As my colleague Kyle Anderson can appreciate, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. In a week of premieres and finales, Semisonic’s indelible words have never rung truer. Though the ’90s alt-rocker stars didn’t pop up on TV this week, everyone from Elvis Presley to Lord Huron did.
So, if you’ve been wondering “What’s that song?” while watching your favorite shows, we’re here to tell you. Check out our picks and the Spotify playlist below. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)
The song: Hayden Panettiere, “Hangin’ on a Lie”
The episode: “My Heart Would Know” (117)
The hook: Sing what you know! Juliette (Panettiere) performed this sassy, albeit semi-hypocritical, song Wednesday as she scrambled to keep her relationship with opportunist Dante (Jay Hernandez) on the down low. Pointed lyrics — “You had your chance, but you went and blew it” — and icy glares in the direction of Deacon (Charles Esten) ratcheted up the tension as the Music City minx slithered across the stage encased in liquid leggings, yet not a hint of irony.
HART OF DIXIE (The CW)
The song: Mia Dyson, “When the Moment Comes”
The episode: “Why Don’t We Get Drunk?” (218)
The hook: After accompanying Zoe (Rachel Bilson) for a disappointingly fling-free Spring Break, Jonah Breeland (Travis Van Winkle) teased, “I’m not so sure you’re a Spring Break kind of girl, Dr. Hart. Something tells me you’re more of a take-the-scenic-route-see-the-ducks kind of girl.” Moments later, though, it was Jonah seeing things — Zoe’s bare chest, specifically — as he drove off. Seems Zoe took the “carpe diem” message of Dyson’s Brandi Carlile-esque track to mean “Flash Jonah!” Fortunately, as a doctor and a handsome devil, Jonah has been around the block a few times; he kept his composure and avoided the scenic route to the nearest emergency room.
The song: Modern Superstitions, “Trash Talk”
The episode: “Zombie, Part 2” (1238)
The hook: Maya (Olivia Scriven) strutted down the halls of Degrassi Community School last Friday, foolishly proud of herself for posting a rebellious makeout video on FaceRange. Alas, the words “Well I’ve had enough, when will I feel your touch?” were mostly directed straight at Zig (Ricardo Hoyos). Maya was lashing out to his rejection, not showing off her own libido. Ah, youth.
BEING HUMAN (Syfy)
The song: Champion, “Resistance (Skool)”
The episode: “Ruh Roh” (313)
The hook: While Piers Faccini’s “A Storm Is Going to Come” ominously played out Monday’s season finale, the episode began with Champion’s sultry number underscoring a stop-and-start makeout session between Aidan (Sam Witwer) and Kat (Deanna Russo). As the song title implies, Aidan was fighting his vampy urge to ravish Kat as his internal monologue — as expressed by the suddenly saucy song — was screaming, “But I like it. So much. Oh yes I like it — so much!” And we did, too.
The song: The Bowery Riots, “My Time Has Come”
The episode: “Love & Family” (213)
The hook: This down-and-dirty rocker played out Monday’s installment as Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) took a cue from the playbook of his late brother J.R. (Larry Hagman) and vowed to let nemesis Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) be the “architect of his own disaster.” Elsewhere, J.R.’s son John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Cliff’s daughter Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) were eloping. John Ross asked, “Are you really marrying me because you love me or because you hate your father?” Pamela: “I do.” The guttural yowl of the Riots’ guitar signaled that, indeed, all of their times are coming — for better or worse, ’til death do them part.
THE FOLLOWING (Fox)
The song: Sarah Jaffe, “Hooray for Love”
The episode: “The Curse” (112)
The hook: Whether the show’s leads were questioning or quelling their choices on Monday night, Jaffe’s transgressive, bitterly ironic tune conveyed the anguished weakness of Jacob (Nico Tortorella) as he called his estranged father, as well as cult leader Joe (James Purefoy) as he filled the hole in his heart via a compensatory canoodle with disciple Emma (Valorie Curry).
The song: LP, “Tokyo Sunrise (Live)”
The episode: “Backfire” (1319)
The hook: The beauty of Laura Pergolizzi’s wistful 2012 track belied the ugliness of the triple homicide that set up Wednesday’s CSI, especially as it played under the clean up of a murder so brutal it shook a seasoned crime scene veteran.
COUGAR TOWN (TBS)*
The song: Joshua Radin, “Lovely Tonight”
The episode: “Have Love Will Travel” (415)
The hook: On Tuesday’s double-barrel finale, Radin made a cameo as a Bert-from-Mary Poppins-style all-in-one street musician. But he didn’t need all the bells, whistles, and bass drums to sett the mood for Travis (Dan Byrd) and Laurie’s (Busy Phillips) first kiss. He strummed and sang, “Our separate lives here become one” as they smooched, then “Lovely” floated through to the final scene, where the cul-de-sac crew cuddled around a bonfire and introduced the long-overdue replacement for Big Carl. So, Cougar Town fans, raise your glass — or repurposed flower vase — to many
Tippi tipsy returns.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS)
The song: Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, “Tomorrow”
The episode: “Pay It Forward” (819)
The hook: “Nothing ever turns out like you thought it would,” Holcomb sang in the last moments of Wednesday night’s ep. Those words rang hideously true when a Colorado town dubbed the “City of the Future” opened a 25-year-old time capsule to find ghastly contents (hint: think the end of Se7en). “Tomorrow” explores that cruel devolution of hope into disillusionment.
The song: Anderson East feat. Jill Andrews, “Say Anything”
The episode: “Go, Gamblers!” (220)
The hook: If you love someone, set him free, right? Not so on Wednesday’s Suburgatory as Tessa (Jane Levy) tried to help Ryan (Parker Young) sign on to play football at his dream school… a thousand miles away. Instead of appreciating Tessa for prioritizing his best interests, Ryan felt pushed away. He ended their relationship in a few words, then allowed a thick silence to hang between them. Cue the chorus: “And I would wait all my days to hear the words I need you to say, to keep me hanging on the hard way, but you don’t say anything, do ya?”
READY TO LOVE (NBC)*
The song: Ben Rector, “When a Heart Breaks”
The episode: “A Rockstar Search for Love” (101)
The hook: The Eva Longoria-produced reality series promised to revolutionize the dating-show format for weeks before its Monday night premiere — during which Nashville singer-songwriter Rector crooned, “Woke up this morning, and I heard the news. I know the pain of a heartbreak.” Unfortunately, reports of the revolution were exaggerated, and the lyrics hit a little too close to home when execs at the Peacock learned of Love‘s ratings returns the next day. Apparently America wasn’t ready.
The song: Lord Huron, “Ends of the Earth”
The episode: “Survival of the Fittest” (312)
The hook: Sunday’s season 3 finale saw Fiona (Emmy Rossum) make her peace with Jimmy’s (Justin Chatwin) abrupt departure, Ian (Cameron Monaghan) enlist in the army under an assumed name, and alcoholic dad Frank (William H. Macy) leave the hospital — possibly for one last bender, perhaps embarking on a mission to sober up and save his own life. Suffice it to say, the Gallagher clan was scattered as far as the L.A. folkies’ ode to wandering suggested. And yet, the oddly placid tone of the song leads us to believe they’ll find their way back to each other eventually.
THE AMERICANS (FX)*
The song: Roberta Flack, “To Love Somebody”
The episode: “Only You” (110)
The hook: Wednesday proved, improbably, that true love can end in a gunfight. After American KGB convert Gregory (Derek Luke) found himself in the FBI’s crossfires, he followed through with his promise to Elizabeth (Keri Russell) to die by police hands so he wouldn’t have to defect to Moscow. Flack’s downtempo, almost mournful 1971 Bee Gees’ cover conveyed that this tragic outcome was inevitable amid the love triangle between Elizabeth, Gregory, and Phillip (Matthew Rhys).
MAD MEN (AMC)
The song: Elvis Presley, “Hawaiian Wedding Song”
The episode: “The Doorway, Part 1” (601)
The hook: The selection of Presley’s ’61 tune struck an ironic, if geographically appropriate, chord Sunday as Don Draper (Jon Hamm) wrapped up a trip to the tropics with wife Megan (Jessica Paré). We all know 1968 was a comeback year for the King, but will it be for Don? Judging by his dalliance with the neighbor’s wife (Linda Cardellini) during the premiere’s second hour, it would seem so — and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
THE CARRIE DIARIES (The CW)
The song: Bryan Adams, “Heaven”
The episode: “Kiss Yesterday Goodbye” (113)
The hook: For everyone but Dorrit (Stefania Owen) and Mouse (Ellen Wong), the second-act closer of Monday’s season finale felt more like purgatory than “Heaven” as Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) unknowingly reunited with a boyfriend who had just cheated on her and Mr. Bradshaw (Matt Letscher) reluctantly put a new relationship on hold in deference to his girls. Fortunately for the gang, Carrie came to accept her father moving on in time for him to consider letting her move on, too — to New York City. And so, to the strains of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer,” a beautiful love affair (between Carrie and NYC) was made official. We’re not quite to our own “Cruel Summer” yet, Jukeboxers, but these tunes ought to at least get you through the weekend.
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