Tag Archives: musical episode

(Cross posted on Agony Booth.com)

As a show runner, inevitably, there will come a time in your life when your series is dangling on the precipice of cancellation, and seemingly nothing can save it but a miracle, a Hail Mary, and/or a calculated risk that has appeared so much in prime time over these past few years that it’s started to become cliché. You guessed it! Welcome to Once Upon a Time’s Musical Wedding Episode!

So rev up the song in your heart, strap on your dancing shoes, and start doing those vocal exercises, because we’ve got nothing to lose but our dignity!

Hit Me Baby, One More Time!

Once upon a Time, Little Orphan Emma wants to try out for the local talent show, get discovered and become Britney Spears . . . without the whole shaving her head, bashing in a car with an umbrella, and marrying K-Fed part, of course. She uses a tape recorder as her recording studio, because auto-tuning apps are not yet available to the general public. But then some bully kid shows up and crushes her dreams, as they are wont to do. “You will never become Britney Spears,” taunts the bully. “You’ll just end up the lead on an ABC show that airs between America’s Funniest Home Videos and The Match Game hosted by Alec Baldwin.”

Kids can be so cruel!

More Random Singing Please!

This week’s fairytale flashback involves Snow White making a wish that will give her unborn daughter a the weapon she needs to battle six seasons of increasingly improbably storybook villains. The good news is that Snow’s wish comes true. The bad news is that weapon apparently involves the entire cast of the show breaking out in song at regular intervals throughout the episode.

First up on American Idol: Fairytale Character Edition are Snow and Charming. They sing a song about love being powerful magic that occasionally exerts itself through random acts of singing and dancing. Basically, this song is the one designed to explain the plot of the rest of the episode. My favorite part was the CGI Bird at the beginning. That little chick has some pipes!

The Evil Queen’s up next. Her song about defeating love through an evil curse that sends people to Maine(!), is a bit less PG-rated. There’s rump shaking involved, and twerking, lots and lots of twerking. Miley Cyrus would be impressed . . . and also very, very frightened.

Emma’s future hubby has to sing too. So, Snow and Prince Charming track him down in a bar, and offer him the right to kill Rumplestilskin, in exchange for a ride on the Jolly Roger to the Evil Queen’s lair . . . despite the fact that said lair is right across the street from their castle, and seemingly completely land-locked.

Speaking of other realms, apparently, Snow’s “wish” has traveled all the way out to Oz, where the Wicked Witch has concocted a curse to counteract all this damn singing, and prove that she’s better than her sister the Evil Queen at being “BAD” . . . but not before she gets in a song of her own, of course.

Back in fairytale land, the Evil Queen and Snow and Charming have one final sing-off together, before the Evil Queen uses the Wicked Witch’s curse (which was sent via Fedex?) to stop all the singing, thus rendering Snow’s wish seemingly meaningless.

Enter the Blue Fairy.

“Hey, what gives, Blue? What kind of effed up wish granting was that? How is my singing for five minutes in the second to last episode of the show going to save my daughter from evil,” Snow complains.

“Wait about 30 years, and I’ll show you,” offers Blue cryptically.

“30 years?!!! This show will probably be canceled by then! You are terrible at your job!” Snow gripes.

About 30 Years Later . . .

Back in Storybrooke in present day, the Black Fairy arrives to tell the gang, (1) surprise Rumple screwed y’all over for the 85,000 time and I’m not actually dead, like you thought, (2) I’ve stored up an entire town’s worth of black farts to stink up your wedding, Emma, unless you give me your heart.

“Oh no! Not a stinky wedding!” Emma exclaims, nervously. “It’s bad enough, I have to get married on the smog-filled roof of a tacky diner! Now, I need to worry about gas too!”

Emma heads to Hook’s to bid him what she believes to be a final goodbye. Meanwhile, the Evil Queen and Wicked Witch manage to freeze time in a gambit to stop the whole smelly fart/ wedding destruction thing from happening, but only succeed in freezing themselves. (Oops!)

Doh!

Henry randomly finds Little Orphan Emma’s tape recorder, and wonders whether Emma can defeat the Black Fairy by becoming Britney Spears, after all. But a completely defeated Emma “valiantly” decides she’d rather give up her heart than shave her head, break a car window with an umbrella, and marry K-Fed (a wise choice, if you ask me).

Once Emma leaves, Henry finds the Storybook page from earlier in the episode in which the Blue Fairy told Snow White that her singing curse would help Emma in about 30 years. He looks at his watch and gets very excited about this.

When Emma encounters the Black Fairy, the latter taunts her with the images of her not-too-bright frozen friends. So, Emma offers up her heart to rescue them. But, much to the Black Fairy’s surprise, she can’t vanquish Emma’s heart. Why? You guessed it! It’s filled with the songs of all her friends, loved ones . . . and the Wicked Witch.

“The party doesn’t start ’til I fly in!”

So, of course, Emma has to start singing too. Her song is about how all her life she thought she was alone. But she wasn’t, because her loved ones (and the Wicked Witch) inadvertently made a mix tape together and inserted it inside her heart. Emma uses the mix tape to unfreeze the rest of the main cast, and vanquish the Black Fairy . . . but only temporarily, of course, because we still have one more episode left in the season.

Because wedding’s on the roof of a diner are way less tacky than weddings inside a diner . . .

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for folks. Hook and Emma get to get married. They choose to do it on the roof of Granny’s diner, because the show is on the verge of cancellation, and doesn’t have the budget to build a new set on such short notice. It’s a sweet wedding, and everyone’s invited, even the seemingly forever forgotten, Baby Neal!

Emma is wearing her mom’s wedding dress. And Hook is looking super dapper in a tux that’s surprisingly NOT made of leather. Jiminey Cricket officiates the wedding, because he apparently got ordained on the same website that gave him his degree in psychiatry. Emma and Hook then exchange their own heartfelt vows. And, because this is a musical episode, they naturally force the entire cast to break into just one more song. This one is about “Happy Beginnings,” and is super fitting to be featured in a show about to get cancelled.

Then, the Black Fairy’s curse comes and engulfs the entire wedding in stinky black farts. (So, when the cast sang “Happy Beginnings,” perhaps, they meant “Smelly Beginnings?”)

But it’s OK, Once fans! Emma now knows she has a mixtape in her heart! And everyone knows that stinky black farts are no match for mixtapes . . .

. . . unless, the show ends up being canceled after next week, in which case all bets are off . . .

 

 

 

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Rocking OUT at Seattle Grace, Mercy Death! – Some thoughts on Grey’s Anatomy’s Musical Episode “Song Beneath a Song”

If Sue Sylvester and that Kurt Kid show up in this dream, I am SO outta here!

“She works here at Seattle Grace Mercy Death.  So, I’m sure she’s pretty much going to go crazy, or get cancer, or shot by a gunman or hit by a truck,” remarks Alex Karev, this week, upon being asked about the prospects of him and his Latest Love Interest making it for the “long haul.”

That’s right, Karev!  You have TERRIBLE luck with the Ladies on this Show!  And the Ladies on this Show have terrible luck with . . . well . . . EVERYTHING!

Awww . . . remember back when it was just these three . . . and Dead George . . . and Cancer Izzie?  Good times!

This “We’re Hot Doctors, So Why Do Our Lives Consistently Suck So Badly?” sentiment was echoed later in the episode, by Meredith Grey, who, in an uncharacteristically (but oh-so-poignant) emotional elevator scene, turned to her Post-It Note Husband Derek, and said, “The universe is so screwed up, and random, and mean.” 

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Sing it, SISTA!

Speaking of singing . . . you might have noticed that this was the Musical Episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  And WHY was everyone singing, you ask?  Well, because CALLIE TORRES was hit by a truck, of course! 

Believe it, or not.   This actually isn’t as cruel and inappropriate as it sounds!  You see, in Callie’s final moments of consciousness, before she LITERALLY left her body (a coping mechanism, employed by her traumatized brain, to cope with the pain of the accident), she managed to utter the word “music.”  And it was “music” that enabled Callie’s mind to understand what was happening to her and her unborn child, while being given the opportunity to connect with the people she loved. 

Because, if Callie Torres’ Extra Special Vagina Vote wants to see Singing Hallucinations of her Friends, while she’s on the operating table, Callie is going to GET Singing Hallucinations, dammit!

Now . . . the fact that ONE of those hallucinations featured all of the Grey’s couples BONING one another, while happily singing “Running on Sunshine,” as Callie NEARLY BLED TO DEATH on the operating table . . . THAT was cruel and inappropriate!

“I feel like there’s something I should be doing right now . . . besides you .  . . and I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it is!”

“HELLO!  IT’S ME . . . CALLIE!  DYING HERE!  You think maybe one of you Strapping Specimens of Men could put it back in your pants long enough to  . . . I don’t know . . . save MY LIFE?”

Of course, most of the singing during the episode was brought to the fans, courtesy of Callie, herself.  Consequently, this gave actress Sara Ramirez (who has a background in theater, and even won a Tony for her performance in Spamalot, back in 2005) the opportunity to flex her musical pipes for fans, like me, who have never had the chance to hear her sing before.  Of all of Sara’s performances during the hour, my favorite, was probably her cover of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story.” Callie sang this uplifting tune in the final moments of the episode, moments before waking up, FOR REAL, and belatedly accepting Arizona’s initially ill-fated marriage proposal.

“I’ll marry you . . . yes.”

As for the rest of the episode, it was kind of a mixed bag for me.  Interestingly enough, my favorite moments from the episode were mostly the non-musical ones.  These included the marriage proposal acceptance, shown here, and Meredith’s emotional elevator breakdown, shown above.  I also adored the quiet moments of friendship and understanding shared between Lexie and Mark during the episode (“I don’t hate you.”), and the less quiet ones between Arizona and Mark.  (“You are not nothing.”) 

Speaking of Mark Sloan, Eric Dane’s heart-wrenching performance this week was top notch . . . the best I’ve seen from the actor at least, while still wearing all his clothes in a long time.

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(Oh . . . and, for the record, his singing voice is pretty awesome too.)

The Arizona / Callie / Mark triangle took a major step in the right direction tonight, with Arizona FINALLY learning to put their baby’s needs first (By the way, it’s a GIRL!), and Mark FINALLY learning to put Callie’s needs first.  It was Callie’s and Mark’s respective shifts in ideology that brought about the truce that ultimately binded these heretofore perpetually-at odds-characters together, toward the end of the episode.

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A similar ideological shift happened for Lexie, who, upon taking a step outside of her own personal melodrama, for a change, was finally able to, if not necessarily forgive Mark for his “Unfortunate Sperm Donation”  . . .

“We were ON A BREAK!”

 . . . at least, accept it enough to support him in his Hour of Need.

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And it was that acceptance, that ultimately gave Lexie the courage to truly give her budding relationship with the SUPER FLY Jackson Avery a fighting chance to survive, in the long term.

More of THAT, please!

Speaking of Lexie, Chyler Leigh’s rendition of Anna Nalick’s 2 A.M. Breathe, was extremely impressive, especially considering the actress had no musical training before filming this episode.  Of all the songs that wound their way into the hour, this one (in my opinion, at least) came about the most naturally, in terms of the episode’s plotline.  And, as a result, it seemed the least forced.

Less believable for me was Gyno Lucy (I’m still not feeling this character . . . or her relationship with Karev, for that matter . . . AT ALL!) . . .

Dr. McUselessPlotDevice

 . . . and her sudden admission that she was “out of her depth” in taking care of the pregnant Callie.  Presumably, Lucy’s temporary bout of Selective Amnesia for Everything She Learned in Medical School only occurred, so that Saint Addison Montgomery could miraculously (and oh-so-conveniently) be flown into town to Save the Day, as per usual. 

(By the way, is there something in Kate Walsh’s Private Practice contract that REQUIRES Shondra Rhimes to inexplicably include her about every fourth Grey’s episode for NO REASON WHATSOEVER?)

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Oh . . . and don’t even get me started on Teddy’s random and out-of-character outburst directed toward Cristina.  Silly Yang!  How DARE she have the NERVE to come up with a plan to save Callie’s and her baby’s” lives, without Teddy patting her on the head, and giving her a lollipop, first!  “I can’t teach you, anymore,” Teddy huffed, before blowing Cristina a raspberry, sticking her thumb in her mouth, and running out of the room, crying.

First of all, when was the last time Teddy actually TAUGHT Cristina? 

“It was . . . no that wasn’t it . . . Well, then it had to be . . . no, that wasn’t it either.  Perhaps, it . . . no.  I’m stumped.”

While we are on the subject of Teddy, when did Callie’s near death experience suddenly become all about Dr. McMajorStickUpHer Ass’s inferiority complex, and need to be hero worshipped by all people, at all times?

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Be careful, Noel from Felicity!  Cristina may have to work with her, but YOU’RE the one who’s going to have to evenually take her home!

“I am SO screwed!”

And while I thought it was appropriate and rather cheesy fitting, that the episode climaxed (Yes, I intended for that to sound dirty.), with the entire cast singing The Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” I couldn’t help but wonder why saving Callie’s life REQUIRED the whole cast.  I shudder to imagine what the heck was happening to the OTHER 3,000 or so patients DYING in the hospital, while all of Seattle Grace’s finest medical experts were busy enjoying their impromptu karaoke session . . .

“The good news is, if they bring in another Crazed Gunman, he will know exactly where to find us all!”

Speaking of karaoke, I also probably could have done with a FEW less songs packed into the hour.  (I mean, you’ve gotta leave SOMETHING over for the sequel, right, Shondra Rhimes?)  Because one Kevin McKidd solo is cool.   Two is OK . . . but FOUR?  I mean . . . let’s face it, Justin Timberlake, he’s definitely NOT!

Though, admittedly, a Dick in the Box cover would have REALLY spiced things up a bit for this episode . . .

Maybe next time, McKidd!

All in all, I thought Grey’s experiment with musicality was an intriguing little exercise, the making of which obviously took a great deal of preparation, courage, and considerable “guts,” on the part of Shondra Rhimes, and her intrepid staff of “Greysies.”  And, although the hour wasn’t necessarily positively received by all who viewed it, it certainly sparked more “water cooler” and online conversations about the show, than I’ve heard “through the grapevine” in a while . . .

So, what did YOU think about Grey’s Big Musical Extravaganza?  Did it leave you tapping your feet, and begging for more . . .

. . . or holding your ears, and begging for mercy?

Feel free to sound off in the comments section, below.

[www.juliekushner.com]

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