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

By Tim Surette

Feb 06, 2013

Welcome to Day 3 of our look at the best and worst credit sequences of the season. TGIW! I don't know what it is about Humpday, but all of a sudden the credit sequences stopped sucking. Below you'll find a sample of shorties and longies and expositionies and dubstep assaults on your senses that, by their powers combined, make for the most diverse day of the week so far. Name your personal favorites in the comments, then check back tomorrow for a look at Thursday night's offerings.



The Neighbors

Comedies have a tendency to hold onto longer credit sequences, but this one is short because The Neighbors wants to take back to the laughs ASAP! What's on your wishlist for an opening for this show? Theremin: CHECK. Glowing green something: CHECK. Aliens Larry Bird and Reggie Jackson devouring their human neighbors: NOT A CHECK. Two out of three ain't bad. Grade: B-



Nashville

Whoever created this sequence deserves a raise; it's essentially a diatribe against the commercialization of music and the dangers of fame in seven seconds. We start with a guitar, the pillar of country music, and "Nashville" in a comfortable, old-timey font. The lights flash! The guitar disappears! And "Nashville" is redone in a sleek modernized font. It isn't about the music anymore, it's about the look and blinding people with more flash than substance. That's a perfect fit for Nashville's old vs. new theme. Also, Guitar Hero and Rock Band flashbacks!!! Of all the new shows this season, Nashville probably had the best opportunity to create a flashy extended credits sequence, but this brief version is one of the better shorties of the season. Grade: A-



Animal Practice

It's a show about animals and the best it can do is pictures of animals? Thankfully there's a good variety in there: monkeys, dogs, parrots, rats, squirrels, Bobby Lee, cats. The catchy inoffensive music plays it safe, so no grade adjustment there. And then a dog runs across the screen and StockSoundEffects.org provides the dog bark. This is about as plain as plain gets. Grade: C-



Guys With Kids

Yep, that's co-creator Jimmy Fallon (yes THAT Jimmy Fallon) singing the theme song about combining daily exercise with obsessive-compulsive impatience. The look of this is hecka dated, circa 1994, with paper cutouts and walking in place (WHY AREN'T YOU RUNNING? Can't you hear the theme song?). The guys are adequately introduced with their respective kids, but child safety is apparently not a concern as the parents get together and launch their children toward the sun. Yeah, the guys catch their offspring in kangaroo pouches, but how many takes did it take to get that shot? The Parents Television Council should be all over this. Still, that song is now stuck in my head so it must be effective. I need to listen to some Ace of Base to get it out. Grade: C-



Arrow

Another one of those "Here's what the show is about" introductions, but this is the kind of show that needs it. And credit-sequence-makers, take note: If you're going to supplement your opener with clips from the pilot, use the good clips! In that sense, Beardy Oliver, exploding fire arrows, tennis-ball genocide, and Bowflex Commercial Oliver make this one a winner. The title card for Arrow was always a layup, and it's fundamentally executed with a nice choice of embossed font and a simple image of an arrowhead. Good job, Warner Bros.! Grade: B



Chicago Fire

I keep waiting for the words to explode in a giant fireball. They don't. Couldn't the show have put some Gaga over this? Or at least introduced the cast in sexy firefighter calendar style? Low effort means low grade! Grade: D-



Baby Daddy

This is like a tease for NAMBLA members. This guy is a really bad dad. He gives up on the diaper after one try and immediately uses duct tape. Hey pal, there's a safety pin right there in the show logo! And the single line used from a tween-friendly pop song ("It's amazing how the unexpected can take your life and change direction") wouldn't even make the cut at a fortune-cookie factory. But hey, this is Baby Daddy, so at least it's not promising anything the show isn't. Grade: D+



Kroll Show

Even if you fall within the two-percent of the audience that isn't totally baked while watching this sketch show, this intro is AMAZING. Kroll Show is all about popping pop culture, and the show's title is thrown over all sorts of corporate logos and TV show title cards that slap us across the face in rapid succession while a dubsteppish tune makes our head explode. Seinfeld? Breaking Bad? In-n-Out Burger? KETTLE CHIPS!?!? It's like Nick Kroll and I share a mind! If only someone would freeze-frame all the images so we could see them at our leisure... Grade: A



The Americans

I know what you're saying. "Hey, this hasn't even aired yet!" True, but I have my connections. This sequence actually debuts tonight with Episode 2, and it's spot-on! There's some great juxtaposition of American and Russian culture (the Jazzercise to the Cossack dance is aces), and the cast members' names in Russian being taped over with their American translation is a perfect touch. There's really nothing here that's not to like; the music is fitting and its runtime hits that happy medium between super short and way too long. Thankfully, this is where the Homeland comparisons stop. Grade: A


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



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  • brandydan Feb 10, 2013

    I like Nashvilles credit sequence

  • spirihin Feb 08, 2013

    the "Americans" team is great. I've just watched the 2nd episode opening and all of the Russian language mistakes are fixed. I suppose it means that what we have here was a beta-version of the opening or whatever, but most importantly - they care and that is awesome.

  • tvgirl17 Feb 09, 2013

    I'm so glad they fixed it. Season 2 of The Wire had a Russian passport in their opening credits, but just put in gibberish for the name, so every dang episode that season opened with a close-up on "ЛЩТВКФЫРШТ." (Clearly it still drives me nuts)

  • Writerpatrick Feb 07, 2013

    Any intro that isn't more than just an animated title card is a failure. A good half-minute intro often sets the mood for a show and gets the viewer interested in watching. Do you think people would have watched Gilligan's Island if it wasn't for the great intro?

  • jmaraujo Feb 07, 2013

    What about Suburgatory?

  • mcepin3 Feb 07, 2013

    Couldn't see Kroll show opening,so I won't comment on that one.
    Yeah Nashville has great one,don't know if it deserves A-,but if we are to compare it to others,than I would say it 100% deserves that grade. Arrow I would give...ah,I am in good mood,because I saw Laurel get tasered,I'll give it B.

    Others F's!

  • MisfitChicks Feb 07, 2013

    I like short and sweet title cards. We no longer need 30 second (or longer) openers with theme music. Just get to the show.

  • Loooooooooooost Feb 07, 2013

    I miss Animal Practice :c

  • hot_babe101 Feb 07, 2013

    I'm really in love with the theme song and opening for Guys With Kids. It's fun and the tune is great.

  • alelric Feb 07, 2013

    American Horror Story: Asylum is part of the wednesday 2012-2013 season. No love for AHS without Price?

  • georgehouse73 Feb 07, 2013

    Worst as far as cast credits--Dylan McDermit got none-zilch.Other wise great you know you are going to see something creepy.But is that a voice saying either (great skin or great scare) or is it just a machine noise and I belong on the inside?

  • WavSlave Feb 07, 2013

    Funny that you mentioned stepping through the opening to Kroll Show frame by frame. I did *exactly* that a couple of weeks ago. There are some damn clever knockoffs in there. I also had the thought that each frame should be saved as in individual image but the amount of work involved was more than I was up for at the time. Maybe I'll revisit that in the near future. Good opening.

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