A little while ago, when this blog was just starting out, I listed out some of my favourite TV opening title sequences. A few years later and the opening title sequence is still an endangered species. While some TV shows are still creating fantastic openers, others are opting out, like The Knick and Fargo. I guess, maybe it’s something to do with time. Or something more complicated I don’t know about.
Who knows, I still enjoy a good opener and since I last listed my favourites, I have a few new ones. So thought it was about time for my to update the list.
Never has a TV opening title sequences used the double exposure style of photography as well as True Detective has. Coupled with the song, Far from Any Road by The Handsome family, it sets the tone perfectly for the first season of True Detective
These opening titles certainly lend a new meaning to the words “Nuclear Family”. Physics and mathematics combined with the every day life of living in the Manhattan Project bring these titles to life. Oh and that great piece of music by Jonsi & Alex, who score the show.
The American way of life vs. the Russian is the theme of these opening titles. It is one of those “blink and you’ll miss something” sequences, with American life scenarios and their Russian equivalent. Nicely put together. Great music too.
Game of Thrones
I don’t think can create this list of my favourite TV title sequences without including Game of Thrones. It feels very much like the opening of Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. It is beautiful to see Westeros “created”. And it’s always exciting to see another part of the world added on to the map and see how it’s visualised on there.
House of Cards
Like True Detective’s opening titles, House of Cards incorporates a pretty popular type of photography in it – time lapse. This, along with the excellent theme music composed by Jeff Beal is what makes this sequence stand out for me. It feels like the perfect mood setting sequence to get you ready for the episode of House of Cards you’re about to watch.
Masters of Sex
Cheeky as fuck is how I’d describe Masters of Sex opening title sequence. Every single innuendo shoved in the short sequence. Probably represented the show best in the first season, but still, nicely done.
Now, I’m not actually a fan or a regular watcher of Elementary, but A is and I watch the odd episode here and there with him. The Rube Goldberg contraption and the brilliant music by Sean Callery really brings about a sense of urgency that fits a show of this nature.
The opening titles for The Bridge/Broen has the same mood setting feeling that the House of Cards opening titles. Perfectly sets the tone for the show.
I featured Justified the last time I picked out my favourite TV opening title sequences and it’s still one of my favourites. It feels like a stroll through Harlan County. It could just be that we’re in the midst of the final season of Justified and I’m just clinging on it this FANTASTIC show as hard as I can.
American Horror Story
No longer an American Horror Story watcher (I had so much hope for season 4 to turn around the utter direness of season 3, but it just wasn’t happening.) but the show’s opening title sequences every single season never fail to send shivers down my spine and just freak me the fuck out. (I think the creepy photos of the first season’s opening titles makes it the creepiest one for me.)
Another one from before – I just really, really like this opening title sequence. I feel like there’s a pattern emerging in the type of title sequences I like, what with Rubicon, Manhattan and The Americans all sharing that feeling of dichotomy. The music in the opening titles – I forgot just how brilliant it was. Yes, still mourning the loss of this show.
I feel like Dexter’s opening titles are a template for so many of the title sequences I’ve picked out here – Manhattan, Rubicon, The Americans – all of these title sequences have that same thing in common. Where one thing seems like something, but is actually something else. Now I’m not saying that the guys who did the opening titles for Dexter created this theme, but it’s definitely something that I’ve seen more often since.
Other notable favourite opening titles
- Mad Men
- The Sopranos
- The Wire
- The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
- The X-Files
- The Walking Dead
- True Blood
- Six Feet Under
- Dead Like Me
I’ll probably be having to update this in another year or so. Let’s see!
Have you got any favourite TV opening title sequences?