Continuing my reflection of some of the finest TV themes that have been done, this is Part 3. And this time, we dive into the world of themes without words. The bulk of these themes will comes from the 80s and 90s as that’s what I consider the golden era of TV theme songs.
I have already posted about theme songs (with words) from the 1980s and 1990s. The installment after this post for this series will be an “everything else” post that will cover the themes that fell outside of the perimeters of the other posts.
But oh those catchy TV tunes. The ones that you caught yourself whistling or humming the next day at work or school. The ones that didn’t need words. The ones that within three seconds of it starting, you knew what show was coming on the tube.
Come on, like when you heard this in the background, you had no idea some crazy stuff was going to happen?
Such is the world of TV shows with those themes without words. So many great shows have been like that. Believe me, trimming this list down to the ones I’ll have below was not easy! There are a ton, especially in the 80s and 90s. They are catchy jingles that stay in you mind for hours, days, or more. But they were good. They weren’t just 20-second quickies to open a show. They had substance, much like the shows with words.
And seriously, when you heard this theme, you weren’t expecting some serious (well, you get what I’m saying) courtroom chicanery?
These themes are a part of television history!
Even though many of these shows ended more than a decade or two ago, the themes still work. They still fit the shows. And they still make it cool to watch some of the old shows. Even if just for the theme.
So, without further ado, allow me to give you my personal top 10. If you have thoughts of ones I might have missed, drop them in the comments below (especially if you have links!)
10. Northern Exposure
Loved this show. Loved this theme. Loved this intro. A moose in the intro. Awesome.
Another one of my all-time favorites. I see part of it has come out on DVD. I think I may have to look into this show for my collection.
8. Hill Street Blues
Ahh, this song rules. Great show, too.
7. St. Elsewhere
Another great theme. I really always liked the sound of this one.
6. Beverly Hills 90210
Oh come on, you know you love it! Admit it!
But, did you know there was apparently a different opening originally and it didn’t last long? For you 90210 nuts, let me know what you know about this. Apparently it was played for the first half of the initial season.
4 (tie): ER
I lost a little touch with this in the latter years, but I was always a huge fan of the show.
4 (tie): X-Files
Despite being a top-10 list, this had to make it so it tied with the other theme that I was waffling about.
3. Magnum PI
You know that, at some point, somebody was probably going to get their ass kicked!
2. Miami Vice
1. L.A. Law
This is one of my all-time favorite shows and themes.
There are some others that didn’t make this list as I liked them, but not in my Top 10, such as Dallas, Newhart, Night Court, Roseanne, T.J. Hooker, and Doogie Howser M.D. Did I miss your favorite? Let me know!
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