Thanks to Sky+, Netflix and other such streaming services, the way we watch TV has changed forever. We don’t have to wait to get to the good stuff we can skip adverts and even the opening title sequences.
However, there are some TV show intros that are just too good to skip and we still watch every time, even when our impatient attention spans demand we skip them.
Sons of Anarchy
There’s nothing massively special about the imagery in the Sons of Anarchy title credits, but it’s that catchy theme song that really gets in your head. Written by Dave Kushner of Velvet Revolver fame and performed by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers, it may be incredibly cheesy but the tune has a real redneck feel to it and perfectly puts you in the mood for some leather-clad biking action.
The West Wing
The thinking person’s TV show. There’s a very regal feel to the West Wing intro that, if you’re American, probably makes you feel all patriotic and that. Us? We just like humming along and making up words to go with it before pretending to know anything about the US political system.
There’s something comforting about the Simpsons theme tune and opening. Danny Elfman’s music (now the staple of school orchestras everywhere) is iconic but it’s the dynamic, ever-changing title sequence that really makes us watch, from Bart’s blackboard scribbling punishments to the plethora of ‘sofa sequences’ that have become more and more elaborate.
David Lynch’s Twin Peaks remains one of the underrated gems of TV. The show’s opening is suitably low key and subtle, introducing you to the sleepy town of Twin Peaks but suggesting something darker and mysterious. It’s not the most exciting of title sequencing but it’s somehow mesmerising and more than a little unnerving, and the fact it seems to go on forever just adds to the uneasiness.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Do we really need to explain this one? The Fresh Prince title song is a bona fide classic and everyone always watches it and sings along to every word. But did you know there’s a long version? Take a look…
The Big Bang Theory
There is only really one reason why we watch The Big Bang Theory’s title sequence – to try and sing along without messing the words up. You spend the first couple of seasons trying to learn the Barenaked Ladies’ super quick intro, and the rest of the time you spend showing off that you’ve learnt it.
It looks terrible now, doesn’t it? But at the time, the X-Files title sequence and that music became a huge reason for its success. Even though the special effects are rubbish, there’s still something endearing about it that makes us watch it every time, and we really hope they don’t change a thing about it when the show comes back.
Mad Men has one of the most iconic TV show intros we can remember. It’s one that’s full of suggestion and metaphor and, like many of the best intros, has very simple theme tune. Like the show, the title sequence actually kicks up a fair bit of debate on its own – who is the falling man? What does it mean? Why aren’t I as cool as Don Draper? Etc.
Game of Thrones
Like the show in general, the Game of Thrones title sequence became an instant hit thanks to its unique visuals and simple, catchy theme tune. Watching the various regions of Westeros come to life as we hum along to the tune really gets you in the mood for some blood and boobs.