By Lanford Beard
Updated December 20, 2019 at 07:16 AM EST
Meredith has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Meredith may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.
Switched At Birth
Credit: ABC Family
  • TV Show

The teens were out in full force this week, music-on-TV fans! From first times to first loves — even first scooters — there were notable songs from The Secret Circle, Switched at Birth, Surburgatory, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars. Meanwhile, there was beauty in tragedy on One Tree Hill, The Voice makes it first appearance with a knock-out performance, suspicion ruled on Grey’s Anatomy and Grimm (though only one of the above involved fire dancing I’m sorry to report), a serial killer got his groove on in BBC America’s Being Human, and the gang from Happy Endings got gangsta with it on Penny’s birthday. Want more still? We also liked “show tunes” from Ringer, Californication, and The Good Wife. Check out our picks below. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)


The song: Florence + the Machine, “No Light, No Light (Spector Ryan Gosling Remix)”

The episode: “Lucky” (116)

The hook: Last week was a big one for nuclear ginger Florence Welch, whose brilliance has already been documented on TV Jukebox. The seventh track on Ceremonials was also featured in CSI: Miami‘s March 11 episode “Rest in Pieces.” But it was the band’s Secret Circle remix treatment that really stood out. If nothing else because — as 2011 proved — when Ryan Gosling is thrown into the equation, the sky’s the limit. The remix’s throbbing undercurrent was spot-on as Adam (Thomas Dekker) pledged his love to Cassie (Britt Robertson). The young witches made their relationship official — in the Biblical sense — and Welch’s howling entreaty, “I’d do anything to make you stay,” expressed their yearning and desperation. The song’s title also had a double meaning since it was revealed that Cassie and Adam’s written-in-the-stars status is a curse that their intimacy may have unlocked.

Watch it! Things get dark and dirty at 40:20 on Circle‘s official page.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: “I Want To Know What Love Is,” originally by Foreigner

The episode: “The Battles, Week 3” (208)

The hook: The singing competition has produced many other good moments since the battle rounds began, notably from scamp-named Pip versus Nathan Parrett on Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good,” Gwen Sebastian and Erin Willet singing Pat Benatar’s “We Belong,” and Kim Yarbrough facing off against Whitney Myer on “No More Drama.” But Team Cee-Lo’s Jamie Lono and Jamar Rogers took the cake. First off, I’m a major sucker for this song. Second off, I challenge you (if you haven’t seen the episode) to listen to the song without looking at the contestants. Neither of these guys is exactly album-cover-ready. But those voices! The singing wasn’t always pitch-perfect, but they left their hearts in the ring. And unfortunately, as our own Melissa Maerz pointed out, “Seeing Jamie handle defeat, at the hands of his good friend? Well, it’s like watching Lisa Simpson drop a truth bomb on Ralph Wiggam: you can actually pin-point the second when his heart rips in half.” With this performance, they showed us what love is… and also pain.

Watch it: Jamar delivers a TKO vocal punch on The Voice‘s official page. You can see what Melissa thought of the other contestants in her recap, then swing by Carson Daly’s exclusive EW blog from that week.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: Coldplay, “Us Against the World”

The episode: “Danny Boy” (911)

The hook: It was a bittersweet moment as the show’s greatest villain Dan (Paul Johansson) met a sudden death this past Wednesday. After Dan threw himself in front of a bullet to save his son Nathan (James Lafferty), he was led to the light by the brother he had, in fact, shot and killed many seasons ago. It was a moment of redemption and forgiveness that music supervisor Lindsay Wolfington thought would be perfectly underpinned by Coldplay’s “uplifting, hopeful, and epic” tune. Hill creator Mark Schwahn used the track as inspiration while filming this critical scene because “both lyrically and melodically it felt poetic,” said Wolfington. She continued, “The image of the two of them walking into the light as Chris Martin sings, ‘Through chaos as it swirls, it’s us against the world,’ [showed the] two brothers, side by side, as it always should’ve been.”

As OTH enters the home stretch, the song also had personal resonance for the show’s behind-the-scenes team. “The lyric ‘slow it down’ struck a chord,” said Wolfington. “As the series comes to a close, you almost want time to slow down… don’t let the finale come to soon, because when it does, it’s over. [We’re trying to] savor these last few moments with One Tree Hill.”

Watch it! “Danny Boy” won’t be available online until this weekend, but you can whet your appetite with a sample of the “Us Against The World” on Amazon.

NEXT: Pop-rock suspicion on Grey’s Anatomy, a fiery Franz Ferdinand track on Grimm, Rap-py Endings, and a disco dance maniac on Being Human

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: Graffiti6, “Stone In My Heart”

The episode: “One Step Too Far” (817)

The hook: The awkwardly titled “Lick the Palm of the Burning Handshake” by Phoenix-born singer-songwriter Zola Jesus provided a typically Grey’s-ian ending on March 15, but what better way to kick-start an ep about rampant suspicion than with a thumping beat? When Cristina (Sandra Oh) thought husband Owen (Kevin McKidd) was cheating on her, she went through all the stages of matrimonial insecurity — sleeplessness, checking your significant other’s phone, showing up at work to “bring him coffee.” The London pop-rockers’ caffeinated track was a great sonic accompaniment to her paranoia-induced insomnia, which only got worse when she clapped eyes on sexy nurse Emily (Summer Glau) trolling the halls of Seattle Grace.

Watch it! The song starts right at the top on Grey’s Hulu. You can find out how the rest of the episode played out in Breia Brissey’s recap.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: Franz Ferdinand, “This Fire”

The episode: “Plumed Serpent” (114)

The hook: As with any week on Grimm, the March 9 ep featured mysterious deaths and names of Liz Lemon-approved German origin (Daemonfeuers!). All were secondary to one standout sequence that could have been a boring transition scene but ended up being a kick-ass pyrostravaganza. When demon-hunting detective Nick (David Giuntoli) needed to track down a coven of fire-breathing dragons to solve a double homicide, he went to a club to take in a show featuring flame dancer Ariel Eberhart (Danielle Panabaker). Let’s just say her props weren’t the only things that were smokin’. And how else could the show introduce a girl on fire than with this delightfully on-the-nose 2004 throbber from Scotland’s favorite post-punkers?

Watch it! If you can’t take the heat… don’t click through to 12:04 on Grimm‘s Hulu.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: RUN-DMC, “King of Rock”

The episode: “Party of Six” (218)

The hook: I said-a hip hop, hippie to the hippie, the hip-hip-hop, and you don’t stop. And stop they wouldn’t on Endings‘ March 14 episode. Determined to break Penny’s (Casey Wilson) streak of terrible birthdays, the gang vowed to make it a night she wouldn’t forget. After getting bounced from basically every restaurant in town, they took it back to the streets, decided to crash a restaurant they “lost” in a break-up, and created an unforgettable musical moment in the process. Rap icon Run demanded the friends “come correct” as they walked toward the taboo boîte, and come correct they did — for about 10 seconds until they had the human equivalent of a seven-car pile-up with a delivery man. Physical comedy, suckas.

Watch it! Damn it feels good to be a gangsta… at least for a little while, starting at 16:59 @ on EndingsHulu. Read about all the reservations and rejections that came before in Aly Semigran’s recap.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: Boney M, “Gotta Go Home”

The episode: “A Spectre Calls” (404)

The hook: Who knew disco would ever make its way into the Jukebox? (Okay, I did hope!) The “show tune” came courtesy of Kirby (James Lance), the ghost of a 1970s serial killer, who visited the BH house bent on infanticide. After Kirby manipulated the roommates into leaving him alone with baby Eve, he celebrated with a dance that was less psycho killer and more Tony Manero. In step with the German disco ballers’ 1979 hit, Kirby worked it all around the house, including some mime-tastic rope pulling, a distinctly bouncy Charleston, and what appeared to be a choreographic homage to Whac-A-Mole. Lance “spent quite a few hours on YouTube finding examples of 1970s disco and put that dance together himself,” explained Human‘s creator/exec producer Toby Whithouse. “The first time he did it on set, he got a spontaneous round of applause from the crew.”

Watch it! This episode iisn’t available online yet, but Aubry D’Arminio’s chat with Whithouse is a must-read while you get groovin’ to “Gotta Go Home” on Boney’s M’s official site.

NEXT: A heart-to-broken-heart on The Vampire Diaries, indie rock house hunting on The Good Wife, self-“Surrender” on Ringer, and an old classic gets an update on Californication

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: Aidan Hawken, “The Argument”

The episode: “1912” (316)

The hook: The last two weeks have poignantly shown how much Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) world has changed since the Salvatore brothers (Paul Wesley’s Stefan and Ian Somerhalder’s Damon) entered it. March 15 found Elena confiding in ex-boyfriend Matt (Zach Roerig) about her complicated feelings for the brothers. Hawken’s urging, “Don’t fear God or love… And there’s nothing we can do. It’s the last word,” expressed that much of life is beyond our control. Roping Matt — the only sane, non-supernatural person left in town — into Elena’s conflicted, complicated feelings for the Salvatore brothers only served to emphasize the contrast between her past and present.

Echoing that, last night’s episode “Break On Through” saw an important conversation between Elena and her brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) set to Rosi Golan’s “Can’t Go Back.” Many episodes ago, Elena sent away Jeremy — her only family since their parents and aunt died — to protect him. But it was a trade-off: Keeping him alive effectively deadened part of her. Explained TVD music supervisor Chris Mollere: “Rosi’s vocals convey everything Elena is thinking inside, which is ‘How did everything go so wrong and what’s going to happen next?’ Elena’s lost so many people in her life, that she can’t bear to lose anyone else. ‘Can’t Go Back’ speaks volumes to the many plot lines going on for all of the people in Mystic Falls.”

Watch it! “Break on Through” won’t be up online until this weekend, but you can eavesdrop on Matt and Elena at 28:04 on TVD‘s official site. Mandi Bierly’s got recaps for both eps as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes shots and teases for what’s to come later this season.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: Other Lives, “Dust Bowl III”

The episode: “Long Way Home” (317)

The hook: Like Elena, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) was also recently looking down the barrel of change. Confronted with a possible eviction, she had the chance to return to the house she’d spent some of her happiest years with her estranged husband. The Oklahoma indie outfit’s migration anthem (“We are on are way, we are on our way”) played as she walked through the house, a much different person from the last time she’d been there. The plea “Is there any one to get this writing off the wall?” was particularly evocative as Alicia looked at the lines she had drawn on the kitchen cupboard wall to mark her growing children’s heights. She scanned up, landing on her the line marked “Mom,” and broke down. In a moment when Alicia had just learned that one of her colleagues from Lockhart/Gardner was pregnant and leaving the firm, it struck a chord in Alicia as she questioned her own priorities and decisions in life.

Watch it! Alicia takes a trip down Memory Lane at 41:04 on Wife‘s official site. Breia Brissey breaks down the rest of what happened on March 11 in her recap.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: Digital Daggers, “Surrender”

The episode: “What We Have Is Worth The Pain” (117)

The hook: On March 13, Good Twin Bridget (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was in the middle of a make-or-break moment with Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd), the man she loves — also her Evil Twin Siobhan’s husband, natch. He had just uttered the episode title-inspiring affirmation to her when a trio of shots (not Digital Daggers, alas) took him down. In a cruel twist of fate, the moment was potentially make and break as Andrew had jumped in front of the bullet to save Bridget. The L.A. electrancers’ rumination on secrets, disguises, and breakdowns would probably fit into just about any moment on this twintense sudser, but this cliffhanger may have had the highest stakes yet.

Watch it! The Ringers throw back shots at 39:26 on the show’s Hulu. Tim Stack can fill you in on the moments leading up to that in his recap.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: INXS Feat. Andrew Farriss & Kirk Pengilly, “Don’t Change”

The episode: “At the Movies” (509)

The hook: After another of Hank’s sexual dalliances blew up in his face on March 11, resulting in his firing and a fallout with his agent/best friend, he found comfort in family. Finding his daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin) and Becca’s mother Karen (Natascha McElhone) at the coffee shop where Becca worked, Hank proposed a simple outing to the movies — probably the most normal scenario he’d willingly put himself into in some time. Producers were deliberate in choosing Farriss and Pengilly’s mellower take on their 1982 hit to play out the episode. “We always like to discover interesting covers of well-known songs,” said Californication‘s music supervisor Nora Felder. “I think this track resonated for series creator/executive producer Tom Kapinos because it served a dual purpose of being a unique remake of the song… and underscoring lyrically and musically the ultimate message that Tom intended for the ending that is simply, ‘We are good together.'”

Watch it! Californication isn’t available online, but you can hear “Don’t Change” on YouTube.

NEXT: Teen tune good times from Pretty Little Liars, Suburgatory, and Switched at Birth

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: Gemma Hayes, “Wicked Game”

The episode: “If These Dolls Could Talk” (224)

The hook: With all the murder, sex, and intrigue in Rosewood, it can be easy to forget that the heroines of Pretty Little Liars are still teenagers. (Even Troian Bellisario and Lucy Hale said as much when I talked to them last week.) So it was a refreshing moment on March 12 to be reminded that Aria (Hale) still had a lot of living to do. In the steamy sequence, Aria lost her virginity to older boyfriend Ezra (Ian Harding). Though it was somewhat prompted by Aria’s father’s machinations to have Ezra fired so he would move away, it wasn’t tawdry and was, in fact, the first grown-up decision Aria has ever made.

Then, on this week’s finale, Ezra found Aria at a masquerade ball and invited her to dance to Lady Antebellum’s hyper-romantic ballad “Just A Kiss.” As they swayed (and we swooned), he asked her to take off her mask so he could truly look at her. Despite their history, their against-the-odds relationship, and the forces working against them, the two young lovers were able to carve out a couple of moments that were theirs and theirs alone.

Watch it! “Dolls” is no longer available online, but you can hear Hayes’ cover of Chris Isaak’s 1989 original on YouTube, then read Sandra Gonzalez’s reaction to the finale. Got burning questions? Tanner Stransky has answers (and interview with star Shay Mitchell)!

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: Imperial Teen, “Runaway”

The episode: “Independence Day” (117)

The hook: If you found that innocence a little too precious, Suburgatory had its own take on teen life on March 14 as both Tessa (Jane Levy) and Dalia (Carly Chaikin) were sending up flares of rebellion — Tessa because she felt stifled by dad George (Jeremy Sisto), and Dalia because her dad has been absent since her parents’ divorce. Interestingly, both girls acted out by hopping on two-wheeled motor vehicles (Tessa bought a scooter and Dalia’s dad bought her a motorcycle in lieu of affection). George and Dalia’s mom Dallas (Cheryl Hines) confronted their daughters about their dangerous behavior. The Bay City boys’ tune added a nice, not-too-serious bounce to a moment that could have been overplayed emotionally as Dallas (Cheryl Hines) promised Dalia she’d always be there for her (even if her father wasn’t), and George met Tessa halfway by taking the wheel and zipping through town with her.

Watch it! The nonfrontations begin at 20:54 on Suburgatory‘s Hulu.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


The song: William Fitzsimmons, “Tied to Me (Acoustic Version)”

The episode: “Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time” (122)

The hook: How else to end a selection of adolescent anthems than with a prom? On Tuesday’s spring finale, that’s all the Switched hitters were talking about. Unfortunately for Daphne (Katie Leclerc), her boyfriend Wilke (Austin Butler) had a secret: He was about to be shipped away to boarding school. Even though tuxes and stretch limos weren’t involved, the new couple still had a magical moment to the tune of Illinois singer-songwriter’s sweet and simple ditty. Daphne encouraged Wilke, who was feeling down on himself, to believe in himself. Though they were a new couple, they were forming strong roots so that Daphne might — as Fitzsimmons sang — “carry [Wilke] home” one day soon.

Watch it! Daphne gives her pep talk at 41:19 on Switched‘s Hulu.

Read more:

Being Human

  • TV Show
  • In Season