Yet Another Top 10 TV Intros
It’s been a couple of years since we put together a list of the best TV show intros that we never skip. After rereading our first two lists it was clear that there’s been some amazing contenders turning up in recent years, not to mention some classics yet to be recognised. Let’s get comfy.
This animated series is crude, goofy and insane, but its intro is classic and slick. Without the context of the show that follows the intro to Archer looks like the beginning of a sexy and violent adventure in espionage. Centred on the motif of the viewer following a white dot as it travels from character to character while a cool soundtrack evokes the classic Bond films. It’s the perfect length and fun as hell.
#9. Freaks and Geeks
There’s two things I love about this intro, one being playing it for my students and telling them that it got cancelled after half a season. WITH THAT CAST. Whichever studio executive made that call must’ve wound up being spat on during the Christmas Party. The second thing I love is how well the actors bring their characters to life with a second or two of dialogue free camera time. Really look at how much you learn about each of them from that brief glimpse, they’re killing it.
#8. The Addams Family
I’m willing to bet that you knew this song before you saw the TV show, if you’ve even seen it at all. It’s be hummed, sung, replayed and parodied endless time. It’s catchy, funny and the actors unwavering commitment to their characters is always fun. Did you know they weren’t going to use the theme music in the 90s movies? It would’ve felt weird without it.
#7. Avatar: The Last Airbender
The only thing that disappointed me about the spin-off series Avatar: The Legend of Korra was the blink-and-you-miss-it intro compared to the original series. Avatar is set in a richly designed fantasy would with a complex lore, and everything you need to know gets covered in a 43 second intro from the form magic takes, the spirituality and the recent history. More than that it shows us the burden carried by Aang, his strength and his goofy nature.
With The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy tearing up the big screen, Marvel’s branching out on to the small screen was a tantalising concept. The Netflix series was destined to become a much darker venture. This is perfectly expressed by the intro sequence depicting the Lady of Justice, a church, Hell’s Kitchen and the titular characters mask dripping in a dark red, blood like substance. Simple and perfectly executed.
#5. Wayward Pines
We got a solid first season, but whether or not it stays the distance is yet to be seen. Nonetheless the intro is damn good. Haunting, creative and extremely well shot it sets the mood perfectly. The concept of the toy village hints at the truth behind the series without giving anything away. It’s downright unsettling.
#4. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
“Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down…” By now everyone on the planet knows the lyrics to this song. This intro is so seeped in 90s culture it may have wound up a cringe inducing throwback, but instead it’s only grown in popularity. It’s bright, colourful and still funny.
#3. American Horror Story
Every year we get another foray into the nightmare world of American Horror Story, and with it comes another iteration of the opening sequence. The disturbing, scratching soundtrack is paired up against some seriously twisted visuals. The pick of the bunch is Freak Show, utilising jerky stop motion effects to bring to life evil clowns, monstrous deformities and other horrors. Definitely the high point of new series.
#2. The Simpsons (Banksy Version)
This is a classic intro, going mostly unchanged for up to 10 years at a time. It’s a cross section of the fictional town ship and it’s myriad of oddball characters, zipping by detailed scenes during the families chaotic journey home. Above is the special guest artist Banksy’s effort, a deeply subversive jab at the unethical practises behind many big name animation shows and their respective merchandising legs.
#1. True Detective
This amazing piece of work was put together through a collaboration of three different design studios in Santa Monica and Australia. Beautiful images of Louisiana and the series were laid over each other and meticulously went through a process of removing any evidence of digital manipulation through distortion. With a backing track by The Handsome Family it evokes the sense of dread that permeates the series. It’s a stunning piece of film.
What did we miss? Although we’ve covered 30 TV shows there’s still plenty of great works out there – make your suggestions below!