The 100 Greatest TV Themes: 94-89

94. The Patty Duke Show
"Theme from The Patty Duke Show"
Composed by Sid Ramin and Harry Geller

I've never seen an episode of The Patty Duke Show in my life. I know nothing about the show except what I've read on Wikipedia. Given the opportunity, I probably wouldn't even voluntarily watch the show. So why do I even bother to rank its theme? Because I've heard this earworm of a song alluded to, referenced, and parodied at least a dozen times in my life, but was never able to find out the original source. Its inclusion is a public service for anyone else in a similar situation.

93. Get Smart
"Theme from Get Smart"
by Irving Szathmary

Get Smart was a masterful exercise in deadpan comedy. The characters, settings and situations were outlandish, but nobody so much as cracks a smile. The theme reflects this style of humor with a theme reminiscent of James Bond and Dragnet. The imagery is the counterpoint of the theme, showing Maxwell Smart going through a ridiculously complex and unnecessary series of security doors. It's, well, smart.

92. Quantum Leap
"Quantum Leap Main Title"
by Mike Post

What is up with the 1980's and synthesizers? It's like the entire music world stood up simultaneously and said "More keyboards! Every song will have keyboards!" I don't hate synthesizers, but come on, the 1980's were ridiculous. Also, did the guy responsible for editing the theme misinterpret the show as the adventures of a time-traveling transvestite?

Executive Producer
Donald P. Bellisario

91. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
"Fat Albert Theme"
by Ricky Sheldon and Edward Fournier

Despite Fat Albert being years before my time, I genuinely enjoy this funk-inspired groove. Even though Fat Albert is clearly being voiced by a professional singer and not The Cos, and even though Bill Cosby talks over a large portion of the song, it's still a great song that emanates vibes of good times and childhood fun. Also of note, check out this awesome cover version by Dig.

90. MASH
"Suicide is Painless"
by Johnny Mandel

Suicide is Painless was originally written for the 1970 feature film MASH. As you can tell from the title, the lyrics were dark and bleak, satirically endorsing suicide as an alternative for depression. No surprise, the lyrics were dropped in favor of several instrumental versions in varying pitch and tempo. Collect them all!

89. The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead"
by The Walking Dead

What crazy levels of meta lead to the development of this theme? The Walking Dead by The Walking Dead for The Walking Dead? In all seriousness, The Walking Dead is an extremely faithful adaptation of the comic series, from the characters to the themes to the opening's imagery, which looks as if it were pulled straight from the pages of the comic book. Although, somebody should contact both the executive producers and AMC, because if this fanmade opening were authentic, The Walking Dead would easily place in my top twenty.

No comments:

Post a Comment