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Opening Sequences – My favourites/best known

August 25, 2011

Last week, along with tastes and fans, we talked about how a show’s opening titles might set up audience expectations as to what type of show they’re watching. A well constructed opening sequence can also help draw audience in to the show, and are designed to appeal to a certain demographic.

These are the ones that I most remember. They are from the shows I watch(ed) a lot, or are just memorable to me.

Okay, I am both surprised and annoyed that I cannot find the opening credits for the TV series of MASH online (at least, not ones that weren’t recorded with a video camera pointed at the TV screen), but the opening credits to the movie are very similar, sans lyrics (same music). I always thought the opening credits to MASH were odd, considering the nature of the song (which you can clearly hear in the movie version) and the fact that the show was, for the most part, a comedy. The title sequence set up the introduction of the main doctors, Hawkeye and Trapper (and later Hawkeye and B.J) while crediting the lead actors, who would soon become iconic. The show itself features a chuckle track for most of the series, especially earlier on, but the titles themselves show MD’s urgently tending to wounded soldiers, and is quite grim. The show itself though, while remaining comedic as I have said, also dealt with some of the harsher realities of war – the pain and suffering behind the battles, especially as the series progressed. As far as I know, the series finale of MASH had the highest viewer count in history.

Doctor Who! Probably the most recognisable theme music ever! Well…maybe to a Doctor Who fan. I like seeing the evolution of the opening sequences – its always been quite sci-fi/ahead of its time I think.  The central theme has remained the same, but the mixing and layering has changed over the years. Even in the beginning it sounded weird and alien – electronic, which was not something a lot of shows were doing I think! Today, it is much more orchestral and epic, as the series itself is a lot more action based! (Just to be clear, Peter Davison is my favourite of the originals, and David Tennant is my favourite all time doctor!)

Deep Space Nine – rather majestic isn’t it? I used to think this was quite boring – pretty to look at, but boring and it took me a while to finally sit down and watch this show. I was pleasantly surprised, as this show had a lot more character conflict/drama than the previous series (the Next Generation) had done and loved to use long story arcs, often spanning many seasons. The previous series usually liked to keep stories/plot arcs nice and wrapped up by the end of an episode. Still, I’m not sure these titles really reflect the show. However, episodes of Star Trek usually begin on a cold opener, before rolling the titles, then back to the show.

The Hollowmen – pretty straightforward. It sets the scene (Canberra – can’t you tell by the bikes and the sign that says ‘Canberra’?), and introduces the five main characters nice and quick. I love the music (North by North – the Bats. A New Zealand band, wouldn’t ya know it?) and nice editing to the music. It’s snappy.

House – I used to be obsessed with House. I sort of stopped watching after season four. That’s when a lot of the main cast left or their roles got downgraded. Maybe I didn’t take to the new doctors, but I just lost interest. However, first four seasons = amazing! This version of the opening credits features Massive Attack’s song Teardrop, other seasons feature original music (which I have on my iPod – yes, I’m that much of a fan). These are also the credits featuring the original cast. Not as fluffy or melodramatic as other medical dramas I feel, and the music/opening credits reflect that.

Umm….okay, I think that’ll be enough for this post. I technically could go on forever! But do you think you could judge my taste simply from watching these opening credits? Interesting question. I guess you can pick up some similarities in those ones up there, that classify me. What if I throw in something completely random though?

That is probably one of the most epic and hilarious thing I have ever watched in all my life – I love it! This show used to be my morning ritual – wake up, watch Dragon Ball Z, go to school (and I’d tape it if I didn’t have time!) Mind you, I was maybe ten or eleven at the time, but I started watching a few episodes the other day and still found it weirdly awesome. It’s completely out there, often makes no sense, filled with long monologues, tough guy talk and then endless fight scenes, but I like it.

How would you classify my taste now?

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