With NBC’s live production of “The Sound of Music” and “Psych: The Musical” set to air Sunday on USA, we’ve got musicals on the brain. We’re shining a light on the most memorable musical episodes from our favorite TV shows:
1. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”
“Buffy” gets kudos for being one of the first shows to do a musical episode and certainly one of the first ones to do it right. “Once More With Feeling” made sense in the context of the series, with a demon responsible for the Scooby gang’s sudden need to burst into song and spill their secrets. The episode comes during one of the darker points of the season, which is evident in the opening number, the albeit-Disneyesque “Going Through the Motions.”
Zach Braff’s J.D. was always getting lost in his own thoughts, so it would have come as no surprise if the medical comedy’s “My Musical” episode had taken place inside his head. Instead, however, it is a patient whose neurological disorder leads her to hear everything in song. With the help of Broadway star Stephanie D’Abruzzo as the patient and memorable songs like “Guy Love” and “For the Last Time I’m Dominican,” it’s no surprise that the episode was nominated for five Emmys.
Under most other circumstances, a musical episode of an animated series makes a certain kind of sense. Not so when that show is “Daria,” whose famously monotone title character can barely express emotion while speaking, let alone singing. Yet the season three premiere, titled “Daria!,” is a surprisingly fun episode, with Daria, her family, Jane and even Brittany and Kevin getting their chance to shine as the town of Lawndale preps for a possible hurricane.
4. “Grey’s Anatomy”
Of all the entries on this list, the “Grey’s Anatomy” episode titled “Song Beneath the Song” is surely the most controversial. After a pregnant Callie (Sara Ramirez) is nearly killed in a car crash, she experiences an out-of-body experience where she witnesses the life-saving efforts from her colleagues. If only for the episode’s use of iconic “Grey’s” songs, the episode is pretty fun, with Ramirez’s cover of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” and Chyler Leigh’s take on “Breathe (2AM)” by Anna Nalick among the standouts.
This NBC comedy gem is known for its brilliant themed episodes, satirizing everything from animated Christmas specials to “Law & Order” and even a Ken Burns-style documentary. Season three’s musical holiday episode, “Regional Holiday Music,” is no different. In just 20 minutes, the show is able to combine Christmas, Hanukkah and five wonderful original songs, all while skewering FOX’s “Glee” – lovingly, of course. The Greendale study group is “infected” with “glee” and each of them are slowly convinced to join glee club.
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