Another Guilty Pleasure Exposed


Back in the dark ages when I was in high school, one of the things that I wasn't very good at was homework. I would do anything to keep myself distracted from the task at hand. One of my favourite distractions was a cop show on Thursday nights called "The Streets of San Fransisco". It featured screen veteran Karl Marlden and a young(ish) Michael Douglas as an odd couple pairing that helped to keep the streets safe. It was one of those "Quin Martin" productions if you are old enough to remember them.

Well the other day I found myself in the position of not wanting to do my homework once more, so I orded a DVD set of the show. Its actually pretty much as I remember it. Being set in 72 everything is a bit hip and groovy - the pimps are wearing those big hats, but apart from that, some outlandish plot lines and dubious police methods, it has dated pretty well as the show had some great production values.

Talking about the production values leads me to make a special mention of the incidental music. Increasingly since the early 90s, the synthesizer and then later the computer has taken the place of real instruments in movies and television. Like many areas of real life, music is often the last priority and gets budgeted for accordingly. This makes one man production teams working with a computer very attractive. The composer will use the computer to emulate "real instruments" and these days there are fewer and fewer people that can tell the difference.

The trouble is, I'm one of the people that can.

This is one of the reasons that watching these DVDs has been such a delight for me. The drums you hear are being played by a real drummer. The strings are played by a real string section. The trombones are being played by, well, real trombone guys. You get the picture. The score is written by an experienced Hollywood arranger, not some director's assistant doing it on the side to save money.

The end result is music to my ears.

Leave a comment

Add comment