We love watching TV, of course — but sometimes, we also just love listening to it.
Music is an essential element of making great television, and some of our favorite shows are like virtual jukeboxes, pairing the action on screen with the perfect song choice, from buzzy new hits to retro classics. (Hey, they don’t play videos on MTV anymore, so we have to get our music recommendations somewhere.) On occasion, we’ve even been known to run off to Spotify and search for the song we just heard in an episode. But which TV shows have the very best soundtracks?
We’re putting on our headphones and highlighting more than 20 current and recently ended TV shows with excellent musical taste, from the angsty ’90s grunge of Yellowjackets to the thoughtful R&B and soul of Insecure. Keep in mind: This is about pre-existing music playing on the soundtrack, not original scores or songs sung by the characters like on Schmigadoon! and Girls5eva. (Also note: We’re only looking at current and recently ended shows here, so no “But you missed Miami Vice!” comments, OK?)
Read on to find out which shows made our ultimate playlist, and hit the comments to share your own favorite soundtracks from the small screen.