There were lots of throwback tunes “In the Air” this week, Jukeboxers, from ’80s pounding drums to ’90s FM radio gems. But we also found some contemporary instaclassics and new takes on old favorites. 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: Icona Pop Feat. Charli XCX, “I Love It”
The episode: “Bad Friend” (203)
The hook: What wasn’t to like on Sunday’s Girls? Booth’s (Jorma Taccone) Clockwork Orange-style seduction of Marnie (Allison Williams) was astonishingly bizarre thanks to a blaring soundtrack of Duncan Sheik’s 1996 soft-rock hit “Barely Breathing,” but the coke-fueled dance trance that overtook Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Elijah (Andrew Rannells) took episode 3 to the next level. After rocking out with their nips out to Eve’s 2007 joint “Tambourine,” the roomies gyrated and sang their hearts out to Icona Pop’s electroscreamer from the Girls soundtrack. (The ep featured a winking play-out via a mellower soundtrack cut: Grouplove’s “Everyone’s Gonna Get High.”) Jukebox fans on Twitter couldn’t get enough of the wall of sound (and disturbing TVs), but the night’s MVP goes to “I Love It” for its stratospheric build-up. We love it!
Read Lindsay Bahr’s recap
THE FOLLOWING (Fox)*
The song: Deftones, “Change (In the House Of Flies)”
The episode: “Chapter Two” (102)
The hook: Jukebox’s Twitter fans also pointed out Band of Skulls’ huge week as their “Close to Nowhere” played on Beauty and the Beast’s Thursday installment, as well as during a sexy scene between Ryan (Kevin Bacon) and Claire (Natalie Zea) on The Following’s second ep Monday. That said, tweeters gave the edge to “Change,” which followed another Following couple’s relationship-defining moment. For cult members Denise (Valorie Curry) and Will (Nico Tortorella), foreplay went to a homicidal place when she invited him over to meet her family. When mom relentlessly henpecked Denise, she took matters – and a big ol’ knife – into her own and stabbed mommy dearest while Will watched. While Denise’s mother gasping and bleeding out, the Deftones’ 2000 single moody crescendo, making for a pitch-black backdrop to the new couple’s psycho-sexual frenzy. And we do mean psycho.
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
The song: Sara Jackson-Holman, “Come By Fire”
The episode: “Bad Blood” (913)
The hook: The Portland singer-songwriter’s minor-chord piano ballad brought the pain as Cristina (Sandra Oh) lost a patient as Leah (Tessa Ferrer) looked on, learning one of many hard lessons she’ll inevitable be taught as an intern. Another hard lesson: The Seattle Grace crew, who tried to cut costs to save their ER, were informed it’d be shut down regardless – and the hospital was going up for sale. But, as Grey’s has shown as well as any series, we must experience pain to truly appreciate joy. So, when the ep ended on a much happier note – Derek (Patrick Dempsey) feeling the kick of his unborn baby – Josh Ritter’s “In Your Arms Again” struck a blessed lighter note.
Read Tanner Stransky’s recap
THE AMERICANS (FX)*
The song: Phil Collins, “In the Air Tonight”
The episode: “Pilot” (101)
The hook: No one can claim The Americans’ pilot was short on action. Most notably when embedded KGB agents Elizabeth (Kerrie Russell) and Phillip (Matthew Rhys) dumped the body of their latest target, a Soviet defector who had once used his power to sexually and physically abuse Elizabeth. Collins’ pointed lyrics (“It’s all been a pack of lies”) spelled out the agents-turned-spouses’ complex relationship during this emotional turning point. Thus ensued vehicular sexytimes – because what’s better foreplay than pouring acid on a corpse? (Bonus points for the bookend placement of “Tusk,” Fleetwood Mac’s marching-band-bombastic 1979 track, that accompanied two pulse-pounding moments of pursuit at the supersized pilot’s start and finish.)
Read Ken Tucker’s review
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW)
The song: Cary Brothers, “If You Were Here”
The episode: “A View to a Kill” (412)
The hook: Brooklyn band Wild Belle’s “Another Girl” set up a “Kill”-er episode last night, playing under Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) morning-after dash from Rebekah’s (Claire Holt) bedroom. But how can we discuss a TVD Decade Dance without going vintage? Mystic Falls High traveled back to the ’80s this year with classics including Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” and The Cure’s “Lovesong.” For emotional impact, though, it was Brothers’ acoustic update on the Thompson Twins’ 1983 tune – which you may remember it from a little movie called Sixteen Candles – during a pivotal moment between Stefan and Rebekah. Brothers’ lilting take expressed the Original vamp’s vulnerability as she confessed centuries of regrets to Stefan. As the song built to its electric guitar climax, it in turn conveyed Stefan’s strength. Unlike Rebekah’s conniving brothers, Stefan proved he would be “Here” for Rebekah – a move that’ll probably get him literally stabbed in the back, but a beautiful moment nevertheless.
Read Mandi Bierly’s recap
THE CARRIE DIARIES (The CW)
The song: The Go-Go’s, “Head Over Heels”
The episode: “Read Before Use” (103)
The hook: Has anyone given voice to the ebullience of youth quite like The Go-Go’s? Before things went pear-shaped between Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) went snooping in the confidential files of her father, who serves as lawyer to her sorta-boyfriend Sebastian (Austin Butler), the girl rocker’s effervescent 1984 hit was perfectly placed during one of those swoon-inducing high school hallway slow-mo walks toward each other. (Honorable mention to The Cars’ sultry “Drive” backing the kids’ makeout meet-ups in a garden. Blossoming affections indeed.)
Read Tim Stack’s recap
THE BACHELOR (ABC)
The song: Ben Taylor, “By Your Side”
The episode: 1704
The hook: Dramatic rose drop! James Taylor and Carly Simon’s singer-songwriter son Ben performed an acoustic cover of Sade’s boot-knockin’ ballad from 2000 on Monday night’s ep. Unfortunately, the only thing Leslie H.’s boots were knockin’ was the pavement once Sean dismissed her in the middle of a dinner date. On the upside, she’d already completed a Pretty Woman-style shopping spree that afternoon. Take those diamonds and run, “lady”!
Read Kristen Baldwin’s and Chris Harrison’s blog
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS (ABC Family)
The song: Fransisca Hall, “Until It Hurts”
The episode: “Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Inferno” (317)
The hook: After last week’s shocking revelation about Toby’s (Keegan Allen) affiliation with the “A”-team, Spencer (Troian Bellisario) began Tuesday’s episode in a compromising position – underneath the very guy who’d betrayed her. Though it turned out to be a dream (a super-sexy dream, but a dream nonetheless), the title Hall’s sensual song said it all about the unhealthy S&M-y direction in which Spencer and Toby’s relationship is headed.
Read Samantha Highfill’s recap
SUPERNATURAL (The CW)
The song: Frank Sinatra, “As Time Goes By”
The episode: “812”
The hook: It was an emotionally cathartic week for the Winchester brothers. Their grandfather Henry (Gil McKinney) may have time-traveled from 1958 to help them battle a powerful Knight of Hell – but he also gave them a peek into the childhood of their dearly departed dad John. In fact, the most moving part of the episode was when Henry whistled Sinatra’s mid-century chestnut and told Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) it had been one of John’s childhood favorites (he had a music box that played it). So, when the fellows were burying gramps at hour’s end, the “Time” played wistfully, in a music-box tinkle, as the fellows considered their heritage as hunters.
Read Sandra Gonzalez’s recap
NEW GIRL (Fox)
The song: Fishbone, “Party At Ground Zero”
The episode: “Cooler” (215)
The hook: Tuesday was a major episode for shippers of Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson), but it’s not New Girl’s style to play sex with a straight face. (Witness: The absurd use of Rusted Root’s “Send Me on My Way” in last year’s “The Landlord.”) But the long-awaited Nick-Jess kiss wasn’t the only big payoff for Newbies. The ep also saw the triumphant return of the fan-favorite game True American (scored last time by The Clash’s “Death or Glory”). Fishbone’s 1985 ska stomper was appropriately rambunctious alongside the frenetic, anarchic game.
Read our recap and Jessica Shaw’s behind-the-scenes report on the making of the smooch heard ‘round the Internet
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