‘The Bear’ Music: How Taylor Swift, Pearl Jam Ended Up in Season 2


Just as it did in its first season, “The Bear” Season 2 created a powerful soundtrack, thanks to executive producers Josh Senior and Christopher Storer, who also oversee the series’ music. From Otis Redding and Pearl Jam, to R.E.M. and Taylor Swift, the duo were able to tell a story of itself through the needle drops — something that is just as important to them as the writing itself.

When the writers room began, the group made a playlist and started sharing ideas with others on the team and even some of the actors, with Senior noting that Ayo Edebiri “is super helpful” in the entire process.

“It’s the most fun thing we get to do on the show, in my opinion. It’s a blast,” says Senior. “Sometimes we take all the songs out and see if we miss them. Other times, we use the songs to syncopate the scenes and cut them really fast. It’s an integral part of the process. We don’t score the show after it’s cut.”

Both Pearl Jam and R.E.M. were used in each season, since Senior and Storer are massive fans. Wilco, a Chicago-based band, also popped up in both.

“What’s been really cool about doing the music supervision work ourselves is that we are able to really paint a full picture for the artists that we’re trying to go out to. To get songs, we always try and reach out personally, to explain why and talk about how important the music is to us on a personal level and why it makes sense for the scene,” he says. “Being able to include live versions of a song in the show just feels like another way to make things feel alive.”

During Episode 9, Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) and Sydney (Ediberi) have a personal, important conversation while fixing a table in the restaurant. In the background, Pearl Jam’s “Come Back” plays. The rendition used was from a live performance in Chicago.

“We reached out to like the song and they were like, ‘Here are five things we haven’t put out.’ We picked that version and it just made that seem that much more special,” he says. “Picking music for the characters in Season 1 was really fun. It felt like that was the music that these people were listening to in the Beef. So being able to expand the world a little bit, meant that we were able to draw more on things that were personally relevant to us or felt really impactful in driving the story forward and would help the audience connect with the characters more.”

While the series’ needle drops enhance the story, it’s not too on the nose — which, as Variety‘s William Earl recently pointed out — is something unfortunately happening more and more in today’s entertainment. That’s an important thing Senior and Storer are always thinking about, too.

“We try very hard to not pick cool music. We don’t want anybody to ever say that we’re picking stuff because it’s cool,” says Senior. “We want to pick stuff that we love that feels right for the show. It’s about being authentic and consistent with the work letting the work speak for itself.”

Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richard “Richie” Jerimovich
Chuck Hodes

Taylor Swift is the exception to the cool rule. “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” may have been the biggest surprise track of Season 2, first playing during Richie’s (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) seventh episode, “Forks.” Later, it played again in the car, with Richie signing along.

“Getting the song was very straightforward. It was just regular outreach. We wanted to make sure we were using Taylor’s version of the song and feel like it was the right one for the scene. Obviously, she’s an incredible artist and one thing that I think is so interesting about her is that she’s beloved by people of all different ages,” Senior says, noting that “Love Story” was always the Swift track they wanted. “All of her music is amazing. We would have felt lucky to get five seconds of it. When we reached out, we asked if we could use the song twice and have someone singing and they were like, ‘That sounds cool!’ It wasn’t just like, ‘Hey, can I get the prices for these songs?’ It was, ‘Here’s what we want to do, and here’s why.’ She’s an incredible storyteller in her own right and an artist and just to be able to use that work in our shows is so cool.”

Of course, the Swift song was a connection to Richie’s daughter, who he later buys concert tickets for.

“That choice was so much about what was happening with Richie’s character,” says Senior. “This season, you get to see so many more sides of Richie, and it just made a lot of sense for the moment where things come together for him to also connect to the little pieces of his personal life that we’ve been exposed to throughout the first two seasons.”

Source link

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.