Best Musical Scenes On Television
I love musicals and I love when characters sing. I believe there is no better way of character expression then when that person just bursts out in song. It truly makes you smile from ear to ear. So I decided to countdown the best uses of musical scenes in a TV show. I want to be clear about something. The character has to actually sing for this to count. Meaning: the use of Journey’s Don't Stop Believin' in the final Soprano’s episode cannot be on the list because Tony didn’t sing it. (What if he did? It would have been the greatest finale ever!) 1. Moonlighting – A Womb With A View “Another Season, Another Show.” To open their final season of Moonlighting, they have the cast break into a song about starting another season. The tune is Cole Porter, but the words are written especially for the show. The best line, “Another chance for critics to stop and sneer, we know they’ll only make 16 (episodes) this year.” This opening scene captures everything that is great about Moonlighting. This is my all time favorite episode of the show. It’s fun, witty and it thumbs its nose at all the reruns the show had. When I watch this scene, I just smile (Youtube of this Scene) Listen to my interview with Glenn Gordon Caron, creator of Moonlighting.
2. Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Once More With Feeling “Walk Through The Fire.” This song really shows that the idea of a Buffy Musical was not a gimmick. As each character decides to suit up for the final battle (for about the 300th time in the show) they sing this song about friendship, battle and character. The rhyme scheme is very impressive and it really shows Joss Whedon’s chops as a song writer. Spike steals the show with his line: “The torch I bare is scorching me, Buffy’s laughing I’ve no doubt. I hope she fries I am free if that bitch dies. I better help her out.” It sums up his love-hate relationship with her. This is one of the best episodes of a show full of best episodes. (Youtube of this scene)
3. Scrubs – My Musical “Everything Comes Down to Poo” Written by the team that brought us Avenue Q on Broadway, this Scrubs musical episode is nonstop laughs. This song about how doctors need to examine our feces to find the answers to our medical issues is a laugh riot. Turk comes away with the best line in this one: “Do you have a hemorrhoid or is it rectal cancer? When you flush your dookie down, you flush away the answer. “ Funny, but true. (YOUTUBE of this scene)
4. The Simpsons - Homer And Apu. “Who Needs the Kwik-e-mart” The Simpsons have had tons of great songs and great musical episodes. But this one with Apu was the first one that really caught my attention. Even down to the sad ending when you realize just how much Apu really does need that kwik-e-mart. The big finish when they all rhyme but Homer is the line I love: Apu: Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart? Marge: Their floors are stick-E-Mart, Lisa: They made Dad sick-E-Mart, Bart: Let's hurl a brick-E-Mart, Homer: The Kwik-E-Mart is real... D'oh!
5. Community – Regional Holiday Music “Baby Boomer Santa.” The teenage boy in me really wants to pick Alison Brie singing in the skimpy Santa costume but Troy, Abed and Peirce taking us through the years in this ode to Baby Boomer’s is perfect. It also is really well performed. A lot of times when shows sing, it works because the actors don’t have perfect voices, but this time, it’s their perfection to the era that sells it. Also they Mention “Twin Peaks” so come on, it’s on the list. (You Tube Of This Scene)
6. Twin Peaks – Episode 14 “The World Spins.” The Roadhouse, The Giant, Cooper’s utter despair as he realizes he has missed something and Julee Cruise singing The World Spins. These are moments that I will never forget. This is one of those classic Lynch scenes where you cannot imagine removing the music from it. The actor’s faces tell us so much. Dana Ashbrook really knocks it out of the park in this scene. As we hear the haunting lyric: “Love, Don’t go away, come back this way, come back and stay forever and ever.” But we know that like Laura, Maddie is gone forever. This is also a great example the difference between overlaying a song and having someone sing it. (watch this only if you know who the killer is )
7. South Park – Broadway Brodown. I cannot type anything about this and not get in big trouble. But trust me this is funny. It is season 15, Episode 11. If you are easily offended please don’t watch. And as a Sondheim fan, I loved that they put him in this episode.
8. Angel – Judgment “Mandy” Angel faced lots of dangerous tasks. He may be the bravest hero the world has ever seen. And when it came time to find out what the villain was up to, he faced his greatest Demon ever…Barry Manilow. Angel sang Karaoke to Mandy so Loran could read his inner thoughts. Only Joss Whedon could have dreamed up this torture for our hero. (This is short but memorable)
9. Family Guy - PTV “The Freaking FCC” Censorship is always a great way to stick it to the network. All the way back to the Smother’s Brother’s Comedy Hour people have been complaining about Network Censorship. This clip is packed full of so many jokes. Here is a great example of how using a catchy tune allows you to say things you wouldn’t normally get away with. I think it is fascinating that this is the first time we have ever mentioned Family Guy in any way on our blog or podcast and no one has ever yelled at us
10. Moonlighting – Cool Hand Dave part 2 “Call Collect Chicago” I really don’t know what this song is called but it is one of my favorites. Dave on a chain gang decides to tell a bunch of prisoners the story of Dave and Maddie. The prisoners respond with a musical number that is part Gilbert and Sullivan and part Bernstein and Sondheim. The lyrics here are so amazing that I am sure first time viewers miss 75% of the jokes. This entire episode is why I love Moonlighting and displays how a show can use music in such an infectious way. (YouTube Scene here) Follow us on Facebook or twitter @redroompodcast Subscribe to our Weekly Podcast on Television at iTunes