The way I see it, every great TV show is only as good as the music it features. For some shows, the music is the absolute focus ‚ and for others it's nothing but background ambience, parlaying emotions and mood into crucial scenes. Get it wrong, and the results can be disastrous: Bad, or even just inappropriate music can completely spoil an otherwise brilliant show. But, the ones who get it right are the ones who understand the power of a great song and utilize it perfectly. As a result, there's always been TV shows that music lovers have adored above all others, simply because they share this simple passion with their fans. When the people creating a show understand their audience and take great lengths to carefully curate a soundtrack which not only sets a scene but also delivers just the right track to the viewer, it's truly something else. Whilst there's undoubtedly been a rise in shows specifically about the music industry or just specifically musical in the past decade, there's also been a ton of shows since the '90s which have lovingly labored over their soundtracks, making music an ambient centerpiece around which the story develops.
For music lovers everywhere, these shows hit the right note. Many of them are a little offbeat, some of them feature a selection of the best musical performances you could ever wish to hear on a fictional show and some of them are the sort of shows which hand you new music on a silver platter which you go on to treasure for all time. If you haven't seem some of these shows, then now's the time to hunt them out:
Full of songs which are still so good that they warrant being added to your running playlists, the music from Jem is spritely, catchy perfection. Watching the music within an entire episode is an added bonus as you get to enjoy the kitsch, quaint plotlines, and gorgeous pastel cartoon costumes.
Easily one of the best musical shows on TV right now, Empire has featured guest stars including Alicia Keys, Gladys Knight, and Snoop Dogg playing themselves, and has yet to produce a single bad song within it's two seasons.
3. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Along with holding the title of having the best TV soundtrack of the '90s, Buffy The Vampire Slayer also featured a range of bands doing impromptu performances down at Sunnydale's dive club The Bronze, and also featured a masterpiece of a musical episode which is easily one of the greatest achievements in television history, "Once More With Feeling." Right? I thought so.
Whether or not you've ever had an interest in country music will all change after you watch just a single episode of Nashville. And that's a promise.
5. Flight Of The Conchords
As well as being one of the greatest comedy shows of the past decade, Flight Of The Conchords also managed to produce songs which weren't just funny but insanely catchy. If you're ever having a bad day then I highly recommend just blasting their sonic emotional opus "I'm not Crying" to feel instantly uplifted and justified in howling your feelings as loud as you want, wherever you want.
Of course. Leaving Glee out of this list would be like leaving flour out of a cake recipe. But that's also for good reason; the show continued to give flawless renditions of great songs week after week until it's final episode in 2015.
You've probably never heard of this early '90s childrens TV show from Australia which revolved around a teen band called Orange Orchids, but let me assure you, it's spectacular. Though much of it hasn't aged very well, there's a pure enthusiasm to the show which is both adorable and totally valid.
8. Josie And The Pussycats
Much like Jem, this Hanna Barbera cartoon has stacks of phenomenal songs to choose from which remain fantastic on a standalone basis.
9. California Dreams
Full of the sort of comedic melodrama and ridiculous adventures which were part of many teen sitcoms from the '90s, California Dreams came with the added bonus of being about band The Dreams who were kind of OK, but mostly just looked incredibly cool.
Set three months after 2005's Hurricane Katrina, Treme concentrated on the lives of many New Orleans residents (many of whom are musicians) as they try to rebuild their lives. A phenomenal show with spectacular musical performances, there's scarcely a minute of music in the show which won't completely blow you away.
11. Gilmore Girls
Aside from the obviously amazing la la la laas which punctuate the start and end of most scenes, Gilmore Girls is another show full of tremendous musical cameo appearances (Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon? The Bangles? Err, yes please) and tons of great references thanks in most part to Lane Kim and her love for music. The real musical treat, though? Hep Alien and their constantly amazing live performances of classic songs which never sounded too well-rehearsed or polished.
The Martin Scorsese show focuses on the wild, often hedonistic rock music scene of the '70s, and there's still plenty of music history to love within it.
13. Garfunkel And Oates
With a similar feel to Flight Of The Conchords, but with a more aggressive form of comedy, Garfunkel And Oates provide feminist overtures which can be shocking, on-point, and musically brilliant.
14. The O.C.
Featuring an indie soundtrack which provided the very heart and soul of the show, The O.C. produced six official soundtracks during it's four seasons. The real musical treats of the show, however, came from the live performances by such incredible bands as The Walkmen and Modest Mouse at local bar, The Bait Shop.
15. Adventure Time
Uplifting, magical, and impressively well written, the songs on Adventure Time are like nothing else you have ever or will ever hear. You'll want to trap them in a jar and treasure them forever.
There aren't enough heart emoticons in the world for the way that I feel about this show, and the musical aspect of it plays a very big part of that. With sublime needle drops in a soundtrack in which the choice of each song feels like it's been long and arduously labored over, Love also features amazing impromptu musical moments. Once you hit the first episode which features Gus' jam session parties (where him and his friends come up with pretend, elaborate theme tunes for terrible films), there's no turning back. You will fall in love.
Now, do yourself a favor; get the best set of headphones you can find, settle back in your favorite easy chair, watch some of these giants of music-loving TV and turn up the volume. I promise you that you won't regret it.