Anyone who saw Magnolia will remember Paul Thomas Anderson’s crowning preciosity, the pan-diegetic sing-along (featuring none other than Crazy Wanda from Big love and everyone’s favorite Dr. Steve Brule!):
Very clever and very Oscar-tempting way back in 2000. The sing-along schtick was still viable in 2004, when transposed to the small screen and folded back into a specific story arc via a collective tryptamine experience:
Less convincing in 2006.
And fully expired by 2007.
On a related note, the comedic sing-along does manage to avoid peeving, if it’s done well. Sing-alongs sustained one season of Flight of the Conchords…
..but then turned around and killed the second. They have also propelled some very strange British comedians to (well-deserved) stardom:
— J.C. Freñán