The Best and Worst Credit Sequences of the 2012-2013 TV Season: Friday Shows

By Tim Surette

Feb 08, 2013

Contrary to popular belief, all televisions do not go black on Fridays to force us to "hang out" with our "friends" "in person." No siree! There has been some good television on Fridays recently, and good television means good credit sequences (provided your name isn't Homeland). So let's see what Friday has to offer in terms of TV hellos, shall we?

We're taking tomorrow off because Saturdays and all, but we'll be back for our last installment of the great opening credit sequence critique of 2012-2013 on Sunday.



Malibu Country

Yes that's THE Reba McEntire singing the theme song, how'd they get her to do it? Anyway, pretty standard stuff here. Pans of the California coast, water, blue sky, expensive houses that will sink into the ocean next rainstorm. Personally I think it could use a little more actual sunshine, as the song suggests, but then again I would also like to see 30 seconds' worth of Lily Tomlin's grandma character taking bong rips, too. The show title's font choice is pretty pedestrian. I guess it's supposed to be a clash of "sophistication" and "country bumpkin"? I don't know. And I don't know why we're even spending so much time discussing this particular opening. It's not like it's Beauty and the Beast or anything. A plus for a theme song, but D everywhere else. Grade: D+



Made in Jersey

Oooh boy! This looks like a fun show, ladies! Clearly it has more Grrrrrrl power than 10 used Spice Girls CDs. If I've got this right, Janet Montgomery's Martina Garetti walks all the way from New Jersey to New York in HEELS. I tried that once and broke both ankles before I hit the Holland Tunnel. Take a cab, Martina. Bonus: If you listen to just the lyrics and ignore the bubblegum pop behind it, it sounds like the manifesto of a terrorist about to turn a key and set off a nuclear device in the middle of Times Square. But in terms of a show about a woman trying to "make it," I suppose this intro does the job. Grade: C



Banshee

Cinemax used to be just about boobs, but now it's about boobs AND credit sequences. HBO's little sister has been responsible for some great openings (Strike Back's is great!), and even though this one is one of the network's weaker efforts, it's still much better than most of what's out there. The pretty pictures do a great job of giving you some detail about the actors' characters, and the show's title with the dead sheriff's badge as the "A" works for me! I'm not thrilled about the music, but then again do I even like music anymore? Who knows. Grade: B+



House of Cards

Like the show itself, this sequence is very deliberate and not in a rush to get anywhere fast. At 90 seconds, it's one of the season's longest and about three percent of an entire episode. At least it's pretty to look at and has a distinct message: D.C. is a horrible, horrible, horrible place and those who work there in the government should all die painful deaths. But really, let's keep it shorter next time, okay Netflix? I don't want to fast forward through the credits of Arrested Development and have four minutes of show left. Grade: B



Common Law

Cops as good looking as Sears catalog models don't play by regular rules! They spend most of their time looking cool and hanging out on top of buildings, where they practice putting on and taking off sunglasses. They ro-sham-bo to see who gets to kick down doors to empty rooms. They flirt with each other with playful antics. All to the tune of rhythmic porn music, which takes this opening from subtly homoerotic to full-blown homosexual undertones. Thought I guess that's the point since this was a show about two cops who go through marriage counseling? Whatever it's trying to say, it works! Grade: B-



Fringe

Not necessarily new since it premiered in Season 4's 19th episode, but it became the regular intro for Season 5 so I snuck it in here. And you're glad I did! This sequence is flat-out awesome, and one of the best the series ever produced. The traditional fringe science terms have been replaced with basic tenets of human rights (Free will! Individuality! Freedom!) to show the dystopian and oppressive future the Observers have created. In the end, the Fringe logo comes back together because Peter, Olivia, and Walter all had to fix the past by breaking the future. And that theme never gets old. Grade: A



Comedy Bang Bang

Well, I couldn't find the actual video of the opening, but this theme song, written and performed by Reggie Watts, is amazing. Close your eyes and imagine an opening sequence. Wow! Good job! Grade: A


Which new Friday-night credit sequences do you like best?



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  • MightyMad Feb 24, 2013

    "Comedy Bang Bang" opening sequence makes absolutely no sense... and that's the way I like it!

  • shootingstar609 Feb 14, 2013

    FRINGE of course has the best Friday night credits and the theme music is amazing!
    But I also like Banshee's and you are correct, Made in Jersey's credits do get the message of the show across if nothing else.

  • Cavewoman22 Feb 11, 2013

    Game of Thrones, hands down, THE.. BEST... EVER! Currently, I really love Elementary's.

  • Darkflame2006 Feb 10, 2013

    Dexter's has always been the worst, i can't believe it won an award in 2007 O_O

    Fringe is by far my favorite theme of all time, i watched it for every episode, sang and air beat to it even, lol

    I haven't enjoyed an opening sequence like that since Friends.

  • JT_Kirk Feb 09, 2013

    Malibu Country's opening titles, that grade is generous.

    Jesus, Made In Jersey's opening titles are really cheaply done. Another generous grade, that is one of those hollywood execu-choices that really has no place being made by a paid employee: "why tell the viewer anything about what's going on when you can just show the star from several angles?"

    Wow, Banshee's credits are very striking visually and auditorily . They run too long though.

    House of Cards' credits ran so long I actually had to fast forward, that's the length of credits you get for a feature, not a series.

    I think Common Law's opening title sequence works better than you did by half a point, mainly it just feels like they're focusing too much on the stars and not enough on what the characters are doing, but it sells the idea and tone pretty well.

    Still never seen Fringe, waiting for it to wrap up first because I have that little faith in Fox. So I still have no real idea of what the show is about based on those credits, but they do sell some level of a tone and ideas. And it's short.

    I'm voting Banshee though just because it seems to give a better idea of what's to come.

  • CharmedOneP391 Feb 09, 2013

    FRINGE!!!! YES YES

  • Inigo_Montoya Feb 09, 2013

    This was great, but I'm just commenting to tell you that I will be VERY ANGRY WITH YOU if you do not put Game of Thrones on Sunday's installment. Put the one from last season if you have to, just DO IT PLEASE!!!!! It's an amazing opener and deserves a spot! Thanks in advance!!!!!

  • Kameleon Feb 09, 2013

    I'm watching Fringe right now, season 3. Awesome show. Love how in between all the Scifi, there's a real story going on. A universal one. About love and family. To integrate that into science fiction, well... That's just absolute brilliance. Love it!

  • CharmedOneP391 Feb 09, 2013

    Have Fun! (Season 3's the best!)

  • jdslade14 Feb 09, 2013

    Where's Blue Bloods? I like their opening.

  • MikeUK123 Feb 09, 2013

    Nice to see Fringe here. Great opening sequence, but also a reminder of just how amazing this show was. As Tim said in his recap of the final episode, it will be talked about for a long time. A lot of lucky viewers are going to catch the re-run of this show, and as a poster here said, the only regret will be that they weren't there when it aired. An amazing journey, and even you haven't been on it yet, you should.

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