Tuned In

What He Said: Good Shows with Bad Theme Songs

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Peter Ames Carlin at the Portland Oregonian (see the blogroll at right) is a regular read at Tuned In HQ, and his latest blog post proves why, hammering the condescending folk whine Little Boxes that opens the otherwise excellent Weeds.

When I first heard the Malvina Reynolds song at the opening of the pilot of Weeds, I cringed, thinking it meant the show would be a collection of the worst kind of suburb-bashing cliches, like the song is. (Mind you, I live in Brooklyn.) I was relieved to see that the show itself was just the opposite, and Carlin offers the charitable theory that perhaps the makers of Weeds are using the song ironically, knowing that it–and the pictures of the homogenous ‘burbers in the title sequence–were nothing like the complex characters the show draws. Maybe. But I still loved Carlin’s vivisection of the Reynolds song:

[I]t’s a snotty little exercise in pomposity that attempts to reduce a vast population of people — anyone who lives in a suburban community — into a pathetic abstraction. They’re all the same, all living in crappy little, ill-built houses, all of them with horrid values and rotten educations and doomed children, and “and the boys go into business and marry a raise a family/In boxes made of ticky-tacky, and they’re all just the same.”

This is not just an offensive analysis, but also plainly and obviously stupid. It tells us far more about Ms. Reynolds’ own arrogance than it does about suburbanites.

Preach it, Brother Peter! And in the spirit of letting other bloggers come up with topics for me, I throw it to you: What shows do you love that have theme songs you hate, and vice versa?

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