Every week, IndieWire asks a baddest scattering of TV critics two questions and publishes the after-effects on Tuesday. (The acknowledgment to the second, “What is the best appearance currently on TV?” can be begin at the end of this post.)
This week’s question: What is the best TV affair song for a accepted show that aired in 2016?
If we’re talking above-mentioned affair songs of shows that aired in 2016, again the accessible best for me is “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” whose blue ’70s cop appearance riff generally provides the bigger joy I get out of my examination week, abnormally aback commutual with all those abundant visuals (Gina dancing, Charles abasing himself). In agreement of affair songs cast new to this year, I go with one that I absolutely had to accomplish an accomplishment to watch with anniversary episode: “Luke Cage.” Addition ’70s throwback, it altogether sets the affection for aggregate that follows, alike admitting the appellation arrangement itself (like the ones for Netflix’s added Marvel shows) would be appealing annoying after it. Netflix’s interface skips accomplished the affair songs of episodes that don’t accept a pre-credits sequence, so as I binged my way through after “Luke Cage” episodes, I begin myself absolutely hitting rewind so I could apprehend all those august strings and horns appear calm addition time.
If I adulation a show, from “Game of Thrones” to “The Abundant British Bake Off,” the aboriginal few addendum of the affair are music to my ears, because I apperceive what’s coming. But I feel as if an absolute “theme song” needs words, and there aren’t that abounding of those today. The accessible best is “The Big Bang Theory,” and yes, I sing forth (and in actuality looked up the words to accomplish abiding I got the “built a wall, we congenital the pyramids” allotment right). Because it’s not original, though, it can’t absolutely top the alarming earworm that is the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” affair song. All right, now it’s in my head. The affair is alive, dammit.
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There can be alone one aces for the best affair song of the year. I speak, of course, of Carly Rae Jepsen’s absolute reimagining of the “Full House” affair song, “Everywhere You Look,” for that series’ aftereffect “Fuller House.” From her vocalizations meant to almost the aboriginal theme’s aperture faux-sax to her sly adjournment of “evenin’ TV,” Jepsen takes an American accepted and puts her own brand on it. The abundant American songbook has resisted amplification for decades now, but Jepsen makes a case for “Everywhere You Look” demography its abode alongside the abstract of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. Those tears in your eye you’ll feel at the end of this affair aren’t aloof the bit-by-bit existential anguish at the angle that you, like Kimmy Gibbler, will never escape the tendrils of the “Full House” universe, no. Carly Rae Jepsen will accept becoming those tears. (What? Somebody had to not address about “Stranger Things”!)
I anticipate the mark of a abundant affair song is one you don’t anytime appetite to use as your bite breach (or feel the appetite to FF past). Admitting the trend of the aftermost few years has been branch appear beneath intros, some of the longest ones abide the best. I’ve consistently been fractional to “Outlander” and “Game of Thrones’” epics for alteration with the capacity of the appearance (musically, in “Outlanders’s” case, and visually for “Game of Thrones”), as as able-bodied “Poldark’s” across-the-board symphonic acme that puts admirers in the absolute affection for the affair and ball to come.
But ultimately I accept to accept “Rectify’s” “Bowsprit” as the best of the best. Like the appearance itself, it’s pared down, minimalistic, and backward while additionally actuality unique, acutely emotional, and clearly southern. Hearing the aboriginal plucked strings of “Bowsprit,” by the Texas accumulation Balmorhea, anon transports me into the show’s apple in a way that is hopeful, wistful, and aloof in a beautifully breakable way.
Whether it’s absolutely on TV or not, the best affair song is, of course, The CW’s “Farmer Wants a Wife.” It may (or may not) be the Golden Age of TV, but it’s absolutely not the Golden Age of TV Capacity and it’s aloof a few outliers whose acclaim sequences I watch every week, be it the agog horns of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” the plot-teasing bluff of “Game of Thrones” or the addictive alt-world accomplishment of “Westworld.” But I accept best bodies will acclaim those. So I’m activity with the paralleled synth blooping and blorping of Netflix’s “Stranger Things and AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire,” anniversary establishing the ’80s accent of the appearance and anniversary accompanied by abstraction basic red script. They’re basically the aforementioned affair song and credits and already you apprehend they’re echoes of anniversary other, you won’t be able to see one after cerebration of the added and there’s annihilation amiss with that.
These canicule arrangement shows rarely get added than a few confined of music (or a few clicks of a camera shutter), and in allegory exceptional cable and alive capacity assume interminable. (Regina Spektor’s “You’ve Got Time” is a accomplished song that’s an apt bout for “Orange Is the New Black,” but by the 13th alliteration over the advance of a weekend, it seems like torture.) And this year we were beggared of one of the acceptable ones aback “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” afflicted its tune. Still, there are a few standouts — “The Americans’” thematically absolute Russia-meets-America theme, “Stranger Things’” ’80s-evoking music, and “The Mindy Project’s” quack-quack-quackery. The best, though, is “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” — alike by the 13th episode, I’m still singing along. Dammit!
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
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If we’re actuality austere with the rules, again I’ll go with the adequately accessible best of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which alien a new, accomplished affair song — “Just a Girl in Love” — to alter a fan admired from Season 1. But if I’m accustomed to accept a song that absolutely came to represent its show, again Herizen Guardiola’s “Set Me Free” from “The Get Down” has got to be the pick. Netflix’s six-episode agreeable congenital Mylene’s disco-gospel alloy into an canticle for its characters as able-bodied as a way out for its two lovestruck protagonists, and no song this year — created for TV or blur — accepted as addictive alfresco the examination experience. “Set Me Free” broadcast the ability of a appearance in charge of a bigger audience. What bigger affair could you achievement for?
As a artefact of the ’90s, I grew up on affair songs and aperture credits, and it bums me out that they’ve collapsed to the wayside the accomplished decade so we can see Jennifer Garner abettor for Capital One. I adulation the capacity to a lot of shows — “Stranger Things’” addictive synth waves, “UnREAL’s” jarringly awesome tinkering — but if I’m activity to be accurate here, the best affair song is “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s” infectious, allotment earworm. Bring affair songs back, dammit!
“Halt And Catch Fire” — but I charge to accept headphones on. There’s such a auspiciously beating bang babble that happens aback the axle of ablaze splits the atramentous aboveboard into the Windows logo (apologies to the appellation designers for abbreviation their adumbration to such ample terms), but it’s absolutely absent on my TV’s speakers. I anticipate we’re declared to watch the addition arrangement like Cam would: At a computer, headphones bound to our ears, aggregate blaring, amateur hunched, the “Mission: Impossible” alarm exhausted counting bottomward to one approaching borderline or another.
There’s annihilation like the abstracted allure of the “BoJack Horseman” affair to get me in the spirit for our admired alternation of 2016. It somehow manages to abduction the show’s addictive apathy with aloof abundant activity in it to accumulate us watching. It’s a credits arrangement I watch every time (and I am awfully quick to alpha absence or muting them, abnormally while bingeing), and one that absolutely exemplifies aloof how appropriate this appearance absolutely is.
Mackenzie Davis, “Halt and Catch Fire”
Other contenders: “Younger” (1 vote), “Incorporated” (1 vote)
*In the case of streaming, the appearance charge accept premiered in the accomplished month.
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