Setting the Mood – Part 2, The Comedies Strike Back

Comedies usually get the short stick when it comes to accolades, so as the funny shows are my go-to drug of choice I must give props to a few gems that have wonderful opening title sequences.

Top of the list is dearly departed Arrested Development. As the years go by it ticks higher and higher on many a list of greatest comedic series in television history, and rightly so. Even upon watching episodes for the dozenth time, the well-executed deliveries still make me laugh until it hurts and with the multi-layered writing and rapid-fire dialogue I’m continually catching new jokes. The opening credits are as fast-paced, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it amusing as every episode.

And speaking of departed, Dead Like Me was a fantastic short-lived series on Showtime from the mind of Bryan Fuller, creator of another fantastic short-lived series ABC’s Pushing Daisies (I wonder if he’s ever thought of shying away from the death-themed shows, seems almost a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point), where a young girl finds her untimely demise to be just the beginning of her life as she takes on the role of grim reaper, with a catch – she must continue to “live” in the world of the living, even holding down a temp job in order to pay for food and rent. The tongue-in-cheek premise is represented in its opening titles with a montage of death walking, working and riding the bus amongst us.

The opening for Weeds has an interesting history. In its first three years it had a full-length title sequence featuring theme song “Little Houses” and images that poke fun at how the cookie-cutter suburban life can be mind-numbingly repetitive.

As the show’s main character Nancy Botwin evolved away from subdivisions and soccer games, so has the title sequence. Nearing the end of its fifth season, each show has opened with a brief animated title card for the last two years, unaccompanied by music and only minor sound effects, the image pertains to something found within that particular episode.

 Weeds episode title card

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