A Short List of Brilliant TV Show Opening Intros
Whoever created the skip intro button on Netflix is a genius…That might totally be true, but there’s an art to creating an intriguing and tasteful introduction to a television show. Whether it be an animated intro or a montage, some intros are definitely better than others.
I’ve compiled a short list of television show intros that catch the viewer’s attention, and might be able to hold off on clicking that skip intro button. This list is in no particular order because each show’s introduction has its own merits and they all vary quite differently.
“Space, the final frontier” has become part of pop culture lexicon. With the Starship Enterprise flying across the screen, the spoken introduction gives the viewer a synopsis of Star Trek. Furthermore, with the Starship Enterprise flying across the screen, Gene Roddenberry’s creation takes the viewer to new worlds and boldly goes “where no man has gone before.”
The intro to Friends is a staple of `90s television. With the cast splashing around in the water and the song lyrics expressing the thoughts of many people in their twenties, the intro is a viewer favorite. (Many parodies of the intro can be found on YouTube.) The intro very well reflects the characters and premise of the show, which is a bunch of 20-something adults trying to figure out their lives.
The intro to Freaks and Geeks uses the dreaded school photo day to creatively show the premise of the show. We see the cast and their personalities as each one of them step up and take their school photo. The song, “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, plays in the background to this hectic photo day. It’s too bad this critically acclaimed show only lasted one season.
The Family Guy intro is a spoof on All in the Family’s intro where Lois and Peter are sitting at a piano and singing the intro song together before the rest of the family starts dancing—the intro turns into a musical number. The Family Guy intro song is one of the most iconic songs for a television show; I think virtually anyone would know what show it is by hearing any part of the song.
For anyone who grew up in the `90s, SpongeBob SquarePants was a staple on their television screen. With memes and other images circulating the Internet that come from the show, the show has definitely had an impact on the millennial culture. The intro uses mixed media animation and a song to tell the viewer who the character SpongeBob SquarePants is and where he lives.
I will always watch the intro to Bojack Horseman all the way through. With a 2D animated Bojack on screen, the 3D background changes behind him as he gets out of bed and goes about his day. The various antics in the background change to reflect what is going on in the current season of the show. With an amazing song to accompany this visually pleasing intro, I will never get bored of watching the intro.
The introduction animation for Mad Men shows a man descent into the world of advertising by having a black silhouette of a man fall out of his office and down the sides of buildings that have advertising displayed on them. It shows the premise in an artsy way, and ends on a blacked out silhouette of a man sitting and smoking. The music also helps give a foreboding mood to the intro.
The opening credits to Dexter show the main character’s morning routine as he wakes up, shaves, then cooks and eats breakfast. Everything is shown in a extreme close up way and focuses on the bloody details within the shots. The opening shows the kind of character Dexter is, which allows the viewer to go into the show knowing what to expect.
A personal favorite of mine is Parks and Recreation opening where the split screen madness reveals each character and parts of fictional Pawnee, Indiana. With a documentary-esque and lively feel, the lightheartedness of the show seeps through the opening credits.
The opening to Westworld mixes sleek visuals and a stunning tune to convey a stark mood. We watch as androids are being constructed by robots. One android rides a horse, while another plays piano, and also a couple is making love. The credits end with an android being submerged into a vat of white liquid. The opening as a whole is cold, yet inviting.