I have a confession, dear readers. I suffered a great indignity this past Friday. While there are truly no words for how painful the experience was, you may know this outrageous misfortune as Grey’s Anatomy. I’m not much of a fan, but it was just one of those television experiences/trainwrecks you had to see to believe, ya know? So I did my best to prepare myself for the worst. Unfortunately, not even watching Gigli on a 24 hour loop could prepare me for what Shonda Rhimes has the audacity to call entertainment. It’s not even like she was re-defining the genre by having a musical episode. Plenty of weirder shows have had musical episodes and been able to pull them off, but let’s add Grey’s Anatomy to the list of shows that can’t. But one good thing did came out of Grey’s Anatomy‘s failure to entertain or even amuse.
No, my friends, I’m sorry to disappoint but I’m not writing my own musical. Instead, I got to thinking about the state of musical theater. Now, I’m not gonna claim that I’m a big fan of it or even really understand it very much… like, they’re sing, but no one can hear them, but now suddenly, they’re singing to someone? Anyways, after watching Grey’s Anatomy try and fail in areas where Buffy succeeded, I realized that the musical isn’t an exclusive genre. It can easily be incorporated into other mediums, such as television. I think the unexpected (and arguably, unwarranted) success of Glee has proved that beyond a doubt, so what follows is my list of TV shows (old and new alike) that I wouldn’t hate to see get a musical makeover.
5. The Golden Girls
Don’t look now, but I’m pretty sure my unabashed love of Golden Girls is showing. Think about it. Rose being a moron in E major? Dorothy being mannish mannerisms take the form of a lively tarantella? You’d hafta be an idiot to not wanna watch that. Considering three of our four leading ladies are no longer with us, I don’t see much hope for this one, but a man can dream, can’t he?
I’m not proud of myself that I watch this show, but what can I say? It’s a guilty pleasure. Besides, considering the show’s love of playing up the masculinity of its two leads (seriously, we get it, they’re both dudes) it’d be a welcome break to see a softer side of Sam and Dean Winchester. What better way of doing that than having an unrequited love ballad halfway through the show?
If any show could make use of Murphy’s penchant for camp, it was his short-lived WB series, Popular. It was the perfect outlet for that weird combination of over-the-top musical numbers and social commentary. Plus, part of me hopes that if he’d just gotten it out of his system with this show, maybe we wouldn’t have to suffer through Glee.
Community has done wonders with its themed episodes. Even its weird holiday-themed one was a nice homage, so realistically speaking, if any of these shows could actually pull off a musical episode, I have faith in Community. Besides, considering Dan Harmon’s ability to write goofy raps for Troy and Abed, I’m sure what lurks underneath his fanboy exterior is a cool, calculated musical genius.
1. American Dad
I’m guilty of a crime of convenience here. As a big American Dad fan, I’d love to see it, but also, over the six seasons, just about every other character has sang on their own. The only one I can’t really think of is Francine, but I could easily be wrong. I know that most of the main cast members have sang before, plus considering several characters are voiced by Seth McFarlane, who we know can sing, it’s not like it’s out of the realm of possibility…
Honorable Mentions/Musicals that Should Never be Made:
Pushing Daisies– The inclusion of Kristin Chenoweth made this choice feel a little bit too obvious, but I’d love to see it nonetheless.
30 Rock– Don’t get me wrong, I’d totally watch this, but I worry about Liz Lemon’s ability to carry a tune. Still, they could play around with the use of dubbing Liz, even in her fantasy sequences, for a couple solid jokes.
The West Wing– Easily one of my favorite shows, but the idea of the president bursting into song during a press conference on foreign affairs and the state of unrest in the Middle East is a little too traumatizing for me to entertain.
Friday Night Lights– Another one of my favorite shows, but the commitment to realism would make a musical episode a helluva thing to sell. It’s probably a blessing that nobody else had this idea…
Mad Men– Do you think Don Draper is a bass? I bet he’s a bass… still, for a show that’s main asset is everything it doesn’t say, an overly obvious musical episode would set the 1960s-themed show back, from which I might never recover.