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October 13, 2015

The Five: Favorite TV themes

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Nov 27th 2006 9:03AM

The Von Bondies: C'mon C'monI love watching a show's opening credit sequence. They're like mini-films. However, I'm sure others have noticed this, but it seems like more and more shows are foregoing a full-blown credit sequence and instead opting for a brief title placard while the credits roll during the opening scenes of a given show. Take Grey's Anatomy. They used to have a pretty nifty show open complete with sex in a hospital bed. Now it's gone. Boo to that. I like seeing the credits and it's lousy that some shows have tossed it in favor of what probably ends up being a few extra seconds of time for ad buyers to purchase. Oh well. Some shows still have a lengthy open and with that comes some good music. Here are some of my favorites (old and current) in no particular order.

1.) C'mon C'mon by The Von Bondies [Rescue Me] - Awesome tune. It's loud. It's angry. And it goes perfect with the imagery of a fire engine roaring down a Manhattan avenue. I'm not sure if it's still on the F/X website, but there used to be a blurb about how Denis Leary picked music for Rescue Me and apparently he stumbled onto this song one day while his son was listening to it. Good find.

2.) Title Theme by JJ Abrams [Alias] - This is a short instrumental that I think most folks are probably familiar with. I can't get enough of it though. After much effort, I was able to record the theme off one of my Alias DVDs. I converted it to an MP3, looped it about 30 times, and then burned it to a CD. I don't care what you're doing. By playing the Alias theme, it makes whatever your task is that much cooler. Picture yourself cleaning the toilet while jamming out to "bumph... bwaa naa naa... dunph... dwa nah nah." Those are actual words. Sure.

3.) Calling All Friends by Low Stars [What About Brian] - I've been humming this song for weeks now and just this morning I finally decided to track it down. Not an easy task. But twenty minutes of Google searches finally led me to this MySpace page. The band is called Low Stars and the tune is really good. I love the opening sequence to What About Brian and how they cut it together using the drum beat from this song. Good stuff.

4.) California by Phantom Planet [The OC] - Stop lying to yourself. You may hate the show but this song is just way too catchy to not like it. I'll leave it at that.

5.) Teardrop by Massive Attack [House] - This is just such a cool song and the fifteen seconds we get of it at the beginning of House unfortunately doesn't do it justice. It's not an instrumental as some believe. There are lyrics and they're very good. I just love relaxing, beer in hand, with this song on. It's very soothing for whatever reason.

So there you go. I'm not saying these are the best TV themes. They're just some of my favorites. I feel like this could spark a good debate though. What else needs to be on the list?

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wow i love the fact that so many people want the veronica mars theme song in this list....I totally agree it totally fits the show and should be like, number one.

November 22 2007 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've got the Alias theme music downloaded to my cell and I use it as my ringtone. It's always interesting to see who comments on it when it rings - you can always tell who is a fan and who is not.

I've got Alias d/l and ringing as just my friends and family. Everyone else gets "The Sopranos".

November 28 2006 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it would have to be the theme music to Angel. Very atmospheric, and it fits perfectly with the location of the show.

November 27 2006 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No. 3 in old shows in Post No. 36 above was supposed to be "Sex and the City." It says "Six Feet Under," which is No. 1 on the list.

Oh, and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" should get consideration for the pipe-organ/guitar rip intro.

November 27 2006 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Since no one mentioned it yet, I think I have to give the Weeds theme song "Little Boxes" some credit. Especially season two with all the guest covers of said song.

November 27 2006 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i can't believe nobody mentioned the sopranos

November 27 2006 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a change from the days when viewers enjoyed the opening themes of "All in the Family", "Get Smart", "Mission: Impossible" and other shows of the 60's and 70's. This shows how the networks are trying to target the younger market with "hipper" music.

November 27 2006 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Grdmonkey: The version of "How Soon is Now?" used on Charmed is a cover by Love Spit Love, thankyouverymuch. Which was originally used in the movie The Craft, which is why I freakin' hate it for Charmed because I know they just used it because both have witches. LAME!

November 27 2006 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

in no real order:
Firefly (writen by joss whedon)
Boston Legal (levity of the clip fits the show perfectly)
family guy
CSI (the who, i mean, come on... )

November 27 2006 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian Erst

The Doctor Who theme (original, although the new version is pretty terrific too) is a classic of early electronic music.

The first season (America) of BSG used a snippet of "Two Funerals" as its opening theme and it was fantastic. Elegant and elegiac, with the Taiko drums and barely murmured vocals adding the just perfect combination of militarism and humanity. And perfectly syncronized with the visuals. The British (and post first season American) opening is god-awful in comparison - I have to fast-forward thru that part just to not have the mood spoiled. Even if it's in an exotic and different language, Ronald Moore should have taken the hint that was the "Enterprise" theme and stuck with what the suits at Sci-Fi told him was the better theme. (He preferred the current theme, the suits preferred "Two Funerals". Who knew the corporate masters at NBC/Universal has taste?)

November 27 2006 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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