I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing that gets me revved up to watch a show like a terrific opening theme. Sadly, many shows today elect to do without, which I think is a shame. After all, I can’t imagine any of the following iconic t.v. shows without their equally iconic t.v. themes…
10. Hawaii Five-O
To be honest, I never watched the original series and have never watched the modern version either, but I’ve always loved the killer theme with its awesome drum and timpani ramp up giving way to the trumpets that carry the day.
9. Dr. Who
Another show I’ve watched fitfully over the years, this one with a theme deliciously weird and wondrous. Its original test tone-generated electronic sound so unique that it has survived through the themes many variations.
8. Mission Impossible
The intro credit sequence of the lit fuse burning before a backdrop of quick cut action sequences accompanied by the ultra-cool theme actually made me not want to watch the show because I knew that there was no way it could equal the excitement generated by that signature opening.
7. Curb Your Enthusiasm
Whereas the other themes were exhilarating and dramatic, this one is comic, almost Chaplainesque, and instantly puts me in the mood. When those french horns start us off, I’m already amused.
It’s a pretty simple tune with easy-to-remember lyrics (“Batman!” sung eleven times) but its got a great bass and brass rhythm that holds the promise of action, adventure, and colorful costumed villains.
The lyrics here were a little trickier but that didn’t stop me from singing this jazzy theme – check that – hasn’t stopped me from singing this jazzy theme aloud whenever it comes on t.v.
4. Boardwalk Empire
I like this series a lot and while there are other shows I may enjoy a little more, their respective themes don’t come close to measuring up. The pleasant guitar solo and images of a day at the beach slowly giving way to a darker, raunchier riff as the storm clouds move in and the tide sweeps in the bootlegged booze = perfection. I defy you to watch this show and NOT want to drink whisky.
Oil wells, sprawling freeways, Texas Stadium, and reflective skyscrapers of silver and gold – everything I needed to know about Dallas was summed up in this opening sequence marked by split screen shots, sweeping vistas, and a positively stirring theme.
2. Stargate SG-1
Nothing so instantly sparks my pride like the opening theme to Stargate: SG-1. As dynamic and inspired as the show it represents.
1. The Sopranos
I don’t think any opening theme in the history of television has done a better job of setting the mood and instantly building anticipation. A little bluesy, a little hip-hop, a little techno, and a whole lot of attitude.