Last night, I watched the second episode of this season's Big Love. This puts me almost a quarter of the way through the season (here's why), and I still don't know what's going on. Too many storylines, too many new characters, and not enough of Bill's crazy mom.
But what I do know is that I LOVE the new opening credits.
Check it out on YouTube sometime. It's been compared to Mad Men's opener, with the lead character falling through space. But unlike Mad Men's opener, Big Love's isn't animated. Set to the song "Home" by Engineers, it features Bill and his three wives falling through black space, sometimes in slow motion, and sometimes suspended in mid-air.
It is haunting. Captivating. And absolutely gorgeous. I've seen it twice, and both times, I couldn’t tear my eyes off it.
The old theme, which featured Bill and his wives ice-skating and the ice cracking between them, was set to The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." It, too, was terrific.
Seeing the new opener got me thinking about theme songs and opening credits in general. Chuck's is really fun, and I watch it all the way through each time. Mad Men's music draws you in, and the art/graphics are neat. I also love Dexter's, even though I can't watch the part where he gets bitten by a mosquito, and the part where he nicks himself shaving.
I can never watch people shave on TV. Too traumatic.
On the other end of the theme song spectrum, you have songs that go on foreverrrrr. You could probably take a shower and blow-dry your hair in the time it takes for the Family Guy theme to play through. Then there's Survivor, with all that tribal chanting...gahhh.
The latest theme song abomination I've discovered is Damages. Great show, but horrible theme. It's some guy mumbling, "When I am through with you...there won't be anything left..when I am through with you." He also mumbles some other things but they are incomprehensible. The singing is combined with bleak shots of NYC sculptures and architecture I've never seen, and I've lived here all my life. Yeah. Come visit New York!
I recently read an article saying that these days, traditional opening credits are getting supershort, even disappearing altogether. I hope not (unless your name is Survivor). Openers can be done well, and Big Love has proven it--twice.