Art, Media, VCD theory

TV openings.

What can we learn about style from TV openings?

On this page, you're going to find video links to clips that show a range of TV series opening sequences. These short mini sequences are emblems of style. Compare and contrast how they are made with distinctive structural and aesthetic qualities.

Quick menu

How times have changed!

From Black and white to glorious colour.

I have selected a group of Youtube clips to start you off on your journey back in time.

The 1950s

Father Knows Best, 1954
The Honeymooners, 1954
Leave it to Beaver, 1957
Lassie, 1954
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Maverick, 1957
Rawhide, 1959

The 1960s

Bewitched, 1964
The Andy Griffiths Show, 1960
Gilligan's Island, 1964
Hogan's Heroes, 1965
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I dream of Jeannie, 1965
Get Smart, 1965

The 1970s

Homicide, 1964
Happy Days, 1974
Charlie's Angles, 1976
The Brady Bunch, 1969
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Number 96, 1972
Matlock Police, 1971

The 1980s

Cheers, 1982
Miami Vice, 1984
Magnum PI, 1980
Neighbours, 1985
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Home and Away, 1988
Prisoner Cell Block H, 1979

The 1990s

Friends, 1994
The X Files, 1993
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1997
ER, 1994
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Beverley Hills 90210, 1990
Dawson's Creek, 1998

The 2000s

Breaking Bad, 2008
The Sopranos, 1999
The Wire, 2002
Veronica Mars, 2004
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Prison Break, 2005
Underbelly, 2008

The 2010s

Offspring, 2010
Game of Thrones, 2011
Homeland, 2011
House of Cards, 2013
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Stranger Things, 2016
Westworld, 2016


If you're using this page as research for a class task you will want to know how to process the information you found in the videos. I have put a range of prompt questions here to help you engage in the content.

When did they get new?

Trawl through the clips of opening sequences. Consider, which ones are new and which are retro - even in their time?

Ask yourself, which period saw the biggest stylistic change? When did they begin to integrate deconstructed, layered, abstract effects? Can you co-relate this practice with the introduction of computers into media? When was that?

Then consider, what elements of construction do they all have in common? What really makes a great, memorable TV opening?