The next couple of weeks, barring major developments, will be devoted to
evaluating the best and worst TV theme songs of all time, beginning with the
This is much like I did when I evaluated the best and worst sitcoms of all time
a while back.
Once again, this will be purely subjective, and we will start with a list of Dishonorable Mention.
Worst can be divided into two basic categories:
Music which is simply Godawful on some level, and music which may seem
innocuous enough, but does little if anything to prepare you for what you are
about to see, or is based on the movie version of the same property, and does not improve upon it.
Or in fact makes it worse.
Or in fact is based on the movie version which wasn't much good to begin with.
The list of Dishonorable Mention will be in descending order from least
offensive to most, five of which will appear today, and five next time.
Then, the bottom ten will appear.
There seems to be some correlation between the quality of the music and the
quality of the shows.
But only some.
For instance, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres were pretty awful shows that
had pretty snazzy theme songs.
Let the list of Dishonorables begin:
20) "Taxi"-----Nothing really offensive here, but a complete mislead about
what you are going to see, which was usually a laugh riot.
The icy lead piccolo in the title music suggested God-Knows-What.
19) "Barney Miller"-----The bass guitar notes that introduced it, and what
followed suggested absolutely nothing.
Except background music for perhaps just about every porno movie you can name.
And most of those that you can't.
This is where the word "generic" was coined.
These are the two prime examples of theme music that simply left you dangling.
18) "M*A*S*H"----Turning a very hip theme in the movie version into something
Kind of like the overall relationship between the movie and the series.
17) "Matlock"---This is here for personal reasons. it's practically a direct
steal from the theme I wrote for my series, "Busting Loose".
And I don't see a nickel from it.
16) "Family Affair"----Not the worst tune in the world, but it sounds completely
pre-packaged. Like none of the musicians were in the same room at the same time.
Onward next time.
My book,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
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- mark rothman
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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."