If you're a carbon based life form, chances are you feel a certain amount of affection for the opening notes and images of the main title designs of certain TV series. These things have a way of seeping into our DNA.
I cannot watch True Blood's titles, for example, without singing along "...I wanna do bad things to you ♫" and it would probably take my Emmy award if the Outstanding Main Title Design were handed out only once every 10 years. Unfortunately it has been ripped off ever since and now every remotely creepy TV series aims for a mix of slow-mo vs sped up montage of religious, violent, and sensual grotesquerie from American Horror Storyto Penny Dreadful. But True Blood's titles were the perfect marriage of everything that makes that show that show. It's actually even BETTER than the show itself. True Blood lost this category in its year to the adorable pop up multiple identities of The United States of Tara.
My other favorite main title of a current series is Game of Thrones. I don't watch the show for reasons I've long since overshared but I think the opening titles are refreshingly original, a masterwork even. For what it's worth Game of Thrones won this Emmy in 2011 (Trivia Alert: David Fincher's two-time Oscar winning editor Angus Wall, who we've interviewed in the past, was the creative director!).
Even in the YouTube/Gif era when we are all accustomed to obsessing over the tiniest mnemonics of our favorite things, this category is rarely remarked upon. So let's discuss this year's nominees after the jump
THE NOMINEES THIS YEAR? Stroke the kitty to continue...
BLACK SAILS (Starz)
Have you seen this show? Thoughts?
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY (Fox National Geographic)
UPDATED: I initially wasn't able to find this one (no copy on YouTube) and I was surprised by its nomination since the show itself seemed to have very inconsistent visual strategies. Not so with this beautiful title design from BBDG which suggests a Malick-like awe for nature and the universe poured through a mainstream strainer. What am I talking about? I don't know I'm tripping watching this. Why do eyeballs always look so infinite when you see them in macro? (P.S. I'm always happy to be reminded of Blade Runner's opening eyeball shot.)
MASTERS OF SEX (Showtime)
I can't get enough of that pussy being stroked or the cucumber washing or or or or or or. So cheeky.
SILICON VALLEY (HBO)
Is that it? (I haven't seen the show). So brief. But fun, sure.
TRUE DETECTIVE (HBO)
There are a lot of versions of this brooding photo-layered intro online but I had to find the original HBO upload to include it on this post. What the hell? "Embedding disabled by request" is so 2008. This is the only opening credits this year that I've seen spoofed regularly so I assume it will win the category.
I think I prefer the full cat version...
FINAL TRIVIA NOTE: American Horror Story: Coven was not nominated, breaking the streak for that series which is technically able to compete each year because it's a different series each time and they do change up the titles. I'm curious if they'll allow True Detective Season 2 to compete when it arrives since it will have to have new opening credits BUT it competed in Drama Series which should render it ineligible past its debut year.
JUST FOR FUN...
Here are the last dozen years of this competition. How many of these can you remember the opening sequence to? I loved the show Huff, for example, but I don't remember it well now and nothing about the opening credits nine years later. And weird that the Oscars won this for the Brokeback vs Crash ceremony. I wonder what they did differently that year since they aren't even nominated ANY other time, stretching back to the beginning of this category in 1990. Anyone remember?
THE PAST DOZEN WINNERS
2013 DaVinci's Demons (AHS, The Newsroom, Halo 4, Elementary, Vikings)
2012 Great Expectations (AHS, Magic City, Strike Back, New Girl)
2011 Game of Thrones (Any Human Heart, Boardwalk Empire, Rubicon, Too Big To Fail)
2010 Bored to Death (Human Target, Nurse Jackie, The Pacific, Temple Grandin)
2009 United States of Tara (Lie to Me, Storymakers, Taking Chance, True Blood)
2008 Mad Men (Bernard & Doris, Chuck, The Company, New Amsterdam)
2007 Dexter (Hu$tle, The Lost Room, The Path to 9/11, Standoff, Ugly Betty)
2006 78th Academy Awards (Big Love, Ghost Whisperer, Rome, The Triangle, Weeds)
2005 Huff (Desperate Housewives, The Grid, House, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers)
2004 Carnivàle (Angels in America, Nicole Kidman: An American Cinemateque Salute, Nip/Tuck, Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital)
2003 Hysterical Blindness (Anna Nicole Show, Napoleon, Normal, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!)
2002 Six Feet Under (Band of Brothers, Mind of the Married Man, Wolf Lake)