“Suburgatory” had a lot of absurdly funny moments in its second-season premiere — Noah’s adventures in fatherhood (and the baby headband/cup holder in particular), the gold Corolla and every single second of the Shays dressed up as cats. But the one that’s sticking with us tilts toward the show’s emotional side.
At the end of “Homecoming,” and after initially thinking she wasn’t good enough, Tessa gets on stage at the Chatswin Fall Follies to sing a song her mother wrote. George convinces her to go on by saying one of the few positive things we’ve ever heard about Tessa’s mom, and then she sings … the show’s theme song.
It’s a nice touch, and it also kind of turns the meaning of “Pleasant Nightmare” on its head knowing that it’s coming from the perspective of Tessa’s mother and not Tessa herself. It’s also the first time anything other than the brief lyric and “la la las” in the opening titles have ever reached the light of day — mostly because, as “Suburgatory” creator Emily Kapnek explains, there weren’t any other lyrics until this episode.
Kapnek wrote the “Pleasant Nightmare” lyric, and the show’s composer, Jared Faber, supplied the music (musician Alih Jey sings the opening lick). “But we knew because of the time constraints that there wouldn’t be a full-length theme song,” Kapnek tells Zap2it. “Everyone always asks, ‘Could you do it outside the show?’ We wanted to and intended to — I kind of hoped it would happen in the [Season 1] finale in an organic way, but it didn’t.”
As she started fleshing out the Season 2 premiere, though, Kapnek knew she wanted Tessa to connect to her mom (who will be played by Malin Akerman later this season) through music. “And I thought how cool would it be if the surprise was that song was actually from Alex’s point of view and not Tessa’s,” she says. “So we wrote a longer version, and there’s actually a version that’s even longer than the one Tessa performs in the premiere. So we’re just trying to get that fully recorded and see if we can put it up on iTunes or something so people can hear the longer version.”
Kapnek also says that is Jane Levy singing in the episode. The guitar track is prerecorded, but Levy did learn to play a little over the show’s summer hiatus. “Jane had never done anything like that before and just came in and was awesome,” Kapnek says.
What did you think of the “Suburgatory” season premiere?