TV Beyond the screen: listen to TV music

While acting, directing, and cinematography go a long way in creating engaging television, a good soundtrack can often be overlooked. Not only can this increase the impact of a particular scene, it can also add a layer that dialogue or actions cannot. Here’s a look at some shows with the most iconic soundtracks.


Apart from the central duo and the fresh premise, one of the reasons Little things became such a big phenomenon that the unique soundtrack, which was very different from what was popular on mainstream television at the time. Kolkata boy Neel Adhikari has found the perfect sound to portray the imperfections of modern relationships with his compositions for this Netflix show. With contributions from great independent artists, Adhikari kept a distinctively Indian flavor in something that felt very Western, and compiled a playlist led by I forgive you it feels like a warm hug and a lazy afternoon nap at the same time.


Aspirants is one of the newest Indian shows to take the OTT world by storm. Set against the backdrop of an immensely real and relatable plot, the soundtrack leaves an indelible mark, making singer and songwriter Nilotpal Bora a household name. His traces, Dhaga and By mauka zindagi cross the journey from a dream that shatters to one that takes off again.


Credit: Amazon Prime

A number of Egyptian-Arab artists collaborated on the music of Ramy, where the protagonist fights the conflict of being Islamic-American. The soundtrack ranges from fast-paced electric tunes to dark hymns, adding another layer to the multifaceted portrayal of American Muslims.

Listen here.


Two teens chart their wild journey through The end of the fucking world, which features a nostalgic playlist of moving melodies from the 50s, 60s and 70s. The music lends its ironic note to the show as solemn numbers serenade triumphant stages and joyous songs are sung at unsettling events . The inclusion of Laugh outside by Bernedette Caroll is perhaps the most important of them.


Created by Childish Gambino, Atlanta navigates the rap scene of his eponymous city, with catchy rhythms and superb performances. Dramatic comedy is a celebration of black performers and is a good introduction to rap music. Boi of paper, performed by Gambino’s brother (whose rap name is Steve G. Lover), deserves special mention for anchoring the central characters and stealing the show every time he’s played.

Credit: Netflix

Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein have woven magic into their compositions for Strange things. The ambient tracks not only perfectly capture the different moods of the fictional town of Hawkins, but are also extremely calming to listen to in isolation. The soundtrack is a sequence of builds and gains, so be prepared for moments of alternate euphoria and introspection.

Listen here.


Musician and songwriter, the genius of Ezra Furman is evident in Sex education¸ a show about the pangs of teenage love and lust. There is an 80s grunge vibe to the songs, which speaks to everything from the attraction rush to failed expeditions in bed. The innuendo in many titles is the icing on the cake. Every feeling, written during one of Furman’s “Depression Days” deserves special mention, for the lyrics that hit where it hurts.

Credit: YouTube

The wonderful Mrs. Maisel carries its commitment to recreating the 50s-60s in music, featuring classics from the era that immediately transport viewers back in time. With a healthy mix of jazz and rock-and-roll, the show introduced a new generation to the brilliance of Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee.

Listen here.

Credit: IMDb

The soundtrack of Master of None is a unique melting pot of diverse tastes and eras, with everything from retro ’70s New York to lesser-known contemporary artists to Italian disco. Music supervisor Zach Cowie’s understanding of the script is evident in how there is a melancholy undertone to the more punchy scenes, supporting the subtle writing in equally subtle ways.

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The advertising drama Mad Men, presents the best of the 60s in terms of production and music. The soundtrack boasts of tunes that may not be the most common portrayals of the decade, but cleverly tie into the larger narrative of the series and effectively represent the troubles of the decade. Composer David Carbonara’s instrumentals are pure gold, adding an extra layer to the already rich universe created by the show.


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