Tag Archives: three’s company

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?

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

The Ick Factor – A Recap of Big Love’s Season Finale “End of Days”

I had mixed feelings about tonight’s Big Love season finale.  On one hand, it was certainly eventful.  There were a lot of twists and turns during this episode that I didn’t see coming.  Plus, a lot of questions that had been left unanswered throughout the series were finally resolved, although not necessarily for the better (cough, Tommy and Barb, cough). 

On the other hand, watching “End of Days” was a highly unpleasant experience for me.  A lot of the scenes and plot points were just plain uncomfortable to watch.  When you’ve come to know and care about characters during the course of four seasons, as I have with the Big Love cast, there are some situations you just don’t want to see them in.  The episode’s game-changer ending will definitely send the show in an entirely new direction next season.  I am just not entirely sure that I like where it is going . . .

So, let’s take a look at where we are going, and where we have been, shall we?

Ding. Dong, J.J.’s Dead!

“I’m MELTING!  I’m MELTING!”

One of the questions that was resolved during the season finale was what the heck J.J. was doing to get everybody pregnant.  In fact, the J.J. storyline was entirely resolved, because awesome Adaleen set his house on fire, burning that crazy mother-f’er and his wife to a crisp in the process.  So, the prospect of J.J. returning to Juniper Creek is highly unlikely.  Unless, of course, he comes back from the dead all burned and disfigured a la Freddy Krueger, which I wouldn’t put past him.  (They both have that “terrorizing children” thing in common, after all . . .)

“I will haunt your dreams, and force you to carry my creepily deformed babies to term.”

When news breaks that the polygamist compound in Kansas is rife with inbred babies, all signs point to J.J.’s involvement, seeing as he runs things down there.  Wanda comes out of her catatonic state long enough to admit that J.J. has inseminated Adaleen with Wanda’s egg (and his own sperm) in order to impregnate her.  Wanda just so happens to be J.J.’s biological sister  . . .

J.J. then tricks the infertile Nikki into coming to his “doctor” son’s office, in order to impregnate her with an egg belonging to Cara Lynn, Nikki’s own daughter with J.J.  I don’t even want to KNOW how he got that egg!

Fortunately, Bill finds Nikki just in time, and rescues her from the clutches of the evil creepy J.J.  Then Adaleen ties J.J. and his wife up, douses their home with gasoline, and watches it go KABOOM!  Who knew drippy weak-willed Adaleen Grant would turn out to be such a . . .

“Come to think of it, Mary Kay Place could totally pass for an older version of Drew Barrymore.  Don’t you think?”

At the conclusion of the episode, Nikki cuts her compound-style braid, and agrees to carry Margene’s non-incestually deformed baby to term for the Henricksons.  Ummm, yay . . . I guess?

Margene, Goran, and Anna sitting in a tree . . .

“Come and knock on our door.  We’ll be waiting for YOU!  When the kisses are HERS, and HERS, and HIS, Three’s Company Too!”

Margene’s storyline this evening would have fit really well into a swinging 70’s era sitcom.  For the past few episodes, Margene has been waffling back and forth between her marriage to Barb, Nikki, and Bill, which will result in the inevitable loss of her jewlery business, and her greencard marriage to Goran.  When she talks to Anna about it, Margene confesses that she feels guilty about marrying Goran, because she is attracted to him.  This attraction makes her feel like a Big Ho-Bag, seeing as Goran is actually in a (committed?) relationship with Anna.   

Huh?  Where did this “love interest” come from?  There was no evidence of Margene’s “attraction” to Goran throughout the entire season.  The guy seductively grabs her knee once, and all the sudden she’s in love with him?  Wasn’t it only a few episodes ago that she was talking about her romantic feelings for Ben?  It just plain didn’t make sense to me . . .

Weirder still was Anna’s response to Margene’s confession.  She was totally cool with it.  Anna told Margene that she already knew that Goran and Margene had feelings for one another.  So, why couldn’t the three of them just be happy together?  Is this the same Anna who, just last week, lectured Bill about his hypocritical one man-for-many women ways?  Truthfully, I always sensed a bit of a lesbian subtext between Margene and Anna.  However, both characters’ actions during this episode seemed inconsistent and unrealistic to me. 

“Just imagine all the hijinks we can get into now!  Wait until we tell Mr. Roper!”

At the conclusion of this storyline, Goran is seen happily hugging Anna and Margene, while fondling both of their asses.  Somewhere up in heaven, Jack Tripper is raising his fist in triumph  . . .

“Goran, I salute you!”

Barb and Tommy are Splitsville . . . But what about Barb and Bill?

“I’m going to miss you, and your sexy sweat lodge too!”

I had high hopes for Barb and Tommy at the opening of this episode.  She adorably mothered him, by trying to get him to eat a healthy and well-balanced meal, after a stressful day.  He confided in her about his family troubles (apparently, Tommy has some bad seed drug dealers in his family).  Together, they worried about how Tommy’s screwed up family history may adversely affect the casino.  Barb then vowed to help Tommy, promising him that he wouldn’t have to go through this alone.  They shared plenty of longing looks, and another sexy hug . . .

Then Bill had to go and screw everything up!

Well, in Bill’s defense, Barb made quite a mess of things herself, by offering the results of Anna’s paternity test, which showed that Bill was the father of her illegitimate child, to a local news network.  Barb did this in hopes that doing so would keep Bill from winning the Senate seat that has been slowly tearing their family apart.  Then, ostensibly, Bill ratted out and fired Tom and Jerry from the casino, to save face.  However, I thought the move had “revenge against Barb” written all over it. 

“Wow, this just occurred to me . . . probably because I never remembered the Jerry-character’s name.  Why the heck did the writers choose names like these for a pair of characters that would constantly be discussed in the series together, and in this exact order?  Seriously!”

Barb apparently thought Bill made a dick move too.  And when she FINALLY stuck up for herself, and told Bill, “I don’t think I need you anymore,” I cheered for her. 

“You go girl!”

But will she have the guts to leave him now that he is a State Senator?  Only time will tell . . .

Don, Don, Don, Don DONNNNNNN!

Yeah, this wasn’t a big part of the show at all.  I was just happy to see my favorite sidekick, Don, back on Big Love for the finale, even if it was just to kiss Bill’s ass again.  Despite the fact that Big Boss Man ruined Don’s life and turned his kid into a juvenile delinquent (who throws rocks through people’s windows) Don still showed up to watch Bill make his State Senate acceptance speech, and actually seemed HAPPY when Bill won . . .

Build for Bill (more like Demolish for Bill)

Meet Bill Henrickson, the family values Senator from Utah, and his family (Not pictured: illegitamate child, fourth wife, and illegal alien second husband)

Perhaps the most cringeworthy moment of the entire episode came at its conclusion, when Bill won the State Senate seat, and came out as a polygamist. As a bunch of his former supporters stormed out in anger, Bill made matters worse, by calling each of his wives up to the podium with him, singlehandedly destroying their lives along with his own.  Although the foursome held hands together at the conclusion of the speech, in a show of solidarity, each wife looked like she would rather be pulled apart by two horses running in opposite directions, than be there with Bill.

And that was it for this season.  So, what did you think of the finale?  Are you excited for a Season 5 that  revolves around Bill as a polygamist Senator?  Are you hoping that Barb leaves Bill’s ass for Tom (and Jerry)?  Are you hoping Margene leaves Bill’s ass for Anna and Goran?  Were you as happy to see Don as I was?  Were you as happy to see Marilyn and J.J. GO as I was?

 

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