TV Jukebox: 'American Idol,' 'Smash,' 'Cougar Town,' and more music-on-TV moments

cougartown

Image Credit: Richard Foreman/ABC

Rainy days and Mondays may have gotten Karen Carpenter down, but the rain washes away old heartbreaks for at least a couple of our favorite characters in this latest TV Jukebox.

A pathetic fallacy of a rainstorm made for a new lease on love in this week’s How I Met Your Mother, and a downpour was key to an impromptu proposal on Parenthood — though, thankfully, not on Cougar Town; otherwise they’d still be cleaning up the wet toilet paper!

Elsewhere, crazy dreams came true on Smash and American Idol, paint went splat for science’s sake on CSI, and sexytimes abounded on Nikita and Being Human. That’s without mentioning the “show tunes” from Glee, House of Lies, Private Practice, Body of ProofFringeand Hart of Dixie. Click through to see our picks. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)

COUGAR TOWN (ABC)
The song: Ed Sheeran, “Fall”
The episode: “Ain’t Love Strange?” (301)
The hook: The long-delayed season 3 premiere of ABC’s wine-guzzling sitcom ended with a surprise proposal. Grayson (Josh Hopkins) expertly set up the moment, making it look like teen hooligans had “sharked” Jules’ (Courteney Cox) car with toilet paper and sending her on what turned out be an elaborate mission to prove that a.) she is extremely predictable and b.) he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. The delicate ditty from the Brit-winning singer-songwriter (see him also in this week’s Singles Swap in EW’s print edition) underscored this poignant moment, offsetting Grayson’s good-hearted trickery with a touch of sweetness and getting Cougar Town as close to a fairytale ending as possible.
Watch it! Grayson’s romantic scheme is revealed at 18:05 on Cougar Town‘s Hulu. What did Breia Brissey think of the premiere? Find out here.

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SMASH (NBC)
The song: “Crazy Dreams,” originally by Carrie Underwood
The episode: “The Callback” (102)
The hook: Strains of “Let Me Be Your Star” from the episodic musical’s premiere were still hanging in the air at the onset of episode 2, but it was time to make a decision about who would play Marilyn. The narrative shifted from bright-eyed Broadway newbie Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) to hard-working chorine Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty), exposing her vulnerability and undeniable talent. Truly, this was Ivy’s episode and her moment to step into the spotlight. After she got the part, she performed an unadorned performance of Underwood’s underdog anthem that was pitch-perfect, just like its powerhouse singer.
Watch it! Hairbrush singers and dashboard drummers unite at 40:21 on Smash‘s Hulu. Read whether Hillary Busis thought week 2 measured up to the pilot.

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Image Credit: Fox

AMERICAN IDOL (Fox)
The song: “Nice and Slow,” originally by Usher
The episode: “Final Judgment, Part 1″ (1113)
The hook: Growling guitarist Phil Phillips was feeling the pressure as he strode across a Vegas stage to learn his fate from Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler. It had been an up-and-down week, but Phil hoped his sing-for-your-life performance — a Dave-Matthews-meets-Ray-LaMontagne-style reboot of Usher’s R&B 1998 hit — would seal the deal. Indeed, it did. Phil’s unexpectedly sultry slow jam proved his versatility and showed off that gravelly goodness he’ll bring to the top 24.
Watch it! Fox hasn’t posted Phillips’ performance online. To get Phil’s flavor, play the original and this song at the same time while reading Annie Barrett’s recap.

NEXT: Kicking butt and rocking out on CSI, Nikita, Being Human, and House of Lies

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