Top 10 Best TV Show Intros IV

The ‘Top 10’ in the intro is a lie, because we’ve done this before here and here and here. That means there’s already 30 awesome shows we’re not considering for this list. But these mini-art form deserves all the attention it gets, as there are some brilliant people hard at work putting these together.

#10 – Rick and Morty

On the surface it looks pretty simple: a quick montage of moments from the show with some Twilight Zone in the mix. It makes the list for being the origin of a great fan theory. Everything from the intro appears in an episode of the show in some form…everything except the first sequence of Rick escaping into a portal while Morty is left to be devoured. It could be inconsequential, but those who know the show may realise that this might not be the same Morty we see in the show. Maybe even the first Morty…

#9 – Orphan Black

Almost as mesmerising as watching Tatiana Maslany play almost every character in the show, this kaleidoscope of microscopic images is brilliant in it’s simplicity. Perfect blend of visuals and audio for this smart sci-fi show.

#8 – Police Squad! (In Color)

It almost feels as though the art of film parody died with Leslie Nielsen. For a brief moment you might be fooled into thinking you were watching a series cop show, but the dry, over-the-top humour kicks in before long. The show was short lived, but the intro lived on in The Naked Gun movies.

#7 – Black Sails

If I had to pick one movie that best summed up the current trend in TV intros, it would be Black Sails. Striking, symbolic visuals and an epic dramatic score. Nonetheless, it works like a charm. The minimalistic use of colour is in contrast with the intricate detail on the sculptures, which in turn perfectly encapsulate the themes and events of the series.

#6 – Bojack Horseman

Here’s one that doesn’t seem to make many top 10 lists, yet it’s worth noting for the simple way it conveys a theme that many shows have made a hash off. Bojack expressionlessly going through his day from the perspective of a single, unmoving camera is a perfect visual realisation of clinical depression. Although the camera puts us right in Bojack’s face we see the sense of detachment he feels. Plus, bonus points for the end credits song.

#5 – Silicon Valley

From simple and subtle symbolism to the…opposite of that. This nerd comedy kicks off every episode with a very quick, very cluttered and highly detailed history of the tech industry. It’s fun picking out all the little details, like Netscape crumbling to bits. Even more fun is the way it gets updated every season to reflect changing world trends.

#4 – Orange is the New Black

This one didn’t strike me as particularly impressive when the show debuted, but it certainly grew on me. Whoever directed this sequence deserves a tonne of credit for how well they selected and captured the women featured, who are real prisoners. The spectrum of faces and features speaks volumes about the number of people affected by the prison system. Regina Spektor providing the theme is an added bonus. Fun fact – the one who blinks is the real Piper Kerman, whose memoir formed the basis for the show.

#3 – The A-Team

Exposition intros – those that explain the concept of the show – can be a tricky devil. Yes, they provide context for new viewers but it also gets real repetitive real fast. Then there’s The A-Team, an intro whose exposition has become as iconic as the kick-ass theme song. Plus it’s full of whacky exploits that get you watching the show just to see what the story behind them is.

#2 – Gravity Falls

How is this Disney animated show for kids so damn good? There’s quite a bit of animation in this list, but we are in a seriously good decade for animation, children’s or otherwise. This mystery focused show is perfectly summed up in this sequence, drawing on dozens of classic shows and mythologies. Then it goes deeper with stacks of hidden meaning (in addition to a split second glimpse of a bigfoot), including an audio clip that must be played in reverse to decode the cypher in the end credits. Simply perfect.

#1 – Westworld

This is a work of art, and I put this new list together just so I could honour it with the top spot. With visuals from Patrick Clair, who created the True Detective intro, and music from Ramin Djawadi, who scored the Game of Thrones intro, this is undoubtably one of the best introduction sequences ever created for the screen big or small. The beauty of a running horse, hands playing the piano and couple caught in a moment of intimacy is cast in a cold light but the clinical, soulless machines creating them. Everything is wonderfully filmed and is overflowing with symbolism that may be explored further in the show. This sequence is just the right introduction to show that has, thus far, been phenomenal in every regard.