Whatever Happened to TV Theme Songs? (THE SEQUEL)

A little while back,  I wrote a blog entry entitled  Whatever Happened to TV Theme Songs?  In it, I complained about the fact that most television programs today seem to have done away with theme songs, opting instead to use a few bland instrumental chords to introduce their show.  Some shows, like Lost or The Vampire Diaries,  have scrapped their opening sequences entirely.

When I was done bitching, I chose ten theme songs and opening sequences that I really enjoyed from my TV watching past, and shared them with anyone who might be interested.  And you guys seemed to like it.  (By “like it,” I mean you “clicked on it.”  For all I know, you may have took one look at the theme songs I chose, said “That TV Recapper Girl  is a total Poopyhead,” and slammed your browser in my face.)

But here’s the thing. . . .   There are SO MANY really great theme songs and opening sequences out there, that I DIDN’T get to show you.  And, for that reason, I thought it might be fun to try this again.  So, without further adieu, I present to you, ten MORE old school TV theme songs (in no particular order) that I find pretty cool.

1) All in the Family

All right.  So I can’t really say that this show was part of my childhood.  After all, it was already off the air, by the time I was born.  But I catch it in reruns ALL THE TIME, mostly just to watch the opening sequence.  I’m not entirely sure why I like it so much.  Perhaps it’s because there is something about Archie and Edith Bunker that reminds me a lot of my paternal grandparents.  Also, any opening sequence that involves that much ridiculously bad, off-key singing, is pretty cool in my book . . .

2) The Jeffersons

Like All in the Family, its spinoff, The Jeffersons, aired a smidgeon before my TV watching time.  But I watch it in reruns whenever I can find it, basically because I think its Sherman Hemsley is “the bees knees.”  He could just be standing around doing nothing, and I would find it absolutely hilarious.  Sherman is just so cute!  To me, he’s kind of like a black Danny Devito . . .

Did I mention that the song in the opening sequence is super catchy?  I still find myself singing it out loud every time I move into a new apartment, much to the extreme displeasure of anyone unlucky enough to be helping me move.  Just listen, and I dare you not to sing along!

3) Roseanne

This “smarter than it looked” show, about a working class family, was on the air, pretty much throughout my childhood.  During its nine-year run, the show’s opening sequence underwent nearly annual tweaks and changes.  Ironically, my favorite opening sequences for Roseanne came near the end of its run, when the show itself was losing some of the good humor and sharp writing of earlier seasons.  The opening sequences for the last two seasons of Roseanne, featured these really cool character morphs, illustrating how (for better or worse) the characters had aged during the show’s long run.

My favorite morph was for the Becky character, who, during the show’s nine years, was played by two different actresses, Lecy Goranson and Saarah Chalke (Scrubs).  The sequence morphs the two together, as if they are the same person.  My second favorite morph was for Roseanne herself, who made some really bad hair and plastic surgery choices during that decade.  In one picture in particular, her entire face seems to droop downward in a perverse, overly-botoxed sneer that actually used to give me nightmares.  When you see it, you’ll know why.

(Unfortunately, there is no embedding on this video.  So, you have to click the internal link, to watch it on YouTube.  Sorry!)

4) The Wonder Years

I loved this show when I was a little kid, for so many reasons.  For one, I thought Fred Savage was a total hottie.  I wanted to be Winnie Cooper, so that I could date him.  If my first TV crush was Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Home Improvement, Fred Savage comes in a close second.  Also, the dad on the show, Dan Luria, looked a lot like my dad, which I thought was pretty cool.

And, of course, the opening sequence was amazing!  You see, I was an only child, and, from what I gather, not a particularly photogenic one.  Therefore, we never had home videos in my family.  (I don’t even think we owned a video camera.)  So, when I would watch The Wonder Years, as a kid, I liked to pretend that Kevin Arnold’s home videos were mine.  Sometimes I would even reenact Winnie’s parts, as I watched  . . . It was kind of embarrassing.

5) Blossom

You know what?  When I said that NO home videos exist of me as a child, that’s not entirely true.  I do distinctly remember one video that was taken just before one of my dance recitals.  In it, 7-year old me BORED MY POOR FAMILY TO TEARS, by suiting up in my dance costume, and reenacting the ENTIRE RECITAL, casting myself in all the crucial roles, of course. 

 Funny looking costume?  Bad goofy dancing?  I imagine it looked a lot like this . . .

6) Dinosaurs

The things you learn when researching a blog entry!  I distinctly remember watching this program as a kid, during ABC’s fabulous Friday night TGIF lineup.  The show was sort of a live action Flintstones, only all the characters in it were dinosaurs.  Now that I think about it, the whole thing was a little bizarre . . .

But regardless of the quality of the show itself, I remember really loving what I thought was the show’s theme song.  Today, I looked up the theme song to Dinosaurs on YouTube, and learned that what I THOUGHT was the theme song, wasn’t the theme song at all.  It was merely a song, and accompanying video, that was featured during one of the show’s episodes.  The actual theme song kind of sucked.  But THIS song was SO GOOD and SO FUNNY, that I’ve decided to share it with you instead . . .

7) Salute Your Shorts

By now, you already know how I feel about theme songs that  feature ridiculously bad and off-key singing.  So, of course, I simply had to include this theme song on the list, from a Nickelodeon show about a very poorly managed sleepaway camp . . .

8 ) Step by Step

Yet another installment from ABC’s TGIF lineup makes the list at Number 8.  Step by Step was kind of a revamped Brady Bunch for us ’90s kids to enjoy.  It starred Suzanne Somers — as the mom of a blended family — one who looked remarkably similar to Chrissy Snow from Three’s Company.

Around the time this was on the air, I was spending a lot of free time hanging out at amusement parks with my friends.  So, of course, I absolutely adored this amusement park-themed opening sequence.

9) Freaks and Geeks

I’m cheating a bit here, because I didn’t actually watch this show during its initial run.  Rather, I caught it recently on Netflix, and was amazed by how brilliant it was, and how many of its cast members (and writing staff) eventually went on to do bigger and better things.  If, by chance, you are interested in my take, on the show itself, you can find that here. 

However, right now, I am here to talk about its kick ass opening sequence, which features the rebel anthem Bad Reputation by Joan Jett, and accurately portrays the extreme awkwardness and pure horror that is Yearbook Picture Day!

10) What I Like About You

Even though it has been off the air for a few years now, I still enjoy watching repeats of this classic WB show about two very different sisters living under one roof, and navigating life and love in New York City.  On the surface, it looks like your typical cheesy teen romcom.  However, Jennie Garth and Amanda Bynes made the show way better than it should have been, with their amazing on-screen chemistry and fabulous comedic timing. 

But, of course, my favorite episodes of the show were the ones from later seasons.  After all, these focused on Amanda Byne’s character, Holly, and her relationship with on-again, off-again boyfriend, Vince, played by MY TV boyfriend, the painfully gorgeous, Nick Zano.  This guy doesn’t get nearly enough work these days in my opinion . . .

Oh, and did I mention that the show’s opening sequence features the cast riding and dancing around Times Square to the tune of Lilix’s awesome cover of the song What I Like About You?

So, there you have it folks — ten more TV theme songs to add to my collection of nostalgic television awesomeness.  Have I missed any of your favorites?

14 Comments

Filed under 80s television, 90s television, music, television, TV theme songs

14 responses to “Whatever Happened to TV Theme Songs? (THE SEQUEL)

  1. Pingback: Whatever Happened to TV Theme Songs? « TV Recappers Anonymous

  2. Amazon Annie

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. You picked some great theme songs. I kind of miss those theme songs that first introduced the characters and gave the viewer an idea of what the show was about. Then the songs became old friends that on certain days you couldn’t get out of your head and so you hummed “movin’ on up” all day til your friends told you to “shut the “f” up! Fun blog KJewls!

    • LOL Amazon Annie! I’m actually really glad to know that I wasn’t the only one that caught The Jeffersons Theme Song bug. I’m pretty sure the song had crack laced in it. That’s the only way to explain its addictiveness. The weird thing is that it’s kind of gospel-sounding and I don’t even LIKE gospel music. Go figure!

      Thanks for popping in! Here’s hoping this blog entry got you dancing “in your DELUXE apartment in the SKYYYY!”

  3. imaginarymen

    Hey! I’m also an only child!!!! WooooHoooo!!!

    I am so pleased that you found a way to include a pic of a shirtless hot guy. I expect nothing less from one of your blogs!!

    Oh and that you mentioned TVD which, IMO doesn’t need a theme song bc that would mean less time for Salvatore Brother hotness.

    What, no “I don’t wanna wait, for my life to be over, I wanna know right now, what will it beeeeee”??!!

    • Well, OF COURSE, I couldn’t forget the Dawson’s Creek theme! That was in the ORIGINAL list! (7th one down) 😉

      https://tvrecappersanonymous.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/whatever-happened-to-tv-theme-songs/

      Good point about TVD. But here is a counterpoint. Imagine a delicious opening sequence, complete with all the best, hottest, (sometimes shirtless), moments the Salvatore brothers’ have had on screen since Season 1. Such a sequence would mean that no matter what was happening during the episode, you would be GUARANTEED to see at least one shot of sexy Damon dancing open-shirted.

      Check out this fan-created one, for instance (:20) and (:44):

      Ah, poor, beautiful Nick Zano! If only he was actually working on television right now so that he could have made my “Shirtlessness is Godliness” list. I’ve been told he was on Cougar Town for all of 10 minutes. “A body like that is a terrible thing to waste.”

      YAY! A fellow only kid! We should totally start an Only Children Bloggers for Justice and Shirtlessness union . . . 😉

  4. Nice part II. I loved loved loved Three’s Company, The Jeffersons, and of course, Blossom.

    I’d say SITC, even though it all music, no lyrics. That music just signifies a good times a coming in my mind.

    • Ooooh! The Sex and the City Opening! That was a good one! I actually think I used SATC’s instrumental theme as my cell phone ring tone for a short while. You’re right. There was something about hearing that music at 9pm on a Sunday that made the end of the weekend less depressing.

      Let’s give it an unofficial add to the list, shall we?

      I love the REAL (no green screen) NYC backdrops, and the part at the end, where the bus with Carrie’s picture on it drives into a puddle and gets her ridiculous tutu wet! My only gripe with the opening was that it didn’t feature any of the other girls. For example, I would have loved to have seen some raunchy Samantha clips thrown in there . . .

      Thanks for popping by, and I’m glad you enjoyed the sequel! 🙂

  5. Wow first and foremost I watch too much TV lol. And the fact that I knew every single one of these tv series and SINGing along to there respected theme songs.

    Plus the other set blows me away (except for 3 or 4). But I have to Say Boy Meets World had to be my favoirte (later years) theme song. Plus I absolutely adore Cory (for the most part).

    But this bring me back to reruns and theme songs. I love All in the Family, oh Archie.

    • You and me both, Uninspired Fanfiction Writer! Let’s put it this way, I did two of these theme song posts already, each with 10 songs, so 20 songs total. And I STILL felt like I had to narrow down my choices significantly! With all my years of couch potato-ing, I probably could have made at least two more of these, without having to stretch beyond my favorites.

      And Boy Meets World definitely topped my “Runner’s Up” list. :)(Gotta love that, Mr. Feeny!) Cory was definitely cute, but I was a Shawn fan, myself! 😉 In fact, Rider Strong pinup posters made frequent appearances on my pre-teen Bedroom Closet Door Boy Collage.

      It’s the Bad Boy thing, I think. I guess that’s part of what makes me a Chuck Bass girl too . . . 😉

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I’m glad to know I’m not the only lifelong couch potato on the blogosphere.

  6. Wayne

    Hi, Nice mentions. I would also like to include the following themes I grew up with: CHiPs, Knots Landing (Seasons 1-7, 14), Dallas, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley (very catchy), Good Times (Jeffersons spin off), Magnum PI, Rockford Files, Hawaii Five-O, and Mama’s family. What made me watch a program was the theme song. If it was lousy, I wouldn’t waste my time with a program. It’s a shame that new shows lack decent theme songs (if they have any to begin with). Wayne

  7. Wayne

    Hi, I forgot: Mork and Mindy, Growing Pains, Night Court, MacGyver, The A-Team, and Hunter (Season 1-4). Wayne

    • Hey Wayne! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, and for all the great theme song add-ons!

      Although I haven’t seen all of the shows you’ve listed, I have heard most of their theme songs, and can agree that they are pretty catchy. I love the idea of watching a show, based on the quality of its theme song / opening sequence. It’s as good a reason to watch a show as any, right? Too bad there aren’t all that many theme songs to choose from any more. Here’s hoping they make a comeback! 🙂

  8. Dorvell Stewart

    You brought up a lot of really good ones! Some of my personal favorites are the theme songs to shows like “Rescue 9-1-1,” “Unsolved Mysteries,” “ER,” “Friends,” “Law and Order,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire,” “Family Matters,” “Full House,” and a whole lot of others that I can’t remember right now!
    😀

    I really miss the days when Tv shows had full, catchy memorable theme songs!

    • Hey Dorvell! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! You brought up some great theme songs too! I particularly loved the theme songs for Full House and Family Matters. (I may have even included the Full House Theme in my first TV Theme Song post. ;)).

      But, you know what’s strange? Whenever I try to remember the theme songs to BOTH Full House and Family Matters, I always confuse the two in my head. At first, I assumed this was just because I was pretty young, when these shows first came out. And yet, there are other theme songs, from even EARLIER in my childhood that I remember perfectly (like the theme song for Sesame Street, for example).

      So, I decided to do a little informal comparison of the two aforementioned theme songs. And, guess what? They ARE actually pretty darn similar! Check it out . . .

      Here’s the theme song for Full House:

      And here’s the one for Family Matters:

      Eerie, right? 🙂

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