Music and Television: Shows with the Best Soundtracks

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Sometimes a TV show can become famous for more than just its actors and plot. The best TV moments in my mind can only occur if they have that perfect combination of good acting, good writing, and a great song playing to really bring the emotion home. Those three things combined is how you make memorable television. When that combo all comes together, it’s never forgotten and that show will never be able to be mentioned without a discussion about its music—even though The O.C has been off the air for nearly 10 years, it will always be associated with being the show that brought Indie music to the mainstream, making it one of the best music and television combos.

Grey’s Anatomy
Many an artist has gotten their big break by being featured on this ShondaLand TV show throughout its impressive 11 season (and counting!) run. The Fray, Snow Patrol, Inrid Michaelson, and Anna Nalick all got major exposure by having their songs featured during key plot points in the show, making their songs forever associated with the triumphs, failures, and tragedies of the doctors at Seattle Grace Hospital. Though the show overall has maybe weakened over the past few season, the music choices have always been on point.

Woman watches tv and dances to music

UnREAL
Though this new Lifetime series doesn’t use much popular music—most of the soundtrack is musical cues or the cheesy intro song to the show within a show Everlasting—but they make good use of the songs they do. Key placement of a sexy Alt-J song during a hot sex scene or the soft crooning of Melissa Nadler (thanks for introducing me to this artist UnREAL) during last week’s cliffhanger ending, shows that the people behind this show know how to choose their moments wisely.

Girls
Though Girls always gives us a lot to talk about every week, one of my favorite things to discuss on this show is the music. That iconic scene with Lena Dunham’s character dancing to Robyn (who was one of my favorite artists at the time) really showed that this show knows how to make the music reflect not only the lives of the characters, but how to make it relatable to the viewers.

SNL
So this one is maybe cheating a little bit, but Saturday Night Live has introduced me to so many amazing artists when they’re featured as musical guests, that sometimes I’ll just browse the guests when I’m looking for new music. Though people debate whether or not the show’s humor is still there, they can’t dispute that whoever books those musical guests is still killin’ it at their job.

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