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Max Richter's 'Perfect Strangers' theme makes 25YL '5 of the best uses of music in tv'

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Here at 25YL, we love music-so much so that we've just rolled out a music department! But what is perhaps all the more powerful than a great song is when the music in a TV show or film perfectly supplements the action, deepens the emotional stakes, or otherwise just fits so well that it becomes an indelible part of your memory of the film or show in question. Here are a few of the best uses of music in TV (in my opinion), focusing on particular scenes from some of my favorite shows.

There are some spoilers in what follows, so if you haven't seen the show in question beware. At the same time, if you don't know who killed Laura Palmer, what have you been doing with your life?

The Leftovers "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" (Perfect Strangers Theme) - The music in The Leftovers is brilliant overall, and there are any number of scenes or moments I could have picked here. In the opening scene of the Pilot, for example, the way that Max Richter's score comes in perfectly sets the mood for the Sudden Departure.

But I've decided to make a somewhat odd choice here, and go with music that plays during the opening credits-not always, just once.

The Leftovers changed its opening title sequence radically from Season 1 (which featured paintings and the like with religious imagery set to dramatic Max Richter music) to Season 2 (which featured candid shots of various people along with shadows of the Departed, set to Iris DeMent's "Let the Mystery Be").

I love both of those sequences, but with Season 3 we were in store for something completely different. The first episode eschewed the credits altogether, and then for the second episode we see the very same images we had become used to seeing throughout the whole of Season 2, but now instead of "Let the Mystery Be" there was…the theme song from Perfect Strangers.

What was great about this was how not random it was. There are references to Perfect Strangers riddled through The Leftovers, going back to the beginning. Mark-Linn Baker appears in the show…as Mark Linn-Baker. The title of the episode in question is "Don't Be Ridiculous." And to hear this song behind the same images as those that had been in the credits throughout Season 2 imbued them with a new meaning. One looked at them in a different way.

The lyrics of "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" in relation to this moment in the show lead one to question what precisely the characters are trying to do. They could relate to Matt and his mission, or to Nora's persistence in the face of the absurd, or to pretty much any character in a certain way.

And insofar as The Leftovers is a show about the absurd, the Perfect Strangers theme calls to mind the humorous aspect of absurdity. You think the Departure was the Rapture?-Don't be ridiculous!

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