Show Intros

Another list. It's mid-terms, which is one of the hardest times of the semester; it's when I have to stand up and explain to my students (again) that intent is not the same as work; you may have meant to be in class, but that doesn't mean you were in class. You may have great reasons for not being in class, but . . . that still doesn't mean you were in class. You may think I'm mean for not understanding what great reasons you have for not being in class, but . . . that still doesn't mean you were in class. Like American Idol contestants, they confuse the quality of their characters with doing the work that will enable them to pass the course. And I have to get up and say, "Look, if you aren't going to come to class, just drop the course. And don't negotiate with me." I'm beginning to think that the primary purpose of a High School education is to teach students to charm or otherwise maneuver their way into grades (which reminds me of that scene from Clueless where the heroine does precisely that and her lawyer father commends her).

Anyway, not a relaxing time of year so I watch television, which is enormously relaxing. The following are a list of various show intros that I like, that I don't like, etc. in no particular order.

1. Again, Enterprise, which I didn't watch while it was running. But I would often watch the intro. One of the best Star Trek intros ever. Okay, okay, I do get a kick out of the intro for Star Trek: Original--all that goofy singing. But in general, I consider Star Trek intros fairly dull. Enterprise was a nice exception.

2. Criminal Minds needs a better intro. Cold Case is good. CSIs are good. Bones is okay. NCIS is okay. But Criminal Minds is really awful.

3. I love the intro to House: I'm afraid they are going to change it, which often happens after Season 2 of a show. Although CSI: Las Vegas only changed a little bit (thank goodness). So perhaps, House will stay as truly awesome as it is.

4. I liked it when Monk changed its intro though. I didn't mind the original, but I have tremendous respect for Randy Newman songs.

5. The American Idol intro confuses me. Is it a girl who walks out? Or does a guy walk out and then turn into a girl? Or do they change it every other night? Or what? (Speaking of American Idol, I don't care for Ryan Seacrest at all, but he is an excellent host. Also, speaking of American Idol, if they didn't have Simon on there, what a gooey, pointless show that would be.)

6. One thing I wish is that DVDs with multiple episodes wouldn't play the intro every single time. I think the intro to Dead Like Me is very clever, but I get sick of watching it time after time after time after time. Since I can never find the "turn the intro off" button, methinks it may be a legal thing.

7. And I really get annoyed by intros that recapsulate the plot. The early Buffy DVDs do that. Okay, by the time it gets to DVD, and I've rented it, I think the marketers should assume I'm passably familiar with the show. The Quantum Leap intros on DVD, for instance, are something like three minutes long. Actually, television intros in general have improved enormously since the 80s.

8. I must mention the PBS intro for Mystery with Gorey's figures. A true classic. Many PBS shows have classic intros: As Time Goes By, Red Dwarf ("It's cold outside . . ." or is that the end?), Black Adder(actually, I'm thinking of the end credits again, especially in the Regency Era episodes).

9. Not really an intro, but I quite like NCIS' technique of snapshotting the end of a sequence and then playing the scene through to that snapshot--a tad contrived but effective.



Anonymous said...

The song used in the intro to House is "Teardrop" by Massive Attack, from the album "Mezzanine." the track contains some beautiful female vocals as well, were it to play long enough. Worth a purchase or a download, should you be so inclined.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me if i'm wrong here, as I don't buy/rent alot of episodic series on DVD (I just dont find practically any sitcoms on the major networks any good, 24 was ok and the original CSi i like, but nothin else really) but on the ones that I have (mostly animation) they have divided the chapter selection amoung the different episodes, seperating the intro, cutting the main show (usually at normal commercial points), and the end. So with that when a new episode comes on, one click of the "Skip" or "Step" button (whatever your player calls the function that blows immediatly to the next chapter point in a movie, which doesnt nessecarily coincide with skipping a whole episode on those episodic dvds) it blows straight to the show.