In Episode 5 of Conversations With Friends, there’s a moment of quiet reconciliation between two of the central characters, Frances (Alison Oliver) and Bobbi (Sasha Lane): As two friends who seem stuck in a loop of hurting one another and acting selfishly, its a gentle, dialogue-free visual of the two women hooking their pinkies together that speaks to forgiveness. Then, “Nod” by Julianna Barwick and Nosaj Thing kicks in, and the whole moment takes flight.
Juliet Martin is the mastermind behind this moment and many others on Conversations With Friends, although she’d probably dispute that description. Speaking with Consequence over the phone, she paints a portrait of how many of those needledrop moments come together. “People sometimes have a misconception that the Music Supervisor’s entire musical vision is what shapes it,” she shares. “It’s a much more collaborative thing. Everyone on the creative team makes a valuable contribution, and they all have opinions of their own, too.”
Martin has been the sneaky magic ingredient for many other great beats of television, and some particularly memorable scenes stem from her time as the music supervisor for Normal People, the breakout BBC/Hulu hit of 2020. Much of the creative team from Normal People reunited for this second Sally Rooney adaptation, including Element Pictures, director Lenny Abrahamson, and co-writer Alice Birch. Martin, of course, approached this as a completely different project nonetheless.