Now Streaming: “Gypsy” features haunting Fleetwood Mac song

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Netflix’s “Gypsy” features a stripped-down, perhaps minimalist version of the Fleetwood Mac song of the same name. For viewers who invest their time in the so far, one-season show, the song is haunting and plays up the theme of the series. But the theme song is so different from the 1982 version that most audiences are familiar with, that some people might assume it is a cover version. It is not. Stevie Nicks re-recorded the song for the show.

About “Gypsy” the Netflix show

The show’s premise sounds mildly intriguing depending on what viewers expect from streaming shows. At its best, “Gypsy” sounds like it could be a guilty pleasure. At its worst, the show seems as if it is implausible. In reality, the scenarios the ethically challenged therapist sets up look as if they could occur. That is what sets viewers on edge. The therapist, Jean, played by Naomi Watts, gets too close to her patients’ lives and risks destroying her own perfect-looking life. It is that risk, that flying too close to the flame tension, that draws even reluctant viewers in.

“Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac

The song appears on the band’s 1982 album, “Mirage.” The album has an overall soft rock sound, and “Gypsy” fits in well. The song’s lyrics reveal a female narrator reminiscing on having once been a gypsy and how she will be one again. The phrase “I have no fear” stands out, and the viewers get the idea that the therapist in the show has regrets about her life and chances she didn’t take. The lyrics also mention “lightning strikes/maybe once/maybe twice.”

Every line reveals a character willing to take risks while pretending to be someone who shows a different face. This makes sense in the show, as Jean doesn’t even use her real name, as she pursues her clients’ lives during her nighttime excursions. Viewers keep watching wondering when Jean’s lies and double- and triple-lives will catch up with her.

For the Netflix show, “Gypsy” is just voice and piano. In the original, there are layered backing vocals, plaintive guitar and other elements that give the song its ethereal quality. For the show, “Gypsy” sounds haunting, and after watching just one episode, it is easy to see how it fits.

“Gypsy” the show was released in 2017. It did not fare well with critics, which claimed it “was boring” and “dry”; fans willing to sign a petition disagreed.

So, while “Gypsy” might have been cancelled after one season, it still exists on Netflix, even with little promotion. Arguably, there are far more boring shows that don’t show a professional woman willing to have a series of “falling down” moments (like the movie with Michael Douglas) every week, regardless of the risks.

“Gypsy” is modern, and laid-back, until it can’t be, and Jean stands on the cusp of destruction, but is having a good time doing it, like it is an addiction she can’t beat.

Even if Netflix comes back with a second season, the company should keep the theme song.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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