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The Onion picks the openings that fit their shows perfectly - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 22nd 2007 1:40PM

Get Smart openingOne of the saddest changes in the television landscape has been the disappearance of the theme song. They're really not that important to the people who create TV shows now (or the networks who want to get more commercials in). Lost has just a single note as their theme song, ER has changed and shortened their theme song, Jericho has static, and Heroes doesn't have a theme song or credits either.

Luckily, the shows that still have theme songs also have opening credits. Shows like The Office and Dexter all have theme songs and opening credits. They're classic TV openings. Of course, it's nothing like years gone by, where almost all shows had theme song and opening credits. The Onion has picked 22 that they feel fit their shows perfectly. I don't know if that is the same as "best opening sequences," but the choices are interesting, quirky, a little maddening, and they left out a few, as I'm sure you'll agree.

I don't think I would have picked Homicide as number one, as they do, but it works well. Other current shows on the list include The Sopranos, Big Love, The Simpsons, and Dexter, but the bulk of their list comes from older shows: The Love Boat, All in the Family, The Andy Griffith Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Get Smart, and Freaks and Geeks.

But what's missing here? They pick Buck Rogers in the 25th Century but not any of the Star Trek shows? It's fantastic that they mention Mannix, one of the great openings, but what about shows like Private Eye, Magnum, P.I., The Wild, Wild West, or Spenser: For Hire?

What would be on your list? Below is one of my favorites, from U.F.O. It's so swingin'! It's futuristic yet really dated at the same time. I love it.

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The Man From U.N.C.L.E. -- in its '60s heyday, it was right up there with the James Bond theme as a secret agent anthem. And the show's Man From Thrush theme was a hot stew of jazz and menace.

April 07 2007 at 2:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tess Capra

GT, *Ellery Queen* predated *Murder, She Wrote* by nine years so MSW is reminiscent of EQ, not the other way around.

And "yea!" to Tom for remembering *Brisco County* -- although now I think it's strange that no one has mentioned *Bonanza.*

Or sassy *Maude* since the DVDs just came out.

March 23 2007 at 11:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Firefly...I hated the theme song at first but it grew on me and positively fit the show to a T. Farscape had a great opening also.

I also second Friends.

My current favorite is Bones. The opening song by Crystal Method is great and now that they've changed the opening credits so the names line up with pictures of the actors it's great.

Boy...that's a huge pet peeve of mine. Why display opening credits and pictures of the actors and not have them line up? It's maddening.

March 23 2007 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Supernatural doesn't have a title song either, which I think suits the show perfectly, but I've been noticing the disappearance of the theme song too. I wonder if it's to fit in more show-time or to fit in more ads?

My favourite recent show openings have been the Life On Mars sequence, and Dexter. There's something perfect about Dexter's opening that gives me shivers every time.

March 22 2007 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

definitely weird how they have so many iconic classics (eg. mtm) and not mission:impossible. i would definitely put the prisoner, six million dollar man, and the avengers (in colour) on the list. i also think the house, m.d. opening is perfect. always loved futurama, too; i like that 2 elements of the opening were unique to each ep, so u had to watch for them.

until u mentioned it, i hadn't realized how many shows have effectively done away w/ theme songs. mike post, where are you when we need you?

thanks so much for posting ufo -- it's so awesome! my bf has the theme as his ringtone for when i call. prob b/c i can't hear it w/out dancing like i'm on hullaballoo!

March 22 2007 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Openings for The Prisoner and The Avengers both fit their classic British series perfectly. Great music, great images.

But how could they possibly have left out the opening for The Fall Guy. Lee Majors explains the whole set up in a song that is rivaled only by Chuck Norris as the prime example of why action stars should not be allowed to sing.

March 22 2007 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about Hawaii Five-O? On of the best ever, for sure! Anyone second this?

March 22 2007 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vito The TiVo

Heroes does have theme music, the vocal by that guy with one name.

March 22 2007 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For me I would have added these to the list...

The Wire
Six Feet Under
Entourage (Maybe my top pick for most relevant)
The Larry Sanders Show

Okay, I know that the shows I named are exclusively HBO shows, but you have to admit, they made good intros.

March 22 2007 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lots of good selections -- I'm glad The 4400 was includedm because that one is amazing. But what about the theme for "Alias" -- the first one, not the robotic one that came along about the same time the robotic Lauren character appeared?

March 22 2007 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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