TV Jukebox: 'Downton Abbey,' 'Cougar Town,' 'Castle,' and more music-on-TV moments

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Image Credit: Nick Briggs/PBS

Welcome to 2013, Jukeboxers! As shows premiere and kick back up, we’ve got a new set of tunes for a new year, including brash entries, sob-inducing exits, and two actual jukeboxes. 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 full Spotify playlist below. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)

DOWNTON ABBEY (PBS)
The song: “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”
The episode: “Episode One” (301)
The hook: Let’s kick off with a bit of whimsy from everyone’s favorite British import, shall we? After the “Wedding March” and the dinner party from Hell, the Crawley’s brassy American in-law Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine) gave Violet (Maggie Smith) the most uncomfortable serenade ever, rendering the famously barb-tongued Dowager Countess speechless. Perhaps because it’s very likely Violet has never let anybody call her sweetheart.
Read Denise Warner’s recap

GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
The song: Angela McCluskey with Tryptich, “My Funny Valentine”
The episode: “Things We Said Today” (910)
The hook: Jukebox fans were tweeting through tears this week about Ed Sheeran’s “Kiss Me” (a song we singled out in our “Best of Fall 2012″ gallery for a Vampire Diaries appearance). Indeed, Sheeran’s tune underscored a heartbreaking moment as the Chief (James Pickens Jr.) told Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) that his wife Adele (Lorette Devine) had passed away just moments before. If you hadn’t grabbed the tissues at that point, did your black heart withstand it as he tearfully watched Bailey (Chandra Wilson) have her first dance with her new husband. Sheeran’s tune drifted into McCluskey’s cover of the 1937 Rodgers & Hart standard, the Chief and Adele’s own wedding song, as he imagined them dancing happily once more. “Valentine,” which describes a perfectly imperfect love, wrenchingly expressed the life-long loves’ relationship. The final gut punch? The ep cut to black on the lingering-in-the-air lyrics, “Stay, little Valentine, stay….”
Read Tanner Stransky’s recap

ELEMENTARY (CBS)
The song: Gil Scott-Heron, “Me and the Devil”
The episode: “M.” (112)
The hook: In the final moments of last night’s installment, the late, great jazz poet’s meditation set a menacing tone as Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) cleared his cluttered investigation pinboard. With all the crime scenes photos and leads stripped down, only one item remained — a single piece of white paper scrawled with the name Moriarty. As Scott-Heron sang, “Me and the Devil, walking side by side,” so was one of literature’s — and now TV’s — great nemeses positioned to pounce.
Read Denise Warner’s reaction and weigh in

CASTLE (ABC)
The song: Missy Higgins, “Secret”
The episode: “Significant Others” (510)
The hook: Higgins’ bluesy strummer opened Monday night’s Castle, which showed a high-powered divorce attorney meeting her untimely end courtesy of an ice pick to the neck. Setting up this week’s whodunit: the Aussie singer-songwriter’s sultry voice and and indicting lyrics (“I will show you the way to the rest of my sins — because you’ve got a secret”) were spot-on.

PARENTHOOD (NBC)
The song: Benjamin Gibbard, “Lady Adelaide”
The episode: “Small Victories”
The hook: The Deathcab for Cutie frontman’s solo track played beneath the last of many emotional scenes Tuesday between teen lovers Drew (Miles Heizer) and Amy (Skyler Day), who faced a huge crossroads this week. Patrick Watson’s “Noisy Sunday” (which we pointed out in an October ep of The Walking Dead) lilted under the first as Amy decided to have an abortion. Later, Drew drove an emotionally distant Amy home from the clinic as Gibbard sang about a girl who “shows no emotion” but is actually “porcelain and frail.” The bittersweet ditty was a poignant encapsulation of Amy’s attempt to appear unchanged and “normal” after a traumatic, life-changing decision.

NASHVILLE (ABC)
The song: Scarlett & Gunnar, “Change Your Mind”
The episode: “Be Careful of Stones That You Throw” (109)
The hook: Two runaway wives?! Yet again, Juliette (Hayden Paniettiere) and Rayna (Connie Britton) proved to have more in common than we initially thought as they both skipped out on their fraught marriages to go on tour. Add on top of that Deacon’s (Charles Esten) existential crisis at his new rock star status, and it was a pretty miserable week in Music City. But! We did see the happy reunion of Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Scarlett (Claire Bowen, sounding more like the ethereal Alison Krauss than ever). If anything can get us through the series’ increasingly convoluted drama, it’s the simplicity of a new warbler from this folksy duo.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM (FX)*
The song: The Searchers, “Love Potion Number 9″
The episode: “Spilt Milk” (211)
The hook: Considering a jukebox was a plot point of Asylum‘s last two episodes, how could we resist? Wednesday’s chapter featured Jude (Jessica Lange) getting her drugged-out groove on to the British invaders’ 1964 chart topper — a moment that inspired EW’s Jeff Jensen to wonder, “Perhaps Judy’s new god is the golden calf of… pop culture?” Bonus: Jukeboxers on Twitter were just as baffled by the only-out-of-Ryan-Murphy’s-brain WTF moment in last week’s ep when an electroshock-addled Jude envisioned herself leading Briarcliff’s loonies in a good old-fashioned musical number to “The Name Game.” (I’m not kidding.)
Read Jeff’s recap and Tim Stack’s exclusive interview with Murphy about that opening scene

SCANDAL (ABC)
The song: The Staples Singers, “Be What You Are”
The episode: “One for the Dog” (210)
The hook: This 1973 soul classic played out Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) miraculous emergence from a coma. The first thing he wanted to do? Call Olivia (Kerry Washington), of course. Given that Olivia is a woman who is unfailingly in control of herself and everything around her, we can only hope this development — so completely beyond her control — will signal a catharsis… and perhaps a bit of a release. Coupled with the let-go-and-let-God lyrics “Be what you are, my friend, and live the life,” Olivia has her marching orders. Whether she follows them…
Read Lindsay Bahr’s recap and watch this week’s behind-the-scenes video with the cast

COUGAR TOWN (TBS)
The song: Crystal Fighters, “Champion Sound”
The episode: “Blue Sunday” (401)
The hook: The cul-de-sac crew may have moved to a new station, but we’re happy to confirm no Big Carl was left behind. During a wine-fueled dance party at the end of the season 4 premiere, Jules (Courteney Cox) & Co. thumped and bumped to this track by the British/Spanish folktronica outfit. It was exactly the fun pick-me-up the gang needed, though we’re not so sure about the lyrics “Maybe one day we’ll go to rehab.” Cougar Town on the wagon? No way!

THE NEIGHBORS (ABC)
The song: Jukebox the Ghost, “Adulthood”
The episode: “The Gingerbread Man” (111)
The hook: “From adulthood, no one survives,” sings Tommy Siegel. When The Neighbors‘ grown-ups got caught up in competition this week, it was only fitting that a child — the silky-locked Dick Butkus (Ian Patrick) — would lead them all. Thinking of others ahead of himself, possessing impressive self-confidence, and displaying a wisdom beyond his years, Dick was Wednesday’s hands-down MVP (despite his admitted lack of soccer skills). The Brooklyn rock trio’s bouncy tune served as a great coda to Wednesday’s ep, and it will also be an excellent opener to your weekend, Jukeboxers. Enjoy!

*Readers’ Choice! Thanks to @OThatCrazyJGray@RidAsh28, @silverseasun, @emlove33, @CtyofAngels2Fly, and @taynement for their suggestions!

Want to be featured in the next TV Jukebox? Tweet your pick using the hashtag #tvjukebox to @EW!

Read more:
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TV Jukebox: ‘Nashville,’ ‘Glee,’ ‘Covert Affairs,’ and more music-on-TV moments

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