Musical episodes of popular or cult television series tend to boast an especially dedicated following. This, to me, explains the popularity of the otherwise abysmal Glee, but it goes back further than that. Indie theaters across the country still have annual or even bi-monthly screenings of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical and for fans of vintage MTV programming, few things measure up to the Daria musical episode.
So, even beyond the ironclad popularity of The Flash and the rejuvenated Supergirl‘s escalating allure, it’s not surprising that the upcoming musical crossover for the two shows, entitled “Duet,” is getting a lot of attention. The inclusion of Glee breakout Darren Criss, starring in the role of the villainous Music Meister, also helped matters incalculably, especially considering Barry Allen himself Grant Gustin has appeared on Glee opposite Criss before.
His appearance in the episode, however, is dwarfed by today’s news that Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the duo behind the songs of La La Land, have penned a song for the episode. Entitled “Runnin’ Home to You,” the song will be sung by Gustin and could end up being a ballad for his beloved Iris West (Candice Patton), but let’s not dive too deep into the waters of speculation here. The episode is scheduled to drop on March 21st, making this a perfect victory lap for Pasek and Paul’s inevitable Oscar wins for La La Land. They are, of course, also conquering Broadway currently with Dear Evan Hansen. Some songwriting team is looking to get in an early EGOT.
Their contribution isn’t the only good news here. Rachel Bloom and Tom Root, the main creative forces behind The CW’s hugely undervalued Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, have also penned a tune, “Superfriends,” for the episode and while nothing is known about who will sing the number, it’s easy to assume what the narrative of the song will be. It’s also easy to assume that while Pasek and Paul’s song will likely bring the house down, Bloom and Root’s will likely be the one with the more memorable lyrics. Don’t get me wrong: Pasek and Paul’s work on La La Land is the only truly great thing about that mediocre movie and they deserve credit on credit for their songs. But Root and Bloom, who is also the titular star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, have been releasing some of the most outrageously funny and inventive on-screen musical numbers of this decade at a clip and have received tempered praise for their outstanding work. This should serve as a breakout moment for them – I hope. Sure, “City of Stars” is plenty catchy but call me when Ryan Gosling proves his ability to impress Emma Stone‘s parents by singing “I Give Good Parent.”