While I have been a cord cutter for a couple years now and don’t watch too much live TV, one aspect still lives on in the form of my music playlist. Television is a great medium for lesser known artists to get their music out to a wide range of people. Before you could just Shazam and DVR everything, I remember trying to scour internet forums for a song I had just heard on a show. After finding and listening to it, they certainly were not all winners, as often during the episode the best part was usually played. These few songs I am writing about are just ones that transport me back to that moment in the show where I can relive the episode in my head every time I hear them. Where applicable I will be embedding the scene with the song in all its SD glory since the full songs can easily be found on the Youtube. Without further adieu, here are 5 underrated songs discovered through TV.
Scrubs could very well be the pinnacle of introducing great songs into the mainstream. Lasting only eight seasons, they had a plethora of songs from every different genre. Almost every episode you were graced with something new. They had songs for all the lighthearted fun moments and ones that could rip you heart out (stupid Fray song that still makes me tear up when I hear it). Leroy is still an enigma to me, his songs are catchy and have been in a few different shows and movies, but still has never broke out despite putting out an album every few years. His song “Good Time” is simply that. Whenever it’s rotation comes up in my playlist I can’t help but tap my foot and lip-sync along at work.
If there is a series than can top Scrubs for best music it may be Chuck. I could easily make up a top 20 list from this show alone and still have material left over. I never watched the series while it was running sadly; I ended up getting a great deal on the Blu-ray box set last year and once I got started, I never looked back. I picked “Got Nuffin” by Spoon because not only was it in a terrific scene with Chuck and Awesome, the whole song also gets me moving when it comes up. As Chuck still has its hardcore fans as evidenced on social media and their subreddit, it will be quite awhile before this show is forgotten.
Did you expect a SyFy show to make it on the list? Defiance is a science fiction western in it’s base form. Some would probably compare it to Firefly (and be mad that it got more seasons) but it certainly tries to emulate other shows with it’s focus on relationships and interactions. I was on the fence when they announced the game and show combo and wondered how it would work. It only took two episodes to get me hooked when I realized they were going to put it all out there and not shy away from being a true drama. It’s not often that a song in an episode gets played the almost entire length and has minimal voice overs. This Nirvana cover of “Come as You Are” by Civil Twilight just tied everything together as well as being an outstanding version in and of itself.
You could say this is cheating by putting the theme to Lie To Me, but his might be the only show where I have never skipped the opening, even while binge watching. If you replaced Ryan Star’s “Brand New Day” with other music for the theme, it just wouldn’t feel right. The opening and song just go together so perfectly. Now I am not a big Pop Rock fan, but I am glad I heard this one and may even draw some looks when cranking it in my car, but that has never stopped me. If you haven’t caught Lie To Me yet, I encourage to hit up Netflix and get watching. It certainly ended before its time, but that doesn’t stop the enjoyment of what is there. This show was one of the first ones where fans were hoping Netflix would save it and soon as they started doing originals. If the show was just ending now, maybe they would have taken a chance on it.
This was actually the song that made me think of doing this oddball article. Yes, I know it’s another Scrubs song. I think out of all the great characters on the show, Bob Kelso might be my favorite. His depth of character, even though only hinted at most of the time, was really spectacular writing. Even though this was only a short snippet of the song, it immediately sent me on a search. The whole song “Sideways” by Citizen Cope is just beautiful and full of emotion.
I know this is a very different article that I have written before and that even usually appears on the site. I just wanted to share my love for some great songs that I might not have ever discovered if it wasn’t a part of my favorite shows. I would love to hear other people’s favorites and if they Shazam or run to IMDB right after hearing something in an episode. All of these songs are still on my playlist today and instantly make me think of their scenes. Thanks for reading and listening along.