Aside from crime dramas, there’s only one other genre in the T.V space that I have been invested in for a very long time; teen dramas. Growing up, I watched just as much T.V as I did movies and most of the local T.V stations in Kenya, the good ones at least, used to air a lot of teen drama shows. Whether it was Roswell, Veronica Mars, Dawson’s Creek, Smallville, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, One Tree Hill or The O.C; there was almost always a teen themed series on air just before the 9 pm news and I almost never missed the episodes.
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I love music, and one of things I like about most teen dramas is how they incorporate appropriate music during certain scenes to help boost the emotion and tone of whatever is happening. In this article, I’ll be taking a trip down memory lane to particular teen shows and I will highlight 4 music moments that I personally love and which will always be ingrained in my psyche.
4. Where your secrets hide – Klergy (Riverdale).
Despite the fact that Riverdale is more of a crime mystery drama, it pretty much ticks all the boxes of a teen drama and I don’t see a reason why it shouldn’t be featured in this list. Admittedly, I wasn’t that big a fan of the Archie Comics growing up. Nonetheless, this is a series that I have been hooked to since episode one and understandably so. It pleasantly appeals to both of my preferred genres.
In the latter episodes of the 3rd season, Cheryl Blossom, played excellently by Madelaine Petsch, comes to the realization that ‘The Farm’ is actually not what she thought it was after Betty storms into her room with a rather shocking discovery. Almost immediately, Cheryl remembers that Toni, her girlfriend, is due for a medical procedure that very same day and heads out of the room to save her. Though it didn’t stay on for as long as I would have wanted to, the song featured in the subtitle superbly complimented the escape scene right from the beginning with Toni and Cheryl running away in the hallways up until that final shot where Toni runs off the camera frame having escaped the building.
3. Don’t take your love away from me -VAST (Smallville).
Well, it’s yet another CW show; one that surely needs no introduction, right? Of course it doesn’t. Unless you have been living under a rock since the dawn of the new millenium, I think it’s quite impossible not to have noticed a T.V series that spanned 10 years and was based on arguably the most adored superhero of all time.
Smallville, especially in its early seasons, had a whole lot of music moments featuring alternative rock songs i.e. “Wherever you will go” by The Calling and “It Ends Tonight” by the All-American Rejects, which I must say were incredible. That said, I’m a sucker for piano ballads as well: I mean, who wouldn’t be. The 10th episode of Season 8 featured a perfect ballad by VAST, as stated in the subtitle, which made Chloe Sullivan’s kidnapping by Davis Bloome/Doomsday all the more enthralling and riveting.
2. Dice – Finley Quaye (The O.C).
I hadn’t watched this show in it’s entirety until January of 2015, I believe, when I binge-watched all 4 seasons in just a week. However, I watched it enough way back then to know it was a proper teen drama series. I am not particularly a fan of how season 3 ended though, with the car accident thing which sees Marissa Cooper die in the arms of Ryan Atwood. I strongly feel like it was uncalled for.
What I am a fan of though is the New Year’s Eve scene in Season 1. Ryan and Marissa’s relationship had been on the rocks, a situation that stemmed from the fact that Marissa said “I love you” to Ryan on the night before NYE , and instead of saying it back, he weirdly replied “Thank you.”. Long story short, Marissa seeks solace in an obsessive friend called Oliver who uses the opportunity to win Marissa’s affection during an NYE party. Just as Oliver is about to make out with her, Ryan shows up and does it instead. It’s truly an incredible scene and it’s perfectly complimented by Finley Quaye song “Dice” that plays in the background.
1. Ride – Cary Brothers (One Tree Hill)
Whether it was the love triangle between Lucas Scott, Peyton Sawyer and Brook Davis or the basketball journey of the two stepbrothers in Lucas and Nathan, One Tree Hill was a special mix of everything you expected of it and so much more. It also happens to be one of the longest running teen dramas of all time, having spanned 9 seasons.
In as much as this music moment is just as good as the one I explored in number 4, it gets a bonus point for the incredibly shocking ‘plot twist’ scene in which it is used in. Basically, Lucas Scott is on the cusp of marrying Lindsey Strauss but the bride suddenly comes to the realization that Luke was referring Peyton in his book as “the comet that gave meaning to the boy’s life”. Eventually, she hands her wedding ring back to Luke and runs away. The shock of this revelation, the flashback connection, and more relevantly, the Cary Brothers soundtrack “Ride” in the background make this scene one for the books.