Theme-ster

May 14, 2015

In writing my last blog, I feel like I just scratched the surface of my passion for television theme songs. And though I’m certain that no other person had this thought while reading the last blog post, much like Angela Lansbury, I have words that need to be typed.

When I was a kid, I watched a lot of television. Hundreds of shows. Thousands of hours. I actually credit television for my development as a writer, since I read virtually no books independently. Many of these shows were terrible, but for a lazy kid, they were an easy way to alleviate boredom. The shows ranged from typical kidfare like Heathcliff to more dramatic shows like Murder, She Wrote. Even though one was about a cartoon cat who loved fish and petty misdemeanors and the other was about an elderly lady who loved solving crimes and typing, they were unified by their musical beginnings. The theme song was a strong sensory cue for a young brain. I could be in the kitchen gulping down a Slice orange soda and know immediately that I needed to hit the couch.I remember being very disappointed when certain shows would forgo the theme song and advance straight to the credits, even if that meant more show.

My love for the theme song resulted in hundreds of musical hooks being lodged in my brain’s crevices. If someone were to give me a form with a section for “Special Skills”, I would happily scribble “Knowledge of television theme songs” in indelible ink. I’ve often wondered why I have retained this information over other information, such as the steps needed to turn on my weed whacker. The clear reason is that my knowledge will one day save me (and possibly the planet) when the alien overlords decide to spare anyone who can help them remember the opening lyrics from Who’s the Boss?

But while we wait for the aliens, how about a list of television theme song awards:

Most Spot-On to the Show’s Message: Cheers

Most Spot-Off to the Show’s Tone: Family Ties

Most Insanely Catchy: Blossom

Most Charming: Life Goes On

Most Likely to Momentarily Inspire a Couch Potato: The West Wing

Most Effective Summary of a Show’s Backstory: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Most Artistic Visuals Paired with Worst Vocals: The Wonder Years

Most Authoritative Rapping: In Living Color

Most Epic Use of Goats: Perfect Strangers

Most Forgettable Show with a Stirring Song: Sister Kate

Most Amazing Use of Auto-Tune: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Most Glaring Waste of a Great Song on a Disappointing Show: Chipn ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers

Most Perfect 80s Cheesiness: The Greatest American Hero

Typing out this list, I realize I’m leaving out some of my favorites, including Different Strokes,  The Office, Scooby-Doo, The Golden Girls, Airwolf, Saved by the Bell, and Jem

Oh boy. Now I think those aliens will probably just leave me alone out of pity. You’re welcome.

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