This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cheers to Theme Songs

I haven't been too interested in movies lately.  Not anything that's in theatres right now anyway.  Instead, I've been watching more TV shows.  Odd for me, yes.  I'm not much of a TV person.  In fact, when analog TVs became dinosaurs, I had to get one of those digital converter boxes.  It was the first time I'd set foot in a Radio Shack in ages.  I went home, fiddled with the "bunny ears" antenna on the analog TV I'd had since college and got it all jazzed up with the converter box. 

The result?  I got a bunch of channels to flip through. Unfortunately, most of them were scrambled or in Chinese, Spanish, and Russian.  The only English language channel that came in clearly was Channel 7.  It was  mind-boggling that I couldn't even get the major networks like NBC and CBS.

Most of the "TV" I do watch is through digital streaming.  Besides my recent Breaking Bad Season 4 binge, I've otherwise been watching older TV shows.  I think it's great that entire series are now available for streaming.  I've really enjoyed revisiting shows like Cheers, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and The Bernie Mac Show.

One thing that's struck me about these shows is how simple most of them are.  Prime example: Cheers.  Many of these shows also existed in an era when shows still had theme songs.  For Cheers and The Golden Girls, and even Friends, the theme song became as much a part of the show as the characters.  Shows had openers during the credits.  In the case of Family Ties, they did a whole "oil painting into family portrait sequence."  Cheers went through the evolution of the bar through old illustrations of bar patrons that gradually evolved into portraits. 

Today we're so impatient to get to the content of the show that theme songs really, if ever, exist.  In fact, most of the time there is no song of any kind and the opening credits occur during the action. Increasingly, even the end credits are shrunken up in some tiny corner and cut out entirely.  (This is one of my all-time pet peeves.) 

Theme songs and opening montages and the like gave TV shows a sense of identity, a sense of place.  I'd love to see shows go back to that.  Just a little bit.

Copyright © 2012 by KLiedle

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