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The Knick: Season 2 by Cliff Martinez (Review)

posted Nov 4, 2015, 8:15 AM by Kaya Savas

The Knick continues one of the great composer/director collaborations with Cliff Martinez and Steven Soderbergh. Soderbergh continues his absence from film and sticks with TV, and The Knick is truly pure Soderbergh and a perfect vehicle for him. Many people were probably surprised with the electronic approach Cliff Martinez took for a period medical drama. But come on folks, this is Cliff Martinez we’re talking here! The man is an auteur just like his director, and The Knick is continuing proof that Martinez finds the pulse of a story in his own special way that no other person could even imagine. 

Season 2 of The Knick is fundamentally more engaging and encapsulating, but I wouldn’t say it’s “better” or "worse". We got to stop that way of thinking. I think the mentality of comparing what’s new with what’s old and looking for improvements has seeped into our storytelling straight from technology and gadget business models. Season 2 of The Knick shouldn’t be looked on as version 2.0. It’s a great continuation of 1.0. The score naturally feels more part of the fabric of the story and the characters, even if the show doesn’t rely on it too heavily. The Knick isn’t a series that has wall to wall music, so you have to imagine how this score is working. In the end, it works really well. Martinez continues to make The Knick a world we want to get lost in. It has a fascinating retro feel and its use of tones and textures is on point. There isn't really anything emotionally grasping, but it has this hard to describe organic pull.

Season 2 of The Knick feels a bit more developed and richer than season 1, and that’s because the series is naturally progressing. The score isn’t better or worse than what came before, it’s just more of that great Cliff Martinez style that works in sync with Soderbergh’s vision. The tones and textures that Martinez built for The Knick feel so right for the show, yet it’s hard to pinpoint why. All that matters is that the music makes the world come alive and it's truly engaging in that very special Cliff Martinez way.