The Best Songs to Beat the HeatThe other day, our staff put together a list of the television shows with the best soundtracks. Now, it was certainly hard to omit the dun-dunn-dudun-dun-dun from the 400 episodes of Law and Order that air daily, and it was hard not to include the show Friends: some of us wanted it listed for no other reason that Ross's magical keyboard performances (Intergalactic Love Room, anyone?). But, when it came down to it, these series' just didn't fit the bill. The following five shows, however, are the ones we are not only happily watching, but also happily hearing.
Grey's Anatomy: Is there anything this show doesn't have? Great writers, check. Great cast, check. Great story line, check. Great catch phrases, double check.....seriously. A show watched by seemingly everyone, Grey's Anatomy takes time to not only focus on the plot, but to focus on the songs playing in the background. This show never forgets about the McMusic.Grey's succeeds in matching up scenes with songs that make moments that much more memorable, and it also gives chances to a lot of undiscovered musicians. Known for featuring songs and artists that aren't yet famous, their soundtrack is a virtual "Who's Who" of performers no one knows. With music from Alamo Race Track, Adam Merrin, and Let's Go Sailing, this concept of untapped talent works wonderfully. Grey's is great at bringing fresh tunes to the operating table.
Scrubs: It's silly, it's funny, it's downright ridiculous at times, but Scrubs, when it comes to the foundation, is all about heart: the music featured allows this to show. Whether viewers are learning through J.D.'s internal monologue or from a patient with an incurable disease, the music that is coupled with lessons of morality and mortality are always a perfect fit. When lyrics echo in the background of each scene, it's hard to think of a song that would be better suited.Like Grey's, this show is also well apt at including unique songs and staying away from the mainstream madness of other television shows. Recent music featured The Ellen Show Song on Scrubs have included songs by The Mavericks, G Tom Mac, Rhett Miller, and the Cary Brothers. When it comes to this series, the music doctors are in.
The Hills and Laguna Beach: So, these are technically two separate shows, but, because they really share similar casts, soundtracks, and "plots," they get placed under one entry: sorry Lauren and Kristin, you two are just going to have to learn to skip and hold hands.What these shows lack in, well just about everything, they make up in music. It should be no surprise that both these series, created by the folks at MTV, feature more song sequences than a record collection. But this abundance works well (and helps to keep the reality stars from "acting"). In fact, a ton of songs on my Ipod are songs I was introduced to through The Hills and Laguna Beach, and not songs that I was introduced to through Meet the Press and The O'reilly Factor like I keep telling everyone.
Recent artists featured on these shows include Avril Lavigne, The Weepies, and Katharine McPhee. With a good mix of songs by performers you know and performers you don't, MTV makes sure the hills (and the beaches) are alive with the sound of music.House: I know what you guys are thinking, "Could there be any more medical related shows on this list?" Sorry about that, but it's not our fault that the folks who put medical shows together are also great song picker-outers (if you want to go with the technical term). House is just another example of a show filled with the devastations of illness and death, but the sprinklings of humor and, say it with me, great music.
The music picked for House does two things: it reminds people of the humanity involved in any medical setting, fictional or otherwise, and it makes Hugh Laurie's lead character seem a little less callous. The songs picked teeter between filling our hearts with hope and filling our eyes with tears.Recent music featured includes songs from KC and the Sunshine Band, Ben Harper, and Ella Fitzgerald. With an eclectic range of tunes and artists, this series makes sure that good music is in the, well, house (sorry, that tagline was begging to be used).
Friday Night Lights: In a world where so much of the sports industry seems to be quickly becoming less and less about heart, it's nice to see a sports-themed TV show that is still beating. Friday Night Lights tells us the tale of a high school football team in Dillon, Texas. Not only does this show showcase the pressures placed on high school football players (particularly in Texas) but it also portrays the support offered by a small town who lives and dies with each first down.Omitting the hard, fist pumping songs of many sports-related features - Eye of the Tiger, mind you - the songs featured on Friday Night Lights are subtle, welcoming, and often instrumental. Still, when the moment calls for it, gears are switched over to songs that are lively enough to make anyone viewing get up to go running, or at least get up to get another beer.
Explosions in the Sky, an Indie Rock group based in Texas, provides a lot of the music for the soundtrack Recent other artists featured include Ryan Adams, Pink, Outkast, and Pearl Jam. With a soundtrack like this, you'll never want the Friday night lights to go out (again, so sorry, it's almost over).There are a lot of TV shows that have great soundtracks, these are just our favorites. Each of these shows are enriched, and made more appealing and endearing, by the songs they feature, leaving us to vow to continue watching even if our television screens suddenly stop working.