American Gods Daredevil Desperate Housewives Dexter Dollhouse Feud Game Of Thrones Ghost Whisperer Mad Men Other The Affair The Good Fight The Walking Dead True Blood Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Weeds Westworld

The Best Title Sequences on TV – Part 1

Whenever I start a brand new show, I find myself enormously excited to see what funky opening credits were cooked up. Let's check out some favorites.

Dexter

This title sequence is absolute perfection in every way. Who knew a serial killer’s morning routine could be so brutal? The extreme close-ups of the eggs, the mosquito, the flossing, the raw meat, the oranges – it all blends together to create a beautiful symphony of horror. Also, the music just pops! One complaint though: the final shot with Dexter walking almost ruins the whole thing. Why?

Ghost Whisperer

I’ve always found this intro just mesmerizing. It showcases loss and the afterlife through eye-catching visuals, eerie dreamlike transitions, and spooky music. Moreover, Jennifer Love Hewitt is perfectly integrated into the whole thing. It’s amusing to note that this was the original opening in the first season, but was re-made after Hewitt changed her hairstyle. Funny that the show went through all that trouble to match up with its star’s look.

True Blood

One of my all-time favorite openings. This title sequence actually used to creep me out as a kid. Something about the sinister voice (although you genuinely want to sing along) and the terrifying use of religion, sex and bugs really unsettled me. But hey, I could never skip it because it superbly sets the tone for the show. Now someone please help that poor woman at the end?

Daredevil

Backed by some truly haunting music, the Daredevil title sequence does a splendid job of showcasing the show’s themes (Matt’s faith, his blindness, his city) using dripping red wax (that’s suspiciously similar to the liquid that blinded him as a child). It’s a gorgeous creation that triumphantly culminates with the hero’s reveal (and those iconic horns). Fantastic!

Game Of Thrones

This one needs no introduction. The beauty of Game of Thrones‘ title sequence is that the three-dimensional map changes depending on the locations we visit in each episode. Sure it’s not a quick opener (and I’ve been guilty of skipping it every so often), but there’s no denying how majestic it is. Moreover, the theme song by Ramon Djawidi (who also composed the amazing Prison Break theme) is spectacular.

Desperate Housewives

Instead of focusing on the show’s cast, this opener showcases various desperate housewives throughout history (from Ancient Egypt to 1950s housewives) as they start to rise up against the patriarchy. It’s a really inspired approach, and the reveal of our ladies at the end with Eve’s apple falling into each of their hands is the cherry (or should I say apple?) on top. A definite classic!

Mad Men

Here’s a super simple credit sequence that does a terrific job of conveying what the show is about: a man spiraling into an endless abyss of self-destruction. It also cleverly showcases the show’s advertising backdrop while employing one hell of a memorable theme song. And who can forget that cigarette at the end?

Weeds

Weeds is an often forgotten show (the show lost a lot of what made it special in its last few seasons), but its title sequence was always brilliant. The song is of course super catchy (different artists would sing it every week), and I love the simple touch of the letters disappearing through the moving objects. Be sure to check out the awesome animated opening for season eight as well.

Feud

Now this is a gem of an opening sequence. The transitions are insanely smart, and the show’s central feud is intelligently brought to life with moments that make you smile at every turn. Moreover, the harmony between the visuals and the music is magnificent. Creativity at its finest!

Westworld

An ambitious sci-fi show requires an ambitious title sequence, and this one is a knockout. It stunningly merges the show’s futuristic and western sensibilities to hypnotizing effect. It’s poetic, ethereal, and exceptionally creepy (just check out those robot hands playing the piano). Be sure to watch season two’s opening sequence which is also phenomenal. I can’t wait to see what the show cooks up in season three.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Now here’s a fun one. Undoubtedly inspired by viral video remixes, this opener pairs a kickass song with hilarious lyrics and fun visuals to tell you everything you need to know about the show. The song is ridiculous catchy, and the entire opening is over in 30 seconds. I never skip this one! “Damn it!”

Dollhouse

This one’s got vibes. The chilling music, the flickering visuals, Echo getting into the bed/coffin in the end – it’s all extremely immersive. Also, the jingles at the end of the tune are too good (and spooky)! Be sure to watch season two’s opening which showcases all of Eliza Dusku’s various “personalities” throughout the show.

The Affair 

Thanks to Fiona Apple’s outstanding theme song and claustrophobic ocean shots, The Affair‘s title sequence is a bonafide success. It does such a powerful job of conveying the destruction left in the wake of an extramarital affair, while leaving us gasping for breath as the lyrics and the visuals sink into the bottom of the ocean. Unforgettable!

The Good Fight

So simple, and yet so mindblowingly good. This is a meticulously constructed title sequence as simple everyday objects are blown to pieces as the theme music climaxes with every bang. Season two’s title sequence even manages to improve on season one’s opening because it showcases the aftermath of the massacre. Genius.

The Walking Dead

The great thing about this title sequence is that we never actually see zombies. The opener is instead focusing on displaying the post-apocalyptic landscape the show is set in. That’s infinitely scarier than seeing the creatures, and it’s coupled with a really ominous theme song that digs beneath your skin and never lets go. I also love how the title appears at the end starting with the word “dead”.

American Gods

Now this is a psychedelic​ masterpiece​e. To showcase the divide between the old gods and the new, this title sequence​ fuses together classic artifacts with modern technology to powerful (and neon-infused) effect. Just like the show, this opener is majorly ambitious and fascinating.

Stay tuned for part 2 and feel free to suggest your favorite sequences for us to cover!

2 comments

  1. I like the Dexter title sequence (the walk at the end wasn’t an issue for me) and the original Weeds title sequence featuring that quaint song. The title sequence for Westworld is light-years away beyond those two, both for Season 1 and Season 2. Such works of art rarely seen on television.

    My favorite title sequences are Cowboy Bebop, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Outlander, Twin Peaks (both original and The Return), True Detective, Firefly, and Murder She Wrote.

Share Your Thoughts