Buffy’s “Once More, With Feeling” was the musical episode to end all episodes – or was it? From Scrubs to Grey’s Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother, which episodes have we crowned the best and which were unfortunate flops?
On the special Buffy edition of Vampire Hype, our hosts bonded over their love for the Buffy musical spectacular “Once More, With Feeling.” While this is the most well known of TV musical episodes, it isn’t anywhere near the only one. Which other episodes have performed as well as the Buffy-fest, and which have fallen flat?
Buffy: Once More, With Feeling
Any list would be incomplete without the Big One. “Once More With Feeling” showed just how great musical episodes could be, even in such a bizarre context. If someone had pitched us the idea of singing and dancing vampires, and a quasi-metal song about bunnies, it wouldn’t have gone far. But with the master of Joss Whedon behind it, it resulted in an achievement that has set the musical standard.
He was helped out by a musically talented cast. Anthony Stewart Head (Giles), James Marsters (Spike) and Amber Benson (Tara) did much of the heavy lifting vocally, but the rest of the cast more than met the challenge. The songs were well written and entertaining, while managing to be gently mocking of their specific genre. Whedon, you’ve done it again.
Best moment: All of it, but special mention to ensemble number “Walk Through the Fire.”
Scrubs: My Musical
No show exists where music seemed more appropriate than this wacky off-the-wall comedy. This was also a prime opportunity to showcase the musical skills of a supremely talented cast (in a completely silly way). It seems like every member of the cast was either a self-confessed musical theatre nerd (ahem, Zach Braff), or had grown up doing Broadway or Off-Broadway productions.
Scrubs has never been a show to take itself too seriously, and this episode was no exception. With songs titled “Everything Comes Down to Poo” and “For the Last Time, I’m Dominican,” “My Musical” was basically an all-out giggle fest. All of the songs were essentially parodies of well-known musical theatre numbers from Beauty and the Beast and Les Mis, amongst others. Can you guess which song parodied which?
Best moment: “Guy Love,” possibly the best song ever written. Ever.
Community: Regional Holiday Music
Community‘s parody of Glee was a joy to behold. Whether you’re a Glee fan or not, there is no doubt that it does sometimes fall into certain TV tropes, and “Regional Holiday Music” exploited them all. From the incessant discussion of Regionals, the nonsensical mashups, the crazy show choir director wearing equally crazy sweater vests, this was Glee all over.
The songs themselves were ridiculous, with the quirky and skewed humour that we associate with Community. The strength of the songs was in the lyrics, written by the regular writing team, and in the unabashedly enthusiastic performances from the cast. They were parodies, but they were also hilarious in their own right. Plus who can forget the beauty of Britta’s “awkward song” to wrap everything up.
Best moment: Troy and Abed performing “Baby Boomer Santa,” #dreamteam.
How I Met Your Mother: “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit” from Girls Vs Suits
Any chance for musical theatre dynamo and all-around perfect human being Neil Patrick Harris to show off his musical skills is okay by us. This number was ridiculous and hilarious, and a long time coming. We know from “Once More, With Feeling” that Alyson Hannigan is not keen on singing, but Jason Segel and Cobie Smulders have got some pipes. So, can we have a full musical episode now, pretty please?
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