I Love TV Themes

This song demonstrates, I think, the biggest problem TV theme mashups can encounter. When you’re taking the show’s theme song and stretching it out to be the length of a song, it had better not sound annoying on repeat.

Remember what we discussed yesterday? Here’s something cribbing pretty heavily from it. What’s kind of extra sweet about this is it uses footage of the cast in their youth, long before (probably) they were characters on a show. (A similar thing was done - though I can’t find a video of it online - over the closing credits of the movie Knocked Up, with baby pictures of the cast and a few cast members with their own babies.) This kind of thing, though we know psychologically it’s actually the actors, establishes a world for us - these are the characters in their youth. This show’s continuity stretches backward in time forever. 

The song, Forever Young by Bob Dylan, is a fantastic blessing, and one I have heard at no small number of Bar ‘n’ Bat Mitzvahs of the children of hippies. It’s not a reminder to stay actually young, but to always keep the adventurous, curious, and generous spirit that youth at its best can mean. A fully appropriate song for a show about three generations of a family watching each other grow.

This is the Japanese version of the theme song for 30 Rock. I don’t know the song being used here, but I do know that I love this sequence and it’s perfect and awesome. Enjoy!

Barely an update:
According to a commenter at SplitSider, the Japanese text on screen reads:
“The big hit throughout America! Winner of Emmys *and* Golden Globes!
Female television writer, struggling through life!
She’s confident when she’s producing live TV shows!
But, outside of work、she’s a somewhat timid heroine, facing challenges day after day, with no rehearsals!”
And the song might be called “Going All Night?” The end.

In season five, The Office featured an arc about the Michael Scott Paper Company. Everyone knows this arc because The Office is the most beloved show in world history, so I don’t need to go over it. But on episode 21 of that season, the opening credits featured the staff of the MSPC instead of Dunder Mifflin. It was the same song, but different clips, a little alternate-universe “What if the show were about these characters instead?” thing. Another example of this is the season five (COINCIDENCE?) episode of Clarissa Explains It All, where Ferguson addresses the audience. Here’s the opening credits, if it were Ferguson’s show:

Here is Community’s special theme song for its spectacular Christmas episode. It’s the original song by The 88, with new, Christmas-y lyrics, sung by Danny Pudi. This episode makes you Believe.

Since we’re doing “Watch this show please" theme songs, I’d like to draw your attention to Community, the best of the currently-endangered sitcoms, as well as the most-endangered of the excellent sitcoms. I don’t know what it would take to sell you on this series. It’s so funny, and so smart and inventive. You’d love it. Really.

The theme song is “At Least It Was Here” by The 88. First they wrote the theme song, then they wrote a full version that you could buy in iTunes and on the Community soundtrack. While they were working on it, Dan Harmon suggested these lyrics, via his Tumblr:

Gimmie some love / Grow me a tree / Make every heart / Sing it with me / Drinkin’ some Cokes / Tellin’ some jokes / Shopping is fun / When it’s done / With friendly folks / America invented being free / Sony products are high quality

Here’s the actual version:

It’s a really fun song, you guys. It’s about, if I may, being unable to explain why you want and need to spend time with someone; you just know it. The last lines of the song, a reordering of repeated phrases throughout:

I can’t count the reasons I should stay
One by one they all just fade away
Oh I love you more than words can say

And, if I may again, there is a strong, impenetrable love between the characters to be found on Community. Nowhere is that clearer than between Abed & Troy, everyone’s OTP:

Like, how many clips should I show you? You know? On this year’s Halloween episode, the credits got a slight re-do, which Dan Harmon paid for out-of-pocket. Just give this show your eyeballs so the studio pays for stuff like that:

Days when you get to see monsters, drawn in the Simpsons style, redo the opening to The Office, are good days, even when it is not your favorite episode of The Simpsons, or even your favorite decade of The Simpsons.

Last week, 30 Rock aired its live episode. The East Coast feed had Jane Krakowski singing lyrics along with the theme song; the West Coast had Cheyenne Jackson singing a different set of lyrics. I love adding lyrics to theme songs, obviously, so I hope you enjoy this! I did. So there you go.