Monday, January 20, 2014

Great Moments in Springsteen Television History - The Good Wife



Any moment in television where a piece of Springsteen’s music is featured is automatically a great moment. But truth be told, the three songs featured in last Sunday’s The Good Wife were pretty disappointing moments.

Even with the understanding that the music integration was routed in a publicity stunt, you’d hope that there would at least be a semblance of artistry in the way the tunes were incorporated. But alas, there was no thematic connection or emotional resonance in this episode. Each instance was blatantly a post-production insertion with no pre-meditated thought during the writing – or even the filming – process.

For the sake of fanaticism, here’s a description of the appearances:

- Three different uses of “High Hopes” as a musical cue, the first of which was just a tease with the opening instrumentals at the beginning of the episode, the other two were just to bridge between scenes.
- Around half way through the episode, “The Ghost of Tom Joad” plays as background music in a bar. I don’t know what kind of bars will play “The Ghost of Tom Joad”, but I want to hang out at them. The music was used to underscore one character spying on another character’s text messages. Just the way Bruce envisioned it when he wrote it!
- Finally, the instrumental opening of “Hunter of Invisible Game” is used to conclude the episode as a melancholic flourish to the case’s resolution.

As for the show itself? Well, I’d never seen an episode of The Good Wife before, so I was pretty confused as to what was going on – both in terms of the court case proceedings and how the characters related to one another. At one point, one character called another character a “douche” which was pretty funny, but other than that I didn’t find much of interest in the show.

Ultimately, this was nothing more than a marketing push. Not a bad one, and I definitely appreciated the opportunity to stream the album a week early, but I wish the integration had been handled more artistically.

If, for some reason, you are still curious to see the episode, you can stream it through CBS.com: http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_good_wife/episodes/212778