What makes a good opening for a TV show? Is it the song, the content, the brevity? I think it depends on the show, but a good song is also key. When you hear that song, the show should instantly come to mind. The ‘Friends” theme song, ‘I’ll Be There For You’, certainly did that. ‘Beverly Hills 90210”s theme song was very 90s and not a song you would have on your mix tape, but when you heard it, you thought of ‘90210’.
There are so many shows and so many openings. In recent years shows have opted not to have an opening song with credits, just a quick little title and back to the show. ‘Revenge’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Covert Affairs’ are among the shows that decided to do this method. Though both ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Covert Affairs started with opening songs and credits.
I think if the opening holds true to the show then it’s a good opener. Here are what I think are the top ten openings:
10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Buffy is a cult classic and even today if you heard the theme song, you would think of Buffy. The song embodies everything the show was and the opening is packed with so many action clips from the episodes. The opening was definitely a perfect fit for the series.
Here are all the openings for the seven seasons:
9. Rizzoli and Isles (2010- )
I love the music in the ‘Rizzoli and Isles’ opening. I think if fits Boston very nicely and that’s probably because it’s called ‘I’m Shipping up Boston’. The content suits the show well too, with clips of Boston and inside the police station. I think it really sets the tone for the whole show.
Here is the opening for the show:
8. Charmed (1998-2006)
The Smith’s ‘How Soon is Now?’ was the perfect song for the opening. The song talks about wanting to be loved and that’s all these sisters wanted through out the show, well that and to stop fighting demons. Just like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, ‘Charmed’ really took their brand and put it into the opening. I think that’s why Buffy’s and ‘Charmed”s openings were so good.
Here are openings for all eight seasons:
7. Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
‘Gossip Girl’ also stuck to its brand when it chose the opening. The drama is one of the shows that opted not to have a song with credits. It’s just a quick title and those words you know so well: “You know you love me. xoxo, Gossip Girl’.
6. Supernatural (2005- )
‘Supernatural’ is another show that decided just to do a title, but what is so great about ‘Supernatural”s opening is that it changes from season to season. Each opening takes on the theme of the season. I wonder what season 10 will be like?
The openings for all nine seasons:
5. Veronica Mars (2004-2007)
The best thing about ‘Veronica Mars” opening is definitely the song, ‘We Use to Be Friends’, by The Dandy Warhols. The song speaks truth to the show. It could even be Veronica’s theme song. If you muted the song, the opening could be just like any of the other show’s, but the song makes it a classic.
Opening for season one:
Opening for season two:
Opening for season three:
4. One Tree Hill (2003-2012)
Just like ‘Veronica Mars’, ‘One Tree Hill picked the perfect song for the opening. Gavin Degraw’s ‘I Don’t Want To Be’ was much like ‘I’ll Be There For You’, it became a symbol for the show. It was only fitting that on the series finale Gavin performed the song live and the cast was singing along to it.
Here are the openings for seasons one through four and eight.
3. Homeland (2011- )
The ‘Homeland’ opening embodies everything that the show is. It uses clips of reality and fiction, along with quotes from the show to create something really unique. CIA shows are not a new thing, but ‘Homeland’ definitely has a more real feel to it, like this could be what the CIA is really like. Where as ‘Alias’ was over the top with it’s action and story lines. It was good entertainment, but not what CIA operatives really do. ‘Homeland’ on the other hand is more believable. Not saying it’s anywhere close to what working at the CIA is like, the script is just much more grounded than ‘Alias’ was.
2. The Newsroom (2012- )
‘The Newsroom’ is one of the best shows on television and it’s opening is on par to the quality of the show. It might be a tad on the long side, but it’s on tone with the show all the way through. You feel the history and importance of a journalist’s job through the opening and these characters are making (fictional) history in every episode, just by telling the news.
1. Game of Thrones (2011- )
‘Game of Thrones’ has one of the most unique openings out there. The show is so complex with all it’s different characters and locations. The opening can at least help with the locations. The opening shows all the locations for that season. You get a sense of where they are and learn the location names. Watching week in and week out will certainly help you learn the places, if you watch the opening each time.
Game of Thrones openings seasons 1-3:
Game of Thrones opening season 4:
What are your favorite openings? Are there any I missed on this list that you think should have been in the top ten? Let me know what openings are your favorites and maybe even what seasons too.