The new Twisted Metal series is out on Peacock and although some viewers don’t like the goofier tone and are tuning out as soon as the PS1 long box copy hits the windshield, a lot of others like me are truly enjoying it. This reimagining of the game series’ lore keeps some of the dark humor while jacking up the comedy and letting the actors chew as much scenery as they want in between gruesome deaths and references, but it does one thing incredibly well. The Twisted Metal games have often had some killer tracks and appropriate licensed music, especially for those who like artists with the name Zombie in them, but the show is stepping things up a bit.
People in the post-apocalypse aren’t getting any good new tunes, and this world ended in 2002, so it’s no surprise that this is mostly a ‘90s and very early ‘00s playlist that speaks to me. Our main character, John Doe, makes sure to inform those watching how important music is at this time, as the first line he says after the opening monologue is, “How about some tunes?” In a later episode, he’ll inform Quiet, “Good music is worth its weight in gold nowadays,” which makes a lot of sense for someone whose job is to travel long and dangerous roads by himself.
Some shows seem like they just slot music into action scenes and throw popular earworms at the audience to get that nostalgic pop, but Twisted Metal looks as if it is doing a little more than that. Certain instances genuinely appear to be carefully chosen while others are done for laughs, but each song feels comfortable in its spot and does more good than harm. If it takes away from the moment, that’s because the scene is about to change, and if someone doesn’t feel that way, remind yourself this is a video game adaptation where the main character put in the TM2 invincibility cheat to start his car. I want to give it some major credit, however, because I’m struggling to remember other media that had the balls to use a powerful overture like “The Thieving Magpie” and dared to follow it up in the same episode with Hanson’s “Mmmbop” (which was used more than once).
What all kinds of tracks grace viewers’ ears?
There are the appropriate action scene songs of course, like having car battles to Cypress Hill’s “(Rock) Superstar” or “Party Hard” by Andrew W.K., and it’s difficult not to get pumped up when the final epic showdown starts with “Going the Distance” from Cake. We are shown more touching and somber moments that make use of “Champagne Supernova” from Oasis, “Roads” by the excellent Portishead, and who doesn’t love saying goodbye to a dear friend with Evanescence’s “My Immortal”? This show is a bit horny also, which means they blasted J-Kwon’s “Tipsy” while two people have sex in a ball pit and try to use Charley Pride’s “Burgers and Fries” for the second coital encounter in the same play area.
Sometimes we have solid themes with the music, like using Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” in the flashback to show where the apocalypse began. It isn’t always subtle, as seen when they play “Better Off Alone” performed by Alice Deejay as partners are making decisions, or “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” by ODB, only for its, “Ooh, baby, I like it raw,” line, as two people are being prepared as food, but something is quite welcoming about these blatant insertions. Other times the viewer has to know a little bit about the song or its history to get why the choice is perfect.
For example, having t.A.T.u’s “All the Things She Said” playing for two female lovers reconciling, or knowing that a Faith No More song used to christen a new car is titled “Epic.”
Obviously, there are a few tunes thrown in simply for jokes, or maybe just because the producers liked them. Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” is used to torture people, while it’s just nice to hear “Set The World” from Robbie Nevil and “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJs. We also get to see a few random CDs and learn about some characters’ musical preferences. We know John Doe likes DMX, listens to The Jerky Boys when he isn’t in danger, and passes on Dave Matthews Band CDs like most sane people, but I was fascinated to find out Sweet Tooth really knows his NSYNC.
The Twisted Metal television show was enjoyable, even if a bit quirky, and almost every episode had at least one or two great tracks that I enjoyed hearing. They just probably shouldn’t have led with that scene between John Doe and Sweet Tooth both singing “The Thong Song,” even if they do think “Unleash The Dragon” is amazing and Sisqo is a silver-haired god. It was a bad first impression and those kinds of moments are often better served when they’re unexpected. Kind of a shame, because I imagine one of the show’s strongest elements also helped turned some people away early on.
Like any good video game — or at least an adaptation of one — the music was incredibly important and uplifted what I was watching. This experience has me wanting to play the games again and hoping for a second season of the program, if for no other reason than to see what makes the new tracklist.
Content Source: www.comingsoon.net