1. “Six Feet Under” (2001- 2005, HBO)
Alan Ball’s incredible series “Six Feet Under” is my favorite show to date, and by the look of modern television, I think it always will be. While the visual quality of the opening title sequence is arguably unmatched, the music by composer Thomas Newman is what really stays with you. Unlike most title sequences, the visuals were not created until after the music was composed — making it all the more impressive to watch.
2. “The Simpsons” (1989-present, Fox)
Much like how you can’t do anything “The Simpsons” hasn’t already done, you really can’t say much about it that hasn’t already been said. Composer Danny Elfman made the iconic theme music to this show, but for once I’m more attracted to the title sequences themselves than the music. My favorite is the opening to “Tree House of Horror XXIV.” The number of classic horror references is both overbearing and incredibly fun to watch.
3. “True Detective” (2014-present, HBO)
“True Detective” is the best show I’ve seen in a long time, and the opening title sequence is mostly responsible. The Handsome Family’s “Far From Any Road” plays through a series of intricate and aesthetically pleasing images connected with the show’s plot. My favorite shot during the opening credits is when actor Woody Harrelson’s face is shown over a fly-by shot of a crisscrossing set of interstates, making his face seem like a skull.
4. “American Horror Story” (2011-present, FX)
While I could write a full article about the visual brilliance of the title sequence, I’m more infatuated with composers Charlie Clouser and Cesar Davila- Irizarry for creating the show’s theme music. The music was composed in such a way that it accurately and successfully conveys both a notion of unimaginable horror and sex. The music fits the show indescribably well and creates a wonderful experience for the viewer in and of itself.
5. “Tales from the Crypt” (1989-1996, HBO)
While growing up, “Tales from the Crypt” and the original comic books were a significant staple of my childhood interest. I swooned over the graphic illustrations in the comics and was always glued to the television during reruns of the show. While the outdated and somewhat cliché title sequence didn’t necessarily catch my attention at that age, the theme song by composer Danny Elfman did. I still have it on my iPod whenever I need a good nostalgia fix.