Friday, April 23, 2010

Top 5 Opening Credits: Present

Like I mentioned earlier this week, television show opening credits are dying. I'm sure I'm taking this harder than most, but I truly believe that opening credits are an art. They establish an entire show's universe in under a minute with a song/tune and selected clips. To honor their passing, below are my Top Five Opening Credits for shows currently on air. Stay tuned for my Top Five for shows that aren't on anymore (sneak peak: Buffy).

5. True Blood

While it doesn't set up the characters, it does an excellent job of introducing the tone of the show. By contrasting images of religion, gross creepy-crawlers, and the south set to the bluesy rock of "I wanna do bad things to you" you get thrown in to this not-quite-real town of Bonne Temps waiting for its dark side to come out.

4. How I Met Your Mother

In just 13 seconds, we know the friendship and dynamics of this group. Plus, the upbeat ditty just makes you ready to laugh.

3. Chuck

Set to Cake's Short Skirt/Long Jacket, the animation introduces the characters while simulateously showing that while this is a spy show, it knows how to go for laughs.

2. Mad Men

The haunting music, the silhoutte/shadow of man falling through the ads, the office falling away while he watches, and then ending with him leaned back in a chair, presumably enjoying a drink. Don't tell me that does not perfectly encapsulate everything that is Don Draper and Mad Men.

1. The Big Bang Theory

This gets bonus points for being the only show to have its theme song specifically written for the show. Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady were inspired after hearing the Bare Naked Ladies' "One Week" and asked them to create something for their new show. The song, characters, and clips let you know this is a geek's show about a group of friends, their nerdy adventures, and hints at the evolution they all will go through during the show. Ok, that last one may be a stretch but I still believe it.

What are you favorite opening credits on tv right now? Anything with only one note a title card is automatically disqualified. I'm looking at you LOST, The Vampire Diaries, FlashForward, V and Glee! You would think a show all about music would have a musical theme song.


  1. I totally agree that television opening credits are a dying art. It seems like shows are either throwing together hodgepodge openings or are nixing opening creds all together. It's too bad, I enjoy a good opening -- it's like watching the velvet curtains open in a theater before an old movie. I agree that Mad Men and True Blood have some of the best opening credits on tv today!

  2. Yeah, I usually end up skipping past them (usually watching them on my computer). True Blood I liked to watch because I liked singing along to the song haha and HIMYM was short enough that it didn't matter!

  3. HOW IS DEXTER NOT ON HERE. Kristal, fail. I hate the True Blood opening credits for the same reason it deserves to be on this list. It freaks the hell out of me. I think I've only watched it through 2 times, otherwise I close my eyes and turn down the sound. It really bothers me, which means it's pretty damn good.

  4. @Crystal - I'm glad I'm not alone! Great way to describe it, credits are totally the curtains, or the overture before a performance.

    @Sara - yeah, I think DVR and online viewing is part of its downfall too.

    @Christina - I actually hadn't seen the Dexter credits before! It's a show I kept meaning to watch, but never got around to it. I'll catch in netflix once I finish Six Feet Under, probably. But yeah, good credits! Disturbing without showing anything that's actually gross. It's a guy eating breakfast, but so much more!

  5. Kristal, I read this and typed up a lengthy comment that got wiped out with a couple errant keystrokes. Talk to me about it later.