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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

5 Favorite TV Show Theme Songs

Gilligan's Island: The Complete Series CollectionEven though I rarely watch my favorite shows live, I rarely fast forward through theme songs. TV show theme songs set the tone for next 30 or 60 minutes. They are like an old friend who comes and sits down with you to watch the show. That’s why it bothers me when the producers of a show tinker with the theme song or change it completely.

I love the original theme song for One Tree Hill, “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw, but this season they are using different singers every week and each performer is trying to make the song their own. It’s like having a stranger sit down next to me to watch the show. break my rule and fast forward through that particular theme song now.

Here are my 5 favorite TV show theme songs – and, as always, I hope you’ll leave your favorites in the comment section:

1. Gilligan’s Island. The show was on at 3:30 pm when I was in school, which was perfect since school got out at 3:00. Who among us didn’t bob our heads back and forth and sing along, “Just sit right back / And you’ll hear a tale / A tale of a fateful trip / That started from this tropic port / Aboard this tiny ship.” Great song.

2. The Brady Bunch. All you have to say is, “Here’s a story, of a lovely lady ...” and everybody who is 40 or over can sing right along with you. I don’t think it was very cool for guys to watch this when I was in school, unless of course you were talking about Marsha. She was a fox. If you have to ask when that means, then this list probably won’t mean much to you.

3. The Greatest American Hero. This was one of my favorite shows back in the day. The video that went along with the song was classic. If I were in danger in real life, I’d want a perfect super hero to show up and save the day, but if I’m going to watch a super hero on TV, I want him to be flawed – unable to fly straight or understand all his super powers, like the Greatest American Hero. By the way, it looks like all of the episodes are now available on YouTube.

4. The Jefferson’s. Loved the simplicity of this one – the moving van, the camera scaling the high rise, the taxi ride showing George and “Weezy” Jefferson heading for their new digs. Even if you can’t sing, you sing to this theme song when you hear it.

5. Friends. I didn’t watch this show when it first aired, but I watched all of the episodes on DVD several years after it went off the air. The opening lines of the song talk about how hard life is, but that reality is followed with reassurance from a friend who says, “I’ll be there for you ...” The video bits they play with the song are funny, but it still supports the premise that they aren’t going it alone.

Honorable mentions:
  • Sanford and Son
  • All in the Family
  • The Flintstones


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