So when I hit 100 blogs I did a look at sitcom production companies. My 200th was a look at my all time favorite TV shows, while the 300th was those shows I HATE! So I tried to decide what to do today, and then a little idea came to me. Since I am trying to do more reviewing, why not review something that very few have? TV Show openings!
Those classic TV show openings/theme songs were always a lot of fun especially in the 80’s. I can’t explain to those to young understand, but a good theme song and opening really got you ready for the show. But more than that, it made you feel good knowing you could just relax, forget about the day’s troubles, and enjoy your favorite show. In 1986 NBC had a slogan “Come on home to NBC” and I loved that. Man I miss those days. Anyway, I seem to be rambling. I am going to take a look at all seven opening sequences to one of my favorite shows, The Cosby Show!!
The Cosby Show premiered in 1984 and was a major hit. The show’s theme music, “Kiss Me”, was composed by Stu Gardner and Bill Cosby.The Cosby Show set the standard for the silly opening theme where the cast danced and smiled at the audience.Â But were the openings good, or lame?
Let’s take a look :
SEASON 1 PLAYING IN THE PARK
The theme music is perfect, but who came up with this idea? We’ll have a series of pictures go by. This isn’t so bad now, but imagine it was 1984 and you are watching this show for the first time as I was. I remember what I thought : who are these people?? When a show first premiers the opening needs to introduce us to the series, but some forget the opening altogether especially with the pilot and just show the names of the cast because they realize no one has any idea who these characters are yet. Who’s The Boss? pilot just shows Tony’s truck driving to Angela’s. Growing Pains showed weird paintings and then one photo of the family at the end. Friends pilot just showed the cast dancing around the water fountain because clips of the characters would have been pointless for the pilot. But this….was bad. Until I had become familiar with the show, the pics flashing by me meant nothing. Even Alf did it better, with the opening theme showing just enough so we would recognize the characters. Maybe I am being to hard on this one, but this one was just fail.I mean, the names come over the kids being helped out of a van. Yawn.
GRADE-C WATCH I HERE : Â Â http://youtu.be/3XN0UACBnPI
ThanKfully wiser powers prevailed, and season 2 saw a serious upgrade.
SEASON TWO CAUSAL DANCING
Wow! What a freaking upgrade! For one thing, we now know the characters so this works better. Especially since the way they are dancing is staying true to the characters (more or less). The version of the theme is perfect. A nice soft melody that just fits the show like a glove. By the way, the synidcated episodes have a shorter version of this theme, check out the full version below if you’ve never seen it. So it’s just the cast dancing but it feels casual and relaxed, like they are all having fun. This was my favorite season of the show and my favorite opening.
Grade-A+Â Â Â WATCH IT HERE : Â http://youtu.be/ioa0-cZAO6M
SEASON THREE GOOFIER CASUAL DANCING
Gotta love the latin Jazz in this one. This was a clear attempt to top the success of season 2. And….it falls a little flat. Not bad but I just don’t get the choices made here. Why is Tempestt Bledsoe staring at Cosby like he’s insane? Why is Bill Cosby acting like he is having a seizure? Not sure what the thinking was but it’s still a decent opening. Maybe because I am just not a fan of ragae.
Grade-B-Â WATCH IT HERE :Â http://youtu.be/0bCoHfMnLAY
SEASON FOUR BLACK TIE DANCING
Anyone remember Bobby McFerrin? He was a big name in the 80’s with his hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. And it’s his vocal style we get singing this theme. The cast are dancing in black tie. In season three they were all acting goofy, here they are downright serious. Of course we lose Lisa Bonet but add Geofrrey Owens which I thought was a nice touch. A lot of shows refuse to accept when a character marries or has a girlfriend/boyfriend. The character gets relegated to the end credits until someone finally wises up and accepts that person isn’t going anywhere. Did you know Tim Conway was not made a regular member of Thw Carol Burnett Show till Season 9???Â Oh, right. The Cosby Show. Good opening thought not my favorite version of the theme. One touch I liked is the way they achnowledge that Lisa Bonet is not among the cast this go around.
Grade-B+Â WATCH IT HERE :Â http://youtu.be/0n1ZLhHOnxM
SEASON FIVE TROPICAL DANCE
This may be just me, fine. I am going to say it anyway. When this season premiered and I saw this opening….I instantly couldn’t wait for the next season to start so this crap would go away. I am serious, I hated this!! I guess it’s a like a ballet or something. And while I admire the full orchestra for me it just fails on every level for me. The music fails, the fact they cram the actors name in fails, the dancing is boring, the wardrobe gives me a headche…I just hated it!!!! And now, years later, I give them credit for trying something different but…I still hate it. This was the worst seasn for this show and started with that awful opening title.
GRADE C- (just not for me)Â WATCH IT HERE :Â http://youtu.be/TWrjEG5nezY
SEASON SIX & SEVEN JAZZ AT THE APOLLO
100% Improvement! From the drum riff which opens the theme to the sax which hits every note perfectly, this version of the theme ROCKED!!Â Season two is my favorite, but this is a close second place. It brings back what made the classic openings work but adds to it to make the whole thing feel like it’s saying “yeah, it’s the same show but it isn’t!” I love how everyone is dancing here, unlike other years where they were just goofing around here they seem to really be trying. And having fun! The jazz version of the theme is just fantastic, I love it every time I hear it.
GRADE-AÂ Â WATCH IT HERE :Â http://youtu.be/al1ukOIW5-s
So, why nothing new for season 7? Actually the opening for Season 8 was supposed to be the opening for Season 7. But there was some controversy surrounding the mural they are dancing in front of. So the theme was switched out. That is why Erika Alaxander barely get a credit. But the problem was worked out and we have….
SEASON 8-THE MURAL
I was always a little warm to this one to be honest. Maybe it just coulnd’t top the awesomeness of the previous opening. All the elements are here. The cast dancing (with no Cosby this time, weird). And the theme is awesome as usual, this time done with a trumpet. So while there is technically nothing wrong here I just can’t bring myslf to love it as much as the others. The mural is really cool and I always miss the version of this theme used in Season 7 briefly. Lisa Bonet is of course missing, and maybe that is one thing wrong with theme. I always hated that they kicked her off the show.
GRADE-BÂ Â WATCH IT HERE :Â http://youtu.be/Dj08HK6WeYI
Finally, let’s talk about the awesome opening we got for the series finale. We got a new version of the theme, which rocked, and the opening showed clips from all the openings (except Season 1). This was just the perfect way to begin the final episode, which was near perfect from start to finsih.
GRADE-B+Â WATCH IT HERE :Â http://youtu.be/fe0SIeC31Qk
I loved how the theme music evolved with the show, rather than having the exact same opening for the entire run even though the cast has clearly changed. The Cosby Show was a fantastic show, from start to finish.
Man this was fun. Thanks everyone for sticking around for 400 articles. It means a lot my friends! Till next time, be good to yourselves.