Opening night was great. Everybody was up, energy was high, the audience was receptive, and the ripples of laughs heard throughout were inspiring and invigorating. Once the laughs started, they did not stop. It was wonderful to just listen to a few giggles turn into a set of laughs from one side of the room to a large variety of people (now the men, adding a bass rumble to the laughs) to full-blown applause when a particularly good punchline was hit. Ros. and Guil. got unexpected applause for pieces you didn't expect. But that was good, because they were brilliant. As were we all.
To celebrate (ugh, horrible segue, Mr. Noyes, pls rewrite and have on my desk by tomorrow) I'm listening to television themes. As it is late and Mr. Sjoberg no longer does these, I shall assign ratings. YES, I KNOW I HAVE TWO REVIEWS, TWO "ACTUAL" REVIEWS, DUE TOMORROW. I AM DOING THIS INSTEAD CAUSE IT'S EASIER TO WRITE AND I'VE HAD MARGARITA TONIGHT.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
For a sitcom starring Ted Knight and Jm J. Bullock, this theme is way too generic. Honestly. It could be for any show that didn't need an expositional opening. C+
Only the second best bassline in the history of television themes. The only problem is the wood block at the end. It's perfectly sassy and it follows every measure EXCEPT THE LAST. I mean, seriously. Goddamn. It goes bwah bwaah bwah-bwah (click click) bwah bwaah bwah-bwah (click click) bwah bwah bwaaah bwaaah bwaaah bwah bwah-bwah (click click) bwah bwah bwah! and every single time I go CLICK CLICK! CLICK CLICK, DAMN YOU, NIGHT COURT, CLICK CLICK. B
Only the best damn bassline in the history of television themes. And a great guitar intro, and when the horns kick in, you know you're ready for a good time. A
It's Leon Redbone. How can you not like Leon Redbone? Even if the show was cheesy and formulaic and bratty, the theme was perfect. And look, like I said above, it's Leon F'n Redbone. If you don't start showing props to Mr. Redbone this instant I'm gonna have to get cross with you. B+
THE ADVENTURES OF PETE & PETE
The song's called "Hey Sandy" and it's performed by a group called Polaris and the lyrics in the chorus are "Don't you talk back" instead of "Does your dog bite" which I swear is what it sounds like when you're younger and listening through a television set with one speaker. It's a beautiful little piece of indie rock, though, one of those strange unknown songs a friend of yours (who obviously loved the band even if nobody else knew who they were) would put on a mix tape for you in between They Might Be Giants and the Pixies. You'd never know who the band was and you wouldn't be compelled to seek out their stuff, but that song would become a small favorite. B+
Wings is an interesting show because I know I watched it a lot (how could you not? It was right after Cheers) and I know I liked it but, probably like everybody else with the exception of a few crazed fans on the Internet, I cannot for the life of me remember even just one plot of one single episode. I know Helen used to be fat as a kid, and Lowell was a goof, and one of the brothers was the "wild child" and Roy was the bastard in the competing airline, and Tony Shaloub played a hilarious character, but can I remember a single story from the series? Of course not.
The theme, however, before they "jazzed it up" for the 90s (and then tried doing away with it altogether) was a very simple classical-style piece with grand piano and strings. It's very pretty, very airy, and so benign it's hard to believe a series that produced wacky enough bits was prefaced by this light little piece. B
Oh look, it's Dr. John this time around. With a jazzy piano riff and big bright happy horns and optimistic lyrics with cutesy phrases like "In my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine." I dunno. In most mindsets, that can be bile-inducing. All I can remember from the show besides Joey Lawrence saying "Whoa" a lot was Mayim Bialik dancin around to the theme for the opener. I don't remember having a crush on her. I think I was too old at that point. No, I had a crush on Kevin's crazy stalker-like girlfriend Madeleine from The Wonder Years. B-
IT'S GARRY SHANDLING'S SHOW
The most brilliant theme song in the history of theme songs ever. Minimalistic exposition with a flair that'd have made Bertolt Brecht green with f'n envy. I mean, it began like this:
This is the theme to Garry's show
The opening theme to Garry's show
Garry called me up and asked me if I'd write his theme song
I'm almost halfway finished
How d'you like it so far?
How do you like the theme to Garry's show?
The show, by the way, was also brilliant. I remember one episode where Garry went to a baseball game, and he invited members of the studio audience to "make themselves at home" on his house set while "he was gone." So the audience went up and did just that, lounging around the set and stuff. When are they gonna put this out on DVD? A
You gotta love a theme actually sung by the star of the show. Sure, Alice was a vehicle for Linda Lavin right from the start (wasn't she a former nightclub singer or something, newly-divorced, forced to start anew as a waitress?) and there were enough episodes where they put on shows and stuff, just to showcase Lavin's singing. But we got to hear her every episode with this brilliantly inspirational little song, which was most impressive in the way that Lavin got her mouth around the phrase "There's a fresh-freckled face in the neighborhood." It also had a kicky organ and bass line, and the image of Vera turning around spilling straws everywhere is forever burnt into my mind's eye. A-
HART TO HART
This is my boss, Jonathan Hart. A self-made millionaire. He's quite a guy.
This is Mrs. H. She's gorgeous. She's one lady who knows how to take care of herself.
By the way, my name is Max. I take care of both of them, which ain't easy...
Cause when they met, it was MURDAH
I know I couldn't stay up late enough to watch Hart To Hart, but for some reason I had that prologue MEMORIZED. B+
ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN
They don't make 'em like this anymore. Holy crap. This is almost better than anything Herb Alpert could've put out. Listen and see if you don't agree, damn you. If ever I get the parody game show up and running on whatever public access channel will take me, I'm using this as one of the themes. Or just the prize music. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. LISTEN TO THIS AGAIN, I COMMAND THEE A