Sunday, August 29, 2010

30 Day TV Challenge - Day 18: "Things ain't been the same since the blues walked in our town."

18. Favorite title sequence.

This is one of the few no-brainer prompts on the list -- there's just no competition. For me, a great title sequence should do more than just list off the cast members; it needs to encapsulate the series, show the viewer the world they're about to enter. And no series did it better than The Sopranos.

Everything we need to understand about the show we're about to watch is communicated in those ninety seconds: we meet Tony Soprano, and get a sense of the power he wields (the extreme close-ups, the cigar, all tell us this man is something to fear); we learn the setting (New Jersey, but New York looms in the near distance, both geographically and metaphorically over the characters); and see the divided worlds at the heart of the series, the tough neighborhoods were Tony does his business and the enormous home where he sleeps.

Also: the song is awesome.

(Honorable mentions: The Wire, Mad Men, The X-Files.)

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