Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Fun With Playlists #7 (TV Themes That Don't Suck)

Okay, so I was far enough behind in my TV, that the promised spring TV wrap-up is still in progress. But it's also time for a new Fun With Playlists, so here's TV-themed one about...TV themes.

While suckage is all a matter of taste, of course, I'm really pleased with the relatively recent trend of using hip or obscure pop songs for TV themes instead of the once obligatory cheesy original music. It makes the credits more enjoyable, and gives good exposure and cash to artists who need it (of course, then it often backfires and makes those artists horribly overexposed -- Paula Cole anyone? -- but I guess they can cry their way to the bank). It also seems to have raised the bar for shows that do use original music to be a little more creative than Alan Thicke. The WB didn't make up the idea (as a couple of 80s classics below will attest), but their mega-corporation cross-marketing certainly made it what it is today. I'm not sure what started me thinking about this (probably my recent download of the theme from Kingdom Hospital, which was written up in Entertainment Weekly) but I started flipping through iTunes and realized I had an awful lot of songs that have been used on TV recently (and a few not so recently). I don't even watch all the shows, but I've come to associate the tunes with them anyway. So here's my list of...

TV Theme Songs That Don't Suck

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Theme – Nerf Herder
California – Phantom Planet (The O.C.)
I Don't Want To Wait – Paula Cole (Dawson's Creek)
Worry About You – Ivy (Kingdom Hospital)
I'll Be There For You – The Rembrandts (Friends)
Somebody Help Me – Full Blown Rose (Tru Calling)
Fame – Irene Cara (Fame)
Here With Me – Dido (Roswell)
With A Little Help From My Friends – Joe Cocker (The Wonder Years)
Excess – Tricky (Glory Days)
Searchin' My Soul – Vonda Shepard (Ally McBeal)
All Things (Just Keep Getting Better) – Widelife feat. Simone (Queer Eye)
My Life – Billy Joel (Bosom Buddies)
How Soon Is Now? – The Smiths (Charmed) [They use a different version on the show, but nothing beats Morrisey's tortured vocals on the original!]
Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps – Doris Day (Coupling (UK))
Save Me – Remy Zero (Smallville)
Superman – Lazlo Bane (Scrubs)

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