The Art of the Opening Sequence

25 08 2013

Have you noticed that opening sequences of television shows have become shorter these days? Back in the 80’s and 90’s, opening sequences were much longer and involved, and usually featured the names and faces of the actors in the show. The first one that comes to mind is Dallas. Here’s a montage of the various opening sequences since 1978/9.

Then of course, there’s the iconic Cheers opening sequence, which always left me with a sense of sadness (maybe this was because Cheers was broadcast on Sunday nights back in the 80’s in South Africa, and the fact that it was school the next day, left me with “Blue Monday Syndrome”).

On the other hand, Magnum PI was broadcast on Saturday nights, and it was one of my favourite shows, thanks to the handsome Tom Selleck, who is just as hot these days as he was back in the early 80’s (just watch Blue Bloods). Can you believe that he is 68 years old?

An example of a short yet fun, opening sequence is The Mindy Project.
The theme song reminds me of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.”

And then there’s the actress who gave rise to a whole new word “Adorkable” – the stunning and talented Zooey Deschanel from New Girl. I reckon that her show’s opening sequence is one of the most fun I’ve seen in a long time.

But the show that takes the cake has to be Weeds… and this is why.

Season one’s opening sequence is memorable due to the song “Little Boxes” written and sung by the quirky, granny-like sounds of Malvina Reynolds.

Season 8 uses the opening sequence to summarize the show’s main events from the first to the current season. The technique used is called RSA-style, video scribing, fast draw or sketchboard animation … sheer creative genius.

If someone made a movie of your life, what memories would make up the opening sequence and theme song?




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