The 12 Best Songs to Close TV Show Seasons
Note: I’m including both series and season finales and it should go without saying that there will be tons of spoilers below.
1. Six Feet Under, series finale, Sia’s “Breathe Me”
Hands down, this is the best series finale in TV history. And the piano ballad from the now-hip-but-always-amazing Sia is the ultimate swan song to the Fisher family, especially the moment when the music swells as Claire drives off into her future. Tears everywhere.
2. Mad Men, season 7 midseries finale, Bert Cooper’s “The Best Things In Life are Free”
BERT IS DANCING AND SINGING! An appropriate send-off for the eccentric adman.
3. The Sopranos, series finale, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”
A great moment, no doubt, but! Did you know that the song ISN’T on the jukebox at the actual New Jersey diner where the finale was filmed? I’ve been there, sat in the booth, and checked. The onion rings were pretty good, though.
4. The Office, series finale, Creed Bratton’s “All the Faces”
Creed serenades the Dunder Mifflinites with an original song as they hang out in the office and talk to those cameras for one last time.
5. Breaking Bad, series finale, Badfinger’s “Baby Blue”
Ending a show about crystal meth with a song about crystal? Obvious, but it works beautifully.
6. Freaks and Geeks, series finale, the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple”
The ideal song to play as Lindsay heads out on the road with her fellow Deadheads. May your army jacket keep her warm while she’s listening to a 38-minute version of “Dark Star.”
7. The Good Wife, season 2 finale, Mika’s “Any Other World”
After two seasons, what we were waiting for finally happened. Thanks, Mika!
8. The Wire, series finale, the Blind Boys of Alabama’s “Way Down in the Hole”
To illustrate that no matter how much things change, they ultimately remain the same, the series finale uses the version of “Way Down In the Hole” that hadn’t been heard since season one, courtesy of the Blind Boys of Alabama.
9. Parenthood, season 5 finale, Richie Haven’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’”
Another book-end situation, “Forever Young” opens each episode, so naturally, another Dylan tune closes what was nearly the series finale.
10. Veronica Mars, series, Albert Hammond’s “It Never Rains in Southern California”
Exiting out into the rain after she votes for her father to this song? That’s good timing.
11. True Detective, series 1 finale, The Hat, Father John Misty, and S.I. Istwa’s “Angry River”
Played after Rust’s monologue is a song written by T. Bone Burnett, which he describes as being “in the style of a classic murder ballad.” It plays as the camera pans to the stars and sky, an apt reflection on the season as a whole.
12. How I Met Your Mother, series finale, the Walkmen’s “Heaven”
I mean, sure, the entire series being Ted’s thinly veiled attempt to get his kids’ permission to have sex with their Aunt Robin is DUMB. But at least this Walkmen song is great.