Every decade seems to foster talk about the proverbial “Golden Age 0f TV,” though now, in 2013, the chatter has reached a critical mass. There was just so much, maybe too much, quality television this year. After all, AMC’s Breaking Bad ended its glorious run, Mad Men wrapped up its penultimate season, and The Walking Dead continued to be the ratings juggernaut. HBO brought back a polarizing season of Girls, ended the perpetual underdog show-of-the-year candidate Enlightened, and shocked audiences with the bloodbath that was Season 3 of Game of Thrones. Netflix began its foray into original programming with House of Cards, the highly anticipated return of Arrested Development, and the triumphant, character-driven female prison-dramedy Orange Is the New Black. The Sundance Channel also became a player in must-see TV, with the debut of three original series, the heartbreaking, Emmy-deserving Rectify, Jane Campion’s New Zealand-based crime mini-series Top of the Lake, and the U.S. premiere of eerie French drama The Returned. This list is just scratching the surface of the number of worthwhile shows 2013 brought.
Due to the immense volume of quality programs available at the click of a remote or mouse and the talent of these shows’ music departments, there has been an endless stream of memorable TV music moments in 2013. Perfectly executed music supervision has been a constant source of musical discovery and rediscovery, causing many to rush to YouTube, Spotify, or their local record store right after hearing a fantastic song on their favorite show. From Breaking Bad eulogizing the series with Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” and Arrested Development’s hilarious use of a Simon and Garfunkel classic to Girls catapulting Icona Pop’s “I Love It” to a bona fide hit, 2013’s TV had some remarkable music moments.
Note: Prepare for some minor spoilers.