Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Best TV Opening Sequences of The Past Ten Years

How do you sum up the appeal of a show in under one minute? An opening montage of the stars with their names underneath just doesn't cut it anymore.  Whether it be artistic imagery, quirky visuals or just a catchy song, TV needs to hook audiences in with an impressive opening sequence to compete against the other fifty thousand TV channels readily available at our fingertips. Over the past decade, the most exciting and cutting edge programmes that have survived beyond their pilot have become more and more creative with their opening titles in a bid to win fans over. Don't believe me? Check out these awesome credit sequences that perfectly capture the tone and energy of the shows that they're from.
Mad Men (2007-present)
For a show dedicated to the power of advertising, the 'Mad Men' team had to pull something special out of the bag for this one and I'll think you'll agree that this 50s styled sequence is pretty impressive.

Carnivale (2003-2005)

'Carnivale' had such a unique vibe that is difficult to explain but I think the opening sequence captures the mysticism and melancholic tone of the show perfectly.

The Big Bang Theory (2007-present)

In just 21 seconds, 'The Big Bang Theory' kicks off exactly as you'd expect; with a fantastic high energy series of images that are thrown at the screen in rapid succession, all backed by an electric song from The Barenaked Ladies. Brilliant.

The Walking Dead (2010-present)

So how do you hook viewers with an opening sequence for a weekly scarefest that's set in a desolate zombie apocalypse? The dramatic music and haunting visuals in this opening imply the horror without actually showing anything and it all works brilliantly. Apologies but I can only find a sped up version of the opening credits.  

True Blood (2008-present)
'Six Feet Under' just missed appearing on this list due to its initial air date but Alan Ball's follow-up show 'True Blood' continued its trend of artistic opening sequences filled with provocative symbolism. I'm also in love with Jace Everett's theme song 'Bad Things', which fits perfectly with the feel of 'True Blood' yet was recorded three years before the shows premiere. 

Arrested Development (2003-2013)

Ron Howard's voice over. The quirky background music. The ridiculous character poses. It should be generic but instead it borders on genius.

Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)

Yes it's ridiculously intense but compare the opening of 'Battlestar Galactica' to ANY other sci-fi show and the others just come off as laughably clunky. This is action cinema at its best... on the small screen! 

Flight of the Conchords (2007-2009)

Last on the list is the hit TV show from New Zealand's 4th most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo. The bizarre synchronised movements perfectly sum up Brett and Jermaine's bromance but what's really great about this opening sequence is how it gives you a taster for some of the awesome music performed by the duo in each episode.

I love a great TV opening sequence. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a clip for the titles from Misfits or Downton Abbey but I hope you've enjoyed the ones that I did find. Which one is your favourite? And can you think of any other awesome TV opening sequences from the past ten years? Let me know by commenting, liking and sharing below.

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