Happy finale week, Jukeboxers. With the holiday season in full swing, it wasn’t surprising that the Christmas-y start to last week’s column carried through to this edition. Unlike the average week at Jukebox, you probably recognized most of these songs in your favorite shows. But did you know which au courant artists were covering them? We’re here to tell you! Check out our picks and the full Spotify playlist below. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)
NEW GIRL (Fox)
The song: Fitz & The Tantrums, “Santa Stole My Lady”
The episode: “Santa” (211)
The hook: Newbies were digging the DIY caroling by Winston (Lamorne Morris) during the roommates’ last party on Tuesday, and, though an impromptu lap dance tutorial from Nick (Jake Johnson), Angie (Olivia Munn), and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) was probably the most primed-for-music moment of the ep. But we enjoyed the not-meant-for-laughs, neo-soul vibe of L.A.’s Fitz & The Tantrums. It was the icing on a charming episode — and with an adorkably New Girl-approriate title to boot.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW)
The episode: “O Come All Ye Faithful” (409)
The hook: TVD‘s midseason finale was chockablock with brilliantly twisted Xmas tunes. Original vamp Klaus (Joseph Morgan) proved the ep’s anti-MVP as he sacrificed 11 hybrids he’d sired to the tune of Cary Brothers’ “O Holy Night.” Later, still covered in werevamp blood, he vengefully murdered Mayor Carol Lockwood (Susan Walters) because her son Tyler (Michael Trevino) had plotted a rebellion against Klaus. Most unsettling, Klaus didn’t kill Carol by drinking her blood; he did it in an utterly human way — drowning her like any of Mystic Falls’ human residents could. The message was loud and clear: This is personal. When Judy Garland first performed “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in 1944’s Meet Me in St. Louis, the tune had an inherent sadness. Nearly 70 years later, hearing those iconic lyrics (“Some day soon we all will be together, until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow”) play as life escaped Carol, knowing that only Tyler’s death could bring about this reunion, the song’s ominous undercurrent was starker than ever. Merry Christmas? More like scary Christmas!
The song: Melissa Etheridge, “Glorious”
The episode: “What To My Wondering Eyes” (411)
The hook: Many of this week’s Jukebox tunes struck a more cheerful chord. Because, what are the holidays about if not family togetherness? So it was appropriate this week when Braverman patriarch Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) ignored hospital rules to assemble all 14 members of his clan to exchange gifts with Kristina (Monica Potter) as she recovered from surgery.
THE MINDY PROJECT (Fox)
The song: Wham!, “Last Christmas”
The episode: “Josh and Mindy’s Christmas Party” (109)
The hook: Then again, not every family is of the nuclear variety. Mindy (Mindy Kaling) threw a Christmas party to show off her boyfriend Josh (Tommy Dewey), only to be publicly embarrassed when she learned Josh was a cheater — and that she was the other woman. A cheeky nod to Mindy’s mortification, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s 1984 hit played Tuesday as Jeremy (Ed Weeks) rallied the troops to cheer up their colleague.
ARROW (The CW)
The song: Kari Kimmel, “Christmastime”
The episode: “Year’s End” (109)
The hook: The Boca Raton-born singer’s ditty about an unorthodox Christmas (“don’t see snow, it’s 85 degrees out”) underscored a scene in which Thea Queen (Willa Holland) explained to her brother Oliver (Stephen Amell) that their family had stopped hosting an annual Christmas party when Oliver and his father were lost at sea. But the song’s overarching message — it’s the people around you, not the snow or sleigh bells, that make Christmas — was fitting for Oliver’s first holiday back home.
HART OF DIXIE (The CW)*
The song: Shelly Fraley, “For the Holidays”
The episode: “Blue Christmas” (210)
The hook: Brrrr! After The Head and the Heart’s “Winter Song” accompanied a bitter blow-up between Lavon (Cress Williams) and Lemon (Jaime King) on Tuesday, we needed something to warm us up. Happily, Zoe (Rachel Bilson) and Wade (Wilson Bethel) obliged. Nashville singer-songwriter Fraley’s gentle strum and sugar-cookie-sweet lyrics (“String the lights around the tree. There’s no place I’d rather be than here with you on New Year’s Eve, Christmas day, and in between”) were comforting but not cloying as the doctor and bartender finally made it official. Took ’em long enough!
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
The song: Tal & Acacia, “Silver Bells (Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy)”
The episode: “Run, Baby, Run” (909)
The hook: Sugar & The Hi Lows’ “Jingle Bells” (which also appeared on this week’s Vampire Diaries) fit squarely in Grey’s indie wheelhouse as the revamped classic opened Thursday night’s ep, but we were more amused by what played out an exchange between Callie (Sara Ramirez) and
blushingstressing bride Bailey (Chandra Wilson). Callie dropped a bomb — advising Bailey to leave her husband-to-be at the altar — and these Maine-born Christian sisters dropped some beats on a holiday standard. A sister act after some sisterly (albeit terrible) advice? Priceless.
Honorable Mentions: Non-Holiday Category*
Jukebox’s Twitter followers also kept their ears open for several other just-plain-good songs on TV this week, including Tegan and Sara‘s double-barrel performance of “Closer” and “Now I’m All Messed Up” on Monday’s 90210, Gossip Girl‘s penultimate episode finale set to Ellie Goulding‘s “Hanging On,” and Charlene Soraia‘s cover of “Wherever You Will Go” on last night’s Beauty and the Beast.
Want to be featured in the next TV Jukebox? Tweet your pick using the hashtag #tvjukebox to @EW!
In the meanwhile, make sure to look for TV Jukebox’s Best of Fall 2012 gallery in our extensive Best & Worst of 2012 hub.