Musical moments on TV can be a risky endeavor. Adding a song or dance number to a show that isn’t a straight-up musical has can result in a pretty cringey block of television. When done correctly, however, with the right people and the right music at the right time, these moments can ignite a fanbase, fuel a social media trend, or inspire its audience. At the very least, the perfect music can make for a damn good TV experience or inject a laugh into your day.
The year that’s about to come to a close has seen some great examples of all these things. From a creepy, kooky, viral dance to an inspirational awards acceptance speech to the guitar solo we never knew we needed, here are 10 great TV music moments from the year that was 2022:
The Afterparty Goes Full Musical For Yasper’s Episode
It was a comedy, it was a murder mystery, and for one episode, it was a musical. Each episode of Apple TV+’s masterpiece The Afterparty focused on the night’s events from a different character’s perspective. Since Yasper (Ben Schwartz) had the singular focus of forwarding his music career at the reunion, it only made sense that his episode would feature full musical numbers. The three original songs — “One Shot,” “Yeah Sure Whatever” and “Three Dots from Stardom” — were so much fun, but the episode actually served to further the plot in ingenious ways.
Where to stream The Afterparty: Apple TV+
The Boys’ Kimiko And Frenchie Got Rhythm (Who Could Ask For Anything More?)
The Boys has got to be one of the more crass and violent series available to current-day viewers. Season 3 even fulfilled fans’ fantasies by tackling “Herogasm” (and I’d argue that wasn’t even the most intense development the series saw this year). It’s that juxtaposition that made it all the more surprising when Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) and Frenchie (Tomer Capone) broke into a big Broadway musical dance number to “I Got Rhythm” during the episode “The Last Time to Look on This World of Lies.”
Sure, it all happened in her head, but it was still a shock for fans to see Kimiko (who is mute) singing, and the light-hearted moment allowed viewers a short respite before returning to all the brutality and debauchery.
Where to stream The Boys: Amazon’s Prime Video
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Rap Legends Take Over The Super Bowl Halftime Show
The Super Bowl halftime show has historically been a pop music spectacle, designed to entertain every demographic who may have tuned in for the big game, whether for the football or the hilarious commercials. Los Angeles, however, brought out the best of rap for the 2022 game at SoFi Stadium. Dr. Dre shared the spotlight with fellow legends Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent for a celebration of rap and hip-hop that filled Millennials with nostalgia. In the end, its biggest problem was that with so much talent on stage, 13 minutes wasn’t nearly enough.
Where to watch the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show: YouTube
Euphoria: That Dance Number In Lexi’s Play
Fans had been hearing about Lexi’s play dduring all of Euphoria Season 2, but nobody expected what happened when the curtain rose during “The Theater and Its Double.” Lexi (Maude Apatow) flexed her theatrical proclivities with a play based on the lives of her friends. The professional-caliber dance number to Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” was full of homoerotic locker room gyrating and sexual imagery.
Ethan’s (Austin Abrams) portrayal may not have gone over well — at all — with Nate (Jacob Elordi), but it’s hard to argue with his commitment and the quality of the performance overall. The entire auditorium was on their feet, and it was one of the Season 2 moments we couldn’t get over.
Where to stream Euphoria: HBO Max
Sheryl Lee Ralph Breaks Into Song During Emmy Award Acceptance Speech
Abbott Elementary was certainly a bright spot overall in 2022, but Sheryl Lee Ralph was not expecting her name to be called as the winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy. The actress took her time making her way to the stage, soaking in her moment and, when Ralph opened her mouth, she shocked her rapt audience by singing the opening lines to “Endangered Species” by jazz singer Dianne Reeves.
She went on to give an emotional and inspirational address and the moment went down as the best acceptance speech of that night and likely one of the best in Emmy Awards history overall.
Where to watch Sheryl Lee Ralph’s acceptance speech: YouTube
Peacemaker Gifts Us With Possibly The Greatest Opening Credits Of All Time
A TV series’ opening credits sequence has always been an art form in itself, and there are a number of title scenes celebrated for their ability to keep viewers from hitting the “Skip Intro” button. This year’s top offering, however, came to us courtesy of the HBO Max series Peacemaker. James Gunn was at his James Gunn-iest when introducing John Cena’s superhero and friends via a dance to the ‘80s hair metal band Wig Man’s “Do Ya Wanna Taste It.” The intro went viral, and many were quick to call it one of the best TV openings of all time.
Where to stream Peacemaker: HBO Max
She-Hulk Gets Twerkalicious With Megan Thee Stallion
DC may have had its moment, but Marvel wasn’t to be outdone. After all, what’s the point of having all this wonderful new MCU content if there’s not some modern-day flavor injected to it? Of all the guest appearances and surprise cameos delivered in the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Megan Thee Stallion’s role — which was facilitated by cast member Jameela Jamil — turned out to be the most talked about.
Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) took on the rapper as her client and, after their work was done, the powerful women had a twerktastic time, showing off their skills in She-Hulk’s office. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be the same.
Where to stream She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: Disney+
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Severance Turns Up With Defiant Jazz Dance Party
The Music Dance Experience in the episode “Defiant Jazz” of Severance’s first season not only highlighted just how small the microdata refiners’ lives were, but changed the trajectory of the rest of Season 1. In an effort to inject a little “frivolity” into the day, Seth Milchick (Tramell Tillman) rewarded Helly (Britt Lower) with a 5-minute dance party. It was obvious from Mark’s incredulity and Irving’s off-beat snaps that this was a rare treat, and Milchick proceeded to shimmy like his life depended on it.
However, Dylan (Zach Cherry) was still reeling from the run-in with his son in the outside world, and he attacked Milchick, who canceled the MDE. This put the Lumon workers on the path that would lead to that huge cliffhanger ending.
Where to stream Severance: Apple TV+
Wednesday’s Dance Number Inspires Viral Social Media Trend
Who knew Wednesday Addams had it in her? The titular character of Wednesday tore it up on the dance floor at the Nevermore Academy's Rave’N Dance in the episode “Woe What a Night.” Afterward it didn't take long for the Internet to blow up with people recreating this magical musical moment. Even Lady Gaga got in on the “Goo Goo Muck” of it all. What’s more is that Jenna Ortega choreographed the dance herself, at the request of Tim Burton, and we just couldn't get enough of the wild combination of Bob Fosse and Wednesday's own creepy, kooky style.
Where to stream Wednesday: Netflix
Stranger Things: Eddie Munson And Kate Bush Won Our Hearts
The long-awaited Stranger Things Season 4 finally arrived this year, introducing us to Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson. Eddie instantly became a fan favorite, but we could never have anticipated that he would be the bearer of one of 2022’s biggest music moments. Eddie made the ultimate sacrifice in the Upside Down, distracting the demo-bats with an awesome guitar rendition of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” that drew praise from the band itself. He may have saved the lives of our Hawkins heroes, but it came at a price.
Eddie tragically met his demise, but the exact opposite happened for singer/songwriter Kate Bush, who — like Metallica — saw a resurrection in popularity after her talent was revealed to a new generation of music lovers. Thanks to her song “Running Up That Hill” being the thing that could keep Max (Sadie Sink) out of Vecna’s grasp, Bush’s single reached No. 1 on iTunes in the US and the UK, and it hit No. 8 on the Official Singles Chart.
Where to stream Stranger Things: Netflix
Pete Davidson’s Short Ass Movie: In a year that brought us Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, The Batman and other films that flirted with or surpassed a 3-hour runtime, Pete Davidson and Chris Redd’s call on Saturday Night Live for a “Short-Ass Movie” to stream deserves to be celebrated. Netflix even responded, adding a category for movies running around 90 minutes or less. Where to stream Saturday Night Live: Peacock
Homelander Milks A Cow On The Boys: There are few things more disturbing than Homelander (Antony Starr) and his primal, intimate obsession with milk. When he finds himself face to face with an actual cow in “Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed,” the song “Crimson and Clover” kicks in with an emotional, “Ah!” for a moment that is laugh-out-loud perfect. The song continues — “Now I don't hardly know her / But I think I could love her” — as Homelander begins to milk the cow, and it’s things like this that make us love the show. Where to stream The Boys: Amazon’s Prime Video
This year really brought it, as far as great music moments go, and I consider the bar set pretty high for the year ahead. Here at CinemaBlend, we’re taking a look at the best of what 2022 had to offer, so be sure to check out our other lists as we head into the 2023 TV schedule.
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Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.