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The Lost Art of the Theme Song October 6, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak, Televisual.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One of my favourite things about television shows has always been their theme songs. Some will argue that they just eat into time that could have been spent on more meaningful things like character development and plot, but I disagree. I’d gladly sacrifice 30 seconds of a scene to get my theme songs back.

Now, not everyone is doing away with these treasured hallmarks of television, most American cable networks are putting actual effort into their opening credits. Each is at least 30 seconds long (the accepted minimum), but they often pushing far above that.

The opening credits used to set the tone for the show while also giving us a quick run through of who’s who in the show. I needed this. I still need this.

Granted, some programmes don’t really need a theme song, such as Lost, which I think works fine without it. This does however exclude them from any future “Guess the Theme Tune” games. And that’s a shame.

What’s almost worse is those shows that once had opening credits, and then ditched them out of the blue. That’d be One Tree Hill (the credits of which were probably the best part of any episode), Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives. All of which had half-decent and memorable theme songs once upon a time.

What would The X Files, Cheers or Friends have been without their theme songs? Actually I’m not sure, but I don’t think I would have liked any of them.

So out of the opening credits still around, I have picked a select few.