Playlist of the Month: TV Tunes Scene Stealers

It’s the final day of Back To TV Week, and we’re ending it by really going back to TV with some of the most iconic scenes on the small screen over the years. We know that music can make or break any soundtrack either in TV and movies or even in real life. But when it’s in entertainment, the choice of song can elevate a scene a million times more and evoke emotion that would have never been brought out otherwise. This month’s playlist features a lot – A LOT – of our favorite scenes from TV shows with the perfect background music, mainly because we’re TV nerds and there are just so many to choose from. Here are our top picks – did any of yours make the list?

Sia – Breathe Me

{Six Feet Under}

You’ve probably heard this countless times already, but Six Feet Under has the best series finale in the history of television, and this final montage is why. I swear I binged the whole show just to get to this scene, and it was worth it. If you don’t know, Six Feet Under centers on a family who runs a funeral home, and each episode focuses on at least one death. In this final scene from the series finale, each of the main characters’ lives are flashed before our eyes, showing us highlights from when the final episode ends in present day to years later when each of them are old and grey, leading up to their deaths. The beautiful montage of life and death is perfectly set to Sia’s emotional Breathe Me, and the scene may leave you in mourning, but equally satisfied with the reality of mortality.

Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars

{Grey’s Anatomy}

Remember 80 seasons ago when Katherine Heigl was still on Grey’s? And she fell in love with a patient? And then he died? And she had ghost sex with him? Ok, well the death scene was emotionally draining, even for stone cold Cristina Yang, and Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars pulled the tears out even further. It was also this episode that Chasing Cars became the unofficial theme song for Grey’s, and used in several more episodes after that including the infamous musical episode. And in a full circle sort of scene, a cover of Chasing Cars by The Wind and the Wave was played in the background as Meredith watches Derek being taken out of his coma and takes his final breath. WOOF.

Tony Lucca – Devil Town

{Friday Night Lights}

Tony Lucca, of Mickey Mouse Club and The Voice fame, is the voice behind this haunting song, which, like Chasing Cars for Grey’s, became the unofficial theme song for FNL. It was used both in the beginning of season one (as seen in this clip) as the Panthers prepared for their first game without Street, and at the end of season one after they win state. It was used yet again in the series finale when the school board decides to keep the Dillon Panthers and merge the East Dillon Lions into their team, just before the Lions have their own run at the state champs. Yet again, all full circle, and yet again all the goosebumps and tears.

Chris Brown – Forever

{The Office}

As a self-professed Jam shipper, the Niagara episode in which Jim and Pam finally tie the knot was v important to me. And this scene was everything I could’ve asked for and more. It perfectly encapsulates why I loved the show in the first place – comedy, camaraderie, romance and tears all in one. First of all, the idea to have a flash mob was conceived by Michael, who saw a (real) viral video on YouTube of a wedding party dancing to Chris Brown’s Forever. He rallied the entire Scranton crew to participate which was even more delightful, but the newlyweds let it go and didn’t let it ruin their big day. Why? Well Jim was his usual romantic self and devised a plan to marry Pam secretly on the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls. Cue the tears.

Jim: I bought those tickets the day I saw that YouTube video. I knew we’d need a backup plan. The boat was actually Plan C, the church was Plan B, and Plan A was marrying her a long, long time ago. Pretty much the day I met her.

Aaliyah – Try Again

{The Mindy Project}

Do you remember where you were when you first saw Danny Castellano bust out impressive moves during a Secret Santa dance to Mindy Lahiri to Aaliyah’s classic tune Try Again? Because I do. Fact: Chris Messina truly knows how to dance, and the person who choreographed this scene actually worked with Aaliyah for the Try Again music video. The authenticity + one of the first memorable Danny x Mindy moments makes for an unforgettable scene. And let us not forget when he went all out Diamond Dan for a private strip tease to Lenny Kravitz’s American Woman. Oh also, during S3, episode 15, when Danny’s mom aka Carla Tortelli accidentally tells him Mindy is pregnant, and he looks for her all over New York to the tune of Beyonce’s XO. It was perfect in every way, especially with the heartbeat in the backbeat of the track, encapsulating the life *growing inside of her*.

Imogen Heap – Hallelujah

{The OC}

If you are an older millenial like us, you know this scene already. You know how iconic this is. Especially since Jeff Buckley’s version was used in the season one finale when it seemed like the gang was all parting ways. But in this scene, Marissa was the one who parted ways for good. RIP.

Nina Simone – I Shall Be Released

{Scandal}

Shondaland does music right, and on Scandal, they perfect the use of soul & R&B songs usually from the 1970s and 80s. In what is maybe Scandal’s best episode, titled The Lawn Chair, the Ferguson-inspired storyline features Courtney B. Vance refusing to remove himself from sitting over his son’s body, which was left on the street after a police officer shot him to death. As if the episode wasn’t emotional enough, Nina Simone’s I Shall Be Released pushes it over the edge, and if you’re not in tears by the final shot, you have no soul. {click here for the video}

U2 – With Or Without You

{Friends}

Nothing made us sadder during the run of Friends than when Ross and Rachel were on a break – and that still holds today, even though our feelings about some of the Friends characters are in flux (do I love Ross? or do I absolutely hate Ross? I’m basically Rachel). With Or Without You has passed into cliche sad song territory – think Everybody Hurts – and yet when you’re in the middle of heartbreak it’s like “Bono was right, I CAN’T live with or without you.”

Our Friends honorable mention goes to Groovy Kind Of Love at Monica and Chandler’s wedding. It felt like a left-field choice for them, which led to 12-year-old me developing a head canon that it was “their song” and they used to dance around to it in the kitchen or whatever.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

{E.R.}

Sometimes I still get sad when I remember that Mark Greene died on E.R., but at least the show gave him a beautiful sendoff. Not so much the brain cancer (although it was E.R., at least they didn’t have him get stabbed by a madman), but the gorgeous scene where he slips into the next world … which is also an E.R..

Fun (?) fact, this episode aired when we were in high school. My mom had cancer at the time and this scene had me weeping because of little Rachel and whoever the baby was. Watching it as an adult, I can safely say that it would have had that effect no matter what my life circumstances were because of the damn ukulele and because this rendition wasn’t yet ubiquitous in commercials and stuff.

I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke

{Mad Men}

 

Mad Men did a great job evoking the 1960s with music – props to their clearances/legal department, and a big shoutout to the genius who thought of Megan singing Zou Bisou. But viewers had to wait for the end of the series for the most iconic musical moment of all, where it’s implied that a blissed-out Don Draper created one of the most successful ad campaigns of all time, I Want To Buy The World A Cokie. It also signifies the shift, both culturally and in the ad world, from the 1960s to the 1970s.

We still miss this show a lot, just so you know.

Hard Times Come Again No More – Brett Dennen

{Parenthood}

Where my music history nerds at? You’ll remember that this one was written by the hot pop composer of the 1850s, Stephen Foster, but it was given new life in the 2010s when this cover played in the season 2 finale of Parenthood, an emotional roller coaster following Amber’s accident, Kristina’s pregnancy and Julia’s adoption disappointment.

My other Parenthood choices, if you’re cool with crying all over yourself, are that final scene with Forever Young and when Amber and Sarah sing the Circle Game, a song Joni Mitchell wrote so that people would cry more (and then Amber calls Sarah her hero, and then later we found out that it was really Mae Whitman calling Lauren Graham her hero, and we’re really fine, I swear).

Make Your Own Kind Of Music – Mama Cass

{Lost}

Optimistic and life-affirming and bleak and cheerful and disturbing and confusing: this scene was Lost in three minutes. I’ll never hear this song the same way again.

Motown Philly – Boyz II Men

{Full House}

Was the best musical moment of Full House when the Beach Boys would inexplicably show up, invite the Tanners on stage, and the crowd would react with glee for this random nerdy family as though it meant something to them? Or possibly when Jesse crooned Forever to Becky at their wedding? Or is it when the girls ruined their Ace of Base cover and we all learned a thing or two about how important it is to practice? Maybe that Lollypops and Gummybears song from the telethon episode?

Friends, it is none of these. The best musical moment is when Stephanie did a pretty good dance to Motown Philly. No arguments. It is.

Bonus Tracks:

La Vie En Rose by Cristin Milioti/Tracy McConnell-Mosby (Edith Piaf cover) on How I Met Your Mother – we continue to be upset over the unfair treatment of fictional character Tracy Mosby.

Make It Home by Juliana Hatfield on My So-Called Life – I don’t care if it never made sense that a ghost/angel was suddenly around for one episode, this was important and we all know it.

Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk – This is a Pacey/Joey blog 100%, let’s be clear. This was a Dawson/Joey song, but this melodramatic fan video recasts it as Pacey/Joey… just like the whole show should have been. It’s important to note that I ran the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack into the ground in junior high.

Welcome to The OC Musical, Bitch

Ever wonder what it would look like if your fave high schoolers from Newport Beach put all their feelings into song? You won’t have to wait that much longer. It was recently announced that there’s going to be a one-night-only event of The OC in musical format, in Los Angeles in August (of course conveniently when I’m back home in New York). The producers of the show are the same ones who recently did The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Cruel Intentions – you may have heard of it because Sarah Michelle Gellar, Selma Blair and Reese Witherspoon all went together and it was an epic return to 1999.

But now the producers are skipping ahead a few years to 2003, when The OC made its debut and entered the hearts of a new generation, namely, ours. I was a high school senior and this show was meant for people like me. I became obsessed as much as the next teen fan, buying into the mysterious, brooding Ryan Atwood, calling Seth Cohen the perfect nerdy dream man, and (still) having an adverse reaction anytime anyone mentions Tijuana/TJ.

As any The OC fan knows, music was a huge part of the show, which makes perfect sense as to why it’s being made into a musical. So far, the producers have cast school jock Luke, Seth’s mom Kirsten Cohen, and for some reason, show creator Josh Schwartz in some weird meta role, I guess.

For Cruel Intentions, the producers took songs from the late 90s/early 2000s to provide the soundtrack for the musical: e.g. Kathryn teasing stepbrother Sebastian with Xtina’s Genie in a Bottle and a Blaine’s gay sex scene with a BSB/’N Sync medley.

So what can we expect from The OC musical? I am in no way involved with the show at all, so this is just my best guess. If any of these do turn out to be in the show – just remember I am trademarking and copyrighting all of this. Just like Michael Scott declaring bankruptcy.

Act I

California by Phantom Planet

{Josh Schwartz}

There is no song more synonymous with The OC than its theme song, so why not start here? Creator Josh Schwartz went to USC and was also in a fraternity, so he was familiar with rich kids from Southern California. He considered himself an outsider, and got a glimpse at how real teens in Newport Beach lived, and that served as inspiration for The OC. Did you know he was 26 when the show got picked up? When I was 26, I was still binge-watching episodes of The OC. This solo is the beginning of his masterpiece.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day

{Ryan Atwood}

In the pilot, Ryan and his brother Trey get caught stealing a car and while Trey lands in jail, Ryan is let go but since he has nowhere to go (since his dad abused him and his mom is an alcoholic with a tendency to just up and leave), his lawyer, the wealthy Sandy Cohen decides to take him in. It’s like this song is Ryan’s pre-Cohen anthem.

Over My Head (Cable Car) by The Fray

{Sandy Cohen/Kirsten Cohen and Jimmy Cooper/ Julie Cooper}

It wasn’t an easy sell for Sandy to convince Kirsten to take Ryan in – he is, after all, a troubled kid from Chino that they don’t know at all come to live in their mansion of a house and lavish lifestyle in Newport. Meanwhile, their next-door neighbors, Julie and Jimmy Cooper (who happens to by Kirsten’s former flame) are heading towards a divorce of their own. Each couple is in over their heads, but only one will ultimately survive.

Wonderwall by Oasis

{Ryan and Marissa}

Ah, the start of a beautiful friendship. When Ryan and Marissa meet for the first time, she’s outside waiting for her BF to pick her up and he’s going to smoke a cigarette, because he’s the bad boy. It’s one of the most iconic scenes from the show, so their meeting has to have its own song. After he says, ‘Whoever you want me to be’ – they separate and cue music.

I’m Shakin by Rooney

{Seth Cohen}

There aren’t many kids like Seth in Chino. He’s nerdy, into video games, super into emo music and confided in a plastic toy horse called Captain Oats. Wouldn’t it be great if the audience is introduced to a solo Seth Cohen singing and dancing alone in his room and Ryan sees him in his natural element for the first time being a total dingus?

 

Dirty Little Secret by All-American Rejects

{Summer and Seth}

I’m kind of jumping around in the timeline here, but let’s assume Seth and Summer skipped their whole ‘Ew! I don’t like Cohen!’ game and they’re just dating on the DL. (SIDENOTE: Rachel Bilson had a scene with Wilson Bethel aka Wade from Hart of Dixie in The OC?!?! BRAND NEW INFORMATION)

Mr. Brightside by The Killers

{Ryan, Marissa, Seth, Summer}

Setting: The Bait Shop. The four kids are watching Seth’s fave band, The Killers, play. This scene is purely of them having fun. No brooding allowed.

Welcome To My Life by Simple Plan

{Oliver Trask and Marissa}

Ugh. Oliver. He meets Marissa in therapy, and they bond because they both have problems, but as Marissa’s going to find out, he has bigger problems than her.

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

{Cast}

Remember how good the first season was? And remember how good this ending scene in the finale was? Ryan went back to Chino to take care of his maybe-baby with his ex-girlfriend Theresa, Seth sailed on his catamaran to Catalina (?? which I realize now isn’t as far from The OC as I thought), Summer is sad because Cohen left, Marissa moves in with her mom’s new husband and starts drinking again because Ryan left and the Cohens are left as empty nesters because both their boys are gone. CLIFFHANGER END TO THE ACT.

(END OF ACT)

::Intermission/Bake sale for Harbor School::

Act II

Maybe This Christmas by Ron Sexsmith

{Cast}

We open Act II with Christmukkah, a Cohen family tradition and one I even attempted implementing despite the fact I am not Jewish.

Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard

{Seth and Summer}

Seth and Summer briefly break up and he’s into Anna but then he realizes he’s not really into her and still loves Summer. Because they’re *meant to be*.

Portions for Foxes by Rilo Kiley

{Marissa and Summer}

A song in which the BFFs talk about sexy times with their respective men. Probably setting feminism back a bit, but this isn’t real anyways, so it’s fine.

Sugar, We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy

{Seth and Ryan}

What’s the early 2000s without Fall Out Boy?

Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap

{Oliver, Marissa, Ryan, Sandy}

Oliver proves to be a psycho and basically locks Marissa in a room while he flails a gun around, as seen in this scene (even though this song is famously in this scene). The standoff comes to a complete halt and, as if stuck in time, they start singing a cappella, because this song will give you chills if done right a cappella.

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

{Ryan, Marissa, Seth, Summer}

Ryan and Marissa are rid of crazy Oliver, Seth and Summer are back in love, and everything is right with the world again.

The Sound of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie

{Cast}

Because you need that finale number that will make you want to cheer for the characters AND dance around at the same time. Also, Death Cab, is Seth Cohen’s favorite, duh.

(CURTAIN)

 

Playlist of the Month: A Very Cookies + Sangria Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is just DAYS away, you guys??? Unless you’re Jewish, or celebrate Kwanzaa or are the Grinch, so this doesn’t really apply to you. For this month’s playlist, the last and final one of 2013, we decided to stick with a traditional theme and go with our favorite holiday songs. I’m sure by now you’ve heard plenty of them on rotation already, but what’s a few more? Happy listening! And Merry Christmas/Happy Belated Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy December to all!!!

Click here to listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!
spotify:user:122917273:playlist:2SiQGCxAAb7WB1jPEf7nU9

Traci’s Picks

If Everyday Could Be Christmas – 98 Degrees

I’m warning y’all now, my portion of the playlist will be pop heavy and seem like a tween in 2000 made it. Mainly because I still feel like I am. I’m starting off with 98 Degrees, because I think this album was overlooked by a lot of people (I don’t blame you), but I think it’s actually their second best album out of anything they’ve ever released. Their strong suit was always their acappella skills, and it’s prominently shown in this song.

(PS: That video is ridic but the only version I could find!)

Maybe This Christmas – Ron Sexsmith

Anyone out there celebrate Chrismukkah? Anyone out there celebrate Christmukkah because of Seth Cohen? Well we can thank our fave faux Newport Beach resident for bringing that term into our lives, and we can also thank The OC for bringing great songs into our lives. Music was always an integral part of the show, and come Chrismukkah time, it was no different. I’ve been listening to this song ever since it was on one of the holiday eps and it never gets old.

Last Christmas – Glee Cast Version

Last Christmas is possibly my favorite modern day holiday song, and obviously many artists have covered it. I opted to choose this song featuring Lea Michele and Cory Monteith. I’ve never been a real hard core fan of the show, but for some reason his death really got to me and still gets me to this day. But it’s nice to know his talent and legacy will live on through the show and its music.

My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

This song was featured on the Platinum Christmas album which was released in 2000. For those who didn’t grow up listening to this like I did, it featured the biggest names in pop music including my beloved BSB, ‘N Sync, Christina Aguilera, TLC, Monica and more. I personally think this track by Brit Brit is one of her best in general, it’s just so fun and uplifting and you can’t help but dance to it. Speaking of dance to it, my friend and I may or may not have made up a ridiculous dance to this song in college. Private viewings available for a fee.

What Christmas Means to Me – Hanson

Snowed In. Classic Christmas album of the 90s and beyond. Zak sounds like a baby here, but hey, they still sound better than I ever did as a teenager.

*Ed. Note: We usually pick 5 songs each, but I couldn’t decide, so here are two bonus songs for as your Christmas bonus this year 🙂

It’s Christmas Time Again – Backstreet Boys

I like the Backstreet Boys and you can’t stop me from putting them on this list. So suck it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson

It’s about time KC did a Christmas album and her lead single is reminiscent of Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas is You. Although it’s nowhere near the popularity of MC, Kelly is giving her a run for her money with this jam.

Molly’s Picks

I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan

In the 2000 years of Christmas songs, is this really one of the best EVER? If you go by the giddy Christmas-y feeling you get every time it airs on the SNL Christmas episode, maybe it is. The great thing about this song – and I’d say this of the original SNL cast performing Winter Wonderland as well – is that while it somewhat pokes fun at stupid Christmas songs, it does so without being nasty or cynical. It’s pure holiday happiness.

All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

90s kids know what I’m talking about. If you can, get your hands on All I Want For Christmas Is You (Extra Festive). How can you make this song MORE festive, you may ask? Well,  add some bells and shit and make the beginning of it sound like a song from Beauty And The Beast: The Musical. By the way, of course Ariana Grande has covered this and of course it’s amazing.

Once In Royal David’s City by Sufjan Stevens (cover)

I won’t fill the playlist with them, but my real favorite Christmas songs are all traditional hymns that are a little less common than Silent Night and Adeste Fidelis. So, imagine my delight that Sufjan Stevens has covered Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming, The Friendly Beasts, Once In Royal David’s City, Bring A Torch Jeanette, Isabella, and I Saw Three Ships

The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne

Leave it to Jackson Browne to cut through all of the sap and remind us what we message we really should be taking from the Christmas story.

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues

Sometimes you need a Christmas song with lyrics like  “you’re a bum, you’re a punk/ you’re an old slut on junk”.” Besides, I’m making my list first and in the spirit of the holiday, I should probably leave some of the White Christmas/Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-like classics for my friend.