Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) turns an effort, Dr. Peter Benton (Eriq La Salle) defiantly hits the air, and Friends threw cavorting into the fountain on Warner Brothers grounds.
This may sound like 90s TV Mad Libs, but more specifically, those images are burned into my brain, thanks to the opening lyrics to some of TV’s biggest (and best) shows. Or how even more than 20 years later, when I hear the HBO signature identifying static sound, the image of Sarah Jessica Parker in a pink tutu flashes right before my eyes.
A title sequence sets the mood, but it is also a business card back to when you first saw a series – hence all the aforementioned 90s nostalgia. At the moment I’m on one Golden girls kick from start to finish, and the chance to “Skip the intro” is offered without error at the beginning of each section. On no occasion have I clicked on this option because it is part of the experience to sing along to “Thank You For Me Being My Friend”.
Suffice it to say, I love a title sequence. And Apple TV + delivers the goods.
The streaming service reminds us why the traditional TV model – including not only excellent opening texts, but a weekly release schedule – should be embraced and not bypassed, thanks to the critical and fan success of offers such as Resignation, Pachinko, and Slow horses.
The streamer is only in its infancy, but it is not afraid to incorporate old methods. In fact, at a time that can sometimes seem like a streaming apocalypse, Apple TV +’s recent flawless – or at least startling – series of series, combined with these traditional release elements, speaks. ranks at the top of the list of many (many) streaming services. Or maybe more realistically, near that.
Launched in late 2019, Apple TV + has slowly built an impressive library of original titles that have been successful at the Emmy Awards, with Ted Lasso, and Oscars (CODA won three Oscars including Best Picture – the first streaming service to achieve that honor). The crown jewel in the film slate of the future, The killers of the flower moonis the next offering from Martin Scorsese, and its upcoming TV series includes the Elisabeth Moss-directed crime thriller Luminous girlsstar-studded anthology Roarand Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes ind Essex snakes.
Apple TV + attracts some of the biggest names – its deep pockets help – and although not all companies have hit Ted Lasso popularity stratosphere, fun creative swings like Schmigadoon!and Serving has avoided the TV-by-algorithm brush. The days off That Morning show as its main offer (thankfully) is long past us now.
In a sea of choices across networking, cable, and streaming, there are regular postmortems about what works (and doesn’t work) in drawing eyeballs. The weekly vs. binge-release debate gets louder every time a show like Jump off Easstown or Euphoria proves that there is still life in the old model. A definitive answer does not exist, but it is noteworthy that Resignation the conversation grows with each passing week; this would not have happened if Apple TV + had launched all nine episodes at once.
Resignation is a thoughtful slow-burn that addresses major issues of free will and the balance between work and private life. It also looks pretty incredible right down to its nervous titles that you will not want to skip.
Allowing viewers to bypass an intro is one thing, but Netflix is quick to make the choice for you. When I saw Bridgerton opening lyrics on the first episode of season 2, I could not remember if I had seen them before – this side by side shows the small differences. Each subsequent installment automatically shows a title card with a tree that instantly made my brain spin into Six feet underground territory; HBO has one store track record with its main title designs.
What is the point of skipping the 30-60 seconds of a credit sequence to save time if an episode (unnecessarily) runs over an hour? This is equivalent to the Oscars handing out awards before the TV show and still running for a long time. Titles do not have to feel like a task or an obstacle to overcome. In fact, a memorable intro can lift the following. Apple TV + seems to have perfected it.
Apple TV + do give viewers the chance to jump straight into a section, but why should you do it when the title sequences are as entertaining as Severance’s disturbing animation? Or bid on a shower of effervescent dancing across Pachinko generations? Mick Jagger is not put on grass, but his recognizable vocal style evokes the mood of the downtrodden MI5 agents in the spy thriller Slow horseswho have been sent to Slough House as punishment for their mistakes.
Resignationwhich premiered on its season finale on Friday and has just been renewed for another season, is already making a case for inclusion on the Best of 2022 lists. It’s a mystery box that slowly removes the layers of Mark Scout’s (Adam Scott) surgically separated memories that draw a clear line between his work life and private life.
During a recent appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyersexplained director Ben Stiller how he reached out to Oliver Latta (aka Extraweg) to create Resignation titles after he saw the artist’s work on Instagram.
Stiller was attracted to Latta’s “strange animations of babies coming out of a brain and turning into jelly,” and it “felt like his mood was the right one for the show.” This is the first TV credit sequence Latta has been commissioned, and it will certainly not be the last after an impressive debut. His vision was born directly from the scripts, and the concept Latta brought to life evokes the deeply disturbing elements of the characters who have undergone the seemingly irreversible “Severance” procedure.
In his animated renditions, each side of Mark is just drawn to and repelled the other, and his separate worlds are entangled. A nightmarish jumble of versions of suits and pajamas by the protagonist adds to the intrigue and unsettling tone via the almost Sims-like animated rendition of the tale. Even though one does not know anything about the action in this workplace, it is clear on the jump that something is wrong.
While Resignation‘s title theme draws a connection to the series’ playful score, Pachinko‘s credits go another way. Instead of using the beautiful Nico Muhly score that increases the pain in the heart of Pachinko, creator Soo Hugh chose a bubbly song with lyrics that sound like they were written with the series in mind. Unless time travel is involved, this is certainly not the case when Grass Roots’ cover of “Let’s Live For Today” was recorded in 1967.
Huge shards of time are depicted in the series adapted from Min Jin Lee’s novel, which spans most of the 20th century. The credits, designed by Angus Wall and Nadia Tzuo, are connective tissue that connects not only the different generations, but the three actresses who portray Sunja’s character at different ages. The first images have the characteristics of archival photographs (but have actors from the series) before switching to the bright lights in the pachinko room owned by Sunja’s son (and Salomon’s father).
The introductory beats reflect a more serious tone before the song changes tempo and starts into the effervescent, “Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today.” The first time you see this sequence, it’s the opposite of a tummy tuck. The emotional climax does not diminish no matter how many times you have seen this intro – do not be surprised if tears well up from your eyes. The dance across the generations underscores the resilience to darker moments that the series depicts.
A credit sequence that turned into a dance party may not match the overall tone of the family drama. But so much of what we’ve seen in Pachinko so far is about pushing emotions down as a form of self-protection, and “Let’s Live For Today” offers a soothing relief for the characters and audience.
Then there’s the corresponding perfect song choice for the title credits for the latest series of Flock, the Gary Oldman star spy thriller Slow horses.
The Rolling Stones have never made a James Bond theme song, but Mick Jagger can be heard singing Slow horses the opening number “Strange Days”. Instead of exploiting Bond credit favorites as a figure tumbling through seductive smoky silhouettes or shooting at the screen in a tuxedo, Slow horses Kaleidoscope of images captures a muted London background and glimpses of the main cast – including Gary Oldman, Jack Lowden and Kristin Scott Thomas. These rotating turn signals are set against texts that describe “losers, misfits and splashes” that clearly define the MI5 snus.
Jagger co-wrote the song, which explains why his natural squabble is all over the place. This is the first time he has borrowed his talents for a TV theme. The DGAF curiosity matches Oldman’s character Jackson Lamb’s behavior and the overall dark humorous mood of the hidden (and dingy) workplace.
Of course, Apple TV + does not reinvent the TV credit wheel. There have long been many standouts in this department. An entire Emmy category has been dedicated to this feature since 1976. But in an age of bingeing, where series on streaming services have an incentive to avoid creating complicated opening lyrics, it is noteworthy that the creative teams behind shows such as . Resignation, Pachinkoand Slow horses gives the audience a reason to skip the skip intro button.
While the streamer may not boast a densely packed library of older or even newly acquired titles, it is becoming the TV observer’s favorite destination thanks to its quality over quantity approach. The tech giants’ original content philosophy is starting to pay off. Of course, fancy opening titles alone will not be a deal-breaker when you encourage viewers to spend an additional $ 4.99 a month on yet another streaming service. But after a slow start, Apple TV + is finding its track (and niche) in how it approaches this competitive changing TV landscape by fighting for shows that are as creative and cannot be skipped as their credits.