Bad, Bad Music Editing

Much of my enjoyment of Law & Order: Criminal Intent is stifled due to the horrible, horrible music editing in Seasons 2-6 (I haven't yet seen beyond 6).

Somewhere around the 2/3rds mark in every episode, "suspenseful" music will begin. It takes the form of  thumping cords, not quite as irritating as the sound a truck makes when it backs up but close. It is supposed to indicate mystery and trepidation. The thumping cords will build in intensity and then end whether the mystery is paid off or not. Although this use of music is classic/even cliche, the actual cords on the show sound less classic and more like something an amateur musician would create on a keyboard.

And it never varies. It is always the same. In every episode (season 6 does at least begin its episodes with decent music/lyrics). 2/3rds of the way in: thumping music. It drowns out the dialog. It makes nonsense of the plot. It is wholly annoying.

And it's weird. Unlike Law & Order: SVU, the scripts of Criminal Intent are generally well-written (the scripts of Law & Order: SVU reach a whole new level of random, disorganized badness on television); Criminal Intent has also gotten some fairly stellar guest stars (all those aging Britishers who are looking for extra work).

Does a good music editor really cost so much in comparison?

Possibly. Music editing may be one of those professions that seems easy on the outside but is actually quite difficult. I remember once listening to a guy who was trying to persuade me that rock stars aren't all that talented. "Look what I can do on my keyboard!"  he said and started to play.

After a few minutes, my thought was "Wow, I guess rock stars have more talent than I supposed."

(And yes, I do keep watching Law & Order: CI. If I actually had musical talent, not just an ear for what I like and don't like, the editing might bother me to the point of self-censorship. But ultimately, for me, plot is everything.)

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