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

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?



Comments (39)
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I LOVE BABY DADDY!!!! He is a good father, he grows and grows bigger. Before you comment bad stuff , you should... i don't know... WATCH THE SHOW FROM THE BEGINNING TILL THE END
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I like Nashvilles credit sequence
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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.
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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)
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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?
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What about Suburgatory?
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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!
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I like short and sweet title cards. We no longer need 30 second (or longer) openers with theme music. Just get to the show.
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I miss Animal Practice :c
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I'm really in love with the theme song and opening for Guys With Kids. It's fun and the tune is great.
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American Horror Story: Asylum is part of the wednesday 2012-2013 season. No love for AHS without Price?
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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?
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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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The Parents Television Council is only offended by the gays, not by things that should actually concern parents.
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The Americans... good?? should I get into it?? looking for a new drama
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Thanks!!
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Not good, great!
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I agree, it's a fantastic show. Really worth checking out. Just read the reviews.
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"Americans" has the best one from the visual point of view, but I as a Russian will at least smile everytime I'll see it.
the fact is, that the word "presents" has the second meaning also in English.. "presents" as "gifts". so what they did is they translated the second meaning into Russian language.
so it basically goes as "Fx GIFTS" which doesn't make a lot of sense. also Matthew last name shouldn't look like that.
I know that those are minor details and they don't affect the quality of the show (which I hope will turn out to be great), but at the same time they kinda do. it's funny, how you would go to such lengths building a right Soviet setting in the show and screw up basically in the first frame of the opening)
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The Americans is the best one of this bunch! What a great cross section of American culture in the 1980s.
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Ooooo, can't wait for tomorrow. What is beauty and the beast going to get? I'm guessing it's either F, F or an F. Come on, who wants to bet?
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I voted for Kroll Show.

I haven't seen any episodes past the first one as I never find myself liking sketch shows very much -- I still gave it a shot, though, because I like Nick Kroll -- but I kind of love the opening credits for it. Original? Maybe not -- just pasting Kroll Show on a bunch of already-existing title cards. But uh, I watch a lot of shows and movies so seeing and trying to identify as many cards as I can is amusing.

I never had a problem with Animal Practice's credit sequence. I don't know what grade I'd give it, but it's okay enough for me.

Arrow's is good for new or lazy viewers, but since I watch it regularly, I get annoyed by it.

I never would have come up with all that about Nashville's intro, but reading your take on it, I do like it better.

I have no opinion on the others, really. None make me want to kill myself, like The Mindy Project's, but they also aren't memorable or ones I'd want to see again.
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I love baby daddy lol. It's so underrated. So is the neighbors. But anyway, my vote would be the krill show although I never heard or watched it before
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Eh, I guess you're right about The Neighbors, I would have probably put it on a white backdrop or even an image of the community.

Wow, you read a ton into the Nashville titles. I still can't give it that much credit because it gives no indication of the show's tone or even what it's about at all.

The pictures are supposed to be the animals they helped, you see this a lot in vet offices, so I think you're underselling it. That said, the tone set is much lighter and friendlier than the show actually was so B- in my book.

Guys with Kids' music is nasally and annoying, and the cutouts really give the wrong tone to these titles. Reading your thoughts, holy crap that IS Jimmy Fallon singing - he sucks at everything, IMO. And dated, yes, totally right. The titles fail to convey the "guys together with kids" that the promos suggested so I'm calling this one a slipup there too.

Ugh, the opening titles for Arrow are a fast-forward-fest, and since the title card shows at the end of the episode as well, I feel like this burns my time more than anything. Grade is a bit generous, but you do make some points in its favor.

I've never even heard of "Baby Daddy", that's wild. Using duct tape on a baby is a really bad idea, it could tear their little fragile skin. The music is annoyingly bland, but if the show is cheap and bouncy and light fare, then these titles sell that notion.

I am indeed one of the not-baked Kroll Show viewers, and I love that title sequence, but it is a tad short for my tastes, I think I'd want to see it slower, not with more content. And now I want to own a Turbo Lemur, thanks for the link. Oh man, the Jurassic Park one with a human skeleton is awesome, how did I not catch that gag before? Oh, right, because it went by at WARP SPEED.

Ugh, stupid The Americans making me watch an ad for watching an ad. Anyway, good visuals, I think the music is a tad too whimsical for the setting though.

I am voting Kroll Show, 'nuff said.
More+
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Nashville is really good but I voted for Kroll Show cos it's awesome. Plus I think American Horror Story should have been included for the retooled credits.

Of course these daily posts should be seen in isolation so obviously Tim just wants to please everyone by giving every show an A! The fact that not one show today scored an E or worse just shows he doesn't have a discerning, critical bone in his body. And his attempts at humour are so PC that he's obviously more interested in pleasing everyone than being funny.
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Touché, ben45tpy! My comment was going to be something like "Okay guys, Tim has finally handed out a few A's, so can the ridiculous 'Tim is too harsh/Tim is an unfunny, mean jerk' criticisms please be put to rest?!"

But your sarcastic take is better and funnier.
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Thank you very much. And it's good to see that through your comments a little bit of Fringe will live on...
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I gave you thumbs up for Kroll Show vote, but I'm also agreeing that American Horror Story's 2nd season is basically an entirely new show, so with its entirely new credits there is an argument for it to be listed here.

What's an "E" grade?
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Grades form part of the great continuum of the alphabetic ecosystem. E grades are less daring than some of their lettered cousins, only emerging from their burrows when Halley's comet is visible in the sky. They eat only sand and when they are full return to their burrows to hibernate.
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They sound Exciting and Excellent.
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Murder One was one of my favorite opening credits ever.
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This comment has been removed.
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I'm pretty sure this focuses on new shows.
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Yeah, really, why should Supernatural not premiering in the 2012-2013 season stop it from being on this list of 2012-2013 new shows' opening credits?
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Nashville and Vegas are almost identical and yet you rate the former as great and the later as bad. What's up with that?
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The Vegas one doesn't say anything at all beyond its name and some lights. The Nashville one tells a little story by having the guitar and changing the font midway through. I thought Tim did alright explaining why he liked this Nashville one and didn't like that Vegas one.
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The Americans feels so Homeland to me for some reason. Like...if I wasn't such a big Homeland fan, and only catch it occasionally, I'd swear it's the same show.
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I have only seen one episode yet, but so far I think it's very different from Homeland. It's more like Alias without the supernatural stuff. And what do you mean "only catch it occasionally"? Only one episode has aired.
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He means if he only caught Homeland occasionally, he would think that Homeland and The Americans were the same show. But he is in fact a massive Homeland fan (who isnt?!) and religiously watches it, therefore he knows they are different shows, but that The Americans is very similar to Homeland in his opinion.
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*she :) But yeah, that's exactly what I meant. I mean, both their opening credits feature basically the same stuff: presidents making speeches, clips of the main characters as children...
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