Top 5 TV credits: What are your favourites?

Most of us pop culture adherents have favourite opening credits for our TV shows. They may create an intense mood, immerse you in a place and time; they may have a great theme song; they may just remind you of good times watching that show.

Here are my top five opening sequences. Which TV credits do you not fast forward through? (Place a link to a video page if you can; I’ll do the embed magic.)

1. True Blood, as I mentioned here (NSFW):

2. The Simpsons now has a new opening sequence. Some purists may be appalled that such a holy document was changed; some geeks may delight. Conspiracy theorists are already muttering about the signs of Freemasonry.

3. Get Smart (also in Lego Brickmation)

4. Battlestar Galactica (possible spoilers through season four):
credits from thehatstuff on Vimeo.

5. And a special mention for Dexter – because I do fast forward this one. It evokes the “serial killer” mood so successfully that it completely freaks me out. I don’t watch Dexter for the murders; it’s about the characterisation and interpersonal dynamics. I do love a heavily serialised show. [Note: there’s no actual violence depicted. He’s just making breakfast.]

Fan contribution: here’s a Doctor Who/ BSG mashup that I enjoyed:

Categories: arts & entertainment, media


22 replies

  1. Oh! I ❤ Law & Order: Classical Version opening theme. I so miss that show. Often, when we talk about getting a t.v., it’s so I can watch L&O. *swooon*
    Also, I’m kinda fond of the Torchwood opening.

  2. Oh wow I never saw the Dexter credits before, they are spectacularly creepy (which is odd, since I’ve seen a couple of episodes of the show. Hmm, wonder how I managed that)

  3. The opening credits of Twin Peaks, with the beautiful piece of music by Angelo Badalamenti, which fairly makes my heart ache.
    Which is good, because you know how associations can spoil a piece of music for you? Twin Peaks aired while I was in early pregnancy, and I couldn’t listen to that beautiful piece of music for years and years without feeling slightly ill. Gone now.
    [found it ~L]

  4. I enjoy the House opening credits, even if they should have reworked them at the beginning of this season for Penn, Wilde, and Jacobson. Nifty juxtaposition of anatomical diagrams, Princeton shots, and cast–interesting without being crazy with the name/face-dropping.
    [got them ~L]
    This reminds me of how a friend of mine called the opening to Star Trek: TNG ‘the starship fashion show’.

  5. I liked Scrubs, with the x-ray being handed from one impermanent character to the next.
    Planet Earth, the BBC documentary. I liked the closing credits better, though.

  6. Ooh I love these posts of yours lauredhel. For best intro credits:
    1. Twin Peaks (Yay Helen)
    2. The Avengers
    3. The Sopranos
    4. Get Smart (Yay lauredhel)
    5. L.A Law
    I just saw someone else’s – Carnivale, what a great suggestion, that too.

  7. I don’t think anyone here will be surprised to learn that my favourite is Doctor Who (particularly new Who) :). I have to say that I really don’t like the Torchwood opening credits much — in fact, I don’t like spoken opening credits very much at all. I much prefer music.

  8. Ooooh, I just LOVE the opening credits to Mad Men!!! They MUST be on the list.
    I love the way they capture the mood of the show, and how they echo the opening credits the late, great Saul Bass used to create for Hitchcock films. Oh, and fellow geeks may appreciate this funny clip reimagining the Star Wars opening credits, had they been designed by Saul Bass. 🙂
    Mad props also to the Dexter credits! High def rocks.
    claire’s last blog post..Maedaya Sake & Grill: gem of an izakaya in deepest darkest Richmond

  9. Whee, another LGM fan! I think that was actually my first really hardcore serious fandom, actually. I own the DVD set but haven’t been able to bring myself to watch.

  10. CSI New York
    Mad About You
    X Files
    Rescue Me
    Renee’s last blog post..Drop It Like It’s Hot

  11. I own the DVD set but haven’t been able to bring myself to watch.


  12. Thanks for the Twin Peaks memory lane – that was an amazing show for its time. I really like the Firefly music, too. And the Buffy credits music, so frenetic! My faves are already covered: True Blood, Dexter, Battlestar (oh, that music!), House. Despite (because of) its brevity, I’m partial to the simple “Lost” credits, too (and Heroes, similarly).

  13. Buffy all the way, the music is good and the corniness makes me laugh.

  14. Carnival, definitely, and the 4400… I love those opening sequences, and it’s a beautiful song.
    I do love the Buffy opening, for nostalgia’s sake. Special mention to the Jonathan episode, of course.
    hexy’s last blog post..Interviewed by Renee at Womanist Musings

  15. Buffy music’s good, but I also like the mournful feel of Angel’s opening.
    For those familiar with the Buffy roleplaying game, some people do credits for their series, and this one (by someone called Anna) kicks particular ass. Not really on topic for the thread, but from the look of it, don’t you really wish it was?

  16. I sort of agree with the voice-over opening credits (the Torchwood ones are only bearable because I am hopeless fangirl), but I must say I think there is one spectacular exception – Soap. It’s part of the in-joke as far as I’m concerned, as is the truly horrible theme music. Anyone who isn’t familiar with Soap should check it out – there hasn’t really been anything like it before or since.
    And Friends. Yes I am sad, but I always found the catchy song and a bunch of young people being wacky and funny and cuddly to be rather endearing. I am aware I am probably in the minority, not just on this site but generally.
    I also love the whole Twin Peaks thing and especially as the series progressed and the peaceful music and idyllic scenery was usually followed by 50 minutes of sex, violence and general weirdness. Lynch at his dichotymous best.
    Oh, and I also love shows that change their opening credits weekly; The Simpsons is obvious, but Good News Week also springs to mind. You get a nice reminder of what the topical issues of the week have been – and you also get an opportunity to play “guess the joke” 😉

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