When we talk about the golden age of television almost everyone thinks of lavish productions, typical of the best movies, scripts with more hook than Captain Hook and performances that make you cry. But unfortunately, many people do not notice their huge, tremendous soundtracks. Maybe because your television is not up to the circumstances. And it is a pity, because the series of today have little to do with this aspect with which we grew up.
As with many actors, today it is no wonder that the most famous composers in Hollywood have turned their efforts to television productions. The result is much more immersive series, with authentic acoustic atmospheres that acquire a role sometimes protagonist. To the point that there are series that deserve a second viewing just to enjoy their music better. Let’s review some of them.
Game of Thrones
If we are going to talk about series with soundtracks for the memory, we can only start with the Game of Thrones. Ramin Djawadi signs an authentic music as explosive and forceful as the adaptation of the novels of JRR Martin, but with the ability to alternate between the drama of Truth, the episode The Dragon and the Wolf and the delicacy of The Light of the Seven. An authentic jewel that has remained much more constant than the argument itself.
Michael Giacchino is a privileged composer. Possibly the reincarnation of a Michael Williams still alive. His compositions are marked by his profound Wagnerian influences, to the point that it is not surprising that he has been chosen to put music to the latest films of Star Wars and Jurassic Park. He was born for it. And yet, they are the most emotional and slow pieces where it really shines. And Lost gave him to show off.
Although it is not the most modern series on this list (quite the opposite), Lost deserves a space of its own for the delicacy of pieces like Life and Death or Looking Glass Half Full, whose last seconds lead us to one of the most dramatic episodes that remember (no, that was not Penny’s boat). A wonder that requires a good quality sound equipment to enjoy it as it deserves.
The Tale of the Maid
The Story of the Maid is one of the most recent series of this compilation and also one of the most interesting from the musical point of view. His soundtrack does not seek protagonism, but rather contributes to closing a heavy, oppressive and disturbing atmosphere like that of the theocratic Gilead , not without dispensing small moments of clarity to highlight the hopes of the protagonist.
Special mention deserves licensed songs, sometimes disturbingly cheerful and with a marked pop character. Partly as a counterpoint to the series’ own universe, partly as a reminder of the past. It is not a “simple” soundtrack to listen to, but it is very effective.
Another soundtrack where the atmosphere is everything. The best dramatic series of spies in the history of television, ancient and modern, came to an end only recently, but it leaves us a score that combines a fantastic composition work by Nathan Barr (very seasoned in the horror genre ) with songs of the 80s. Very appropriate, since the argument of The Americans tells the story of two Soviet spies camouflaged in the United States by Ronald Reagan as an exemplary American family , children, house with an open kitchen and Chevrolet Camaro included.
Even if it is not the most memorable soundtrack of all, Barr has done a very good job contributing to the tension and the atmosphere of a series that for six seasons has left many nails on the verge of disappearance. And it definitely improves with each viewing.
Possibly the least known series in Spain. And also one of the most fun. Produced by Netflix, Glow tells the story of the Beautiful Ladies of Wrestling , a promotion / troupé of wrestlers who in the 80s wanted to endorse that “girls are warriors”.
Absolutely hilarious, this series is strongly supported not in original compositions, but in a careful work of selecting licensed songs that include songs like Cherry Pie (Warrant), Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins) and Rock You Like a Hurricane (Scorpions). Basically the fantasy of every rocker and / or metalhead with a taste for the classic, although there are also moments (momentazos) for Men at Work, Toto, Genesis and even Madonna. A band band that smells like lacquer (lots of lacquer) and gym socks.
Max Richter is not a particularly well known composer outside of amateur circles. Partly because this conductor and composer has focused his work on German productions, which has limited his international reach a little. With Leftovers he made himself known throughout the world by creating an original soundtrack as oppressive, exasperating and occasionally deranged as the protagonists of the series , marked mentally and spiritually by the inexplicable disappearance of 2% of the world’s population.
Richter’s work is profoundly orchestral and varied. There is delicacy even in the most populated moments of instruments. It is one of those soundtracks that could really be heard in an audience even if you did not know the series. A delight for the ears that asks to turn our living room into a concert hall.
Ramin Djawadi’s second work on this list is possibly the most eclectic of all. And one of the most interesting. Freed from the limitations of the Game of Thrones universe, Djawadi combines his usual mettle with reinterpretations of pop and rock songs famous in orchestral key that only appear in the most spectacular moments of each episode. This is how we find an incredible version of Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana used masterfully during the “awakening” of Akecheta.
A soundtrack created by an authentic virtuoso, which makes you want to get up and applaud .
The importance of having a sound up to the circumstances
All this being said, not all the series that we have reviewed are equally appreciated in all their dimensions. And the problem is on TV. As dark productions by their very nature as The Americans or intense colors as Lost make the most of OLED panels, their soundtracks can not be fully appreciated without a good sound system. The lack of clarity avoids hearing the finer details and reduces the genuinely orchestral dimension of many subjects.
For this reason the authentic seriéfilos, and not only the music lovers, should worry about having a television with good acoustic performance. The problem is that most manufacturers have focused lately on creating thin TVs to potentially negative extremes, which affects the cameras and the resonance of the speakers themselves.
Ideally, and since not everyone can install a full surround equipment, a well-thought-out TV should have a wide, rounded acoustic performance (away from the usual canned sound) and capable of covering the maximum possible acoustic range. And since many modern series combine licensed pop music with rather classical instruments, it should also have a neutral character in its sound profile.
In the case of Philips, who understands very well the fact that sound is half the experience, their most advanced OLED television pampers fans of the best music with a team signed by the British specialist Bowers & Wilkins. It is a set 2.1 discreetly integrated into the chassis itself that includes two tweeters with titanium dome, two intermediate glass fiber loudspeakers and a generous but balanced double radiator passive woofer and 50 watts of power.
These are some features of an independent audio equipment, but discreetly camouflaged on the television itself. This prevents the installation of multiple independent loudspeakers and the excessive use of cables. Because a trip going for popcorn can ruin an episode as much or more as the worst spoiler.