It seems to be that when shows get a bit stale these days that someone up on high has a brainwave and says “I know, why don’t we make a musical episode?” or “let’s include a musical number in the show” the result of this is usually far more entertaining than you would imagine. There have been some quality musical episodes in several hit shows. Here are some of the best.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Perhaps one of the best examples of a musical episode. It spawned a hit soundtrack and was widely praised. Okay, so the underlying plot was a little contrived. Allegedly, Buffy and her pals were all forced into a world of the song due to a demon who cursed them. But the songs themselves were brilliant! And the episode moved on some significant plot points by having characters blurt out feelings they had held on to in the form of their songs. There are several noteworthy tracks but arguably the best of the bunch is Anya and Xander’s duet, “I’ll Never Tell” or Spikes “Rest In Peace”. A rocky, anthemic effort aimed at Buffy herself.
Two Pints Of Lager And a Packet Of Crisps
“Two pints” was a massively underrated British comedy. It really spoke to twenty-somethings who lived for the weekend. The characters lacked ambition and had real-world problems. So quite why they decided to have a musical episode is beyond me, but I’m glad they did. With the musical chops of Sheridan Smith who would later go onto to play Cilla Black (showcasing her singing prowess), the episode was brilliant. Rather than taking a Broadway-style approach most of the music was contemporary in its feel, parodying the likes of Destiny’s Child and Sean Paul.
The quirky sitcom featured an episode where a patient had a rare condition that made her imagine everybody performing musical numbers. I’m not sure if that’s actually a real condition? If you are a medical expert please feel free to message with your professional opinion! Either way, it makes for a brilliant half hours entertainment as the gang sing about all sorts of mundane things. Highlights include JD’s “Check the poo” song and of course the brilliant duet between JD and Turk as they sing “Guy Love” together. Is there a better bromance in the history of TV? What do you mean Alan and Walden? Pftt…
How I Met Your Mother
Another show that featured a single song. It was always going to happen with the uber-talented Neil Patrick Harris on the show. Well-known for his theatre background and stunning musical abilities Harris leads the way as his character Barney sings a show tunes extolling the virtues of his trademark suit. The number was used to commemorate the 100th episode of the show and features all of the cast. It also includes a dance troupe as Barney wrestles over whether he would choose world peace over a three-piece! It’s a no-brainer, right?
Okay, it wasn’t an entire episode dedicated to singing and dancing. Given that House was a full-fledged, edgy, medical drama that would have been wholly inappropriate. Some people were outraged that it featured a musical number in the show at all. But given the context it sort of made sense. In the Episode “Bombshells” Cuddy was being put under an anaesthetic and the song was in a dream-like a sequence. The production values were high and the choreography fantastic as House, surrounded by creepy dancing nurses belts out the song “get happy”. The song famously once sung by Judy Garland. It turns out Hugh Laurie is a pretty damn good singer too!