19 Scenes Elevated by Song Choice

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Think about the last song you heard on the radio and how it made you feel? Now think about it in the context of it you ever heard it in a TV show.

Would the scene be happy or sad? Would it be the climactic scene or an opening scene? Are the lyrics ironic for what you imagine? Musical scores and soundtracks are vital to setting the tone for what an audience should be feeling and even sometimes subverting it.

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Whether it's a montage or a pivotal choice in a television show's season, the right song makes all the difference, and there are so many tv shows right now doing spectacular things with music. 

Often times, you'll find that slow ballads playing over dramatic scenes are the ones you might be drawn to, but there are also cases of upbeat music enhancing a show's atmosphere. 

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We've compiled a list of 19 scenes where the use of a soundtrack boosted the emotional gravitas of the scene. 

1. The Snow Ball (Stranger Things)

The Snow Ball (Stranger Things)
When you have a show set in a particular period of time, finding music that fits the era can make or break the aesthetic. Stranger Things has always been good at incorporating 80s music into their plot and working with a variety of big hits and lesser-known classics. The end of Stranger Things Season 2 hits the perfect note as all the characters enjoy the Snow Ball against the background music of "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper.

2. Victoria Boards the Plane (Revenge)

Victoria Boards the Plane (Revenge)
Florence + The Machine was the perfect choice to score the scene where Victoria Grayson boards her plane at the end of Revenge Season 1. The Queen of the Hamptons is a formidable character and the sultry tune is the perfect song to accompany her boarding the plane for a hearing in Washington D.C. where she intends to destroy her husband. The foreboding line "I'll be dead before the day is done" as she reaches the top steps hits just the right note as it cuts to Charlotte seeing a news report of the plane crash.

3. Lilith Returns to Hell (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)

Lilith Returns to Hell (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
The end of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 1 Episode 20, "The Mephisto Waltz," was heartbreaking enough when Nicholas Scratch sacrificed himself as a vessel to hold The Dark Lord. When Lilith says she'll have to take him to hell to prevent him from escaping, things get a little sadder. Lilith walks through the gates carrying Nick while "The End" by the Doors plays in the background. While it's most definitely not the end of the series, the sentiment fits the heavy hearts of the characters in the moment.

4. Quentin's Sacrifice (The Magicians)

Quentin's Sacrifice (The Magicians)
There's as lot about the scene from the penultimate act of The Magicians Season 4 Episode 13, "The Seam," that stirs our emotions. One of them is the decision to shoot it with a special slow-motion camera. The second is the addition of Active Child's "Cruel World" to score the emotionally impactful moment.

5. Return to Arkadia (The 100)

Return to Arkadia (The 100)
The 100 Season 2 Episode 16, "Blood Must Have Blood: Part II," gave Clarke a choice, and after killing everyone in Mt. Weather she no longer felt like she belonged with her people. The Sky People walked back to Arkadia with RAIGN's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" playing in the background as Clarke wrestles with her guilt and ultimately walks away saying, "I bear it so they don't have to."

6. The World Is Reset (Dollhouse)

The World Is Reset (Dollhouse)
Both Dollhouse season finales featured a dystopian future where the tech had gotten out of control. Fortunately, during Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 13, "Epitaph: Part II," the programmer Topher Brink had a way to fix it. He sacrifices himself to set off a pulse that would reset everyone's minds. In the final sequence, the emotional ballad "Everywhere I Go" by Lissie plays in the background as some characters wake up, and some accept their future living underground for the next couple years.

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Multi-Show, Photo Galleries, Battlestar Galactica
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