e.phemera: Great Title Sequences – The X-Files

When I think of title sequences that really set the tone, I can’t help but think of The X-Files. It sells the genre so well, and the music is a real ear-worm.

Fringe, considered by some to be The X-Files’ spiritual successor, did a bit more with its opening titles, adapting them as the seasons went by to serve as visual anchors for the viewer. The colours, the text, and even the time style, all told us which story universe this episode was centred around.

The X-Files

The X-Files

e.phemera: Great Title Sequences – The West Wing

I’ve written before about my thoughts on the importance of title sequences, and I have been re-visiting The West Wing recently. It struck me just how perfect the opening titles are with this show, immediately telling us what we’re watching (right down to Sheen’s JFK pose).

W.G. Snuffy Walden, the series composer, was originally thinking about doing a guitar based theme, but thankfully they all moved away from that idea.

Another political show, this time Veep’s HBO, also nails the title sequence, giving us all the information we need and setting the tone perfectly.

The West Wing

The West Wing


Ferris Bueller TV Series

Last night I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for the first time in a long while, and it was fun doing so¬†with the view that the whole thing is going on in Cameron’s head as he stays in bed.

I thought the worst thing that ever happened to Ferris Bueller was the Honda Superbowl Commercial, but I was wrong. It was this:

The NBC television series, from 1990, starring Charlie Schlatter and Jennifer Aniston, followed The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and rightly got lost under its shadow.

If you can get more than a minute past the opening titles, you’re a more patient person than I. Don’t. Watch. It.

It opens with crap Ferris addressing the camera, saying he can’t change his life because the movie put it up on the big screen … and then immediately sets itself up as a prequel to those events. Hmm.

But what’s worst is that it takes a vicious stab at the movie whose success and goodwill the series is trading off. That, I believe, is called a Dick Move.

Imagine if the TV series of Buffy, instead of opening with a genre-busting moment that set up the tone brilliantly for the coming show, had Sarah Michelle-Gellar telling us she thought the movie sucked, and then said some unpleasant things about Kristy Swanson, before slicing through her cardboard cut-out with a chainsaw.

That this abomination got past the script stage is amazing, and that it ran for 13 episodes is depressing.

... it's Cameron - Ferris is a sociopath.

One of them’s a righteous dude …