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

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?



Comments (32)
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"Comedy Bang Bang" opening sequence makes absolutely no sense... and that's the way I like it!
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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.
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Game of Thrones, hands down, THE.. BEST... EVER! Currently, I really love Elementary's.
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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.
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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.
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FRINGE!!!! YES YES
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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!!!!!
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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!
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Have Fun! (Season 3's the best!)
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Where's Blue Bloods? I like their opening.
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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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Did House of Cards get a B because it's long? Cause it's also super boring. 90 seconds of stock footage. Really?
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Well, would you look at that: Tim changed his rules and was able to include something he liked. :)
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Exactly. So now I feel like I legitimately can ask: why wasn't AHS: Asylum included? Easily the best new opening sequence.
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Reggie Watts ftw. Glad it's coming back for 20 more episodes.
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Fringe, Fringe, FRINGE!
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OMG FRINGE DUH!!

My mom is still ril ril sad about Common Law being cancelled, but I bet no one else even remembers what it was at this point. Sumthin' on the teevee?
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Fringe FTW!!!
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I love the Fringe season 5 credits but I don't think it's fair to vote for them as it feels like preferential treatment that it was the only existing show with new credits to make the cut for this year. So I voted for the only other show's credits I've seen - which is Comedy Bang Bang. I don't like the show very much but the credits are pretty good.
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Banshee's opening music > the rest of Friday's crap (excluding Fringe, of course).
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Speaking of Comedy Bang Bang does anybody know if and when it's returning? I liked it and it seemed to end abruptly, I don't know if it did well ratings wise but people who saw it seem to like it.
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Funny you should ask... it literally just got renewed. More info in the News Briefs we just posted: http://wwwDOTtvDOTcom/news/news-briefs-community-returns-to-bigger-ratings-30579/
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Thanks, I checked it out and I'm happy to see it's coming back. I'm guessing that since there was no return date that one's not known yet so I won't bother asking if you know when it's coming back, just knowing that it is will have to be good enough for right now. :)
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The credits may have been the only good thing about Fringes final season.
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Now now, let's be honest: including Fringe here isn't fair, because it's not a new show. Still love it, though.
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not fair having fringe here....what about American Horror Story (like ben45tpy says). At least each season on that show is like a series in of itself.
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AHS shouldn't be here either!
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Especially when other shows with redesigned credits, including American Horror Story and Smash, weren't covered.
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I voted for Fringe, but I wouldn't give it an A. I've always been more fond of Fringe's first opening credits, which I'd give an A... this maybe a B or B+, I guess. Doesn't matter, really.

I might have voted for the Banshee op-creds if it had stopped after the main cast's names. Once it got into the second half -- crediting the editors and designers and such -- the photos felt more random and I started losing interest.
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Like everything else Fringe-y, the third season was great, and the rest, was... ok, better than anything else on Friday.

But it's disqualified for NOT BEING A NEW SHOW.
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Oh, and Fringe. It even had perfect credits. You people who didn't watch this show will regret that you didn't watch it when it was on when you're watching in the future and you run out of episodes at the end of a shortened season 5.

"What!?! that's all, they shoulda made more!"
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I've watched all of Made in Jersey and it was a decent show worthy of something to watch on Friday Night...
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