You know the glowing box of magical images that regularly captures our minds with an unexplainable charisma…well, that brainwashing wouldn’t be possible without the theme songs that introduce and setup the programs that we hold so near and dear…BECAUSE WE NEED TO!!!! Enjoy our exploration of our favorite TV Theme Songs, and don’t forget to add yours in the comments section…
TNT’s Top 5
5. The Nanny – Haha, I can’t help but laugh every time I hear it.
4. Friends – You either loved or hated it, but I loved it.
3. WEEDS (the original song by Melvina Reynolds) – I miss this song! Everyone who watches the show hated this theme song while all along, I’ve been in love.
2. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – C’mon, how could this not make my list?
1. JEM – She’s excitement, adventure, glamor and glitter, fashion and fame. What’s not to love?!
Honorable Mention: Sponge Bob Square Pants and Pepper Ann (much too cool for 7th grade)
Angela’s Top 5
5. Mr. Ed – Yup, I watched it when I was little at my Nanny’s house a lot, in her basement when I was somewhere from 5 years old to like 10-ish or so. I don’t know, I just enjoyed it and have the theme song memorized.
4. The Munsters – Classic. You know exactly what to expect when you hear it. I feel like if I ever came across someone who didn’t recognize this theme song, my jaw would drop and I might twitch a little.
3. The Andy Griffith Show – Yea, I know it’s really old school but I watched it as a kid on Nickelodeon and I still catch myself whistling the theme song from time to time.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – You know you know it. You know you’re singing it. Enough said.
1. Power Rangers – In 4th grade, I was obsessed with the Power Rangers and tried to make my babysitter floor it home so I wouldn’t miss so much as the intro. Mind you, I’m talking the ORIGINAL rangers- Billy, Zach, Jason, Trini, Kimberly…and eventually Tommy (oh Tommy!) the most amazing Green Ranger, who I hated when he went White. Just sayin’.
Klone’s Top 5
5. The Sopranos – “Woke Up This Morning (Got Yourself a Gun)” by A3 – Whether you like the band on their own, whether you didn’t know it was a band that did music other than this show’s theme song, this track was synonymous with driving the NJ Turnpike, and thinking about where to dump the body in your trunk. Forever, this song will be Tony’s arrival home in the AM from nights of crime and debauchery in the big, scary NYC.
4. Twin Peaks – “Twin Peaks Theme” by Angelo Bandelamenti – The great thing about this theme is that it perfectly sets up the dichotomy of the show…rural, small-town life vs. the ugliness of politics, corruption, greed and murder. This witty, film noir-ish murder mystery with bizzare, avant-guard twists was best served by taking our traditional views of life and the world we live in and dosing them with super-charged insanity. Do you know who killed Laura Palmer?
3. Carnivale – Main Title by Jeff Beal – I don’t know how to describe why I like this one so much, other than that just thinking of the tune/melody lets me completely re-visualize the opening of that show…which was a piece of TV history that will forever be lost in obscurity due to HBO’s incredibly short-sighted notions and early cancellation…The Time Has Come, Brothers and Sisters…
2. Deadwood – Main Theme by David Schwartz – Also responsible for the quirky and fun theme for Northern Exposure, Schwartz’s enticing title sequence theme was full of light and hope and the majesty of the untamed west…the perfect vehicle to draw you in and get you ready for the seedy, dark underbelly of American Capitalism in its infancy.
1. LOST – Opening Title by J. J. Abrams – Nothing if not memorable in its minimalist presentation…more of a sound-effect than a theme song, these thirteen seconds have earned their place in the Pantheon of TV Themes. Though the rest of the show’s score really was more the theme music, the opening was something completely new…an anti-theme as it were. This would of course be nothing if not more often than not followed by a variation of “Credit Where Credit Is Due” by Michael Giacchino.
Honorable Mention: Battlestar Galactica – Main Theme by Bear McCreary – rarely do TV show theme songs evolve with the progression of the seasons of the show…but this one did…and it was awesome. FRINGE – Main Theme by J. J. Abrams – I know, two J. J. Abrams selections on the same list, and one a far greater attempt at music than the other…but still…all bows down to LOST…no matter what it is.
Daniel Edward’s Top 5
5. Sealab 2021 Theme by Calamine
4. Rocko’s Modern Life Theme by The B-52s
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2. Captain Planet
1. JEM theme by Jem and the Holograms
Mark’s Top 5
5. Theme from ‘The Flash‘ by Danny Elfman– Is there an amazing superhero theme that the great Danny Elfman has not laid his twisted touch to? This 1990 TV show only lasted for one glorious season, and yet the theme is still a strong and memorable one, somehow helping to emphasize the comic book nature of the show without ever making it hokey. Badass!
4. Theme from ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’– A slightly silly, yet oddly creepy composition that is actually effective in giving you the chills, while preparing you for the latest story to unfold. The vocal humming that occurs during the title card still gives me the creeps.
3. “Temptation Sensation” by Heinz Kiessling – The now instantly recognizable theme for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. A cheery and light-hearted composition that was originally used for stock music and temporary scoring purposes, became a sickly sweet and dandy theme song that leads into a show about self-absorbed and amoral assholes…perfect!
2. Theme from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Heroes in a half shell…TURTLE POWER! You know it, you love it, now get some pizza.
1. Theme from Voltron: Defender of the Universe – One of the greatest Anime cartoons of all time, featuring a sweeping and epic theme laced with futuristic synth accompaniment, to further emphasize that Voltron is not of Earth’s realm. Its pure awesomeness rings in my ears to this day. Who doesn’t wish they could run to a cylinder turbine, and have an electronic swing lower you into a tunnel that will take you to your robot lion so that you can battle Evil King Zarkon and his Robeasts with your best buds?
Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. Gilligan’s Island – It’s dated and a little corny, but it’s still a winner. I liked how originally the song didn’t name all the castaways (and the rest), but then changed to name all those stuck on that isle.
4. Fraggle Rock – Colorful singing puppets urge you to dance your cares away and save those worries for another day. What could be better?
3. Freaks and Geeks – The theme to this show is “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Normally I don’t take too kindly to actual songs co-opted for television, but it’s a great song for the show, so I don’t mind.
2. Life on Mars – The theme to this British television show composed by Edmund Butt gets stuck in my head on the regular.
1. The Dead Zone – I found I really liked the theme song for this show so I did a little research. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s a Jeff Buckley tune called “New Year’s Prayer.” Another co-opted song, but I may never have known of it otherwise and I’m happy the show helped me to discover it.
5. Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law – version of Reg Tilsely’s “Slow Moody Blues”
4. Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Schooly D’s original theme
3. Eastbound & Down – Freddie King, “Going Down”
2. Homicide: Life on the Street – Lynn F. Kowal’s original theme
1. LOST – J.J. Abrams
1. WEEDS theme song – I love this tune!
2. My So-Called Life theme song – soooo good! And such a great show, too.
3. The Twilight Zone theme song – how can you not love this?
4. Reading Rainbow theme song – take a look, it’s in a book-READING RAINBOWWWWWWW!
5. Smurfs theme song – so catchy!
honorable mention: Arrested Development theme song
gotta love tv theme songs. takes ya back to another time…………
Batman, The Brady Bunch, Hawaii 5-0, not necessarily favorites, but fun. Definitely Gilligan’s Island.
“3. Carnivale – Main Title by Jeff Beal”
Though an excellent piece of work, Jeff Beal didn’t write it – that was from Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (“Crossing Jordan,” “Heroes,” “Nurse Jackie”). The ever-budy Mr. Beal did, however, write the Thomas Newman-ish end title theme for the show in addition to scoring the episodes.
Aaargh! I meant to say “busy.”
3. It’s Alway Sunny in Philadelphia
1. The Wire – A great rendition of “Way Down in the Hole” each season, but The Neville Brothers from the 3rd season is my favorite.