In no particular order, here are TV openings that are my favorite:
1. Mad Men
The image of the Don Draper-esque figure falling through a collage of sexist retro ads perfectly encapsulates what I love so much about this series – men who put on a front and try their best to create an image of their ideal world, but actually feel helpless to the changes around them.
2. Game of Thrones
One of the challenges of the Game of Thrones is the confusing world building. This title sequence not only shows us a map of the world, but makes it seem alive and ever changing, just like the politics of the Game. The sweeping cello solo has spawned many 8-bit versions and gets stuck in my head for days on end.
3. True Blood
I love how this montage features the process of boiling Polaroid transfers – leftover from my ‘experimental’ photography days I guess. When a Polaroid is being boiled and the image is pulled off, it looks strangely like dead peeling flesh. The juxtapositions of life and death, sex and religion, hate and love is exactly how one imagines the South; full of contradictions that just can’t live without each other. Sometimes the opening sequence is the best part of the actual episode.
4. Battlestar Galatica
Most sci-fi/fantasy shows face the same problem: world building, as mentioned above with Game of Thrones. Battlestar’s opening sequence is one that constantly changed and revealed something new about the world that we were experiencing. The text is simple, but gains a new meaning once combined with different images and the Hindu singing verse.
Related to Battlestar is the Caprica sequence, which I think was gorgeous and full of symbolism – the show itself also was promising, since it tackled issues of terrorism and religion, something I felt that Battlestar was afraid to truly pursue.
5. Arrested Development
Sigh. I miss this show. I love the off kilter theme song, the editing room aesthetic, and dedication to the ‘mockumentary’ style that Arrested Development made popular.
The actual Community opening is alright, but I love it when they mix things up for their themed episodes! Like this one for the Dungeons and Dragons episode:
7. IT Crowd
Okay so the theme song is kind of obnoxious, but it grows on you! And 8-bit Moss and Roy are awesome.
Gorgeous, historically accurate graffiti from Rome comes to life.
9. Dead Like Me
A funny take on the concept that death is around every corner. Eating lunch, catching the bus, drinking at the water cooler.. Another short lived series that should have survived.
Supernatural is hands down one of my favorite shows, especially with the Christian story arch for season 4 and 5. It’s intense and scary, which is why I loved the twist when they did the ‘trickster’ episode and the Winchester brothers were stuck starring in a sitcom. Normally the opening is simply a graphic of the show title, but for this episode they kicked it into funnier territory.
That’s my list! So… what are your favorite TV sequences?