The Best and Worst Credit Sequences of the 2011 TV Season: Wednesday Shows

It's already Day 4 of our week-long look at the fall season's new credit sequences, and Wednesday night's offerings run the gamut, from terrible to terrific. They also prove that NBC has trouble with more than just an entire show; these days, that network can't even get a credit sequence right. (Psst! Even though we'll be stuffing our faces full of turkey tomorrow, we'll be taking a break between helpings to rank Thursday's opening sequences. Join us, won't you?)

American Horror Story

Unsettling, grating, and downright disturbing, this is difficult to watch—and every time I see it, I cringe. In other words, it's the perfect intro for American Horror Story. I just hope all those babies are getting royalties in exchange for the use of their images. Grade: A

Free Agents

Like the (now canceled) show itself, this opening was unapologetically aimed at 40- and 50-somethings, with its straight-from-the-mid-'90s vibes. And that's exactly why the series bombed. It tells us what the show's about, which is good, but it does so in a just-stepped-out-of-a-time-machine way. Half a point for the cool "Portland, Oregon" sign on the Burnside Bridge. 503 reprezent! But why did NBC decide to shoot all of its new comedy credits with a digital still camera instead of a video camera? Someone needs to fire that intern. Grade: D+


Simpler is better for Revenge, a show that speaks for itself and doesn't need any fluff to sell it. In fact, the minimalist approach works nicely for this twisty-turny drama, because it lets us get back to watching Emily proceed with her revenging ASAP! But the "Created by Mike Kelley" lingers a bit too long and doesn't match the show title's font. Yeah, it's nitpicky, but if you're going to make a credit sequence that's only nine seconds long, every detail is under scrutiny. Grade: B


There's not much to Suburgatory's opening, which depicts big city fun and suburban drags in alternating postcard-style images. It's pretty to-the-point, nothing to get excited about, but at least it's a flurry of stuff in ten seconds. But what's up with the lyrics to the unfortunately catchy theme song? "Last night I had a pleasant night?" What's that all about? I'm confused. Also: Tessa's BBQ outfit is very inappropriate! Someone put a bathrobe over her, quick! Grade: C

Up All Night

Another one of NBC's still-camera openings, and another horrible mess. Picture slideshows are what teens make for Twilight YouTube tribute videos, not what television professionals make to introduce a shows that star Hollywood hotshots and that will be seen by millions of people. As far as I can tell, Reagan (Christina Applegate) and Chris (Will Arnett) got hammered at a club and had sex, Reagan went to work the next day, and then she found out she was pregnant and setting up the crib was really difficult. The whole ordeal was accompanied by stock music and baby noises. This should be the credit sequence to World's Worst Parents. Grade: F

Which new Wednesday-night opening sequence do you like best?

» The Best and Worst Credit Sequences of the 2011 TV Season: Sunday Shows
» The Best and Worst Credit Sequences of the 2011 TV Season: Monday Shows
» The Best and Worst Credit Sequences of the 2011 TV Season: Tuesday Shows

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