It’s a double-barreled TV Jukebox, featuring songs from series debuts and season finales from the last two weeks. From The Carrie Diaries to American Horror Story: Asylum and, yes, even Catfish: The TV Show, we’ve got ‘em all. 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 CARRIE DIARIES (The CW)
The song: The Bird and The Bee, “Material Girl”
The episode: “Pilot” (101)
The hook: Revamping an icon with a younger voice? Sounds familiar… The L.A. indie poppers’ straight-from-Super-Mario-Bros. take on Madonna’s 1984 signature song played during the Jan. 14 series debut as Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) got her DIY on with her late mother’s purse — and created her own signature piece. The purse turned out to be a major player in Diaries‘ first two eps, rivaling New York City as a key to Carrie’s heart.
Read Tim Stack’s recap
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS (ABC Family)
The song: MS MR, “Salty Sweet”
The episode: “Misery Loves Company” (316)
The hook: Before Spencer (Troian Bellisario) exposed boyfriend Toby (Keegan Allen) as part of the A-team on Tuesday, a pair of fiery tracks set the mood as the Liars and the A-team independently plotted against one another. Etheridge delivered classic writhing guitar rock, while the self-proclaimed “Tumblr Glitch Pop” sounds of MS MR sealed the deal in scheming set piece.
Read Tanner Stransky’s Burning Questions about him buying a new car with Bellisario and executive producer I. Marlene King
CSI: NY (CBS)
The song: The Bamboos Feat. Ella Thompson, “Medicine Man”
The episode: “Nine Thirteen” (913)
The hook: Another TCB groover playing behind an evidence processing sequence involving Lindsay (Anna Belknap), Hawkes (Hill Harper), a blood-smeared newspaper, and — what the heck? — sequins! Just sit back and groove — no need to overthink it. That’s what the people in the white coats are for.
ARROW (The CW)
The song: The Royal Concept, “World on Fire”
The episode: “Burned” (110)
The hook: The CW’s ab-solutely fabulous series gave leading lady Laurel (Katie Cassidy) her own struttin’ anthem Jan. 16. The camera panned up on Laurel’s shapely gams as she strode into a fireman’s fundraiser, heating up the place just as the Swedish electrorockers’ song title implied. Safe to say her domestic spat with Tommy (Colin Donnell) was the only fire put out that night.
Read Nuzhat Naoreen’s recap
THE LYING GAME (ABC Family)
The song: Bush, “The Mirror of the Signs”
The episode: “Advantage Sutton” (203)
The hook: Emma & Ethan shippers, eat your hearts out! Tuesday’s ep opened with a bang — quite literally — as Ethan (Blair Redford) came a-knockin’ at Sutton’s (Alexandra Chando) woodsy hideaway for a little rebound hook-up. Gavin Rossdale & Co.’s driving beats synced up with the teens’ raging hormones for a night that Ethan wouldn’t soon forget — though he will surely want to when he has to face the heartbreak in the doe eyes of Sutton’s twin Emma (also Chando). As for Jukeboxers? Wherever there is shirtless Ethan, there are no regrets.
THE MINDY PROJECT (Fox)
The song: Rent, “Light My Candle”
The episode: “Bunk Bed” (111)
The hook: When you think of doing masculine things like construction, what song would would be your soundtrack? If you’re Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling), it’s the synthesized meet-cute from the Tony-winning Broadway musical about the AIDS crisis in early ’90s Alphabet City. Obviously. (Bonus shout-out to LCD Soundsystem’s “Watch the Tapes,” which played when Ike Barinholtz’s Morgan accidentally mailed a letter and went to town on a mailbox trying to retrieve it. Now that‘s what you call “going postal.”)
COUGAR TOWN (TBS)
The song: Branches, “Helicopters”
The episode: “Between Two Worlds” (403)
The hook: Los Angeles sextet Branches, another herald of the Mumford-led banjo invasion, struck an uplifting chord as Cougar Town‘s Tuesday ep wrapped up. To the lyrics, “I am the dreamer,” Bobby (Brian Van Holt) made his own dreams come true — by changing his name to Ron Mexico (because why not?). Elsewhere, Jules (Courteney Cox) and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) had a little post-coital tête-à-tête to resolve a small marital tiff over her married name — and in typical style, they agreed to tussle once in a while to keep their marriage spicy.
The song: Eddie Vedder, “You’re True”
The episode: “Because You’re My Sister” (415)
The hook: Though there was love for Ruu Campbell’s “Mathereal” on Twitter last week, we were suckers for former Pearl Jam frontman Vedder’s ukelele ditty that closed out Parenthood‘s fourth season this past Tuesday. As Kristina (Monica Potter) learned she was in remission after a season-long battle for her life, the undulating song played as members of the expansive Braverman began and ended the various chapters of their lives. But where better to end a montage driven by a uke song than on the beach in Hawaii as Kristina and Adam (Peter Krause) finally gave themselves some much-needed (and completely deserved) R&R.
Read Ken Tucker’s review and Lynette Rice’s interview with EP Jason Katims
HART OF DIXIE (The CW)
The song: Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, “Follow”
The episode: “Islands in the Stream” (212)
The hook: Two of Bluebell’s most tangled couples — Zoe (Rachel Bilson) and Wade (Wilson Bethel), and George (Scott Porter) and Tansy (Mircea Monroe) — made inroads to a separate peace on Tuesday’s ep. Accompanying it, this appealing, easy-to-listen-to track from Calgary crooner Fitzgerald.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)*
The song: Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, “What Would I Do Without You”
The episode: “Ring Up” (814)
The hook: What would Robin (Cobie Smulders) do without Barney (Neil Patrick Harris)? Drink herself silly, probably. Monday’s ep saw the new fiancés getting a taste of what life off the market has in store for them. Robin’s most immediate problem: She couldn’t get a drink to save her life. But by the end of the ep, she realized that didn’t matter so much because she was starting a new chapter — and contractually linking herself with a man who had to get her drinks for the rest of their lives. Sure, their lives wouldn’t be the same, but it was a kind of settling into a new, better comfort that was underscored by the gentle lull of this sweet acoustic number.
Read Sandra Gonzalez’s recap
CATFISH: THE TV SHOW (MTV)
The song: The Eastern Sea, “The Line”
The episode: “Tyler and Amanda”
The hook: The Austin indie outfit’s understated epic sweeps the very lengths of time, with lyrics about a deep connection that defies judgment from the outside world. It’s a beautiful notion, made all the more romantic in stark comparison to Nev Schulman’s addictive reality show about Internet romance gone awry. In this case, a Michigan jock named Tyler IM’d and texted for months before calling in Schulman. As Catfish tends to go, Tyler found out Amanda wasn’t the girl she claimed to be. She was a man, baby!
The song: Jon Allen Feat. Amy Smith, “When The Morning Comes”
The episode: “The Diamond in the Rough” (810)
The hook: Silver Linings went small-screen! In a hilariously awkward bit of undercover work, Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Brennan (David Boreanaz) audition for So You Think You Can Dance with a ballroom number set to Allen and Smith’s song. Let’s just say they shouldn’t quit their day jobs — though we don’t have to say it since the stinkfaces on SYTYCD judges Mary Murphy and Tyce Diorio did all the work. But what started off shaky soon became smooth as glass. The partners in love and investigation grew more graceful as they realized they didn’t have to force their chemistry.
90210 (The CW)*
The song: Girl Named Toby, “Holding a Heart”
The episode: “Misery Loves Company” (510)
The hook: Though pop tartlet Rita Ora guest starred on Monday night, this mournful music from Toby Lightman and Todd Wright conveyed the the high stakes of the ep’s closing moments. Lives hung in the balance — among them, Silver’s (Jessica Stroup) desire to have a child and the future of Naomi’s marriage. Most dramatic, though, was when Annie (Shenae Grimes) lunged in front of a bullet to save Liam (Matt Lanter) from his stalker-turned-abductor Ashley (Natalie Morales). As Annie lay bleeding on the floor, the ethereal, minor keys of the song evoked something angelic. Is that a hint of Annie’s fate? We’ll see…
The song: Patty Griffin, “Not Alone”
The episode: “Shiva” (1012)
The hook: Griffin has become the unofficial songstress of CBS with songs appearing across the net. Last week, “Not Alone” was simultaneously somber and consoling as the crew attended the funeral of Ziva’s (Cote de Pablo) father. The title of Griffin’s song was also what Tony (Michael Weatherly) told Ziva near the episode’s end as she finally moved past anger into acceptance and healthy mourning.
AMERICAN IDOL (Fox)
The song: “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” originally by Simon & Garfunkel
The episode: “Auditions #2″ (1202)
The hook: Another season, another set of sob stories. But it was stutter-free serenade from Lazaro Arbos that’s so far been Idol‘s standout this go ’round. The Cuban-born 21-year-old stammers so profoundly that he can barely carry on a conversation and has led a life of isolation because of it. Yet he sings like an angel. Trust us, it’s worth watching again.
Read Annie Barrett’s recap
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