Thursday, September 30, 2010

We're Missing a Theme Here

How much did you love Glee's Britney/Brittany episode? I think it definitely lived up to all the hype!

Ya know what I've been thinking about for a while now? I've wondered why Glee doesn't have a theme song and opening title sequence. They're a group of song-and-dance people, a theme song musical production number seems right down their alley. Remember how they used to film a new one each year for The Cosby Show? I think I know why they don't have one--most of today's network programs have an abbreviated opening title sequence or none at all. Or they had one for the first few seasons and later abandoned it (Grey's Anatomy). My best guess is that, with the high cost of advertising for programming, show producers want to make the most out of their air time and save precious seconds for program content instead of the opening title sequence. Am I on to something? Anybody? Anybody?

It makes sense to me, but I think today's shows are missing that little something extra by not having a theme song...guaranteed immortality. Many shows would fade into obscurity altogether if not for a memorable theme song (The Greatest American Hero). Other shows who only enjoyed a short television run are ingrained in pop culture thanks to a theme song everybody knows (Gilligan's Island). There are many sitcoms I grew up loving, and while I may not be able to recall the plot points of many episodes (Tootie feels left out, DJ crash diets to prepare for Kathy Santone's pool party, Cherie Johnson plays hide-and-seek in a refrigerator and Punky teaches all of us how to do CPR) I can still sing the theme songs. It helps us to share in our nostalgia. Years after these classic shows are cancelled, the theme song is sort of all we have left in our memories. That, along with the brilliant way that theme song played over a montage of each character, culminating in some sort of group activity (food fight! riding a rollercoaster! horesplaying in a fountain!) I can sing the entire Growing Pains theme song, but I only remember the plot of one episode. Mike and Boener move into an apartment above the garage. I have never watched an episode of M*A*S*H, but I can hum the entire theme. Here are just some of the "greats"

The Classic Montage:
The Facts of Life

Charles in Charge

Family Ties

Punky Brewster

Happy Days
Laverne & Shirley
The Golden Girls

Let's Meet the Cast:
The Wonder Years

Growing Pains

Save By the Bell
Full House
Family Matters

A Catchy Little Tune:
The Andy Griffith Show
The Addams Family
Sanford & Son
Magnum P.I.
St. Elsewhere

Law & Order
Sex and the City
The Office

What's this show about, anyway?:
The Brady Bunch
Gilligan's Island
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

An Entertaining Song and Dance:
The Cosby Show


The Theme Song is a Classic All its Own
Ally McBeal

The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Jeffersons

Picture Collage!
My Two Dads

Mr. Belvedere
Mad About You

1 comment:

  1. Love this post I did something about theme songs years ago...Love them! Anyways I think the only one I didn't see was Beverly Hills 90210 (pretty catchy).