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

By Tim Surette

Feb 10, 2013

We end our week-long review of this season's new opening credits sequences on Sunday, arguably the best night of television of the week. But does that translate to the night of best opening credit sequences? No, silly. But at least there's a photobombing dog!

666 Park Avenue

Did we even ever figure out what was beneath that tile mural in the basement of the haunted apartment building, the first image of this intro, before this show got canceled? I actually don't think there's anything wrong with this sequence, given that the show was about as scary as the Haunted House at Disneyland. But that doesn't mean there's anything right. If the art department turned this in as a first draft, I'd be all like, "Well, it's a good start..." And then I'd have my secretary fire them two days before Christmas. Grade: C

Political Animals

This is another one of those intros where someone goes overboard on the layers in Adobe After Effects. As simply something to look at, it's fine. But where's the artistic touch? Where's the thematic subtext? This collection of video-editing presets could also be the opening to 1600 Penn or a fan-created tribute video if it wanted to be. I'm not going to say anything about the music choice, The Kills, but if I did, it would be something like, "I don't care for The Kills." But again, I'm not saying anything about it. Grade: D

The Walking Dead (Season 3)

Between Seasons 2 and 3, The Walking Dead decided to switch up its opening credits to better reflect the current state of the show. If you'll recall, episodes in Seasons 1 and 2 were introduced with footage of a lifeless urban landscape, but Season 3 moved out to the country with creepy crawlies and one very disturbing close-up shot of a zombie eye. Did the show need new opening credits? No. Is it better for having them? Sure, why not. And this theme, from Bear McCreary, has become one of TV's best. Grade: B+

The Newsroom

I hate this and love it at the same time. At first I'm like, "Awww." Then I'm like "Ughhhh." It really reflects how divisive the show is; it's self important and more pretentious than a French hipster barista, yet it also has a message of truth that I like to believe in. At 90 seconds, it's way too long, yet it's also mesmerizing! And does anyone else feel like they're about to watch a Spielberg movie? Mixed feelings all over the place. Grade: A/F

Dog With a Blog

Before you deem this sequence as The Most Annoying Thing Ever, consider the audience of Dog With a Blog: children and immature stoners. And there is nothing greater to those two demographics than a dog that photobombs family pictures. Do yourself a favor and look at each family member's face as the camera snaps, and I think you'll agree that together they're a lock for the Emmy for Best Ensemble Cast in an Opening Credit Sequence. This is the Taj Mahal of credit sequences. Grade: A-

Which new Sunday-night credit sequences do you like best? Of all the intros we've looked at this week, which one do you think is the best overall?

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  • shootingstar609 Feb 14, 2013

    I was really torn about which Sunday credits is best between the Walking Dead and 666 Park Avenue. I feel like the Walking Dead's credits have very ominous music, which reflects the show. And 666 Park Avenue's credits reflect the mystery the show is supposed to have. Also, no Once Upon a Time credits? They are not anything fancy, but are still quite good!

  • ReneeQuintero Feb 14, 2013

    Hey what happen to teen wolf and game of thrones?? really!!! i watched every day of the week and they are not there! and you said yourself on totally tubular you liked Teen Wolf's opening credits...I'm waiting!! maybe do one with the best of the best, but the there would have to be Elementary so... where are those other twos??

  • JT_Kirk Feb 11, 2013

    I don't watch The Walking Dead, so that was my first exposure to its opening credits. Were it not for the title, I wouldn't have a single solitary clue as to what that show's about thanks to those titles, and if weren't for the music I wouldn't even have a clue as to the show's tone. Grade: C+

    The Newsroom's music comes off super schmaltzy and self-important, and it does take too long, and the imagery is a tad... cloying. It reminds me of Sports Night when Jeremy is given his first chance to cut a baseball highlight segment and he turns in an 8-minute segment, unable to cut out any more moments despite it needing to be around 17 seconds long.

    Dog with a Blog has far too much bad-looking special effects for what it's supposed to be. Otherwise it does have that chimp-like Disney Channel/ABC Family appeal.

    As for my vote, I actually got an idea of The Newsroom from its opening credits, so it gets my vote, but I nearly called it a wash and didn't vote at all.

  • Whedonrules Feb 11, 2013

    Showtime's "Shameless"

  • kanniballl Feb 11, 2013

    Newsroom gets a lot of hate.
    As for the opening sequences: you can look at it as one of two (or many) ways.
    A) it's pretentious... THIS IS US, WE'RE ABOVE "ALL THAT,"
    B) This is what the News HAS been in the past... it wasn't always about whether Celeb X showed her privates getting out of a limo or what Honey BooBoo is up to this week. It used to show substantial stuff.

    I tend to side with "B" News used to be more important, especially print and TV. Sure, it still pandered to the lowest common denominator in the past... but since it was THE ONLY way to get the message out it also played it straight. And that's one of the main themes/plots of the show: how a station is trying to get back to "that" and show substantial stuff and educate the populace.

    Now, CNN has 1/4th of their front page devoted to YouTube videos and "iReporters" Wars have a theme song. People take Bloggers to be newsmen... and while they do sometimes give decent info... you also have people "reporting" rubbish and fail to fact-check and claim they're better than actual news. Part of the block of the news is focused on what Snookie and Honey BooBoo is up to instead of actually focusing on important stuff.

    How sad is it, that to get TV news to "tell it straight" and focus on political stuff that actually affects me AND explain what is going on... I have to watch a comedy show "The Daily Show" with John Stewart?

  • joy9585 Feb 11, 2013

    Where's Downton Abbey?

  • mksystem74 Feb 11, 2013

    My vote is for Newsroom, and thats not because its the only show I watch from the group.

  • Anonymous_A Feb 11, 2013

    Definitely The Walking Dead. They have one of the best opening sequences when compared to other shows.

  • Draconax Feb 11, 2013

    I honestly love the Newsroom credits. Ya, its somewhat pretentious, but its also just well done. Also, gotta agree about the lack of mention of GoT credits, which are easily some of the most impressive and creative credits I've ever seen. Also relevant:

  • vr182 Feb 11, 2013

    I have to say The Walking Dead has the best lead ins to credit sequences ever. The opening scene starts off and builds with tension, and then BAM, it goes straight into McCreary's score and it's like the tension releases. Next to Fringe, it's the only credit sequence I don't mind repeatedly watching.

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