The 100 Greatest TV Themes: 58 - 51

58. Family Matters
"As Days Go By"
Composed by Jesse Frederick, Bennett Salvay & Scott Roeme
Performed by Jesse Frederick

Try as I might, I cannot bring myself to hate Family Matters or its theme song. So what if a show about the everyday troubles of a suburban family devolved into the nutty adventures of Steve Urkel?

Days go by-ee-eye...

So what if it succumbed to every slapstick, sitcom cliche ever devised by man?

Days go by-ee-eye...

So what if character traits, motivations and logic were thrown out the window on the slightest whim for the sake of plot convenience?

Days go by-ee-eye...

So what if the series went on so long, ABC dumped it from the TGIF lineup (a dumping ground in and of itself), only to have CBS renew the series for one final season, using it to anchor their newly-created and doomed-to-fail Friday night lineup?

It's the bigger love of the fam-uh-lee (jazzy piano outro).

57. Unsolved Mysteries
"Unsolved Mysteries"
by Michael Boyd and Gary Remal Malkin

Unsolved Mysteries was a blend of sensationalist journalism, crackpot conspiracies and psuedo-science examination, and the ratio between the three were always changing. On what other show could you hear about identity theft, yetis and the medical benefits of hypnosis in the same hour? It was as close to speculative fiction as a series could get without crossing over into scripted territory, and the theme just furthers the surreality and eerieness all around.

56. Fringe
"Theme from Fringe"
by J. J. Abrams

Unlike other TV shows exploring unexplained phenomena and the supernatural, Fringe's theme song focuses not on the inherent aspects of horror, but on whimsy, anticipation and discovery. Be it the actual twenty-second theme or the full six-minute number, it's like someone anxiously turning a key in a locked door.

55. Cowboy Bebop
by The Seatbelts

An animated series about interplanetary bounty hunters, mirroring classic western movie themes, meanwhile dealing with heavy philosophical concepts. What kind of theme would best fit a series like this? Who cares, let's just throw in a fast-paced jazz number and crank up the adrenaline with lots of flashing colors. Make sure to watch it late at night with your eyes wide open.

54. Clueless
"Ordinary Girl"
by China Forbes

I'm just going to go ahead and turn in my man card right here. There's... there's no recovery from something like this. This song is just so sickeningly bubblegum, you should get it from a vending machine for a quarter. And here it is, 25 spots ahead of Monday Night Football. 43 Spots ahead of SportsCenter. Don't tell my dad I blog about this kind of stuff.

53. Daria
"You're Standing on My Neck"
by Splendora

Daria was a series about a sarcastic, misanthropic high school girl and her attempts to survive the trivial, shallow world that surrounded her. I find it hilariously ironic that this show aired on MTV. Straddling the line between grunge and riot grrl, It says, 'I don't care, but you're not giving me any incentive anyways,' mirroring the titular character's stoic personality in the theme song's imagery, as well as throughout the entire series.

52. Rocko's Modern Life
"Rocko's Modern Life"
Composed by Pat Irwin
Performed by Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider

The original Rocko's Modern Life theme song was okay, but not Top 100 Themes material. It's the theme song from seasons two and three which are the stuff of legend. Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider from The B-52s donated their vocals to the theme, turning a mildly passable theme song into a mind-blowing theme song. Never underestimate star power. Also, sorry for the crappy quality of the video, but Viacom absolutely forbids anybody on the internet from remembering their shows fondly.

51. Veronica Mars
"We Used to be Friends"
by The Dandy Warhols

A cult classic and a black sheep amongst other CW programs (in that it was well-written and well-acted), Veronica Mars is the story of a southern California high schooler who moonlights as a private eye. For reasons mentioned in the series far too complicated to mention here, Veronica is alienated from the community, especially her social circle. This is why the theme song works so well. Aside from being a catchy alternative-bordering-on-psychadelia composition, it depicts Veronica's bifurcated life perfectly.

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