A reader of my online mailbag recently asked about the song playing at the end of the second-season finale of ''Nip/Tuck.'' It wasn't that surprising -- I get a fair number of queries about songs in TV shows -- but it was tidily coincidental. Last week, I had seen that scene as the setup for a ''Nip/Tuck'' press conference in Hollywood.
''Is that Art Garfunkel?'' I asked the critic sitting next to me. He wasn't sure, suspecting it was more likely some more recent artist. (TV soundtracks are more often than not slaves to the hip -- especially hip artists who happen to be on labels that are corporate siblings to the makers of the TV show.) In any case, the song was hauntingly paired with the images onscreen -- especially effective to me, since I'm not a fan of ''Nip/Tuck.'' I'll be writing more about it sometime before the third season begins on Sept. 20, but that will be a function of readers' admiration for it instead of my own enthusiasm.
The song, it turned out, was indeed by Garfunkell; called ''All I Know,'' it has been included on several Garfunkel albums. I found it on a cassette at the Akron library, and played it several times over the weekend. It's still a good song -- in fact, the surrounding cuts made me appreciate Garfunkel anew -- but hearing it on its own was not the same as hearing it along with the images from ''Nip/Tuck.'' The song made the show better, but the show also improved the song.