Every song’s like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom, but we don’t care — we’re watching TV in our dreams. And we’ve chosen our favorite tube songs for this latest edition of TVLine Mixtape.
We’ve pulled together a collection of tunes from summer finales (and almost-finales) and fall premieres, complete with artist and album information in case you want to add them to your permanent collection. Spoilers abound, and we chose songs we liked – but we always want to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
So peruse our playlist, and then hit the comments with your favorite TV jams! And remember: You can always submit questions or suggestions about TV music on Twitter @mishasolomontv.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Breaking Bad, “Ozymandias”
TITLE | “Take My True Love by the Hand”
ARTIST | The Limeliters
ALBUM | The Limeliters (1960)
WHY IT ROCKED | “Times are getting hard,” The Limeliters sing as Walter White rolls a barrel of money through a Navajo reservation. (And his true love certainly does not want him to take her by the hand.) Still, this song, which strikes a strange and beautiful balance between melancholy and playful, is the perfect companion for Walt’s walk. We’ll find out soon enough if Heisenberg will have to abide by the lyrics “say goodbye to everyone,” or if he’ll somehow escape his crystal catastrophe alive.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The Newsroom, “Election Night, Part 2”
TITLE | “Let My Love Open the Door”
ARTIST | Luminate
ALBUM | The Covers EP (2012)
WHY IT ROCKED | The Christian rock band’s rollicking cover of Pete Townshend’s 1980 hit plays as Sloan and Don kiss and Will finally puts a ring on Mac. The cut’s propulsive percussion ends the turbulent season on a happy, hopeful note.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Ray Donovan, “Same Exactly”
TITLE | “Rock Steady”
ARTIST | Aretha Franklin
ALBUM | Young, Gifted and Black (1972)
WHY IT ROCKED | Let’s call this show exactly what it is (what it is, what it is, what it is): a throwback crime caper with a dark underbelly. Donovan really found its footing toward the end of its freshman season, and this R&B classic by the Queen of Soul starts the finale off just right — setting the tone for an episode that unabashedly celebrates our hero and his flaws.
SERIES AND EPISODE | How I Met Your Mother, “Coming Back”
TITLE | “Souvenir”
ARTIST | Billy Joel
ALBUM | Streetlife Serenade (1974)
WHY IT ROCKED | Oh, HIMYM — just when we think we’re ready for you to end, you remind us why we love you so much in the first place. The long-running series does just that at the end of its final season premiere, giving us our first taste of Ted and The Mother in a flashforward set a year after Barney and Robin’s wedding. Future Ted and his future bride sit at the same table as a despondent, crossword-scribbling Present Ted, and Billy Joel’s yearning voice sings about every year being a gift — a gift that can make all the difference.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Sleepy Hollow, “Pilot”
TITLE | “Sympathy for the Devil”
ARTIST | The Rolling Stones
ALBUM | Beggars Banquet (1968)
WHY IT ROCKED | This new series introduced itself with gleeful insanity, and this classic rock free-for-all kicks off the crazy with a brimstone bang. The song juggles almost as many plot threads as the hit new drama does: Jesus Christ, Anastasia and the Kennedys all get name-dropped. If the show proves as devilishly delicious as the Stones’ hit — well then, Lucifer, you don’t need no restraint.
SERIES AND EPISODE | New Girl, “All In”
TITLE | “Aquí en Mi Nube (Get Off of My Cloud)”
ARTIST | Sonia
ALBUM | Aquí en Mi Nube / Al Final de la Calle / Concierto para Enamorados / 1, 2, 3 (1966)
WHY IT ROCKED | New Girl‘s third season premiere features this swingin’ Spanish Rolling Stones cover to accompany Nick and Jess’ ill-fated Mexican getaway. Nick and Jess may have left their lovers’ nube to return to their cramped LA cloud, but we have faith they’ll weather Schmidt and Winston’s ongoing interference.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The Mindy Project, “All My Problems Solved Forever…”
TITLE | “Borderline”
ARTIST | The Flaming Lips ft. Stardeath and White Dwarf
ALBUM |Covered, A Revolution in Sound (2009)
WHY IT ROCKED | We can so picture a ’90s teen Mindy discovering Madonna’s original version of this song and thinking she was totally rad for finding the “vintage” hit. This grown-up alt cover of the song may be a little cooler than Mindy herself, but it gorgeously accompanies the lady doc’s graciously thwarted wedding ceremony. Also, you just know that Pastor Casey is a huge Flaming Lips fan…
SERIES AND EPISODE | Suits, “Stay”
TITLE | “Stay with Me”
ARTIST | NO
ALBUM | Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Here Forever EP (2011)
WHY IT ROCKED | Rachel and Mike “were never meant to be apart,” and now they won’t have to be! This song plays as Rachel tells her lawyer love that she has decided to stay with him in New York. We hope that Louis’ dastardly discovery won’t mess up these two lovebirds’ chance to be together.