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TV's Best Musical Episodes: Friday Fiver

By and Catriona Wightman
Grey's Anatomy S07E18 'Song Beneath The Song': Callie Torres looks on.

© ABC

We're feeling in a bit of a sing song mood here at Tube Talk this week - not only has Smash started in the US, but Glee is returning in the UK on Thursday!

All the singing and dancing on TV got us thinking about other shows that have embraced their inner Broadway! That meant we couldn't do anything else for our Friday Fiver but celebrate the dramas and comedies that went a little musical for an episode... but did your favourite make the cut?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - 'Once More, with Feeling' (first aired November 6, 2001)
Joss Whedon's paranormal teen drama / romance / thriller / television phenomenon was well known for playing with convention - season four's almost entirely silent episode 'Hush' won critical acclaim and an Emmy nomination back in 1999. But season six's seventh episode, the awe-inspiring 'Once More, with Feeling', pushed the show into even more exciting territory. Under the influence of demon Sweet (Hinton Battle), the entirety of Sunnydale sporadically breaks out into song and dance, leading to both hilarity and some shocking moments, as long-concealed secrets come spilling out. Musical highlights include the spirited group sing-along 'I've Got a Theory' and Xander and Anya's duet 'I'll Never Tell'.



Scrubs - 'My Musical' (first aired January 18, 2007)
This medical comedy's musical numbers were explained away as the hallucinations of delirious patient Patti Miller (Stephanie D'Abruzzo - known for Broadway musical Avenue Q). The episode picked up five Emmy nominations and walked away with one of the trophies. And every Scrubs fan knows that the episode's undoubted highlight is JD and Turk's bromance spectacular, the tender and hilarious duet 'Guy Love' - "It's like I married my best friend..." "But in a totally manly way!"



Community - 'Regional Holiday Music' (first aired December 8, 2011)
The most recent entry in our list, the midseason finale for this underappreciated US comedy saw the Greendale gang one by one corrupted by the jazzy fun of Glee club. Community has taken pot shots at Glee before, but this episode went all the way, with club leader Mr. Rad (Taran Killam) (shades of Will Schuester) revealed as a demented killer. Pop picks included Donald 'Childish Gambino' Glover showing off his rap skills and Chevy Chase's Pierce erupting into song in a truly bizarre fashion.



Grey's Anatomy - 'Song Beneath The Song' (first aired March 31, 2011)
It's fair to say that the musical episode of Grey's Anatomy split the viewers. Some loved it, while others couldn't imagine anything worse. It was a nice touch for the cast to perform songs from the show's history - it's just a shame that these were largely soft rock yawns like 'How To Save A Life' and 'Chasing Cars'. And the less said about the bizarre sex montage in the middle of an otherwise rather emotional episode, the better. Still, the Grey's Anatomy musical did at least move the storyline on rather dramatically as Callie fought for her life and her baby had to be delivered prematurely.



Xena: Warrior Princess - 'The Bitter Suite' (first aired February 2, 1998)
The earliest episode on our list! Xena: Warrior Princess obviously thought 'The Bitter Suite' was a success, because fans were treated to a second musical episode, 'Lyre, Lyre, Hearts On Fire', a year later. 'The Bitter Suite' was really a story about friendship, as Xena and Gabrielle were forced to resolve their differences in the strange Land of Illusia. But hey, why not chuck some song and dance in there as well? Both musical episodes went down well with viewers... and they got the Emmy nominations (and an award) to prove it!



Do you have a favourite musical episodes? Share your picks below!

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