Once again, you came up with dozens of great suggestions for the third TV Roundtable Reachers’ Choice pick, this one having to do with musical numbers. Once again, we had to narrow it down to just 10, a task far more difficult than we thought it would be. And once again, we cut a bunch of stuff we would have loved to have talked about. But here are your 10 nominees, with the poll just below. (A note to those of you who nominated Cop Rock. We tried. Believe us, we tried. But we couldn’t find the pilot in time to ensure we’d have it ready to review in case it won. So it was the last nominee cut!)You have until Sunday night to vote, when we’ll tally them up. The winner will be announced in next week’s roundtable.
Adventure Time, “What Was Missing” (season 3, episode 10; originally aired 9/26/2011): Finn, Jake, Marcelline, and Princess Bubblegum form a band in an episode of this weirdly epic cartoon. This one proved oddly controversial, mostly because Cartoon Network acted in fairly stupid fashion toward a recap of the episode on YouTube. You can look it up on Wikipedia!
Batman: The Brave And The Bold, “Mayhem Of The Music Meister!” (season 1, episode 25; originally aired 9/22/2009): Can it be that we’ve made it all the way through this TV Roundtable without once meeting the esteemed Neil Patrick Harris? Well, in this episode of the gonzo superhero series, Harris voices the Music Meister, and much supervillainous singing shall ensue!
Chicago Hope, “Brain Salad Surgery” (season 4, episode 3; originally aired 10/15/1997): First nominated by Cookie Monster (who wins the cookie for having nominated this), this is your only chance this TV Roundtable to hear Mandy Patinkin singing. He’s got a voice like an angel! Don’t you want to hear his soft, textured crooning? Plus, Adam Arkin sings “Luck Be A Lady Tonight”!
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All (originally aired 11/23/2008): Stephen Colbert starred in this tribute to the holiday variety specials of days gone by in 2008, and it’s a positive delight from start to finish. Since we didn’t get to talk about TV variety shows, this loving send-up of them might be your only chance to hear what we think of the whole genre!
The Cosby Show, “Happy Anniversary” (season 2, episode 3; originally aired 10/10/1985): In his nomination of this episode, Adam Bonin says that if YouTube had existed in 1985 when this first aired, the “Night Time Is The Right Time” sequence would have reached “PSY levels.” We’re inclined to agree, even if lip syncing stretches the rules of the competition just a bit.
Futurama, “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings” (season 4, episode 18; originally aired 8/10/2003): The first series finale for Futurama—before it was resurrected years later by the twin forces of the DVD industry and Comedy Central—this is a lovely little story about Fry, Leela, and the Robot Devil. We’d say more, but we know you’re going to vote for it, because you always do the most predictable thing.
I Love Lucy, “Lucy Goes To Scotland” (season 5, episode 17; originally aired 2/20/1956): I Love Lucy was packed with great musical numbers, but only this episode came close to being a full-fledged musical. It’s not the finest episode of the show, but it’s a great example of the out-and-out weirdness the series would sometimes indulge in. And Lucy goes to Scotland in it!
Moonlighting, “Big Man On Mulberry Street” (season 3, episode 6; originally aired 11/18/1986): Did you know Bruce Willis is a hell of a hoofer? Well, you would if you watched this episode of Moonlighting, in which he dances to Billy Joel. It’s also a great example of the endlessly inventive series at its height, with rapid-fire gags aplenty. You can’t go wrong with Moonlighting!
Oz, “Variety” (season 5, episode 6; originally aired 2/10/2002): Add this one to the list of, “That did a musical episode?” questions. Yes, Oz, HBO’s first original drama series—the one from Tom Fontana about the prison—did an episode centered on the prison’s variety night that was, indeed, a singing and dancing extravaganza. Okay, extravaganza might be the wrong word, but it was something.
Xena: Warrior Princess, “The Bitter Suite” (season 3, episode 12; originally aired 2/2/1998): And here’s another! Yes, Xena did a musical episode. What’s more, two of its songs were nominated for Emmy awards for best original song. We’ve never seen this one, so we can’t really tell you any more about it, but we’re certainly curious to hear Lucy Lawless sing. We’re betting it’s fantastic.