Find out which R.E.M. song got beat by The Cars for repeated use in ‘BrainDead’

06.28.16 1 year ago

You might think something weird is going on in Washington, D.C., and you”d be right, at least about the D.C. of new series BrainDead (and probably also about the D.C. of our own reality, which BrainDead aims to satirize with skewers for both sides of the aisle.)

Among the weirdness in BrainDead“s Washington: The Cars song “You Might Think” gets played a lot.

Laurel (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is hearing it everywhere – the ringtones of Hill staffers, the radio, the computer of the chief of staff to Laurel”s senator brother  and it leaves her a little creeped out. “The “80s are back,” senator aide Gareth (Aaron Tveit) explains away.

What viewers know is that the folks on the Hill listening to “You Might Think” on repeat have all had their brains eaten by alien bugs. What viewers don”t know quite yet (three episodes into the new series now) is exactly why politicians who meet this gross fate have a constant urge to listen to the 1984 pop-rock hit.

But we do know why the creative team behind CBS“s BrainDead selected the song, thanks to a chat with the show”s music supervisor, Jason Harkins.

Nostalgia and a repetitive quality were key, Harkins told HitFix. “It needed to be instantly recognizable,” he added. “The first second of the song, you know it.”

Harkins, along with BrainDead EPs Robert and Michelle King (who also created The Good Wife), selected “You Might Think” after considering several other songs from the “80s and the late “70s. Another strong contender was 1989 R.E.M. tune “Stand.”

The Cars synthpop song ultimately better met their criteria, and Harkins admitted, “There”s a certain amount of repetitive stuff going on in ‘Stand” that would drive me completely out of my mind.”

Working on post-production of BrainDead, Harkins still has to listen to “You Might Think” again and again, but after 20 years in the business, he”s found that “there”s a button that you just have to push inside to just put it all away so you”re not really paying attention to any of it.”

Too bad there”s not a button to turn off the crazy in BrainDead“s Washington. Laurel will have to find another way to contend with the new levels of weirdness in that town.

More on the music of BrainDead: How Glee ripping off an indie artist led to musical recaps on BrainDead

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