Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One thing I miss about modern TV is that a lot of shows skimp on their openings. Now I understand that's to have more creamy good plotness, but a good opening is a joy in of itself. These are my favorite openings of science fiction, fantasy, and horror TV shows.

Space 1999
Was there ever a bigger tease? This opening promises so much and the show delivered so, so little. But it deserves to be here on its own merits. A great marriage of footage and theme music.

Big O
I love this for its retro look and Queen/"Flash" style theme music. I mean it just really gets the blood pumping.

Gilligan's Island
That's right Gilligan's Island. Are you going to say it's a show that mirrors reality? The professor is making fusion devices out of coconuts. There's the episode with the spider as big as a bear! More to the point, here's an opening that gives all the plot points in one easy to remember song. Easy to remember? Try getting the sumbitch out of your head. It takes more than a 3 hour cruise!

Wild, Wild West
Again, another wonderful way of getting the geist of the show in a short introduction. Unlike Gilligan's Island's theme it does the job without words. Extra points that the frame of the "page" is used to frame episodes of the story as it happens. A great show, steampunk before it was steampunk and Will Smith should eternally apologize for screwing up the movie version.

Star Trek
Every other star trek series opening is a ponderous yawn fest. Only the original captures the bold spirit of exploration. It is truly classic.

Elfen Lied
It's pronounced "LEED" by the way. It's german, but the show is Japanese. The Theme is in Latin. Work your head around that folks.

Pinky and the Brain
A good theme should be catchy but this is positively viral. You can't get it out of your head, but unlike some themes it doesn't cause any brain damage as it rattles around upstairs.

Game of Thrones
Again this is a good example of using an opening to educate the viewer. Watching the map unfurl gives the viewer a good overall understanding of a fantasy world that might otherwise become confusing.

True Blood
This doesn't give us geography but it still gives us the feel a place. The twangy music and disturbing images immediately puts us in the humid world of southern vampires.

Get Smart
Possibly the funniest opening of them all. Just a wonderful slow build up with a sudden sting musically. A great introduction to Maxwell Smart's world of spry wry spyness.

1 comment:

  1. They're dinky, they're Pinky and the Brain brain brain....
    True Blood is an awesome beginning and when listening to the lyrics it's fun to see the imagery as the singer is saying I want to do something bad with you and you get the Baptism image... Not always two and two together there.