TO CALEB, XO ADAM - In Universe Promposal Playlist
[LS: When I decided to have a number of character perspective episodes this season, I opened the floor for the actors to make any requests or suggestions for what they wanted to see for their characters. Briggon came up with a lovely pitch of Caleb and Adam preparing for and then going to prom. Despite liking the idea, it didn’t fit into the timeline or the production restraints, so I ended up keeping the core prom idea and instead having it focused on the “promposal”.
For some context: I had never heard the word promposal until college. I went to a pretty small high school and, while we had prom, it wasn’t really a big deal. So I had no idea asking someone to prom could be a big deal until my friends in college starting swapping stories about their own promposals. So all of the adults’ confusion at the concept is very much based in my own reality. I graduated high school in 2009, so not that long ago, and I have no idea how long promposals have been going on. But I thought it’d be a really fun thing to explore with Caleb and Adam and an excellent excuse for me to make another in-universe mix.
For more context: this structure of mix - spelling someone out with the first letter of each song - is something I did a lot in high school (and college and beyond). I never asked anyone out that way, but I would spell out friends’ names, say “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations”, etc. etc. In fact, Evan Cunningham, our composer extraordinaire, reminded me that this kind of playlist was the first gift I ever gave him. Our a cappella group in college was doing a secret Santa and I got Evan and decided to spend zero dollars and instead knit him a scarf and make a playlist that spelled out his name. I still have the playlist in my iTunes (it’s a good mix). I have absolutely no idea if kids these days still do this, but I figured if anyone did, Adam would.
Anyway, this kind of playlist obviously contains more limitations than a typical mix because you are limited to a certain number of letters. So the first thing I did was order my iTunes by song alphabetically, and then went through and pulled out songs of the appropriate letters that I thought might work. You can see those original song selections here, here, and here. Then the paring down started and I ended up with the following playlist. Given that the message from Adam is in the song titles itself, he didn’t add any additional notes, so all the commentary below is my own.
1. "You Make My Dreams Come True" - Hall & Oates
2. "On Your Way" - We Shot the Moon
This song feels a little dated for them in the sense that it’s from 2008 - not an oldie or retro, but also not very recent. But the lyrics are just so perfect. They are forward-looking and loving and there are some really choice lines that fit perfectly in this episode.
The opening lyrics are: And I was so alone/then I saw you/across the room/taking in the sound of what was surrounding you/you looked around/at a lonely crowd/trying everything to drown it out - if that isn’t perfect for Caleb and Adam I don’t know what is. It’s definitely a lyric that works better from Caleb’s perspective looking at Adam, but I think it works either way. And Adam also knows Caleb well enough by this point to see things through his eyes.
But I wondered just how it would be/if you didn’t believe in me - honestly, just look up all the lyrics, this song is perfect. These are the days that we’ll remember is such a high school senior sentiment.
3. "U + Me =" - Dan Black
You and me we’re just fine/1 million invisible lines/out your head and into mine - !!!! I mean. Perfect.
4. "Mamma Mia" - ABBA
I had to include some ABBA. I had to. Even though the lyrics to this song don’t really fit, I know it would have made Caleb laugh.
5. "Eight Days a Week" - The Beatles
6. "Perfect" - One Direction
7. "Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)" - Panic! At the Disco
This may change, but as of right now, there’s a whole bit in the Caleb/Adam book about Panic! at the Disco and they’re a band that I feel Adam has always loved, so this song seemed like a good choice. Especially since get me out of my mind feels like a sentiment they both share.
8. "Open Your Eyes" - Snow Patrol
Yes, I put this on here as a direct parallel to “Shut Your Eyes” by Snow Patrol being on the first mix that Adam made for Caleb after they started dating. Yes, I’m cheesy as fuck.
9. "Make You Feel My Love" - Adele
Oh, did you think I couldn’t get cheesier? Never underestimate me. Not only is this an extremely sappy song to end any mix on, but I chose the Adele version because A) it’s great and B) the first mix that Adam gives Caleb (before they start dating) has “Water Under the Bridge” on it, a song in which Adele sings If you’re gonna let me down/let me down easy and this is the exact opposite of that and I like parallels, okay?]