Happy Tuesday to you all.
Last week I began a new Sound and Fury feature that I think will be a light and fun subject to revisit going forward: TV shows of the past. I think it'll be fun to have a look into the Golden Age of television and examine how things past and present measure up to today's programming. Perhaps we'll find that television has waxed and waned in it's popularity and ability to sustain the attention of audiences and cultivate loyalty from viewers with new programming. Or maybe we will find that perspective colors our views on these matters, and the tube is every bit as vibrant and influential as it ever was. Eventually we may take a look at statistical information to see how television has been affected by the modern lifestyle in the information age, but for now let's just have fun with it, shall we?
Today I'd like to revisit the subject of television theme songs. In many ways, these TV theme songs have become like the theme songs to different stages of my life. Having the benefit of hindsight, I wish I'd broken these parts into decades. Oh well.
Check out the different television intros below, and weigh in on them afterward.
Anybody remember WKRP in Cincinnati? I know a few of you will. It aired between 1978 and 1982 and followed a cast of characters as they tried to salvage a struggling fictional radio station. Apparently the characters were based on real characters that creator Hugh Wilson had actually worked with. Yeah. I guess Johnnie Fever was a real dude. How about that?
Well, I don't remember a lot about the show, but it had a memorable theme song. And I think it deserves a mention here.
Ahh, Night Court. Who could forget the lovably imbecilic Bull, the easy going, good-hearted court clerk Mac Robinson (Charles Robinson), or the ever-scheming prosecutor Dan Fielding (played with slimy precision by John Larroquette), the naïve public defender Christine Sullivan (Markie Post), and finally the fun loving, good-natured Judge Harry Stone (played by comedian Harry Anderson) all of whom entertained us all from 1984 all the way through 1992? Jack Elliot wrote the theme song for Night Court and Barney Miller, both bass heavy, instrumental songs.
Anyway, if you've forgotten, take a listen.
Battlestar Galactica was and is a great idea for a television series, but for some reason it only lasted one season from 1978 to 1979 before being shit canned by ABC. Oh well, as is the case with many 70's and 80's properties these days, Battlestar Galactica is primed to get a big screen remake with Bryan Singer (of X-Men fame) attached to direct. Original creator Glen A. Larson is somehow connected to the film, but there is no clear indication of what the film will be about; only that it will not follow the storyline of the 2004 Sci-Fi Channel re-imagining. I've always thought the theme music of the original 1978 series was rather good, and I hope they manage to incorporate it in some way into the new film.
Hill Street Blues was a show that I never watched, but it had a darn good theme song. One of many written by Mike Post (think The Rockford Files, Law and Order, and L.A. Law). So, in keeping with good taste, despite my knowledge of the show's particulars, here is the theme song.
Ritter, the actor who brought the character to life, is gone. And how many of you knew that Three's Company is a remake of an earlier British sitcom called Man About the House? I didn't. (Thanks Wikipedia.) The cast was great, even after Suzanne Somers left, and the jokes were hokey, but kept me laughing anyway. Three's Company went through some personnel changes trading out Mr. and Mrs. Roper for new landlord Mr. Furley (Don Knotts), and Suzanne Somer's blond third of the roommate equation for two other blond characters before the show wrapped in 1984.
I always thought I'd find a place like The Regal Beagle to relax and enjoy a beer with friends after a hard day's work. I'm still looking for that place, though, and I'll be damned if the world isn't way more complicated than it was in Jack Tripper and Larry Dallas' day.
I'm only just getting started, so stay tuned for Part III of The TV Time Warp: Theme Songs Edition.