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+



Revenge

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



Suburgatory

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?


RELATED:
» 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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The lines to the Suburgatory theme song go, "Last night I had a pleasant nightmare". Tessa and George both sing this song in the show. For me those were the most heartwarming moments of the show.
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Season 2 opener of Suburgatory had Tessa singing an extended version of the theme song, allegedly written by her mother. Creating a mythos around your program's theme song strikes me as pretty ingenious.
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I actually think the words in the theme song for Suburgatory make perfect sense, assuming one actually watches the show. Its a contradictory statement which explains how Tessa's character feels. She wants to hate this place, she meets odd self centered characters but something about it is pleasant and inviting almost homely.
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Maybe the Suburgatory theme snippet would make more sense if you listen to it all the way through? "Last night I had a pleasant nightmare." NightMARE.. seriously, research isn't THAT hard, just open your ears
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Revenge is my favorite new show this fall !

1. Revenge

2. American Horror Story

3. Suburgatory

4. Up All Night

5. Free Agents
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love the AHS intro ...also musicwise perfect for this show.
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The American Horror Story opening is not disturbing to me, but i admit it is creepy, thats what makes it so good...
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I won't comment on the shows. But the openings are all bad.
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the theme tune for suburgatory is 'last night i had a pleasant nightmare', which makes a bit more sense...........
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Revenge is my favorite new show this fall, but I have to admit, American Horror Story's opening is better, and A-grade worthy. The old photographs are ultra creepy, and the music, especially that spooky beat, is so very cool. I'm enjoying the story line of the show, the excellent acting and the good writing, but I have to admit, the opening credits beats it all. Whoever put this together...you're good!
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people have been saying that free agents was aimed at 40-50 year old's - i'm only recently 20 and i loved the show - just food for thought
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Not to be too nitpicky, but the lyrics for the Suburgatory opening are "last night I had a pleasant nightmare", not a pleasant night. It's a bit more explanatory that way. =P
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I like revenge, but the simplicity of its opening is not a B! It's "hey, we're on ABC, so we can do the Lost "coming at 'cha" thing, too!



I don't see the problem with the Free Agents or Up All Night openings. I think Up All night does a great job of telling you what the show's about
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From "man up" credits sequence review:

"The people who made this opening obviously didn't give a f**k. This sequence tells us absolutely nothing except the show's f**king title. Grade: F"



"Revenge" does exactly the same but somehow it's awesome? Are you grading the credit sequences or the shows themselves?
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Yeah, Free Agents and Up All Night stinks while Revenge gets the message across. I gotta give some credit to Suburgatory for actually trying while American Horror Story is, of course, creepy as hell. Those poor fake babies...
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I like the Suburgatory opening. Would give it a B+. Catchy song also.
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Same. B+ "Da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da."
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I don't think the Revenge opening deserves a B. It's too plain and boring, it says nothing about the show. At least the Up All Night opening says something about the show.
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so many have nothing like a real opening...it use to be you could identify the show by its theme song etc...now because they are giving those minutes to ads..well its pathetic..but amer horror hands down...many viewers prob don't remember except for, or because of nick at nite the really good ones...
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I was a bit worried that I was watching too much TV these days, but from day 2 through 4 I realized that the only new show I've been watching is Terra Nova (that in itself is worrying). I guess it's high time to start watching AHS.
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American Hhorror Story Wins. it is the best. Creepy, and yet reveals just a little bit of the myseory of the show. PERFECT.
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I guess I'm in the minority here. I like the opening credits for Free Agents best and like the American Horror Story credits the least. (I guess I'm not sitting at the cool kids' table this Thanksgiving. lol)
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I don't like the AHS credits, either. I get what they were going for, and it's weird like the show is weird, but it's stupid and annoying.
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Suburgatory's theme says "Last night I had a pleasant nightmare" a contradictory phrase which shows that even though Tessa (and her father) now live in p...hmm...suburgatory (hehehe!!!) it's not all that bad!
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I like Suburgatory ! I think she is saying 'Last night I had a pleasant nightmare..! :)
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That's what I heard, too. Which is still sort of weird. I really don't want to know what a pleasant nightmare looks like, myself.
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So you people watch credits and commercials. Good for you. Way to keep the sheeple spirit alive.
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Also, I look at the signatures on paintings.
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I hate the AHS intro, not because it sucks, but because it really creeps me out. Basically, I love it because I hate it. Also, there's something about the Suburgatory song that bugs me... I think it feels like it starts and ends in the middle of one line... or something.



1. American Horror Story

2. Revenge

3. Suburgatory (I like the stills, blah on the song).

4. Up All Night

5. Free Agents
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No argument here. AHS has the creepiest and the best opening sequence. I cringed the first time I saw it too.
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Don't watch any of these...
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I am really petrified of the AHS theme. What makes it perfect for the show. It sets exactly the right tone for the show, but it's a little bit too long, so i'd give it a B.

I don't know what your problem is with the Suburgatory theme. I think it's great, but then of course i think the whole show is great. I agree with you on Tessa's BBQ outfit though. Still very enjoyable and a very cathy song. I think the songs lyrics are "Last night i had a pleasant nightmare", am i the only one who's hearing that? Anyway i don't think that lyric is so bad.
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I think that the Up All Night sequence is great, I also like the Psych sequence, whenever the music sounds a bit different I know that the episode will be great :))
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Up All Nights theme song isn't stock music, it was composed by Christina Applegate's husband.
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American Horror Story!
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I think both Up All Night and Suburgatory sequences are great.. Up All Night explains it perfectly that a very cool, fun, energetic, stylish couple turned into parents, and it all became cribs and baby stuff and easy wearing (and this is what the show is exactly about).. why would it be bad to get hammered at a club and then become pregnant, I dont't get it either.. not everyone plans everything months ahead and that doesn't make them worst at all! and for suburgatory: it pretty much explains everything as well and in a very sweet way..



the opening sequences of Criminal Minds and Modern Family are also quite good..
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I like Suburgatory and AHS
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I don't really find AHS difficult to watch so much as difficult to listen to. Not to sound like someone's grampa, but it is literally noise. I saw it compared to NiN, which, okay, fair enough, except when Trent Reznor uses noise, he does it well and sparingly. I also acknowledge the comparisons to True Blood's opening, but while I hate country music in general, that particular song has a good deal more staying power. I was over this opening after the first time.
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Up All Night = How I Met Your Mother
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in suburgatory, the theme says "last night i had a pleasant NIGHTMARE" which makes sense with the show.
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American Horror Story's intro is creepy and appropriate but not worth watching more than one: B-

Free Agents is horrible. Suburgatory and Revenge aren't worth watching.

Up All Night is too similar to many sitcoms, especially HIMYM: D-
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Tim, I knew it!



From your hints the other day I guessed correctly, and I would have to say that I agree with you on:



1. American Horror Story (like Arch_Angel88 it reminds me of True Blood, and is a perfect fit for the show, makes you uncomfortable and creeped out all at once, just like the show.

2. Up All Night (makes no sense, maybe it could have used the alternating between the old world and the new like Suburgatory)

3. Suburgatory- This one I would have to elevate to a B- in my opinion, I love the alternating stills, and I actually like Tessa's BBQ outfit. It's the opposite of what she would normally wear, but the still is set in the suburbs... her arch enemy! Also I love catchy "Na na na na, na na na na"



Glad to see our opinions run along the same lines:)

Also, looking forward to Person of Interest critique- I still can't decide if it is perfect or annoying.
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1. American Horror Story (This intro reminds me of True Blood. It makes me squirm, but I love it. This is not just the best new opening on Wednesday, but the best new opening of the year)

2. Revenge (Quick and to the point)

3. Suburgatory (Don't get the song choice, but I love the different stills)

4. Up All Night (Meh)

5. Free Agents (No words)



Old Shows: GirishStewart said it first, but I'll say it again: Modern Family's opening ROCKS!
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It definitely does :)
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Copy and paste ^ here. I agree :)



Also, I like Blue Mountain State's opening. (Since you mentioned Modern Family)
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Based on opening credits:



1. American Horror Story (The scariest intro ever! Love the show. Always manages to scare and keep me glued for the whole hour)

2. Revenge (Only because it reminds me of Lost's title. Also it makes us guess as to what 'g' is. Is it 8 or infinity? Maybe I need to start watching this one??)

3. Up All Night (I liked it)

4. Suburgatory (Not great, but it introduces the show well enough. As others have said, the lyrics are - "Last night I had a pleasant nightmare" & she doesn't need a bathrobe. Lol)

5. Free Agents (Looks very awful)



AHS and Modern Family are the only shows I watch on wednesdays. Modern Family has an awesome intro!!
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SO CLOSE!!! Oh well. Your still the greatest.
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4th time is not the charm! Lol! Finally a little bit different order!
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It's an infinity, it gets explained early on; like episode 1 or 2.
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Staff
I think the Up All Night intro is decent UNTIL the crib part. That just looks so crappy.
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I feel the opposite, the crib bit is the only section that actually tells me what the show is about.
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I actually look forward to the AHS credits (the music reminds me of Nine Inch Nails), but I feel the actual episodes don't always live up to the creepiness of the opening. And the 'Revenge' theme bugs me. I'm guessing replacing the 'g' with an '8' (or is it infinity?) is supposed to mean something, but still--
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So agree about Tessa's BBQ outfit! i cringe everytime i see it!! I always thought she was too tomboyish to wear anything so feminine and ... short!!
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I have to fast forward through credits of AHS, I'm afraid of having nightmares from it!!



Why wasn't Parenthood on Tuesday's list? It's the best opening of all, Dylan gets me every time!!
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I actually kind of like Up All Night, shows how much their life has changed and how much a baby can do that, without a whole lot of hoo ha. I don't really like AHS, but I get the point. So, it that respect, it does it's job.
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A couple of the images featured in American Horror Story's opening bear a resemblance to Ryan Murphy (I'm talking the two First Holy Communion girls). The photo collection probably came from an old family album of his.
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Up all night's opening theme is great! Stock music? It's a cover of a Cure's song, shame people...
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To be fair, worse use of a Cure song ever. Also worst cover ever.
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I'll point it out too! It's "Last night I had a pleasant nightmare... Na na na na, na na na na." And I don't think it's terrible, I actually think it's kind of cute. And what she wearing isn't inappropriate in the BBQ scene. That's how clothes were worn during the Summer in the suburbs way back when. Notice that you see her mid-drift, but not her bellybutton? Just ask Gidget, it was all the rage.
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OMFG it's "NIGHTMARE", as some people have pointed out already!!! (!!!) Please explain to me again in small, teeny tiny words why Revenge's title sequence got a B and Suburgatory only a C?
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Last night I had a pleasant NIGHTMARE....
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