For every television show that just gives us a title shot and a five-second jingle, there’s another with a poignant title sequence to match it. As TV becomes as artistically viable as films, directors and producers have also returned to taking title sequences a little more seriously. Here are our picks for the 10 most creative intros from current shows.
The music supervisors at NBC used songs by The National and Bon Iver in the same episode, and they nail the opening credits with an instrumental version of Cake’s “Short Skirt/Long Jacket.” Plus the Bond-esque animations infused with humor perfectly capture the show’s unique tone.—Josh Jackson
While the intro sequence in House doesn’t necessarily sum up the show in any profound way, it’s extremely visually pleasing—enough to warrant its return season after season and make our list. We can’t image the sequence being accompanied by any song other than the great “Teardrop” by Massive Attack.
8. Boardwalk Empire
The intro sequence for this HBO period drama starts a bit slow with prohibition-era kingpin “Nucky” standing out and looking out into the sea. But after he pulls out his vintage cigarette case, whiskey bottles begin washing up on shore. So perfect for a show about the corruption that stemmed from “The Noble Experiment”.
7. The Walking Dead
As much as we liked the alternate animated intro sequence that paid tribute to the graphic novels, the somber atmosphere of the actual intro better sets the mood for a show that is as emotional and thought-provoking as it is entertaining. Not a zombie in sight—just faint memories and broken picture frames of a group of desperate survivors.
6. Big Bang Theory
Here’s a sitcom which used its hook as an excuse to create a goofy, but epic one-minute intro. The sequence goes through all of history from the creation of the universe up till now before introducing its nerdy characters.