A mere half-decade ago, medical drama Grey’s Anatomy was such a cultural force that it could propel a song to nationwide popularity just by featuring it in a key scene. Now, it’s asking for a couple of those songs it helped out to return the favor. With the seventh season of Grey’s putting up new lows in viewership, the show has turned to that tried-and-true method for short-term ratings boosts–the musical episode. “Song Beneath the Song,” the March 31 season finale, will feature cast members breaking out into pop songs all willy-nilly, including a couple that fans will no doubt recognize from their use in previous seasons.
The Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” the pop song probably most associated with the show for its use in a second-season episode (it even got the Grey’s music video treatment), will be one of the full-cast numbers. Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars,” which shot into the top 10 after being in the season two finale, will be sung by Kevin McKidd, Chandra Bailey and Sara Ramirez, the latter of whom gets the lion’s share of the solos throughout due to her Tony-studded musical theater background.
If this is the last gasp for Grey’s before it settles into total irrelevancy and/or cancellation, at least it’s a tribute to one of its greatest legacies as a TV program. Though it happened all the time back in the 80s, when Grey’s started up, it had been a long time since a show held such emotional sway with audiences that it could inspire viewers en masse to seek out the music used in a given episode, thus forcing those songs into the national pop-culture conversation. For that, it legitimately deserves some credit. So here’s hoping the musical’s not completely unwatchable.