By Caitlin Herlihy
Musical episodes provide a strident reminder that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Established television shows like Scrubs, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Seventh Heaven have all attempted musical episodes, and some shows have been more successful than others. While exciting for the audience, adding musical numbers to established television series is often, in my opinion, awkward and ill-suited.
“Song Beneath the Song” is Grey’s Anatomy‘s attempt at a musical episode. Also known as The Music Event, the episode was the 18th episode of season seven. Pregnant Callie Torres and girlfriend Arizona Robbins suffer a serious car accident, leaving Torres hospitalized. While the doctors at Seattle Grace operate on Torres, they sing popular pop songs featured earlier in the series.
While I must admit the vocals were impressive, the playlist seemed forced. Torres, played by Sara Ramirez, singing Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” gave me chills. Dr. Bailey, played by Chandra Wilson; Lexie Grey, played by Chyler Leigh; and Dr. Hunt, pleayed by Kevin McKidd were the star vocalists in the episode. Songs from the episode include “How to Save a Life,” “Breathe,” and “Chasing Cars.” The most-out-of-place song was definitely the cast’s performance of “Runnin’ On Sunshine.”
Reviews of the episode were mixed, as they are for many musical episodes. I think it was an interesting change of pace from the traditional format of 45-minute Grey’s Anatomy episodes. However, the cast as a whole was not musically talented enough to keep up with Ramirez, Wilson, Leigh, or McKidd. The playlist could have been more subtle, and I wasn’t a fan of the doctors singing behind their masks.
In my opinion, dramas should leave the singing to Glee.