25 awesome openings to '80s action shows (and five they missed) - VIDEOS
We've talked a lot here about theme songs and how they just don't make them like they used to. The openings to shows used to be a lot longer, a real part of the show. Today we're lucky if we get a few bars of music and maybe a credit or two. Heck, one show, Lost, only plays one note and shows the logo.
The Popcorn Trick has a list of the Top 25 Opening Credits of '80s Action Shows, and you can't argue with most of the picks. Magnum P.I. is on the list, as is Riptide, Miami Vice, and The A Team. I would quibble a little bit with the choice of The Rockford Files. One of my favorites, but it was really more of a '70s show than '80s (it ended in 1980). I was 13 years old when Vegas premiered (in 1978 - it ran until 1981) and I wanted to be Dan Tanna and live in Vegas and have hot girlfriends and drive around with a lion in my sports car.
Cagney and Lacey shouldn't be on the list though. It should be replaced with one of several other shows from the '80s. After the jump, the five shows they missed.
Stingray: Yeah, I know, I've been talking about this show a lot lately, but I don't see how they missed this opening. It has everything: cool techno song, exploding helicopters, mysterious symbols, shots of the hero.
Macgyver: Come on, a list of '80s action show openings and this isn't listed? Nonsense! Watch Richard Dean Anderson slide down a desert hill on a map, use his Swiss Army knife, and look cool in a leather jacket!Spenser: For Hire: Maybe I'm just biased because this show was set (and filmed!) in Boston, but this was a intelligent, well-written, well cast show, and the opening conveys what the show is about. You get shots of Boston Common and Avery Brooks looking menacing and Robert Urich and Barbara Stock taking a shower together. Besides, how many TV show openings show Larry Bird shooting a basket and the show's hero eating spaghetti? Strike Force: This wasn't the best show, but I have to include it because it's such a great example of 80s action shows. You have the military-sounding theme song (sorta A Team-ish), all the heroes running and getting into cars to chase someone, an incredibly cheesy logo, the team walking towards the camera all together, and three scenes where the hero aims a gun and shoots! Awesome.
Mister T: If you'll excuse the inclusion of a cartoon here, I'd just like to point out that this cartoon features Mister T (in probably the only time his name was spelled that way and not Mr.) as the leader of some sort of gymnastics team that fights crime? I barely remember this show, but it looks insane. When the gymnasts are doing their thing, why does it sound like someone ripping up a piece of paper? Also, the team drove around in the world's biggest van.
Every time I see this I think of the TV Funhouse spot on SNL. Drink your school! Stay in drugs! Don't do milk!