I was watching Sleepy Hollow the other night, the great new TV series on FOX, and I was super excited to see they have a title sequence. Over the last few years, TV show title sequences have been going the way of the Dodo with the increasing tendency to flash the TV show’s name along with an Inception-like groan. Whilst I don’t have anything against this method as it allows for precious more minutes to be spent on the actual show, when I saw Sleepy Hollow’s opening sequence I was reminded of how much I enjoyed and missed them.
Title sequences for TV shows are like a book’s cover and blurb: they set the audience’s expectations for tone, genre and mood—an indicator for whether the viewer will enjoy the show. Sleepy Hollow’s opening certainly achieves this with a dark, mysterious and gothic sequence that immediately grabs the audience by the—hopefully not slit—throat and transports them into the creepy small town riddled with secrets called Sleepy Hollow.
I believe a great title sequence can heighten the experience and impression of a TV show. There are many great TV show openings that establish the world of the show within a few short effective minutes, some of my favourites are:
The song, the pace, the snappy cuts, it all helps establish the scene for this hip noir caper set in a modern—2004 modern—day high school.
Game of Thrones:
This gorgeous title sequence introduces the epic fantasy saga with sweeping miniature vistas and rich orchestral music.
Ghostly and spine-tingling – just perfect! There’s no mistaking what this show is about.
Did I leave your favourite TV show title sequence off the list? Or do you prefer the recent trend of flashing the show’s name—quick and to the point? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!