Friday, July 16, 2010

Classic TV Friday

The opening title sequence is something of a lost art form on TV series today.  Because of the need to cram in all those commercials, not to mention the desire to get straight to the show rather than risk losing the restless, attention-deficit audience, to another show, you rarely see complex, creative opening titles anymore.

One of my favorites is from the 60s-70s Quinn Martin series The FBI. And it's not just the stirring theme music, known as the "FBI March," that sets the scene. Combined with the wonderful use of iconic images of Washington - the Pentagon, the Washington Monument - it reinforces the sense that many citizens had in the pre-Vietnam, pre-Watergate era: that the government really did represent truth, justice, and the American way. As if that weren't enough, the episode teaser just prior to the credits, showing not only the crime but the specific Federal law being broken, underlines the folly of these stupid criminals, thinking they can escape the FBI. When the FBI (or at least Efram Zimbalist, Jr.) gets on your trail, you've had it.

If, after seeing this, you didn't want to join the FBI immediately - or at least stand up and place your hand over your heart - well, you just weren't an American.

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