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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back To The Dishonorables.

We're continuing with our list, leading down to the bottom ten worst
TV Theme Songs Ever.
Since the last time, a slew of more Worsts have entered my head, leaving
us with at least a semi-slew of more Dishonorables.
None of the semi-slew deserves to be placed in the previous opening five.
They are all worse than those.
But it has wreaked havoc with my numbering system.
So I will abandon my numbering system, and simply list the remaining
Dishonorables without numbers, going from least offensive to most, over the next
couple of sessions, until we reach the bottom ten.
Don't worry.
There will be plenty of notice when we arrive there.

So we continue--------

"The NBC Mystery Movie".

This was the opening music and titles for three shows that NBC umbrella'd.
Did it save them money to do that?
What do you think?
The shows in question were "McCloud", "McMillan and Wife", and "Columbo"
You'd think "Columbo" at least deserved it's own theme song.
The one they used sounded like a whistle at a Naval fire drill.

"The Sopranos"

A lot of people liked the theme for "The Sopranos"
Not me.
To me, it sounded a lot like grunting.
I suppose it matched the visuals, the smokestacks around the Meadowlands.
But I only needed to hear it once before deciding to skip past it on the Tivo
whenever I watched it.
It should have been something by Louis Prima.
But then, everything should be something by Louis Prima.

The Second Season of "The Abbott and Costello Show"

It's not that it was so terrible, but it was so much worse than the first
season of "The Abbott and Costello Show"
The theme music and the show.
They only did two seasons.
The first one was terrific.
The second seemed like it was performed underwater.

"I Married Joan"

It's not that the song was bad.
It wasn't.
It's just that it was performed solely by a combined male and female chorus.
No instrumentation.
In 1948, the Musicians Union, headed by a man named Petrillo, called a strike,
leaving show business to fend for itself without musicians.
Show Business tried to fight back by simply using human choruses.
The public wasn't having any, and Show Business quickly caved to the union.
By 1952, when "I Married Joan" cranked up, somebody there still hadn't received
the message.

"Good Times"

A rousing "protest" song.
"Temporary layoffs, Good Times,
Easy Credit ripoffs, Good Times...."
The prosecution rests.

"Wyatt Earp"

Another pure use of chorus, this time a male one, pretentiously extolling
the virtues of one Mr. Earp.

Back next time with more worse, and in some cases considerably worse, Dishonorables.


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  1. Correction Dept.:

    McCloud and McMillan & Wife had their own individual theme tunes, apart from the Mancini Siren.
    As a matter of fact, McCloud went through several theme tunes before settling on one.
    As for Columbo, I recall several tunes that were used as closing themes, on and off, over the years, before the producers just decided to use different music for each episode.
    The other series that rotated in and out of the Mystery Movie never lasted long enough to have any traction.

    Memory Dept.:
    As I recall, both seasons of "The Abbott & Costello Show" used library music; I can still remember hearing both of those "main themes" used as background on other shows, and even in some low-budget features.

    Personal Taste Dept.:
    If it's done well, I happen to like a capella.
    Roger Wagner's Chorale did it well on I Married Joan.
    Ken Darby and the King's Men did it very well on Wyatt Earp - and on another shorter-lived show, The Californians.
    That I remember all this after all these years should prove something.

    *but you can still be my friend*

  2. I didn't watch McCloud or McMillan and Wife, probably because I couldn't get past the sirens.
    It's all personal taste, anyway.

  3. My Three Sons may have been a "hummer," (see previous post), but I Married Joan needs a new category. It started in 1952, when I was 3 and beginning a lifelong TV addition and I want to call it something like a "nothing," as in "I CAN'T BELIEVE THERE IS NOTHING ELSE ON AND I AM REDUCED TO WATCHING THIS!" If someone has a better term let me know. It wasn't a hummer for me because I gave it my full attention, and while I laughed and had a child's admiration for the characters and situations, even then I knew it was not satisfying. Yet I watched, and, god help me, I memorized the song (see lyrics below). It is part of my childhood and it has become dear to me. I even like that it was sung a cappella. Which makes me want more categories for theme songs. What do we call a song that endears itself to us, either because it is associated with a show that is dear to us, or, as in this case, a song that has become part of us, despite our best intentions?

    I married Joan
    What a girl, what a whirl, what a life.
    Oh, I married Joan
    What a mind, love is blind, what a wife.

    Giddy and gay, all day she keeps my heart laughin'
    Never know where her brain has flown.

    To each his own
    Can't deny that's why I married Joan.

  4. So i have to defend the Sopranos theme song Woke Up This Morning. While I admire Louis Prima and understand all too well how he fits into the traditional Italian culture, one of the main points of the series was that the traditional culture was breaking down and the song really communicates that. It is definitely not to my usual taste, but I loved it from the beginning. Even before I felt I understood it, I loved the energy and the pairing with the opening video. I made a pest of myself with my family because I insisted that we listen to it every time and not fast forward through it. It definitely benefited from many listenings, being a blend of many musical styles with the (admittedly difficulty to decipher) lyrics really getting to the heart of the matter, especially:

    woke up this morning all that love had gone,
    Your Papa never told you about right and wrong.

    Woke up this morning the world turned upside down

    woke up this morning everything was gone

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."