Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hey, That's Not the Dawson's Creek Theme!

Services like Netflix and Hulu have given us the ability to binge watch shows dating back as far as 60 years ago. There's something comforting about re-watching a show you haven't seen since you were in middle school...high school...college...



There's just one problem with watching these shows when you were around to see them the first time. You realize after a few episodes that there's something really, really off about the music.


"I don't remember the music on Melrose Place being this bad." (Actual words I thought to myself just last week.)




A little research tells you there's a reason these shows have horrid music. When these shows aired the first time, the networks paid big bucks for the rights to some of the hottest songs on the radio at the time. Fast forward to the day they're putting together the DVD and, guess what? Nobody wants to pony up a million bucks or whatever for the rights to the original Dawson's Creek theme song.




Yes, you read that right. The Paula Cole song that everyone who was alive in 1998 still firmly associates with that show has now been switched from the above song to this:




When the show was streaming on Netflix (it's gone now), that opening theme bugged the mess out of me with every single episode. It was just all kinds of wrong. Interestingly, though, when the opening credits were shot, the producers planned to use Alanis Morissette's Hand in My Pocket, but apparently the rights were a little too pricey. Just a bit of trivia for you! Run Like Mad was recorded to replace it but at the last minute, they switched it with the Paula Cole song. The decades-long theme song drama is detailed in this 2012 article.


Fans were also apparently outraged that Dawson's Creek also replaced another landmark song. Does anyone remember the scene where Kiss the Rain was played? The music has been replaced on the DVD, but the original scene was on YouTube.




One of the worst cases of music replacement I've seen is on MTV's The Real World, which streams on Hulu Plus. I rewatched the first few seasons for nostalgia sake and...wow. You don't even know what the original music was. You just know it couldn't possibly have been as bad as what you're hearing!



Although can anything be worse than watching the scene where Brenda breaks up with Dylan on Beverly Hills 90210 without hearing this song? Yes, they replaced R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion. This scene (song included) was the summer of 1991 for anyone who was reasonably young at that time!




Do you ever binge watch TV shows from your childhood? Have you ever noticed the music was different?

92 comments:

  1. I wonder if the Greatest American Hero is still the theme song for that show?
    It's like with the MST3K shows. They could only afford the rights to some of those movies for so many years. They would have to re-purchase the rights to put them on DVD or Netflex, and I guess it's not worth it. (I have almost every episode recorded, so I still have them!)
    I've binge-watched all the MASH episodes, but fortunately it's still the same music.

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    1. I'm not sure about MST3K, but it's worth checking YouTube. A lot of shows that have a heavy fan following end up over there (unless the powers-that-be take them down!).

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  2. I haven't run into that problem because Friends managed to keep their theme song for the DVD ;)

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    1. From what I've observed, most ABC, NBC, and CBS shows keep the music they had originally...my guess is that they had the contracts written in the beginning to lock the rights down. Interesting--the above examples were all FOX and WB shows...back when the networks were in their beginnings... Perhaps they didn't know to include a, "Rights include all technologies not yet invented" clause!

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    2. Wait, now I'm trying to remember when DVDs became a thing. Weren't they around in the 90s?

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  3. Hey Stephanie,
    I was not aware of the change of the music but it has been a while since I binge watch the shows above. I love those shows. I grew up on them. This post brought back so many memories. I do binge watch a show on youtube called Sanford & Son. One of my husband favorite shows and Fresh Prince of Bel Air on television ( I think the music is the same for this show but it may be because of what you observed about NBC, since it originally aired on there).

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    1. It is interesting to notice that! I never thought about it before. All the seasons of Big Brother are on YouTube. (They occasionally take them all down, but you eventually figure out the name of the guy posting them and realize he has them all on his site anyway...) The only bad thing about YouTube is you kind of have to known what you're looking for because there's SO much out there. It's also frustrating because episodes will be missing.

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  4. You know, truthfully, if I've seen a show once, I'll never forget it. Like with reading books. It's kind of annoying, but thems the brakes. The only TV shows I've gone back and watched were Dungeons and Dragons (because we were sharing it with the kids) and Firefly--because it's just that epic. (Had to memorize some of the one-liners, if you know what I mean.)

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    1. I've never been able to remember lines from shows/movies but I hear people quoting them all the time!

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  5. omg I can't believe they did that with the DC theme! That was my fav part of the whole show lol! I know exactly what you're talking about though. I don't remember the 90210 moment though! I first noticed music changes in Friends...certain songs that were played in the background changed in syndication (most notably the part where Phoebe is trying to seduce Chandler lol) but it drives me craziest in The Hills reruns on MTV! they re-air the series in summer usually (I don't own the DVDs) but I remember the music being so awesome in original airing. Popular songs were played and fit so much better, but they changed to crappy music when they re-air. hate it!

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    1. Nothing against Jann Arden but that song is really annoying. Especially if you're binge-watching. She has a great voice but it's just obnoxious in that particular opening.

      I'm LOL'ing that you pointed out that Friends changed a song, though!!! So NBC DID replace some songs. What song was originally there? I've been watching Friends on Netflix (I guess everyone is, since it's the newest big addition) and I'll listen for it!

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    2. next time I pop in my DVD I'll find out! I think they replaced it with a song by semisonic though!

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    3. I hate the Jann Arden song! It makes me want to kill myself (not really but you, know) I want my Paula Cole!

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  6. This explains so much! I never watched Dawson Creek (gasp I know!) but others I have and was wondering if maybe I remember them wrong. Ha! Good to know I am not crazy.

    You totally have me wanting to watch Dawson now though, too bad it isn't on Netflix anymore. :(

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    1. I have watched it and this post makes me want to go and find it some where lol

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    2. Okay--go to YouTube and type Dawson's Creek Season 1 episode 1. Looks like someone has them all out there. They've cut out the opening credits, but at least you won't have to listen to Run Like Mad. I made it through Season 2 on Netflix before it left. I don't think I ever watched past Season 2 or 3 when it was originally on.

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  7. i'm too old for these shows - didn't watch any of 'em. :)

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    1. I'm kind of too old--I was in college by the time 90210 was on. I was addicted to the first few seasons of The Real World when they aired but I was already in my 20s. I guess that's why I liked that show--it captured what other 20-somethings were thinking at the time. I have no excuse for watching Melrose Place or Dawson's Creek--the former was just not all that well written but it was addictive nonetheless and the latter was well written but still cheesy!

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  8. We have Netflix too and I love to watch the old shows. The music. Well, I've not noticed. Some is awful though. Now I'll be paying attention.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. OMG the music they've chosen is just bad. There will be a scene with a party and it's just generic, studio-produced junk. It's not even a song anyone would want to ever hear! I was watching 90210 on YouTube--I guess it's been loaded from the DVD. Every time they walk into the Peach Pit, there's some canned 50s-sounding song that wasn't really a song from the 50s. If you listen closely, they play the same few songs over and over again. I guess they didn't want to create a full soundtrack! Oh...and the spring fling dance from the first season...the SAME song over and over.

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  9. Wow, I never knew they replaced the music this way. That's kind of disappointing.

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    1. You might not notice it...the Dawson's Creek opening replacement is what made me first notice it.

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  10. When my husband went away for a few days, I admit to binging on Fraiser. I started at episode 1 and got to 10 before he got home. It was fun, but I'm Fraisered out for a while.

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    1. I never watched that show the first time it aired. I need to give it a try!

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  11. Oh wow, I never knew about this. But it makes sense. I feel like the right music can make a difference in how good/bad a scene is, so some of those must really seem "off."

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    1. I think it takes away from the show for it to be such bad music...but if they'd replaced the songs with good songs, it wouldn't take away from the show if you weren't around to see it the first time. Some scenes just stick with you and when they incorporate songs that are on the radio at the time, you remember that.

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  12. I've seen it done a few times as they are really costly just for a dvd release and such, so i can understand. But still dumb. I've binged watched many shows from before from Xena to Quantum Leap to The X-files

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    1. Can you imagine if they replaced the X-Files theme? Fans would be outraged! They're streaming X-Files somewhere--either Netflix or Hulu Plus. I should watch that show. I never gave it a shot.

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  13. I had no idea they did this, but I've never used Netflix. You know I was a Real World fan too. What was your favorite season? I loved the Boston firehouse season and the San Diego one with Cameron Eubanks who is now on my new favorite show, Southern Charm.

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    1. I've always been partial to the first season of The Real World. There was something so natural about it. It was before anyone really knew what reality TV was and I felt like the people weren't really faking it for the camera. Julie is probably still my all-time favorite reality show cast member!

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    2. We'll, Julie is a great name you know ;)

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  14. That was interesting about the music. I learned something new today. I think it is probably a good thing we do not have Netflix, I could see myself binge watching favorite shows from my past.

    Betty

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    1. There aren't quite enough old shows on there, unfortunately! Most of the shows are newer ones. Hulu Plus has a bigger selection of old TV shows.

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  15. Nope, I don't return to the very old shows... too many new ones to watch and catch up on :) I sometimes miss a show when it starts airing and will watch it in a year or two later. Like MIKE AND MOLLY which started four years ago but I'm watching the first season now :) It gives me my weekend dose of sitcoms when there aren't any new ones.

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    1. I'd love to watch Mike & Molly but it's not in its entirety online anywhere, is it? I'd have to watch it on (gasp!) TV.

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    2. I download it from torrents like all my other shows :)

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  16. I don't have Hulu or Netflix so I hadn't noticed any of this.

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    1. I believe it's actually done that way for the DVDs and Netflix and Hulu just run that version on their servers...but it's possible now that online streaming has taken over, DVDs will eventually become obsolete.

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  17. I think Daisy watched it, but I never did

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  18. I haven't watched any old shows, but this is interesting.

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  19. Our daughter's recent interest has been the old "Dick Van Dyke Show." It's new to me, too, which has been fun. The Netflix stream includes some of the old commercials, too, which is fascinating.

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    1. I've never seen those. My stepdaughter was really into I Love Lucy when she was younger.

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  20. Hi Stephanie! (I love the Dick Van Dyke show!!)
    I do binge watch some shows, I used to watch '24' and 'House of Cards' all in a row. As far as the older shows, I don't notice that the songs are different, but they HAVE songs. Seems like no one really has theme songs for shows anymore. When it's time for the show, it's right to it.
    TV programs like Mary Tyler Moore had signature songs. That was fun!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. I know! Whatever happened to the theme song? They're all gone. The Big Bang Theory has a quick one by Barenaked Ladies but it's shorter than show themes used to be.

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  21. I used to love Dawson's. But watch Bold & Beautiful now...

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    1. I loved Days of Our Lives back in the 80s. I was watching Hot in Cleveland and they had an entire episode dedicated to Susan Lucci's depression after her show died!

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  22. Bittersweet.

    I like to binge on X-Files and Fringe! Music themes are the same, but maybe because they're still so new?

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    1. The X-Files without that theme song would be even more wrong than Dawson's Creek without the Paula Cole song!

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  23. I haven't binge watched shows as I don't have Net Flix... crazy, I know... I am thinking of getting Crave TV... which sounds interesting and only $4.00 per month... then again I don't know that if I should, I feel like I watch too much as it is ... lol

    I wouldn't like that they replaced music though... :-/

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    1. I've never heard of Crave TV. I need to look that up! Sounds like a better deal than Netflix and Hulu Plus. YouTube's the best option since it's free, but finding shows to watch can be challenging!

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  24. I'm so disenchanted with watching TV that I don't even bother now. I don't even subscribe to Net Flix either. I'm tired of paying too much for Fibre optic and too many buttons to push and I gave up. lol...

    I like YouTube and I love watching Carol Burnett DVDs old shows. They still make me laugh. I'm an old dinosaur.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. I can't work our TV...way too complicated. I just watch Netflix on my MacBook while I work. Totally high tech. It makes work go much faster, especially when I'm writing about snoozefest topics like Cisco Routers.

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  25. I watched an episode of LOST IN SPACE the other day on Dish...and I almost groaned the entire time. WOW...it's so campy...and I was in love with that show when I was a kid. Sometimes its not good looking back. :)

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    1. Try Land of the Lost!!! Right before the movie came out, there was a marathon. My husband told my stepdaughter, "You have to watch this. It was one of my favorite shows as a kid." Then it came on. She laughed through the whole thing. It was really, really, really bad!

      I still love Twilight Zone, though. That's one sci-fi show that (mostly) holds up. Some cheesy effects...but mostly it works.

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  26. I didn't know this was happening... Does Andy Griffin still whistle at the beginning of his show... how does movies on DVD get around this problem? different rights with the artist?

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    1. I think song rights for movies must be different. Imagine producing a show with hundreds of episodes and five or more songs on each episode...you buy the rights to a Spin Doctors song in 1990 without thinking. I also think when they show 90210 and Dawson's Creek on TV in reruns, the songs are intact, since there are so many episodes on YouTube with the songs...so it must be just when they transfer it to a new medium like DVD. And what's on the DVD seems to be what ends up on Netflix--so those rights must be similar?

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  27. OH MY GOD BRENDA AND DYLAN BROKE UP? tee-hee
    I read one time that The Wonder Years was pulled from re-runs because of the licensing fees for the songs in the show.I think it's on Netflix now. I wonder if they replaced the music. I don't know that I associate many shows with music because I watch so little TV. The beginning of Orange Is The New Black does grab me. The photo at the top of the post is hilarious.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Good question! I haven't made it to The Wonder Years yet... I'm going to watch Roseanne once I'm finished with Melrose Place.

      Brenda (Shannen Doherty) was SUCH a bad actress. Her acting always bugged me but it really bugs me now. I don't know why she ever made it as far as she did, especially with her attitude. Maybe they admired her confidence and figured she must know what she's doing?!

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  28. I am horrible w/remembering music when it comes to movies and shows. I just don't pay enough attention I guess! I know Jaws... ;) And btw, I love your new header!

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    1. Thank you, Leandra! I don't remember much...but I do remember that Melrose Place and 90210 always played the hot music of the time (especially in the earliest years). It's most notable when someone walks into a party or bar and party music is playing but it's nothing any 20-year-old would listen to!

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  29. Interesting post. I had no idea this was common practice, but I definitely noticed it on the 90210 DVDs. I was pretty sure they used more than five horrible songs during its ten-year run!

    Too bad the rights holders can't take pity on the starving networks and cut them a break. ;)

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    1. I KNOW!!! I'm so glad someone else noticed. The music in The Peach Pit...it's almost funny. I think they pulled a bunch of singers into a studio and said, "Make a record that sounds 50s-ish."

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  30. I don't have Netflix. And I can't binge watch. I can watch 2 episodes of the same show back to back, but after that I go a little bonkers. I. Can't. Do. It. So I don't.

    But different music? Yeah, that would make me crazy.

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    1. I can't seem to go back to watching TV any other way now. I don't really watch one show from episode 1 to the finale...but I watch a season, then switch to someone else. And if I can't start with Season 1, episode 1, and watch in order, I don't want to watch at all. I've felt that way all my life, but you had little choice before VCRs...if you missed an episode, you just had to wait 'til summer to catch it in reruns! I feel like TV shows are like books...I refuse to start with Book 2 in a series! It feels like I'm missing something important.

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  31. I've never noticed this! Granted, the only shows I rewatch like this is X-Files and Buffy, both of which never exactly had amazing music to start with (though if they changed the X-Files theme, I would be so weirded out!). Learning something new :)

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    1. I watched the first couple of seasons of Buffy. I think it was Season 3 where there were just so many fight scenes it started getting on my nerves. I was more interested in the teenagery stuff. I don't like to see people fight or hear punching. Once those scenes start, I tune out until the fighting stops! But yeah...the music wasn't so good. I was watching on Hulu Plus so I'm not sure if it was the original music or not, although the theme song was pretty good.

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  32. i've missed this phenomenon because I usually binge watch things I never watched in the first place. Netflix has taught me that all the hit shows were a hit for a reason, you just couldn't count on me ever being available at a certain time every single week to know that.

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    1. It's interesting, watching Melrose Place, to note how different the world was at that time. A hit prime-time show became "viral," but in the in-person sense. You talked to your friends and co-workers about it rather than sharing it on social media. It was a different world!

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  33. "It was just all kinds of wrong".

    Boy, you got that so right, Stephanie! I had no idea this was going on, so thanks for the warning. I can only imagine what "Miami Vice" must sound like--that show was chocked full of popular music. (especially Phil Collins.)

    I haven't done much binge-watching yet, solely out of fear that I won't be able to stop!

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    1. Some shows just never show up online anywhere (unless you can find them on YouTube). It sucks, too. There are shows I'll remember and look up on Hulu Plus and Netflix, only to find no evidence of it. I found a show called Double Trouble that I loved in the 80s on YouTube, but someone had only posted a couple of episodes of it. It would be great if more old shows would pop up online, but like you pointed out, the music on a lot of those shows was just way too much a part of it.

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  34. I had no idea the music was changed on old shows! What you wrote about the rights totally makes sense, but at the same time it seems crazy that someone has to change all the music in every show. WOW! When I hear the theme from Dawson's Creek on the radio- that is exactly what I think. Oh- here is the Dawson's Creek song. The new one isn't even close and seems so wrong. I

    I haven't binged watched any of my old favorite shows, but I do watch them when I see them in reruns. Now- I will at least know that the music on 90210 the first time around wasn't as bad!

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. For some reason I just thought of Glee--that show has all the music intact. I think newer shows get all that lined up on the front-end. But I wonder if they've covered how people will be watching shows in the future...who knows what new technology they'll come up with for streaming shows.

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  35. One day my husband and I started watching I Dream of Jeannie and other than the fact that everyone's teeth looked blue for some reason, I didn't notice anything off. I did binge watch Scandal and Dexter last year, though. I barely came up for air...

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    1. Blue? I remember watching an old episode of Charlie's Angels and I realized just how reliant we are on teeth bleach now. Everyone's teeth were yellowish, even the stars'. They were only slightly yellow, but we've gotten so used to seeing glaringly-white teeth, it stands out when someone's teeth aren't perfect, especially on screen. I think we're slowly getting used to the Botoxed look, too, which is a little scary...

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  36. Loved the old clips. My daughter recently binge re-watched the Gilmore Girls -- I'll have to ask her about the music! I love Netflix!

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    1. I want to be able to get into Gilmore Girls but I just can't. I watched the first two episodes and nothing was happening. I couldn't quite grab onto a plot that made me want to keep watching!

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  37. Remember "Bosom Buddies" with Tom Hanks? When it aired on ABC in 1980-82, it used Billy Joel's "My Life" as the theme. But when USA Network repeated the show around 1991, it had a new theme song that contained the lyrics "Shake me loose."

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    1. Oh no!!! That show isn't the same without the Billy Joel theme. Although that was an odd choice for a sitcom at the time, wasn't it? I can't think of another show that didn't have an original theme song recorded just for it, most of which were written and sung by Alan Thicke and his wife at the time!

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  38. I haven't been binge-watching a lot of those old shows, but wow! I had no idea this was going on! Horrible. And I CAN'T IMAGINE watching the Dylan and Brenda break up without Michael Stipe's voice in the background.

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  39. Never binged watched t.v. shows, but to change the music because it now costs too much for the rights is pretty pathetic. It will be interesting to see if they start changing music from shows that came out in the late 90's/early 2000's (anyone remember "I'll Be There For You" by The Rembrandts for the show "Friends"?)

    Father Nature's Corner

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  40. Oh. My. Gosh. I had no idea! I binge-watch Netflix often, but I usually watch shows that are new to me. I feel like you've just given me a glimpse behind the curtain. At least now I'm prepared and won't be confused and mortified when I watch an old favorite.

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  41. I generally don't binge-watch because I get a bit nauseous after watching TV for few hours straight (unless it's Law & Order SVU). Oh my God, I loved 90210 back then! I don't know why the music has been replaced though ...

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  42. It's been awhile since I've re-watched shows from my youth, though I wasn't watching so much network TV anymore by the time I was in my teens. Part of the reason was that I just couldn't relate to these fictional teens' lives, being the serious, introverted intellectual I've always been. My parents still deny forbidding me to watch 90210 when all the other girls in my sixth grade class were allowed to watch it, though I distinctly remember being told that show was too old for me and having to watch soap operas in secret during the summer, when I had the house to myself.

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  43. I never thought about music rights and old shows. Wow, what a difference between those Dawson Creek clips. It's rare for me to binge watch, so I haven't noticed anything.

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  44. I never realized they did this! They should just keep it original. I never watched the shows you mentioned but I saw what Alex wrote and I loved that show!

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  45. What about the scene in BH 90210 when Kelly and Dylan are on the beach that final night before Brenda comes home from Paris! They played Sophie B Hawkins "wish I was your lover" song. Just saw that episode on POP and it was replaced by a song that belonged on Jersey Shore smh

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  46. I just started season 1 again on Hulu (haven't watched in years since the DVDs releases) - I really came to love Jann Arden's song as Paula Cole's song, on its own, is SUPER annoying.

    That being said, I did LOVE the refrain for the theme for Dawson's Creek during the airings back in the day. So, I do recall that, and PLEASE correct me if I am wrong - that Season One DVD has the Paula Cole and Season 2+ have Jann Arden. But I was shocked (way back when) I first heard Jann Arden on the DVDs, so much so I was tempted to return them.

    In time, I grew to love the JA theme and once upon a blue moon, was able to find an mp3 of it. That theme cracks me up as it is only the length of the DC opening, but I still love it and, to me, listening to Paula Cole's "I Don't Wanna Wait" is unbearable for its full running length.

    My two cents, but was (a bit) surprised that Hulu is full Jann Arden.

    Was able to find this thread Googling "thoughts on the change of theme music on dawson's creek from paula cole to jann arden" - long search, but hey, second billing from Google!

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  47. I'm so thankful One Tree Hill was able to keep all of its original music. Music is almost it's own character on that show, and it wouldn't be the same if they'd replaced it with crap.

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  48. i was enraged when i heard a different theme song at the beggining of Dawson's Creek. my solution: i mute it and sing the original myself ��

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  49. i was engraved when i heard a different theme song at the beginning of Dawson's Creek. my solution: i mute it and sing the original my self 😊

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