July 30, 2011

211: Favorites XXIV

This week, I present some of my favorites of a dying breed: TV title sequences.  In addition to those listed below, I give honorable mentions to The Big Bang Theory, the CSI franchise (mostly for using "Who Are You?" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" to great effect, though "Baba O'Riley" isn't as good a fit), and Doctor Who (because I get giddy just listening to the theme song).  Any suggestions for other good opening titles?

Downton Abbey
First, the bit of score over the credits is just gorgeous.  Secondly, it's the prettiest montage I've ever seen that starts with a closeup of a dog's butt.  Incidentally, I also like that the cast is presented in alphabetical order, with no preference whatsoever given to bigger stars, bigger roles, or even the dame in their midst.

True Blood
Warning: there's some suggestive images, roadkill, a time-lapse shot of a fox being consumed by maggots and some close-up shots of weird-looking bugs.  But it's totally worth it for the "God hates fangs" sign and the general modern Southern gothic ambience.

Edward Gorey animations and the theme song that I miss desperately, now that it's Masterpiece Mystery.  I actually learned the Mystery! theme on the piano when I was a kid -- I loved Poirot that much.

Law & Order: UK
A nice update on the traditional freeze-frame style of the US franchise, with another piece of music that I love.  It's not the funky jazz themes of the American series, but it does go nicely with a show that has Crown Prosecutors instead of Assistant District Attorneys.

Mad Men
Great mix of animation, music, and vintage advertising for one of TV's best shows. (YouTube won't let me embed, so click the picture to go watch it on the site.)


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