To Watch is to Listen

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During The Hills, there was always a little black bar denoting the artist and song that was playing. Since then, I have started paying a lot of attention to the music going on in the background of TV shows. Several shows are known for having good music, songs that are not heard every time you turn on the radio.

1. Scrubs

Even though there aren’t new episodes of Scrubs coming on any time soon, go through a rerun and you might find your new favorite artist.  Scrubs frequented artists from the 80s but also recent bands such as Coldplay, Five For Fighting and Josh Radin.

2. Gossip Girl

Besides seeing Leighton Meester do her thing, Gossip Girl has used a mixture of indie music, Billboard hits and ‘underground’ pop.  Ever since the pilot episode, artists such as Death Cab for Cutie, MGMT and the Cold War Kids have been featured in each episode.

3. Skins, UK

We’ve compared Skins US and Skins UK earlier this summer, so hopefully audiences will realize the unfortunate remake didn’t come from such a corny original in the UK.  Skins (UK) use artists from the US and the UK, which lends itself to finding something new pretty frequently.  Artists like Bon Iver, Dog Is Dead and Grizzly Bear have graced the show and brought international attention to well deserving artists.

4. How I Met Your Mother

The show itself is already a hit amongst college kids and adults alike, but next time you tune in to HIMYM, pay close attention to the songs in the background.  We Are Scientists, The Crash Test Dummies and Real Estate might have something worth adding to your iPod.

5. Awkward.

While MTV may not be known for having the most unique music, or any music for that matter, Awkward. is breaking away from the pact of “Is this show scripted or is it real?” shows that make up MTV’s arsenal.  Awkward. is joining the ranks of HIMYM and Gossip Girl for their music choices.  Featuring artists The Antlers, Wavves and Ellie Goulding there’s a little bit of everything on the show.

In an interview on, Awkard’s Music Supervisor, Ben, said, “We try to find songs that will appeal to a wide audience, but also have something a little different and unique, a little edge.  Hopefully we are introducing viewers to artists they aren’t familiar with, but will grow to love.”

TV isn’t just for kicking back or procrastinating from writing that paper due tomorrow. It has begun to offer audiences a unique look into finding new music worth trying out.

Sophomore > Visual Communications and Psychology > Penn State University

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