TV theme songs – part 1 of 4
I was born in 1971. I tell you this because it should help to tell you something about the point of view from which I have watched TV shows. As a child, I watched reruns of sitcoms and cartoons from the 60s, as well as new programming on PBS, and Saturday morning children’s programming. During the late 70s, I also started watching a few shows regularly during prime time. In the 80s I watched a huge number of shows during prime time. During the 90s and later there have been far fewer new shows that I liked, although among those few that I did like, I found them to be excellent.
This is a list of many of my favorite TV theme songs. Most of these are shows that I have enjoyed watching during at least some point during my life, although some of them are included here only because I like the song and have never liked the actual show itself.
I Love Lucy
I liked watching this as a child, but it’s a lot better as an adult. I think the first two seasons are especially good.
Adventures of Superman
Another show where the first two seasons are the best. Later on, the noir elements were abandoned in favor of making the show less violent and more comical so as to appeal to children. The switch to color also made it less interesting. The fact that two different actresses played Lois Lane during those first two seasons did not harm the show, as both actresses were quite good.
Andy Griffith Show
Never, ever watch the color episodes of this, as Don Knotts’ absence hurt the show terribly, and the color took away that small-town feel that made the show so great. I love how Otis always lets himself in and out of jail. My favorite episode is “Mr. Mcbeevee” from season 3.
Dick Van Dyke Show (two versions)
There was one episode of this show (“The Twizzle” from season 1) that was so much worse than any other, and it caused the episode to look like nothing more than an advertisement for the latest dance craze. Other than that one horribly terrible episode, this show is awesome. The flashback episodes make a lot more sense when you watch the show in chronological order on DVD.
Flintstones (two versions)
I didn’t know there were two different theme songs for this until Cartoon Network started airing them in their original form. As a child, I was only familiar with the second theme song.
I’ve not seen this since I was a child, except for one episode that I have on a multi-show compilation DVD. Even the Hanna-Barbera cartoons from the 60s that I don’t necessarily like have a certain wonderful nostalgic feeling to them. I do love this show’s song.
This version of the opening, with the striped, spinning thing, and without the crashing glass sound effects, is my favorite of this show’s several different openings.
I was never into this show – but I have always loved the song.
When I watched this as a child, there were only 25 episodes, which I still enjoy today. Later on in the 80s, they made 51 more, but the stories and background music were inferior, and the computer blurring of the animation made it look too different from the original.
I never liked this show, which I’ve only seen a few times. But I like the song.
Humans who acted like monsters.
Gomer Pyle USMC
I liked this show as a child, but I can’t stand it today. I still like the song, though.
Monsters who acted like humans.
Charlie Brown Christmas
The whole CD soundtrack of this is awesome.
My favorite live-action sitcom of all time.
This is one of my favorites, and I’ve seen each episode a huge number of times during my life.
I Dream of Jeannie (two versions)
I loved this show as a child, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I still love it as an adult. General Peterson, you’ve got to come over here immediately – there is an elephant in Major Nelson’s living room! Heh heh.
Hanna-Barbera made a lot of great cartoons, and this one is their best.
The complete series of this is available on 5 DVDs, which can be purchased separately, or all together in a boxed set. Just about all of the truly great episodes are contained on the first 2 DVDs, however.
There were so many great cartoons with great theme songs in the 60s, and this show’s song is one of the very best.