I love Lee Goldberg’s blog and his Monk tie-in novels. He is self-deprecating and funny, and I share an interest in television with him. Every so often, he features some of his favorite TV openers. Goldberg’s affection for TV is ardent, so he has a wide span of knowledge I don’t have. But I also have strong opinions, and when he published his 10 “best of”, I was moved to collect my own to share.
I am heavily influenced by music. So:
BBC’s Waking the Dead. I can’t figure out who wrote this music, but damn it’s edgy and sets the tone:
Mrs. Pynchon was one of my earliest role models, and I still love her to this day. Thus:
Lou Grant, Season 1, music by Patrick Williams, title sequencing: funny and apt:
The Sopranos (every single track on that album from A3 is freaking awesome:
Prince of Bel Air: “Smell ya’ later”
Hawaii 5-0, for fabulous use of percussion (Morton Stevens):
The Dukes of Hazzard: (By way of opining: I have strong feelings that Daisy could do far, far worse than Enos. Enos is a truly gentle and sweet soul, and he has an actual job (as does Daisy), which distinguishes him from most men in Hazzard County by my census). And it’s got Waylon Jennings, y’all!!
Ironside, with the unfortunately forgotten Don Mitchell, and the theme done by Quincy Jones (BRILLIANTLY)
Mission Impossible, natch, by the criminally overlooked Lalo Schifrin whose music (and Jame Brolin’s hotness) did much to improve the Amityville Horror:
Bob James’ “Angela’s Theme” for Taxi, as well as all the views from the Queensboro Bridge:
Mike Post deserves his own encomiums, as he’s got so many good ones: Hill Street Blues and Magnum PI are both his. But the incomparable theme from the Rockford Files (and the Rockford Files also features James Garner at peak handsomeness, in addition to Post’s incredible blending of synth, harmonica, and guitar, and the answering machine gag):
Speaking of synthesizers, Miami Vice: colorful birds, jai alai, jiggle, and well, the 1980s from Jan Hammer:
And then finally, the best ever, Monty Python:
(Keeping in mind: Dr. Who, Firefly, too.)