I know every single lyric to the theme song of Dexter’s Laboratory to this day. It was great. There was doom and gloom while things went boom. It was also short. Theme songs and opening credits are the least interesting part of a show. They usually come after a teaser too, which means a long open can really test your attention to the point where you may enter Act 1 with less than full attention.
Here’s the deal. We watch things on our computers. We can exit fullscreen and open a new tab at any time. Giving me a minute and a half of boring theme music that I’ve seen already 10 times before will spark my ADD.
Who am I really talking about? The Leftovers, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, True Blood (although I guess not anymore), Masters of Sex, Bojack Horseman, and any other show that has theme music longer than 30 seconds. Bojack might be 30 seconds, but it is a boring 30. I’ll also admit the Game of Thrones score is epic and True Blood’s “Bad Things” is still worth a bunch of listens. However, I started skipping them both after about 4 times. The Leftovers is especially stupid because it’s like a run across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with boring, instrumental music. I watched it once and thought it was a waste of time.
I’m sure that the data on skipping the opening credits is collected, at the very least by Netflix. They have to know that Regina Spektor’s theme song is tiresome on OITNB. I would just like to reinforce the notion that people skip it if it is too long.
I’m done complaining. At least for now. Now, it’s time to give some awards for short, but sweet openings. The Walking Dead, The Strain, Satisfaction (what a sweet cover of the Stones), Suits, Royal Pains, Garfunkel & Oates (they better), New Girl, The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Rec, South Park, The Simpsons, Shameless, Archer, Louie, and Community. There’s more that I left out, but those ones are all succinct and memorable. You’ll notice it starts of with shows that have aired in the summer and then I just started brainstorming. As an added note, True Detective’s was great. That song is so good.
Back to complaining. Here are a few that could use work. They’re not auto-skips, but they’re close. Undateable (WTF is going on there), About a Boy, It’s Always Sunny, Catfish, SNL (too many peeps), and I’m getting sick of Family Guy. Other than Undateable, everything else is just my personal taste. You can probably ignore it. Undateable’s is shit though. Chris D’Elia doing DVD commentary does not make for an interesting opening.
So get it together TV. Keep it short and try to make it unique to the show if you can. We need more Charles in Charges or even just taking ownership of a song like Veronica Mars and “We Used To Be Friends” or The OC and “California”. Don’t be The Leftovers. It is currently in the top spot of the “Horrible Opening Power Rankings”.