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Hi, I'm Jenna and I'm addicted to great television. I'm on a mission to share with you what I think are the best of the best when it comes to shows and mini-series. Long format visual storytelling is my entertainment of choice. I've got a lot to say, so stay tuned..... P.S. I am under some sort of invisible legal obligation to state that I do not own any of the photos posted herein unless otherwise specified and if you see any of your images and would like me to credit you or take it down (‘cus you’re just a meanie), please contact me

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Title Sequences Are So Much More Than Names

If you've read some of my reviews, you might have noticed that I am harsh when it comes to sucky opening credits. If you're going to do it, which most shows do, do it right. Be creative. Be original. The cast montage credits went out with the '90's. Therefore, I have great appreciation for those with great title sequences paired with fantastic music. You might see some familiar faces if you read my favorite theme songs post a couple weeks back. Plus, while researching for this post I found an awesome new website called The Art of the Title Sequence (http://www.artofthetitle.com. Here we go!

"Dexter" - Showtime

As it should have, these opening credits won an Emmy for Best Main Title Design in 2007. Between Eric S. Anderson's creative direction and Rolfe Kent's main theme it was destined to be a home run. When the series first aired, you at least knew that this was a show about a serial killer. So as we watch all these mundane morning rituals, they make your mind go to a dark place. He's just making breakfast! See, any one of us could have a dark passenger. Just another way the brilliant minds at "Dexter" get us to sympathize with a murderer.

"Chuck" - NBC

These main titles are so fun. I've watched them over and over during marathons and it never gets old. Cake's Short Skirt Long Jacket was a superb choice and the animation is terrific. It's light hearted (for spies) and super fun. I love the little man with the briefcase.

"Luther" - BBC

This sequence struck me the very first time I saw it. Often times, I am multitasking in front of the television, but this one stopped me in my tracks. The gorgeous and haunting music of Massive Attack's Paradise Cirus coupled with deep red graphics, bleeding into one another. You can tell right off that London will play a major role in the series and that it's titular character is very intense.

"Weeds" (Original Opening Titles) - Showtime

Way before Nancy and the clan went on the run, they lived in Agrestic, California. It was the epitome of suburbia. They great title sequence is set to the perfect song that criticizes the conformity of suburban America, "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds. Main title designers Thomas Cobb and Robert Bradley were nominated for an Emmy for their work. Take a look and see how everything in Agrestic all looks just the same.

"The Borgias" - Showtime

These titles are not only beautiful, they are very indicative of the show to follow. Live action shots are mixed in, but it's mostly Renaissance paintings depicting the cruelty of the time. One image bleeds into another. Depictions of murder, sex and conspiracy are all present and set to the suspenseful score of Trevor Morris (please correct me if I'm wrong, I couldn't confirm this). It's too early for awards season, but good luck to the creative team which includes Christina Black and Garry Waller.

Check this out!

"The Inbetweeners" - BBC

It's a show about four friends who aren't quite as cool as they wish they were. Well, these titles are super cool in my book. They are short and sweet set to a very catchy song and the graphics are rad. Yes...I said rad.

There is something great about a long opening title sequence that tells a story in itself, but I tend to fast forward through it after a couple of watches. It's the short and sweet ones, like "The Inbetweeners" that I'm compulsive about sitting through each time.

Honorable Mentions:

"Archer" (which would have been included if I could have found the video)
"Mad Men"
"Six Feet Under"
"Bored to Death"
"Game of Thrones"
"How to Make it in America"
"Sons of Anarchy"

"True Blood" isn't on my list because it creeps me out so much that I can't sit throught it, but it totally sets the tone.

Can you tell which networks take the most pride in quality all around? Tell me what shows you'd like added to list.

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