I feel like a kid in a leaf pile, Jukeboxers. Fall TV is officially back in session, and TV Jukebox is frolicking around to the flood of amazing new music hitting the airwaves. Admittedly, not all the moments have been pure joy, as seen in Thursday’s heartbreaking Glee tribute to Cory Monteith and that bullet-to-the-gut ending of Breaking Bad, but there’s plenty of fun to be had — especially by vampires (who would have guessed it?).
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 song: Lea Michele, “Make You Feel My Love”
The episode: “The Quarterback” (303)
The hook: The ensemble cover of Rent‘s “Seasons of Love” got some Twitter attention, but last night was all Lea Michele’s. After opening the season with the Beatles’ mournful lament that “Yesterday came suddenly,” Michele wept her way through a gut-wrenching performance of the Bob Dylan-penned ode — a layered tribute to her late on- and off-screen boyfriend Cory Monteith, who passed away unexpectedly from a drug overdose in July.
Read Erin Strecker’s recap
BREAKING BAD (AMC)*
The song: Badfinger, “Baby Blue”
The episode: “Felina” (516)
The scene: Vince Gilligan chose Badfinger’s 1971 rocker to close out the series and represent Walt’s (Bryan Cranston) love for the blue meth on which he built an empire. In Bad‘s final moments, lead singer Pete Ham crooned, ”Guess I got what I deserve” as Walt lovingly caressed the cooker he and Jesse had created, then settled on the floor as his life fell away.
Read Denise Warner’s recap and find out what Badfinger member Joey Molland had to say about the song popping up in Bad
THE BLACKLIST (NBC)
The song: Underworld, “Bird 1″
The episode: “Wujing” (103)
The hook: Thai-London singer-songwriter Hugo’s rootsy cover of his mentor/label owner Jay Z’s “99 Problems” provided a nice kicker for Blacklist‘s Sept. 23 pilot. It was like the cherry on top of Jim James’ “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.),” which played as FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) discovered her husband Tom (Ryan Eggold) isn’t exactly as lily-white as she’d always believed — or at least that what dozens of passports and international currency notes would imply. This past Monday, London electronica outfit Underworld’s throbbing tune about eavesdropping conveyed the air of paranoia as thugs infiltrated the Keens’ home to plant bugs, nearly getting discovered by Tom’s nurse along the way. At the end of the hour, Robert Koch’s “Here With Me” added context to Liz’s dilemma with the lyrics “Caught in the riptide, I was searching for the truth,” then noting, “There was a reason I collided into you” — could that reflect her uneasy alliance with Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader)?
Read Darren Franich’s premiere react
SONS OF ANARCHY (FX)*
The song: Alt-J, “Tessellate”
The episode: “The Mad King” (605)
The hook: Sharks and shapes define the Brit indie poppers’ moody 2012 release, which played Oct. 8 as the SAMCRO boys surveilled their Irish adversaries and a triangulation of scenes elsewhere laid out the rivalry’s escalating body count. By hour’s end, the Irish had blown up their clubhouse to the yowly goodness of the Civil Wars’ “I Had Me a Girl.” And we thought the bikers were out for blood before?
Read Mandi Bierly’s recap and get the inside scoop on director Gwyneth Horder-Payton’s feelings about “The Mad King”
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW)
The song: Lorde, “Royals”
The episode: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (501)
The hook: Music supervisor Chris Mollere dug the teen phenom’s chart-topper for the Oct. 3 season 5 opener because “what better soundtrack [is there for two secret vampires] heading off to try to live a ‘normal’ college life? The final line that we have featured in the scene of “let me live that fantasy” conveys exactly what the girls are setting out to do, which is be normal girls for a little bit and enjoy college life. The song has a vibe to it that is exactly where Elena [Nina Dobrev] and Caroline [Candice Accola] are at in the moment, but it also has a little tinge of darkness that lets us feel that something interesting is to come for them here on campus.” But, as fun as the girly times have been these past two weeks, let’s be honest: We’re here for the hotness. And Mollere gave us just that, opting for the “playful feel” of Vampire Weekend’s bouncy “Unbelievers” to underscore some hot Delena makeout action at the top of the premiere. Then in this Thursday’s episode, Plumb’s “Don’t Deserve You” provided a more melodic moment as Damon (Ian Somerhalder) let Elena leave to look for Stefan (Paul Wesley). As the saying goes, he hates to see her go, but he loves to watch her leave.
Read Mandi Bierly’s premiere recap and her take on episode 2
NEW GIRL (Fox)
The song: Paula Cole, “I Don’t Wanna Wait”
The episode: “Nerd” (302)
The hook: New Girl‘s Sept. 17 ep was packed with typically kooky musical selections, from Jess (Zooey Deschanel) belting out 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?” — while dancing in a toilet — to impress her cool new teacher friends to the guys revealing that “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly is their hangover wake-up song. But that uncomfortable moment when you have to get into the jacuzzi with your boyfriend and your creepshow new principal? What if it were set to Paula Cole’s ’90s anthem? Absurd, uncomfortable, twisted, perfect. Bonus! A montage set to Daft Punk and Pharrell’s summer party jam “Get Lucky” when Jess and Nick (Jake Johnson) were trying to… well, you can probably guess. (Sorry Punks, your tune set the mood about as well as Jess calling her roomfriend “fat fat fatty.”)
Read our recap
The song: Rick James, “Superfreak”
The episode: “It’s Handled” (301)
The hook: If you’re going to call the President “super-doable,” this is the song that should be playing behind you. Well done, utterly replaceable vice presidential aide-turned-patsy (and well done, Music Supervisor Alexandra Patsavas).
Read Katie Atkinson’s recap
THE ORIGINALS (The CW)
The song: The Delta Riggs, “Street Signs & Brake Lights”
The episode: “House of the Rising Son” (102)
The hook: Putting the ”jam” in The Originals‘ musical jambalaya, Tuesday’s episode featured contemporary tracks from TV on the Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs alongside appropriately rootsy N’awlins-style chooglers including Ryan Montbleau’s “Yeah Man” and the Riggs’ spicy cowbell clanker.
The song: Clare Bowen, “Waitin'”
The episode: “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It Now” (203)
The hook: A sleek new ‘do, sexy styling, and the sultry vibe of Caitlin Rose’s original, Scarlett (Bowen) wowed at a showcase this past Wednesday. Gunnar (Sam Palladio) felt the heat from the oh-so-applicable refrain about “waitin’ on a broken heart”… and he was in fine company — tweeters dug the cover.
Read Annie Barrett’s recap and watch EW’s Google Hangout with Palladio
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN (FX)
The song: “Custom Car Crash,” Calla
The episode: “Bitchcraft” (301)
The hook: Twitter couldn’t ignore the early-on insanity of Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) tripping out to Iron Butterfly’s 1968 rocker “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” but we liked the slightly portentous choice of “Crash.” Texan indie rockers’ chiller played as goodhearted frat bro Kyle (Evan Peters) experienced lust at first sight with teen witch Zoe (Taissa Farmiga). Turns out, the song was actually a spooky warning—Zoe’s witchy sister Madison (Emma Roberts) eventually flipped Kyle’s fraternity’s party bus as revenge after the frat boys gang-raped her. (Bonus: That same bus had been playing the highly dance-able “Seize the Night (Francophilippe Remix)” by Foxe Basin earlier in the ep.) Sure, it wasn’t the most over-the-top moment of AHS‘s Wednesday night season premiere, but we’d frankly be hard-pressed to say what was. We’re buckling our seatbelts for Coven, which is proving even battier than AHS Original Recipe and Asylum before it.
Read Darren Franich’s recap
THE BRIDGE (FX)*
The song: Metalachi, “Livin’ on a Prayer”
The episode: “The Crazy Place” (113)
The hook: Though The Bridge could get as dark as the tunnels under Charlotte’s (Annabeth Gish) stable-slash-drug-HQ, the metal Mariachi band’s bright take on Bon Jovi’s 1986 arena rocker added a light touch to Charlotte’s in-too-deep situation. Played just before the halfway point of the season finale, the upbeat message of “Prayer” signaled that the show might just find a way for Charlotte & Co. to “make it, I swear.”
SLEEPY HOLLOW (Fox)
The song: Frank Sinatra, “Witchcraft”
The episode: “Blood Moon” (102)
The hook: Hollow‘s been incorporating hilariously on-the-nose oldies during its first weeks on air, including this 1957 Ol’ Blue Eyes track, which played as a fire witch incinerated an unlucky schlub because of his lineage.
THE MINDY PROJECT (Fox)
The song: The National, “I Need My Girl”
The episode: “Music Festival” (203)
The hook: Though the Flaming Lips’ cover of “Borderline” set up the mismatch between Mindy (Mindy Kaling) and Casey (Anders Holm) during an aborted wedding march in the season premiere, the National offered up a live performance of their swoonsome “Girl” (which also appeared on Parenthood‘s Oct. 3 ep) as the fiancés finally split at the end of Mindy‘s Oct. 1 ep. On the bright side, a new couple has an engagement anthem: Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) and Danny (Chris Messina)!
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
The song: Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
The episode: “Everybody’s Crying Mercy” (1003)
The hook: Lamar’s dark banger was an oddly interesting choice as Leah (Tessa Ferrer) and Callie (Sara Ramirez) watched a patient die on the table in the Oct. 3 ep. More in line with Grey’s musical standards: a classic ep-ending montage set to Pearl Jam’s “Future Days” this Thursday.
Read Annie Barrett’s “Mercy” recap and read what she thought about “Puttin’ on the Ritz”
MASTERS OF SEX (Showtime)
The song: James Blake, “Retrograde”
The episode: “Race to Space” (102)
The hook: Blake’s eerily atmosphere electronic track played out on Masters‘ this past Sunday. Its isolationist lyrics (“You’re on your own in a world you’ve grown”) echoed the growing distance not just between driven-to-a-fault sexologist Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) and the receptionist-turned-study-cohort he’d awkwardly propositioned Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), but also between Bill and the entire world as he forged forward with his alienating, scandalizing sexual study.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (The CW)*
The song: Wanderhouse, “Lights”
The episode: “Who Am I?” (201)
The hook: Twitter fans felt spark from the L.A. duo’s dreamy Ellie Goulding cover, which segued into Goulding’s more uptempo 2010 original as Catherine (Kristin Kreuk) caught some uneasy Zzzzs, dreaming of her traumatic last encounter with love Vincent (Jay Ryan), at the start of Monday’s season 2 premiere.
Read Erin Strecker’s recap
The song: London Grammar, “Hey Now”
The episode: “Fear” (301)
The hook: Jukeboxers on Twitter enjoyed Quadron’s chiller-than-chill “Sea Salt,” which played over a smoochy moment between Emily (Emily VanCamp) and fiancé Daniel (Josh Bowman) during the Sept. 30 premiere, but we have to give the edge to English pop trio London Grammar’s “Hey Now,” which provided such a deceptively cool vibe as Aiden (Barry Sloane) returned to throw the Hamptons into turmoil (again!) by forging a surprise alliance with Victoria (Madeleine Stowe). Revenge revels in turning the tables, and this was a musically charged game changer.
The song: Joshua Radin, “My My Love”
The episode: “It Has To Be Now” (501)
The hook: Radin’s dainty ditty about forever-love provided a sweet soundtrack to cry to as Amber (Mae Whitman) welcomed Ryan (Matt Lauria) back from Afghanistan and accepted his marriage proposal — an offer he confessed had been completely spur-of-the-moment to the tune of Local Natives’ “Heavy Feet” during the Oct. 3 episode.
*Readers’ Choice! Thanks to
@zimmie825, @edd_gosbender, @CupcakeCutie012, @brittvgirl, @corydimples, @evilabed101, @Joaquimm_, @sarekins, @Abbodi_a_Gooner, @missmegs6, @ean_nae, @tchanya14, @madgegf, @victoria_BATB, @sunny_pro927, @JordanG3i, @Jess_Asbury, @gladiatorgoobz, @jlydic2, @pennpal02, @BisonBoMAH, @Chlo_withTheFlo, @Junes09, @rufo95, @abi0la, and @Colie0615 for their suggestions!
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