Saturday, July 6, 2013

Top 5 TV Show Intros

I watch a lot of TV. Probably too much, to be honest.

Here are my favorite show intros...

5. Community 

Link to intro:

I love this show. The humor is top notch and some of its storylines are surprisingly dark and complex despite the lighthearted manner in which the show presents itself. I think the intro captures all of that, especially through its more melancholy undertones (revealed when you listen to the lyrics.)

 4. Downton Abbey 

Link to intro:

This show is very peculiar in that it manages to be extremely entertaining despite being nearly entirely devoid of sex or violence. This is due to the fantastic characters and the stories that cause them to clash in a number of entertaining ways.

The intro itself serves as a time machine of sorts, taking you back to an age and a way of life that no longer exists in today's world. The music is slightly depressing and uplifting at the same time, which is proper considering the way the show tells its stories. All in all it's a great way to start off a good hour of television.

 3. Mad Men

Link to intro:

The music, imagery, and message of this intro all come together to get you in the mindset necessary to comprehend a confusing and complex character like Don Draper. It's a dark introduction that seems to both laud and criticize the advertisement industry that it depicts in the show. 

It ends with Don's silhouette jumping off a building in what could be interpreted as an attempt at suicide, or more symbolically as Don's life cascading downwards into an ever darkening abyss.

This intro and its accompanying dark, rhythmic music suits Mad Men perfectly.

 2. Game of Thrones 

Link to intro:

The intro to this show is almost a journey in itself. It literally takes you on a ride through the world of Game of Thrones, past each setting and city that will be focused on in the following episode.

The music is what really does it for this introduction though. It's very catchy, and captures the sense of discovery, wonder, heartbreak, violence, and conflict that the show is known for. Many people won't even consider watching a Game of Thrones episode without first viewing the intro; and I don't blame them because it's just that good.

 1. Dexter

Link to intro:

What could be better than the Game of Thrones intro? Well, and this is entirely subjective at this point, I would contend that Dexter's intro is just as amazing if not better.

While an inferior show in terms of characters and storylines compared to many of the other series on this list, Dexter's intro continues to be the standard by which all other show intros are to be judged.

The visceral nature of the portrayal of Dexter's morning routine in the intro is entrancing. What really puts it over the top however, much like Game of Thrones, is the music. It's a mix of cheerful notes accompanied by a deep bass undertone that perfectly illustrates the complex dual life of Dexter Morgan.

Overall, the morning routine and the accompanying music work together to turn what is portrayed on screen from being something normal into something that is entirely "Dexter." It's why, even when the show hit its low point in seasons 5 and 6, I continued to look forward to it every Sunday night.

Indeed, for that one minute and forty seconds you aren't just looking into the life of Dexter, you are Dexter.

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About The Author

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Nicholas Garcia (M.A.) is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Davis. He is also a Co-Founder of the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies. Previously, he contributed to and the Davis Humanities Institute.