game of Thrones didn’t go out on the best note with season 8, no one can deny the show’s incredible consistency of production, direction, and music score which was composed in its entirety by Iranian-German musician Ramin Djawadi.
The main title theme to Game of Thrones has become so iconic that it was used again for the title sequence of the new HBO series House of the Dragon. The soundtrack plays a central role in constructing the most crucial scenes on the show as jjdynasty notes: “The Light of the Seven sequence is one of the things you wish you could experience for the first time again. “
Very few sitcoms on television are associated with memorable soundtracks, but How I Met Your Mother is the rare exception. Modern indie songs that pop up on the show reinforce a sense of hope for the future and intertwine perfectly with themes like destiny, love, and friendship.
How I Met Your Mother featured some iconic original songs like Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit by Neil Patrick Harris, and also utilized heartbreaking tracks like Band of Horses’ “The Funeral” in season 8 which foreshadowed Tracy’s unjustified death. Redditor big _beats points out another great song used for a pivotal moment on the show: “I really like This Modern Love used in S1 E22. Hits home when Ted finds Marshall on the front step.”
The end of a Mad Men episode is not the end of a Mad Men episode without a significant song that “will always mirror the main theme of the episode’s plot superbly”, as one of the deleted users on Reddit points out in a thread dedicated specifically to music on this AMC show.
Music was so important for the storytelling in Mad Men that creator Matthew Weiner even went as far as spending $250,000 on the track “Tomorrow never knows” by The Beatles (per Rolling Stone). The song was used in season 5, episode 8 to highlight, once again, that the mysterious Don Draper is not the guy who’s ready to “relax and flow down stream.”
Suits was a popular 2011 legal drama set in New York that had attractive attorneys in beautiful suits, engaging legal cases, and an upbeat modern soundtrack. The selection of music was very diverse, as Lil-Freshie states on Reddit: “Though they do sometimes use mainstream music, I really love how they use music most people don’t know about.”
Especially notable tracks are the title theme Greenback Boogie by Ima Robot and season 2, episode 1 “Smoke And Mirrors” by Gotye which perfectly sums up the tragedy of Mike Ross’s character with its lyrics.
Next: 10 Movies Where The Soundtrack Is A Character