I've found myself watching TV shows I would never watch if it weren't for the fact that I'm waiting to hear songs by friends and/or artist I play for. I'm happy for them that they are getting such great exposure, but I've noticed a trend I don't like one bit.
It seems the new trend in TV is to have a constant soundtrack running through most of the show/movie... and it's annoying. Music used to set the mood for drastic changes in the plot or lead into and out of acts... you know, like to the commercial. :-) Now it's used to coerce every subtle mood or compel the viewer to feel the exact emotion the writers are trying to convey. I'm sorry, but I always thought that's what actors were for.
It's like, "You must now feel melancholy." "You must now feel giddy." "You must now feel 30 percent confused, 30 percent heartbroken, and 40 percent frustrated." This just makes them seem like bad soap operas, to me.
I find myself in a constant state of anticipation that is never satisfied. It like bad jazz that is all tension with no release. I'm watching, I hear some music fade up and I think, "Uh-oh, what's gonna happen here?" And nothing happens... just more horrible dialogue. Uh, more music leads me to think, "Oh, something is surely going to happen now! Nope, he just gave an awkward look and she was coy."
If you're an agent who gets music placement in TV for artists and songwriters, thank you and keep it up. It's great exposure and great target marketing. I'm honestly glad there's a new outlet for music... but I just can't watch these shows. :-)
I was watching a movie the other night while noodling on a guitar and I noticed that each song was a whole step down from the last song. Made me wonder if it was intentional...I don't think there was continuous music but now that you mention it I will certainly notice it and also be annoyed, LOL
There is no merit in having pop songs (with lyrics) under dialog. It only confuses the viewer and distracts from the acting, if, as you say, there is any. Another sign of weakness in programing is to rely on music for EVERY SINGLE dramatic change. This too is highly ineffective and only exposes the program's weaknesses. If you are a producer of music for dramatic underscore, you should study some of the great moments in cinema where no music was needed. It gives you a greater acumen for knowing when and where to place music. I think pop songs in drama are great as long as they are free from dialog or under openings and closing credits.
I think they are following a cultural trend of having constant music underscoring one's life.
I know people who never have their ipods out of their ears. I don't know if they're afraid of their own thoughts or silence or what. I love music and wouldn't want to live a life without it, but there times I want none of it... just silence or the sounds of life.