Thursday, December 18, 2008
At last, the final part of my Music in Television series. My favorite musical sequences featuring pre-existing songs. There are so many candidates that it's been fun coming up with the best, but I'm sure I've overlooked some. And as always, my list skews modern thanks to the limited scope of my research.
I'd get right into it, but I'm feeling generous. So first, here are two clips that were not in the running for my Top 40.
1. A great Previously On montage:
Supernatural Season 1 finale - Kansas - "Carry On My Wayward Son"
I don't even watch Supernatural or know much about it, but fans rave about that sequence, and rightfully so.
2. My favorite promo:
Battlestar Galactica Season 3 promo
Gross song, but wonderful promo. This was our first glimpse of where everyone ended up after the Cylons landed on New Caprica, our first glimpse of one-eyed Colonel Tigh, our first "This is Kara, your mother," our first scene of Baltar begging to be killed for his sins. I know promos are regularly objects of rage for spoilerphobes, but in this case, it was a desperately needed appetizer.
Now, the honorable mentions. These are the songs that were strongly considered but ultimately cut from my Top 40 Music Sequences on TV. I'd like to reiterate that the list is limited to mostly modern shows, so keep in mind this is not even close to an All-Time Best Of list. Also, these are simply the songs and scenes that I enjoyed most, so it's possible one of your favorites won't be that high on my list. That said, I'd love to hear what I completely left off or forgot about, so feel free to chime in.
Honorable Mention Time:
1. Freaks and Geeks, "Discos and Dragons" (Season 1, Episode 18)
Heatwave - "Groove Line" - This clip is lengthy, but if you skip to the middle, you'll get the good stuff. By which I am referring to Nick's virtuoso dance moves.
2. Mad Men, "Maidenform" (Season 2, Episode 6)
The Decemberists - "The Infanta" - Probably a personal choice, but I loved this song scoring the opening of the episode. I was so excited I couldn't focus on what was going on.
3. Scrubs, "My Choosiest Choice of All" (Season 3, Episode 19)
Polyphonic Spree, "Light & Day" - I got confused on where to place scenes like this where the music is sung onscreen but also plays offscreen for montage portions (as in the Mad Men version of "Babylon"), so this and a few others got put in this category, but "Babylon" was used for my other list. Sorry.
4. Scrubs, "My Lunch" (Season 5, Episode 20)
The Fray - "How to Save a Life" - I feel like putting this song so low is controversial, but it just isn't at the top of the Scrubs charts, for me.
5. Scrubs, "My Long Goodbye" (Season 6, Episode 15)
Keane - "A Bad Dream" - Judy Reyes is the most underrated member of the Scrubs cast, but once again, she nails it.
6. The Shield, "Dominoes Falling" (Season 2, Episode 13)
Live - "Overcome" - This is at the top of many Shield fans lists, but a few other music moments stuck with me more. Relatedly, I forgot some of the best Rescue Me music scenes, so feel free to refresh my memory in the comments.
7. Six Feet Under, "Terror Starts at Home" (Season 4, Episode 6)
Death Cab for Cutie - "Transatlanticism" - I remember liking this scene a lot more when I saw the episode, but here it's not spectacular. On the other hand, high Claire is easily the highlight of Season 4.
8. Veronica Mars, "Plan B" (Season 2, Episode 17)
The Perishers - "Sway" - Well that's the second half of the song. I officially despise youtube fangirls, who have populated the site with Logan/Veronica fanvids (as the kids say) but not actual clips from the show. Anyway, the first half is the soundtrack for Mac and Beaver discussing "business time," which is heartbreaking, even though we're not sure what's going on. But the dance between Veronica and Logan is the closest they'd been the whole year, and it was glorious. Pay attention to how the lyrics of the song apply to Beaver/Mac and then Veronica/Logan for extra fun.
My final 5 Honorable Mentions go to the king of musical sequences, The O.C. So, in chronological order, here are the 5 O.C. clips that didn't make the cut:
1. "The Secret" (Season 1, Episode 12)
Jet - "Move On"
2. "The Heartbreak" (Season 1, Episode 19)
Ryan Adams - "Wonderwall"
3. "The O.Sea" (Season 2, Episode 23)
Coldplay - "Fix You"
4. "The Avengers" (Season 4, Episode 1)
Placebo - "Running Up That Hill"
5. "The Metamorphosis" (Season 4, Episode 4)
The Pogues - "Love You Till the End"
What do you think?
Next up: Top 40 Part 2 - #40-31