Thursday Movie Picks – Television Edition: Opening Title Sequence

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy almost Friday! It’s TMP time! The Thursday Movie Picks blogathon was spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog.

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. This Thursday’s theme is… TMP Television Edition: Opening Title Sequence.

Clearly I’ve been blogging a long time, I’ve actually posted about my favorite TV opening credits back in 2016 as part of my Music Break series. I’ve listed 5 favorites + 3 honorable mentions which are likely going to be in many people’s list. Now, for this TMP, I’m going to include two from that list that I love the most, and for the other two I’m walking down memory lane. The first two are stylistically similar, so I picked the other two that are so different in terms of tone, visuals and music, but they’re terrific and even iconic in their own right.

In any case, here are my picks:

Netflix’s DAREDEVIL

netflix-daredevil-opening

I absolutely LOVE this opening credits! You know it’s good when you don’t hit the SKIP button and just watch it every time you watch an episode. Having Daredevil drenched in blood speaks to the fact that the character deals with a lot of personal demons, as well as fighting the external demons on the show. The spiritual elements also go with the fact that Matt Murdock is a relapsed Catholic.

The beautiful but eerie visuals, combined with the ominous score by composer John Paesano is just spectacular and provocative. Per this article, Paesano said he worked with season 1 show-runner Steven DeKnight, and the one thing that he, Steven and Marvel agreed was that they wanted to do something that was not your typical superhero sound. Well they certainly accomplished that!


HBO’s WESTWORLD

westworld-season1-opening

This is another opening credits I could watch over and over. It’s just so meticulously-crafted and well thought-out just like the series itself. Provocative, sexy, mesmerizing and ominous… both the visuals and the haunting score by Ramin Djawadi creates a perfect tease of what to expect from the crazy adventures in Westworld.

If you love opening title sequences, then you must visit The Art of the Title and check out the interview with the creative director behind this title sequence and other great ones like The Night Manager and Luke Cage. I so agree with what he said that Westworld is such a great sci-fi/western that ‘…digs into the core of what it means to be human and asks really uncomfortable questions.’


WINGS

Ok, now allow me to walk down memory lane with one of my all time favorite American sitcoms that ran on NBC in the 90s. I love the theme song that I still hum it to this day! Starring Tim Daly and Steven Weber as brothers Joe and Brian Hackett who operate Sandpiper Air. The series was created by the same team behind Cheers and Frasier, both also have their own memorable opening credits and catchy theme songs!

I love that it shows an airplane (presumably Sandpiper Air) flying over Nantucket and landing in the fictitious Nantucket airport. It really made me want to visit Nantucket every time I watched it. It’s such a funny show filled with terrific characters who I still know by name. I love the rivalry between Sandpiper and Roy Biggins’ Aeromass Air, and who could forget Thomas Haden Church as the daft-but-lovable Lowell the mechanic, and Tony Shalhoub as the Italian cab driver who’s frequently bullied by Roy. Many of the cast members have gone on to bigger things but I always remember their hilarious parts in this sitcom!


The Golden Girls

Now, the Golden Girls and the Thank You For Being A Friend theme song has become a meme for Millennials, but I’m old enough to have watched this when it originally aired from mid 1980s – early 90s, spanning seven seasons!

Betty White is the only living member of the show, bless her, let’s hope she lives forever! The Golden Girls is such a hilarious but heartwarming story of friendship, and I love that it feature four older women instead of the usual teens/young people. Just because it has characters over 50 doesn’t mean the show is traditional. In fact, it dealt with some controversial issues of its day, i.e. interracial marriage, HIV/Aids, sexual harassment, gay marriage, etc.

Per Wiki, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother apparently was a huge fan that the cast were invited to perform several skits as their characters in front of her and other members of the Royal Family at the 1988 Royal Variety Performance in London.


So which are YOUR favorite TV opening sequences?

20 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks – Television Edition: Opening Title Sequence

    1. Yeah the last season wasn’t as good as the previous ones but still overall a terrific series. That opening sequence is iconic though!

  1. Ted Saydalavong

    I do love the title sequence of DareDevil and Westworld too. I used to watch Wings around 8 or 9am during its reruns back in college, lol! I didn’t get into the show until the series wrapped up and I started watching it on reruns.

    My current favorite opening title sequences are:
    Doom Patrol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK5oeV_JYy0, it really captured the weirdness of the show and I love the theme music.

    Stranger Things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RcPZdihrp4
    Mindhunter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B7QDm80IYI
    Dark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUiifh_aCLU
    Narcos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwwfKlZc3gg

    1. I think I started watching the reruns version of WINGS too, Ted.

      I just checked out the DOOM PATROL one. WOW, so beautiful, freaky and terrifying at the same time! I didn’t realize Brendan Fraser is in it too, I gotta give that show a shot just for Dalton 🙂

      1. Ted Saydalavong

        If you can get pass the weirdness of the first 2 or 3 episodes of Doom Patrol then you’ll be in for a treat. They really did a great job of making a show about these characters and you’ll get to know each of them so well that you care about them. It’s definitely not the usual super hero show, don’t expect it to be like X-Men or any other super hero genre and you’ll enjoy it.

  2. I’ve heard of the first two but have never seen either but their intro are very well done. I’m a fan of Wings and LOVE The Golden Girls however!

    Wings isn’t in the same league as the Girls but is pleasantly enjoyable with a solid cast. The boys and Helen are good but its the supporting characters that hold the show together. Fay’s dry acerbity is always a delight, I liked all the others but she was always my favorite.

    There is so much to love about The Golden Girls and each woman was so gifted in her own way it’s impossible to say any of them were the MVP of the series. Glad all won an Emmy for their roles, it truly is an intricate dance they did with each other every week.

    There are many memorable title sequences but I reached back to some faves from my extreme youth that have retained a following all these years later.

    Bewitched (1964-1972)-Clever animation of the lead couple-witch Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) and human Darrin (first Dick York, later Dick Sargent) plus troublesome mother-in-law Endora (Agnes Moorehead) represented by a cloud of black smoke set to zippy music that hints at the magical theme of the show all in under 40 seconds!

    Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967)-Imagine a small boat, a storm-tossed sea, a spinning captain’s wheel and a lonely isle then sing along!
    “Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
    a tale of a fateful trip,
    that started from this tropic port,
    aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailin’ man,
    the Skipper brave and sure,
    five passengers set sail that day,
    for a three-hour tour,
    a three-hour tour. The weather started getting rough,
    the tiny ship was tossed.
    If not for the courage of the fearless crew
    the Minnow would be lost.
    The Minnow would be lost.
    The ship’s aground on the shore of this
    uncharted desert isle
    with Gilligan,
    the Skipper too.
    The millionaire and his wife,
    the movie star,
    the professor and Mary Ann,
    here on Gilligan’s Isle!”

    The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)-Over the background of a tic-tac-toe board filled with the faces of the cast all mobile and smiling at each other we hear:
    “Here’s the story
    Of a lovely lady
    Who was bringing up three very lovely girls
    All of them had hair of gold
    Like their mother
    The youngest one in curls

    It’s the story
    Of a man named Brady
    Who was busy with three boys of his own
    They were four men
    Living all together
    Yet they were all alone

    ‘Til the one day when the lady met this fellow
    And they knew that it was much more than a hunch
    That this group must somehow form a family
    That’s the way we all became the Brady bunch

    The Brady bunch, the Brady bunch
    That’s the way we became the Brady bunch.”

    And then Alice pops into the middle square!

    1. Hey Joel!! Glad you’re a fan of Wings and The Golden Girls!! I almost put down DALLAS as it also has an indelible opening theme, my late mom was obsessed w/ that series!

      Thanks for including the videos of these opening sequences, I totally agree those three are not just great, they’re iconic! Esp the Brady Bunch one that’s been copied so many times, esp by late nite shows, ahah. I LOVE the animation in Bewitched, so cute!

  3. I haven’t seen most of these shows. Wings is such a fun show and video. And I love The Golden Girls theme. It’s such a huge staple in tv theme songs.

    1. Hi Katy! I imagine you’re too young to know about Wings, but glad you’re familiar w/ it. Amazing how The Golden Girls is still so loved to this day, I always find it hilarious that millennials are making memes of them, ahah.

  4. PrairieGirl

    How about an real oldie but goodie? The original Mickey Mouse Club TV show theme song from the 50s:

    And the closing theme song too:

  5. I don’t watch TV that much so nothing – apart from True Blood – immediately came to mind for me which is why I didn’t participate this week.
    I can see why you like the opening titles for ‘Daredevil’ – very atmospheric and that red is gorgeous!

    1. That True Blood one is very provocative!

      So you haven’t seen Netflix’s Daredevil yet? Oh my, it’s one of my all time fave shows and was sooo bummed when it wasn’t renewed. I LOVE Charlie Cox as Daredevil and really hope they’d resurrect that series w/ him as the lead.

  6. I have not seen the first 2 even though I loved the movie Westworld with Yul Brynner. I love Wings and used to watch it when it was on back in the 80’s. I loved Tony Shalhoub in it especially when guest actor William Hickey was on the show. The Golden Girls is hilarious and just fun to watch..so much better than what is on today.

    1. Hi Birgit! I’ve never seen the Yul Brynner movie, I really should since it’s based on the same book.

      Glad you love WINGS too! There are so many great supporting cast on that show. And yes, totally agree with The Golden Girls, it’s witty and hilarious and somehow timeless!

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