It's easy to fast forward through the opening credit sequences of TV shows when you have them recorded on DVR, but there are some shows that just beg you to watch the whole thing through. Seriously, have you ever fast forwarded through the credits sequence of Game of Thrones? Or Orange is the New Black? OK fine, maybe once or twice. But they're still pretty great, right? They're part of the draw of the show.
With the right balance of tone, music, and visual splendor, TV title sequences don't just dazzle you, but also help tell the story of the TV show they introduce. Sure, there are some people who hate those darkly disorienting Homeland opening credits, but if you think about it, that loose experimental jazz and those labyrinth-like visuals are a perfect representation of the uneven, murky depths of Carrie's mind (and also of the show's take on international politics).
Not all of the shows on this list are great, but that doesn't mean that their title sequences can't be. Has anyone come out and said that American Horror Story: Hotel is the best iteration of the series yet? Not that we know of (and if you hear anyone say that, then you shouldn't be their friend). But! That opening credits sequence sure does leave you creeped out, doesn't it? The disconcerting juxtaposition of dead bodies and the Ten Commandments could easily give someone nightmares.
Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while a forgotten race returns after being dormant for thousands of years. ...more on Wikipedia
The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) wakes up from a coma to learn the world is in ruins, and must lead a group of survivors to stay alive. ...more on Wikipedia
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a ...more on Wikipedia
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American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, including a house with a murderous past, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, a hotel, a possessed farmhouse, and a cult. ...more on Wikipedia