YACHTOBER: TV Tuesday: HELLO LADIES [2013-2014]

Hello Ladies stars Stephen Merchant as Stuart, a web designer who fancies himself a ladies man when in reality he's a really tall (6'7"), really awkward, immature and somewhat creepy cheapskate. There is not a whole lot to like about his character, whose entire life goal is to date a model, or any of his odd friends, including his cute out-of-work actress friend, Jessica (Christine Woods), who lives in Stuart's guest house.
The HBO show was based on Merchant's stand-up routine of the same name. His wit is an acquired taste and I laughed a few times but mostly I watched each episode to see Stuart fail in his overly-eager somewhat creepy attempts at love. Well, that and to hear what classic Westcoast AOR song would close out each episode. There aren't a lot of songs in each episode - a total of 26 songs spread across the whole series of eight episodes and a movie - which only heightened my anticipation for the end of each episode and especially the movie. Derek Dressler is the show's music supervisor and he and Stephen put together the aptly titled Hello Ladies Inspiration playlist.
Hall & Oates provide the show's theme song, heard over the opening credits: "Alone Too Long", from the duo's self-titled 1975 album. The quiet, grooving song, written and sung by John Oates, brilliantly sets the musical tone for the show.
Exile's "Kiss You All Over" (1978) closed out the first episode. This great Chinnichap composition works on several levels - as a mellow soft rock tune, a pre-Urban Cowboy country boogie, and a sexy, smoldering disco number.
The criminally under-rated Bill LaBounty closed out the second episode with "Look Who's Lonely Now" (1982), which was later covered by both Randy Crawford and Ricky Peterson. And even if you've never heard Bill's solo stuff, you may recognize a couple of great tracks he had a hand in writing, like Robbie Dupree's "Hot Rod Hearts" or Michael Johnson's "This Night Won't Last Forever".
"You Belong To The City" was originally written for and featured in a 1985 episode of Miami Vice, titled "The Prodigal Son". Glenn Frey's song returned to the small screen to close out the third episode of Hello Ladies, titled "The Date".
Al Stewart's "Year Of The Cat" (1976) has always been a favorite song of mine and I may or may not have raised my fist in silent triumph when the song began to play at the end of the fourth episode. That patchouli lyric gets me every time.
The closing credits were soundtracked by Bread's "Guitar Man" (1972) for the fifth episode. Although this song is a few years older than the other songs that have been used, it has that same smooth and mellow vibe. This slice of Bread is most definitely not stale.
Avoiding more obvious Gerry Rafferty tunes like "Baker Street" and "Right Down The Line", Dressler went with "Get It Right Next Time" (1979) from the City To City follow-up Night Owl for the sixth episode closing credits crawl.
The song that closed out the seventh episode was Roxy Music's "Oh Yeah (On The Radio)" (1980), a melancholy tune.  The sound isn't as lush and romantic as it would be on their next album Avalon in 1982 but Bryan Ferry's voice really brings out the emotions in this one.
For the credit crawl of season one's eighth episode, Dressler went with another deep cut that fits quite nicely. "Marriage Bureau Rendezvous" (1977) follows the hit single "The Things We Do For Love" from 10cc's Deceptive Bends album and tells the story of a lonely man looking for love and a dating service which provides the title of the tune.
While Hello Ladies: The Movie featured songs like "Some Like It Hot" and "Sussudio" in party scenes, Gerry Rafferty was once again tapped for closing credits honors with 1979's "Days Gone Down (Still got The Light In Your Eyes)" as *spoiler alert* Stewart and Jessica got together for good.

If all this sounds familiar, I originally wrote about
the music of Hello Ladies nearly three years ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment