I’m a great fan of tv show intro’s and truly enjoy them. The intro of a tv show can be a short film in it’s own right, which can convey an atmosphere, perhaps even better than the show itself. Although a good show often has an equally good and fitting intro, this does not always have to be the case. Take the intro to Breaking Bad for instance, if one could call it an intro. A ten second sequence in which several letters light up, taken from the periodic table we all know from chemistry at school. The intro to Breaking Bad may not be that great, the show itself is one of the best ever made.
There are intro’s, however which are extraordinarily well made and deserve more attention. My personal top five is listed below:
This somewhat older, less known HBO show Carnivàle, cancelled after it’s second season, despite a small group of hardcore fans, has an intro which captures the atmosphere and timeframe of the series exceptionally well. The camera dives into several tarot cards, picturing mystical beings. This animation dissolves into actual image portraying the America of the 1930’s. The same period in which the tv show plays out. Mystery, good vs. evil and the Great Depression, these ingredients are brought together through the moody and uncomfortable intro score which makes it a captivating intro to this tv show.
4. The Sopranos
One of the iconic shows of all time which needs no introduction. The tv show which redefined the landscape of modern shows. Often the music is as important or perhaps more so than the images accompanying the intro. Such is the case wit “I woke up this morning” by Alabama 3, the song which is inseparably connected to the Sopranos and remains a great song to listen to. The images introduce us to the area in which cigar smoking Tony works and lives. Unpolished and raw, just like the show itself, the music accompanied by the images makes this one of the coolest intro’s ever made.
3. Game of Thrones
This show, taking into account the large amount die-hard fans of the books, has become a hit. Even seasoned dads have been persuaded into watching the show.
The intro presents a geographical view of the world of GoT through a mechanical flip-out map, which seems to consist of heavy metals. Yet again the music to this intro is 100% accurate and immediately pulls you into the atmosphere, which is so defining for this series. The medieval world of: war, intrige, savage violence and sex (sounds interesting, right?). I’m an incredible fan of well-made animations, together with an epic score calling one to arms, makes this one of the most original and beautiful intro’s I know. Fun Fact: every season a new part of the map gets revealed, masterful!
If you’d like to find out the idea behind the intro and how they pulled it of, click here.
This show revolves around the serial killer Dexter. A man with an insatiable thirst to murder and with a fascination for blood. The images of the intro convey this lust by showing us a egg being fried, the squeezing of a blood orange, the crushing of coffee beans, a cut whilst shaving and much more. The combination of these everyday actions (well okay, i don’t make blood orange juice that often) and the estranging intro score are genius and convey the mood and character of the show perfectly. Simply sublime.
1. True Detective
This is my personal top five. In no way does it mean the this intro is better than that one, furthermore this is just my opinion, not a fact. It’s about taste. The intro to True Detective speaks to me the most. Atmospheric is an understatement. This intro breathes atmosphere. A midwest-hillbilly-incest-folk-and-country-sect atmosphere which you might recognize from the film “Deliverance”, nasty yet “fascinating” to watch. This intro contains many stylish animations combined with stylish images accompanied by, excuse me for repeating myself, stylish country music. A piece of art in itself, in addition to a brilliant series. My number 1 intro to a tv show.
For background information about this intro and how it was made, check this website: http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/true-detective/
Of course there are many more cool intro’s out there. Take the somewhat older series like: the X-files, Friends, or The Fresh Prince of Bel-air. Instantly recognizable and memorable. Or the newer ones like: American Horror Story, Black Sails, Sherlock. I had to make a choice otherwise the list would have become too long. I’m curious to what you find are great intro’s. If you feel an intro should belong in a top ten, let me know. I’ll expand the list to make the ultimate list of intro’s.