Making a great TV theme is a tricky art. It requires music and visuals that distill the subject and tone of a program into something that’s instantly recognizable. For the most part, it’s about selling the show, though sometimes it’s even better than its subject.
There are many TV shows for which my only memory is the title sequence. In some cases, a catchy intro is all a show had going for it. Hell, I could sing the theme to “Heathcliff” off the top of my head, but I couldn’t tell you the plot of any of the episodes.
Today we’re drafting our favorite TV show openings. Your picks in the comments. If one version of a show’s intro is off the board, there’s no drafting other versions from the same show.
1. StuScottsBooyahs – Hawaii Five-O
Never really watched the show as it was before my time, but I’ve got to go with Hawaii Five-O. The song was good enough, but hell even the cinematography was far more interesting than the intros of most shows of that era.
2. Eric Sollenberger – Parks and Recreation
It’s a great show but the theme doesn’t get enough credit for being a really well written song. And it does a pretty good job of matching the tone of the show as well. Duhn. di-da-du-duhn. di-da-du-duhn. di-da-du-duhn.
3. Trevor Risk – Space Goofs
Iggy Pop wrote a theme song for French cartoon about a bunch of alien monster squatters and got some detached French children to sing on it with him. It’s probably just another unrequited romantic offering to Françoise Hardy.
4. Johnny Sugar – Night Court
Killer funky instrumental jam. The Seinfeld theme has nothing on the Night Court theme.
5. Big Sandy – Growing Pains
Power ballad! Encapsulates everything about the show and the era in which it aired. Also, it makes an awesome karaoke song.
6. RobotsFightingDinosaurs – Pokemon
in an attempt to be at least slightly less predictable here’s a cool recreation of the intro that a bunch of internet animator types did
7. Christmas Ape – The Wire (Season 1)
The other four versions were good enough. The Blind Boys of Alabama rendition, though, was easily the best.
/starts flame war
8. Old James – Reading Rainbow
Back in the day everyone knew the theme song by heart, and my classes used to actually sing along with it whenever we were lucky enough to see that TV cart wheeled in on video day. My teacher friends have since told me “video day” is saved for when they’re too hungover to teach. Karma is a bitch.
9. David Rappoccio – The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Now this is a story all about how
I flipped this mock draft upside down
I’d like to take a minute
you can komment down there
on how Dave drafted the Fresh Prince of Bel Air
10. Spilly – Game of Thrones
Okay, fine. Game of Thrones is one of my favorite song + intros because it actually laid out the map and recent locations, which actually helps the understanding of the show. The song itself is generic fantasy score but it does well enough. I’m drafting this more because of the intro.
11. PFT Commenter – NFL Fox theme song (injury remix)
I want that to be played at my funral. I can think of no better end then to hear that sweet song when they carry me into the ground and put dirt all over me so i can go to heaven after everyone leaves and its safe to fly away.
12. PFT Commenter – Baywatch
Never made it past the first 20 seconds but who cares. the rest of the song could be Huey Lewis record playing backwards and telling every listner they have to murder there mailman and no one would care because there too busy pulling there pants up and looking for a kleenix.
13. Spilly – The A-Team
Not just due to its classic and familiar theme, but also because it led to the A-Team Techno Remix from Spaced.
14. David Rappoccio – The X-Files
I have to make a touch choice here but the true pick is out there.
Ed note: the only version YouTube would let me embed is the Spanish version, though it’s kind of a treat in its own way.
15. Old James – The O.C.
Fuck you, that was a good show.
16. Christmas Ape – The Eric Andre Show
I guess it’s debatable whether it’s the best opening currently on TV, but no way it isn’t the most fun to make.
17. RobotsFightingDinosaurs – I Love Lucy
dude fuck the haters, the I Love Lucy opening is fucking legit
18. Big Sandy – Airwolf
19. Johnny Sugar – King of the Hill
Another great instrumental – long live The Refreshments!
20. Trevor Risk – Kids in the Hall (Season 4)
From the best television programme of all time (Canadian or otherwise) specifically the fourth intro to the series is incredible. You’ve got the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet performing in a Toronto warehouse with drag queens hanging out and smoking. It’s a rare amalgam of delicious surf tones and whimsical, gay adventures. I’ve been searching for this party since i was eleven years old and still haven’t found it.
21. Eric Sollenberger – NBA on NBC (“Roundball Rock” by John Tesh)
The soundtrack to the Michael Jordan era of the NBA.
22. StuScottsBooyahs – The Simpsons
We could have a draft just of the couch gags.