'Glee,' 'How I Met Your Mother': This week's TV Jukebox!
Valentine’s Day may still be nearly three months away, but we saw some serious sensuality in our favorite shows’ song choices this week. There was also a whole lot of heartbreak, a meat truck moment that would have been best kept private, and a dead body for good measure. From a 1970s R&B icon to an Irish electronic trio, plus some old-fashioned singer-songwriters and an experimental musician in the mix, keeping reading to see our Jukebox picks below!
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)
The song: Crooked Fingers, “Heavy Hours”
The episode: “Tick Tick Tick” (710)
The hook: Last week, HIMYM’s use of The Pixies’ “Hey” during Barney and Robin’s long-awaited reunion kiss was a big hit, but the music in Monday’s final moments brought la douleur exquise to fans of the off-again couple. As Robin made her decision to go with nice guy Kevin instead of rakish Barney, Fingers’ founder/frontman sang, “Waited for you/ You didn’t come/ You never do.” When Robin arrived at MacLaren’s with Kevin, Barney realized he had lost her and was crushed. He squinted back tears as she said “I’m sorry.” What was a seemingly mundane statement to the rest of the gang was the deathblow for Barney, who went home and cleared roses meant for Robin off the bed.
HART OF DIXIE (The CW)
The song: Matthew Mayfield, “Ease Your Mind”
The episode: “The Crush & the Crossbow” (107)
The hook: Dixie kept it local with Birmingham native Mayfield, whose lullaby of love and loss was especially poignant in a week all about moving on. Mayfield sings of “the love of your life who came and went” and “a new life around the bend” — a fitting backdrop as Wade signed divorce papers so his ex could marry her new fiancé. Of course, the former Mrs. Kinsella didn’t leave Bluebell without warning Wade he’d never have a chance with Zoe. Ironically, it was this discouragement that unlocked his feelings for the good doctor just as she was finally coming to terms with her own unrequited crush on George. The next morning, Mayfield’s song strummed bittersweetly as Wade watched Zoe give handsome veterinarian Dr. Judson a chance, proving Wade had missed his.
Watch it! The song plays at 37:25 on The CW’s Hart of Dixie page.
The song: “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You,” originally by Adele
The episode: “Mash Off” (306)
The hook: Though the New Directions’ mash-up of Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams” and “I Can’t Go for That” was a WTM (What The Mustache?!) spot of ridiculousness, the Troubletones’ fiery blend of two of the British chanteuse’s most evocative cuts was on-point plot-wise, as well as outstanding vocally and choreographically (thanks to Zach Woodlee). Adele’s drum-pounding “Rumour Has It” zestily summed up Sue Sylvester’s mud-slinging congressional campaign, while Santana’s heartwrenching belt of the otherwise crying-into-your-pillow delicacy of “Someone Like You” conveyed her deep anguish after her own Mean Girling backfired.
Watch it! Fox doesn’t upload full episodes until eight days after broadcast, but EW just happened to offer a sneak peek of the mash-up last week. Don’t forget to check out Abby West’s rundown of the night’s highlights!
HAPPY ENDINGS (ABC)
The song: “Closer to Fine,” originally by Indigo Girls
The episode: “The Code War” (207)
The hook: Max had a banner evening on Wednesday as he snarked about virtually everything, including but not limited to revealing one of meat truck owner David’s more… ummm… unique proclivities to a local news audience: “This freak likes to prepare all his meat in his underwear!” Cue a hilarious flashback of David getting his boxer brief groove on to the Girls’ 1989 chick-folk anthem. This public revelation was just the denouement of a war between the two guys that involved deep V-neck shirts and man perms, mind you. Max may have emerged victorious for the show’s purposes, but I would argue we were the real winners.
GOSSIP GIRL (The CW)
The song: The Japanese Pop Stars, “Shells of Silver”
The episode: “The Big Sleep No More” (507)
The hook: This spooky single from the Northern Ireland-born electronic outfit was an appropriate choice for the Upper East Siders’ pilgrimage downtown to the MacBeth-inspired interactive theater event Sleep No More. The music began as Sleep settled in and Blair took Chuck aside, bent on seduction. The Red Hots in Queen B’s hand and the prop bathtub filled with crimson blood served up striking visual sensuality as Chuck grabbed Blair in a ravenous embrace. Simultaneously, the Pop Stars’ haunting number offered a musical hint of Chuck’s “darkest desires” that Blair managed to tease out.
Watch it! The Red Hots seduction begins at 26:45 on The CW’s Gossip Girl page.
The song: Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions, “Trouble”
The episode: “Treachery” (108)
The hook: If it hadn’t been underscored by this serpentine song from Mazzy Star singer Sandoval’s dream pop duo, the exchange between Jack and the real Emily Thorne might have otherwise seemed entirely innocent. As it were, the sliding soundscape managed to make all-around good guy Jack seem a little bit creepy for a minute there. Providing an aural parallel for Actual Emily’s movements through Nolan’s swimming pool before Actual Emily emerged from the crystalline water and put the full flirt press on Nick, the song also spelled out something you might have already picked up on — this girl is Trouble with a capital ‘T.’
AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX)
The song: Nina Simone, “I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl”
The episode: “Open House” (107)
The hook: No show has gloriously twisted throwbacks this season quite like AHS. So, when Vivien retired to her bedroom for a little bit of “alone” time, Simone’s sultry melody sounded like it may well have been something on her “Sexytimes” iPod playlist. Of course, this is a show with the word Horror in the title, so you knew the moment wouldn’t pass without being turned on its head. Her fantasizing ran the gamut from forbidden flirtation (her stacked security system rep) to familiar (her estranged husband) and finally became full-on freaky. Yes, my friends, Rubber Man made an appearance. Simone’s velvet voice will never sound the same again.
The song: Amos Lee, “Sweet Pea”
The episode: “Sweet Sixteen” (107)
The hook: In her ongoing battle about suburbanization, Tessa faced off with Dalia over her birthday party. While Tessa wanted a simple event, Dalia wanted an affair worthy of MTV. Though the party was a rollicking success by glitz-and-glamour standards, the after party — a pizza and pajamas affair at the Altman home — was decidedly more satisfying for Tessa. George (who had endured physical trauma in getting to his daughter’s party) cued up Lee’s lovely ditty for a father-daughter dance. Despite the requisite teen-girl pleading, they swayed fondly with each other as the Lee sang “You’re the only reason I keep on coming home,” showing that George would always be there for Tessa, and growing up wouldn’t stop her from being Daddy’s Little Girl.
Watch it! See the “Sweet” moment at the very end of the episode on ABC.com.
THE SING-OFF (NBC)
The song: “Let’s Get It On,” originally by Marvin Gaye
The episode: “Top 5 Groups: The Rhythm & Blues Revue” (309)
The hook: Pentatonix have mastered out-of-this-world contemporary pop and ’80s New Wave-y goodness, and they continued to prove their versatility Monday night with a masterful arrangement of Gaye’s 1973 slow jam classic. “I feel there’s going to be a suspicious bump in the birth rate in nine months,” joked judge Ben Folds in his comments. Indeed, between Scott Hoying’s satiny runs, Kirstin Maldonado’s ecstatic “ohhhhhs,” and Kevin Olusola’s ever-throbbing vocal percussion, the entire audience probably needed a cigarette after this performance.
Watch it! See “how sweet and wonderful life can be” on NBC’s Sing-Off site.
THE GOOD WIFE (CBS)
The song: tUnE-YarDs, “Gangsta”
The episode: “Death Row Tip” (308)
The hook: Merrill Garbus’s experimental track did double duty in an early scene from this week’s Good Wife. The introductory sirens first blended into the episode’s soundscape as Cary approached police, who were digging up a body based on a tip from a death row inmate. In the following moments, it became clear the first corpse was just the beginning of the story, and the electro-bumping beat gave the scene its crackle.
American Horror Story
An anthology series that centers on different characters and locations, including a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, and a hotel.