Sync Spotlight aims to showcase examples of licensing songs in web shows, ads and films across the globe.
Please Like Me. – S03E02 – Simple Carbohydrates
The show is available on Netflix in India, but this particular scene can also be viewed here.
Song: Chandelier by Sia (performed by Keegan Joyce)
A song performed by an actor on-screen can be a compelling form of sync, considering how it lends to both – the character and the narrative.
Please Like Me is a vivacious, quirky, and yet unpredictably mature show about a close-knit group of young adults in Australia navigating through life and relationships. It deals with themes of sexuality, mental health, friendship, and more.
I don’t believe this article can provide enough context to highlight just how whimsical yet impactful this scene is, so I urge you to go watch the show if you haven’t already.
Josh, Tom and Arnold are working on building a cardboard city while Josh’s father drops by for company and solace – considering he’s recently received some fairly devastating news. In an attempt to help two people in the room, Josh takes a (classic) personal-boundary-defying decision to share that Arnold is coming out to his family, and a mock-up of this event should be staged under his direction. Josh’s father must play Arnold’s, while Arnold plays himself. Tom ends up playing the piano.
It starts off as a pretty hilarious song choice and a mismatched choir-boy portrayal of it (“Party girls don’t get hurt….one, two, three, drink”). But soon enough, it transforms into Arnold’s expression of release and freedom as he sings the peak of the chorus (“I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night”).
The result is a moving performance by Arnold and a genuine, loving acceptance by his acting father. This scene speaks volumes about every character, while incorporating music in the narrative in the least produced and most organic way possible.
There are many more instances of actors singing or mouthing pop tunes throughout the series, which really connects the characters with the show’s audience. A constant balance is maintained between relatability and strangeness.
Josh and Tom themselves are writers on the show, including Liz Doran. This episode is directed by Matthew Saville, with Gary Seeger on Music Supervision.
To know more great examples of licensing songs in web shows, read other editions of Sync Spotlight here.