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.
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.
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.
What’s that? You want to read a new book that I’ve written? Well, you’re in luck, because Normalverse is out now, and it’s more than likely FREE from your chosen eBook provider.
Here’s the cover.
You’ll notice that it’s part one of a trilogy, so you might be pleased to know that part two is already available, and that part three will be out some time in March.
In the meantime, here’s the blurb that’s intended to make you add the book to your collection right now:
“Don’t read this in a public place, you won’t be able to stop yourself laughing out loud. It reminds me of Douglas Adams, the careful plotting mixed with those absurdities and jokes that sneak up and make you snort tea through your nose. Hilarious.” Goodreads.
What if you really were the centre of the universe?
Norman Mi’s house is shrinking. He’s sure of it.
But that’s the least of his problems, even if he doesn’t realise it yet. There’s also the odd time dilation effects at the office, the invisible spiders that no one else can see, and the eccentric neighbours who insist on eating his bacon sandwiches.
In spite of all of this, Norman is a completely average man; a man so bland he would disappear in the middle of Ikea. The trouble is, Norman doesn’t want to be an average man, he wants to be unique, he wants to be somebody, and he wants to amount to something.
And he’s about to get exactly what he wants; whether it’s good for him or not.
Normalverse is the first part of a trilogy about normality and pan-galactic rent disputes.
So, add it to your collection now, because it’s FREE.