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Monday, April 07, 2008

Thematic Analysis - Rating the TV Classics*


A great TV theme song does more than set the tone for the show to follow. At best it can become part of our personal history and may even serve to define and cement a generation.

Today The Blob will deal only with originally composed works and avoid complicating the issue with great public domain openings like The Lone Ranger (Rossini's bravura William Tell Overture) or The Sandy Duncan Show (Lutoslawski's perky Di Sonori FractalisVII).

Because TV theme songs are such a matter of taste I'm loathe to rank them save for my #1 selection. What follows then is merely a list of the best in no particular order. A good theme song should always be a well wrought musical composition and must properly set the mood for it's parent show. Mere melodic fragments like The X Files theme are not eligible and neither are songs borrowed from movies later turned into a TV series. Here then, off the top of my head and starting with kid's programming, is the list:



THE LIST

KIDS






Johhny Quest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV_-u9sxYZM (someone should arrange this for brass band!)



SITCOMS









DRAMA


Hawaii 5-0: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AepyGm9Me6w (kam fong as chin ho!!)






MISCELLANEOUS



AND THE WINNER IS:

Hockey Night in Canada....a great tune that captures the spirit of the game, spans generations, and binds an oft divided land.



*Historical footnote: Given the vast number of choices available to today's viewer the pressure to capture his/her attention within the first few seconds has become of primary importance. In prime time, ads between shows have all but been eliminated and theme music has been shortened way down (Curb Your Enthusiasm) or virtually eliminated (Lost). This more than any other reason explains the preponderance of old titles in The Blob list (along with perhaps a dash of nostalgia. )


32 comments:

slapper58 said...

CORRECTION
The Friendly Giant theme is actually an old English folk song called "Early One Morning". (GF Phyllis pointed this out to me and sang all the words!!)
It is therefore disqualified from the list but will remain posted because it's such a lovely tune for a spring day.

Farley Mowat said...

What about the Seinfeld slap bass theme? Everyone knows that. Also the love theme from Deep Throat has mass appeal. The Love Boat, Bonanza, The Odd Couple, All in the Family......the list goes on and on.

Those were the days...

FM

Anonymous said...

Mowat you drunken swine,

No one reads you any more. You aren't fit to polish my beard. Plus, the Odd Couple theme comes from the
movie [disqualifying it], and the Seinfeld theme is
nothing more than a riff.
Eat crap outta my behind.

Robertson Davies

Maria Callous said...

Fuck you Blob. If Buffy the fucking Vampire Slayer's theme is in the mix, I don't see why the X-Files theme can't. True, it isn't a song but it totally captures the mood of the show; it's creepy, and sexy! Eat it!

ps. I know you said that thing about the X-Files just to piss me off, but I can't help myself. I must be heard ranting at all times.

Farley Mowat said...

Bite me Davies! If you weren't already dead I'd insert my snow shoe up your bony old ass.

FM

Anonymous said...

Mowat,

You think yours would be the first snow shoe up my ass? I've got a veritable Canadian Tire catalog of 'em up there - from far betters writers than you!

You're the only person I've ever heard mispronounce the word "fuck"!

And while we're talking, why don't you tell the people why you're no longer allowed to stay at
Howard Johnson's hotels?

Robertson D.

Farley Mowat said...

What's with the douchebaggery Davies? You want a piece of the Mowar? Bring it on girlie! I'll whip you like a mule on a Thursday!

fuckstick!
FM

slapper58 said...

WOW!!! A good old fashioned literary feud right here in The Blob comment section. Mowat and Davies are making Vidal/Mailer, Wolfe/Irving et al look like spinsters at afternoon tea. I'm so excited that even now I'm rubbing my hands together with glee and what's this??? A drop of thrill inspired spittle has seeped from the corner of my mouth and WHAT is one to make of this now!!??!!

(ED. NOTE: at this point we're going to invoke the "too much information" clause and move things along)
At any rate I'm gonna have to side with Davies here...to paraphrase the old Starkist tuna ad; "Sorry Farley"
Seinfeld hasn't got much substance and the annoying sampled voice pops made me gag.
The Love Boat, like Three's Company, was all smarm and kitsch.
Bonanza almost made the cut but on listening to it again I realized that it hadn't stood the test of time and All in the Family received serious consideration but I've always found the melody to be somewhat lacking.
Johnny Quest kicks ass eh??!!??

slapper58 said...

And while we're on the subject of feuds; fuck you too Maria!!
There's no way X Files was going to make the cut and, knowing that you'd go ballistic, I opted for a pre-emptive strike by giving my sound reasoning at the outset. I even put in Buffy as an appeasement to you (and to give me a little more street cred).
The X Files theme is merely a brief snippet of ambiance... the sexy and creepy pairing is not enough! (How's that combination working out for you BTW??)

slapper58 said...

Dammit!! I got a gig in Ottawa and will have to miss thursday morning's clash of the literary titans...a veritable Algonquin Round Table for the 21st century.
I dub thee the Café Orange Booth Bastards.
(would somebody suck down a smoothie in my honor)

Maria Callous said...

No way buddy, I don't suck down anything with you in mind. Freakin pervert.

Maria Callous said...

Oh, and if you can call us Booth Bastards, may I take to calling you and my dad the Gravy Train Call Girls? Has a nice ring eh? (lol)

dixxx said...

Am I crazy, or has Farley Mowat called Robertson Davies a "fuckstick" here at the Blob?

Damn

buxom beaver said...

Blob gives credit where credit is due , however fails to note that his GF Phyllis sang the melody in the mellifluous tones of a saxon virgin milkmaid on her way to the pasture to fetch the dairy cows ( their udders swollen and swaying, rotund with a night's worth of milk production) The dew, bright upon her bare feet , young thighs brushing the heavy skirts, sweet breath steamy in the frosty morning air............ ah those were the days...sigh

slapper58 said...

Yes Dixxx this is all really happening and right here at The Blob...it just doesn't get any better than that!!
Maria you can call me whatever you want as long as the healthy checks are rolling in from our nation's capital. As they say; "If the diamond studded espadrille fits....."

slapper58 said...

MOOOO!!

Maria Callous said...

Phyllis, come back to town. You're wit far exceeds that of your bf. I needs me a real woman, and baby, you are IT!

slapper58 said...

What have we here? The Sisterhood of the Travelling D Cups??!!

Maria Callous said...

Read it and weep.

Maria Callous said...

Mikexxxster, oh boy, do I ever have a story for you. I brought home the hottest chick tonight. Both of us went to a mutual friend's birthday party and got a little tipsy. I lured her to my house with the promise of breakfast with a dashing 50-something gentleman of the brass persuasion. So here she is lying in my bed, all sexed up, waiting, yearning for her breakfast with the older gentleman, when I realize that my gentleman friend is too busy working in the fun capital of the world to have breakfast with her hot ass. You better believe I'm not making this up. She might never come to my house again after this. Sucker.

Farley Mowat said...

I am free for breakfast! Does your friend like bearded men?

FM

Anonymous said...

Get in line, Mowat, I was here first.

[and besides, mine still works]

R. Davies

slapper58 said...

MARIA!!!! I will graciously accept to dine (in Mikexxster's stead) with you and your needy friend tomorrow morning if the offer is still on the table. I've just returned from Ottawa covered in golden train gravy (ed. note: this refers to the fact that the National Arts Orchestra is the best paying orchestra gig or gravy train in this great nation of ours...Blobele and Mikexxster are in their employ this week.)
If your imaginary friend has sobered up, come to her senses, and fled I suppose you'll do.
Skip class...I think you could use a smoothie.

slapper58 said...

....honestly, I feel terrible about all this your dad;Party bear, Mikexxster, and I have all forsaken you, lured by the all mighty dollar to Ottawa where we've lunched and partied together (I even briefly shared a bed with your Dad and ohhh wouldn't GF Phyllis have loved to be the meat in thatsandwich!!)and earned the big bucks.
Tell ya what I'm gonna do...if you decide to go for breakfast tommorow and opt to slurp down a delicious smoothie that smoothie will be on me!!!
(it's just a figure of speech people!!)

Maria Callous said...

It's a date! Pick me up at 10:30!

slapper58 said...

10:30 it is and ummm...if it's OK with you can the imaginary blonde be named Inga? She's a Swedish foreign exchange student new to Canada and to the ways of love.

Maria Callous said...

Unfortunately she's a Romanian brunette named Irina. Close enough I guess. Who else would want to have breakfast with Mikexxxster?

slapper58 said...

You and I would "want" to I suppose but yearn.....NEVER!!!

Mama C said...

I didn't have time to listen to all the theme songs (at 200 yen per 10 minutes, I didn't have the money either!!) but seriously, folks, I mean, Blobbie, wtf? Where do you get the time for the research? I suppose your kids are starving in the next room, while you say, "just a minute, dears, I just gotta listen to the Gilmour Girls theme song and I'll be right there to make your lunches!" I'm calling Child Services!
And if you're looking out for my daughter in my absence, that's great, but keep it clean, Buddy!!
What am I saying, SHE could teach YOU a few dirty words. Never mind!

slapper58 said...

Research, what research????
As clearly stated in the post this list is "just off the top of my head". These are the songs that over the years have accumulated like plaque in my cerebral cortex. I could rattle off a list like that in my sleep!!
Don't worry about your daughter either....I endeavour at all times to be a model of decorum. I can't say that I'm always successful but you gotta hand it to me for at least endeavouring.

Mama C said...

Yeah, okay, no research, but you did have to find all those tunes on Youtube! Gotcha! Still with the child neglect!


Okay, where is that daughter of mine and why is my inbox conspicuously empty again!

Maria Callous said...

Screw you, woman! I sent you a long-ass email like 2 days ago and you didn't respond! I was retorting your Winston nagging and telling you about the concert. Sheesh!