March 31 is the night when "Grey's Anatomy," ABC's doctor drama, joins the ranks of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Scrubs" and "Oz" to present an episode done as a musical.
In the case of the ABC show, the tunes happen after Tony-winner Sara Ramirez's character, Callie Torres, has a car accident.
The doctors have some big shoes to fill. "Once More With Feeling," the musical episode of "Buffy," hit all the marks. The episode featured original music, script and direction from show-creator Joss Whedon. Whedon managed to create a great homage to musicals with a score that was both modern and golden age Broadway.
The show's opening, "Going Through the Motions," has the title heroine disillusioned and disenfranchised to a backdrop of occasionally humorous lyrics.
The show even managed a nod to "Les Miserable" with the rousing "Walk Though the Fire."
The episode also managed to push the season's overall plot arch forward, too.
"Scrubs" musical episode, "My Musical" was done for laughs, natch. The premise had a patient (played by Northwestern alum and "Avenue Q" star Stephanie D'Abruzzo) who saw and heard the world around her as a big Broadway musical because of her brain tumor.
The most memorable song in my book was the ballad of bromance, "Guy Love."
In HBO's gritty prison show "Oz," writers needed a device to explain away the absence of the show's narrator (Harold Perrineau Jr. who was shooting "The Matrix" films). Their solution? A variety show.
Like "Scrubs" and "Grey's Anatomy," the show benefited by having Broadway talent in the cast. In this case Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winning actress Rita Moreno in the role of Sister Peter Marie.
No matter how "Grey's Anatomy" musical experiment works, it can't possibly be worse than the canceled-after-two-episodes "Viva Laughlin." You can thank me for not posting a link to any of the music from the show.