"Everything's better in song."
The Flash and Supergirl debuted their musical crossover tonight, joining a pantheon of shows that have taken some time out of their busy seasons to attempt a whole new genre for an episode, and we have to say we completely loved it.
"Duet" found Barry (Grant Gustin) and Kara (Melissa Benoist) stuck in a dream world where they had to sing and dance their way through a movie musical set in the 1940s. There were gangsters (gay gangsters, played by Jesse L. Martin and Victor Garber!), guns, jokes, references, a forbidden relationship, and it all ended in a magnificently cheesy lesson about the importance of love, topped by one hell of a performance by Grant Gustin.
If it weren't weird to stand up in our office and ask for a round of applause, we would.
So obviously, as we said, we loved it, but did we love it as much as we've loved other TV musical episodes? (Spoiler: Almost.)
Let's take a look back at some of TV's other journeys into the world of musicals to find out how Kara and Barry's song-filled coma stacks up!
10. Supernatural, Season 10, "Fan Fiction"
Best Song: It's hard to choose, but "A Single Man Tear" has the greatest title by far. The rendition of "Carry On My Wayward Son" is chill-inducing, though.
It's not a typical musical ep, which is why it's here towards the back of the pack, even though this really was the best way to incorporate a musical into the show. Also, the songs are genuinely really good. We would go to a Broadway showing of this musical.
9. Fringe, Season 2, "Brown Betty"
The Premise: Walter (John Noble), high on his own strain of marijuana called "Brown Betty," tells Olivia's niece a story that stars Olivia (Anna Torv) as a noir detective who's searching for her missing boyfriend, Peter (Joshua Jackson), complete with the occasional song or two.
Best Song: Olivia singing "For Once In My Life" to the nearly dying Peter will always bring a tear to our eye.
An excellent, excellent episode of Fringe. When you put it up next to the extravagant musical numbers of the episodes on the rest of this list, it doesn't have the same sparkle, but we don't love it any less. It does have singing corpses, after all.
8. Grey's Anatomy, Season 7, "Song Beneath the Song"
The Premise: Pregnant Callie (Sara Ramirez) was in a car accident with Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), and while unconscious, she imagined that she and other doctors were singing covers of songs that had been on the show before.
Best song: "The Story," or "Chasing Cars." Or anything sung by Callie.
It was a little weird, and some people sang who probably shouldn't have, but it's actually a really emotional episode, and made great use of songs that already meant a lot to the series. Not the best, but still worthy of being on this list.
7. Psych, Season 7, "Psych: The Musical"
The Premise: It was just a two-hour episode of Psych about an escaped mental patient, but there was also singing...until we learned that it was all part of a play Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) were pitching to an insane playwright (Anthony Rapp). Or was it? Barry Bostwick also guest starred.
Best Song: "I've Heard It Both Ways." What else could it be besides the duet between Shawn and Lassie (Timothy Omundson)?
Points for plenty of songs, but something was off. Like it was both too long and not long enough? It was a little weird, just like most of the seventh season, but the songs were wonderful.
6. Community, Season 3, "Regional Holiday Music"
Designed as a not-even-slightly-veiled dig at Glee (Community's least favorite show), the Christmas special found the evil glee club director Mr. Rad (Taran Killam) brainwashing members of the study group with strange songs to get them to join the glee club.
Best Song: "Christmas Infiltration," because it's Childish Gambino/Donald Glover rapping.
The Verdict: Community at its best.
5. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 4, "The Nightman Cometh"
The Premise: Charlie (Charlie Day) puts on a rock opera, starring his friends, including Dennis (Glenn Howerton) as a little boy. The singing ain't bad and the innuendo couldn't be worse.
Best Song: Day man (aah aah aahhhh), fighter of the night man (aah aah aaaaahhh)...
"The Nightman Cometh" is so quintessentially Sunny, and the songs are super catchy. That's especially true for the ones you definitely don't want to be caught singing in public. It honestly doesn't get much better than this.
4. Xena: Warrior Princess, Season 3, "The Bitter Suite"
The Premise: Xena (Lucy Lawless) and Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor) are sent to the somewhat mysterious Land of Illusia where they're forced to work through their rift through song.
Best Song: "Hearts Are Hurting," which was one of two songs that earned an Emmy nom for the episode.
It took a whole magical world, created just for them, for Xena and Gabrielle to reunite and realize how much they really love and need each other, and we got one hell of an emotional, cry-inducing hour of TV out of it.
3. The Flash season 3 and Supergirl season 2, "Duet"
The Premise: Darren Criss appears as the Music Meister, a mischievous dude with a gleam in his eye (literally) that sends his "victims" into a dream world of their own making. Kara and Barry find themselves in the 1940s, singing for the their lives in a movie musical complete with gangsters and true love.
Best Song: "Runnin' Home to You," sung by Grant Gustin (but Rachel Bloom's hilarious "Superfriends" duet was also delightful)
We definitely could have used more songs (and perhaps a whole other hour of musical) but the premise made sense, especially when it was revealed that the Music Meister was just there to teach Barry and Kara a lesson about the importance of love. Cheesy? Yes, but so fun, especially with how dark these worlds can get. We laughed, we cried, and we immediately rewound for an encore.
2. Scrubs, season 6, "My Musical"
The Premise: A patient (Stephanie D'Abruzzo) finds herself hallucinating, believing that everyone around her at Sacred Heart Hospital is singing instead of speaking. The episode follows her stay at the hospital, where she just happens to witness a whole bunch of important character moments in the lives of our favorite doctors.
Best Song: "Guy Love." Or "Everything Comes Down to Poo." But mostly "Guy Love."
Scrubs was always at its best when it was mixing ridiculous comedy with real emotions, and "My Musical" did that incredibly well. The songs were, in fact, ridiculous (see: "Everything Comes Down to Poo") but they carried the cast to some significant conclusions by the end of the episode, and carried us through some significant feelings.
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 6, "Once More with Feeling"
The Premise: A tap dancing demon named Sweet is summoned to Sunnydale, forcing the entire town to sing their deepest feelings while he prepares to take Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) back to the underworld as his bride.
Best Song: Impossible to answer, but anything Anthony Stewart Head sings is gold, and Sarah Michelle Gellar does some really beautiful emotional work in "Give Me Something to Sing About." But we've also got a theory that it could be bunnies...
No show has ever done a musical as well as Buffy, and no show will probably ever match it, especially in terms of the impact the episode (and the songs themselves) had on the rest of the series.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m., and Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on the CW.