(Yes, by the way, that IS L.A. Law’s Rosalind Shays falling down an elevator shaft. ICONIC.)
Earlier this week, I wrote about Justine Bateman, which had me humming the Family Ties theme… which then my brain merged with the Kate & Allie theme, which I then sang the rest of the day. I miss a good, solid theme song or main title sequence. Like a bajillion other people, I used part of this pandemic to re-watch Grey’s Anatomy, and it really is so jarring to go back in time to when they had one — and granted, theirs was truly terrible, so I don’t actually miss it that much. But so few shows these days lean into the glories of opening credits. Where would Who’s The Boss? be, I ask you, without those shots of Tony’s van driving to Angela’s while we are implored to notice that there’s more to life than what we’re living, and that when nights are long, you might awaken to a brand new life! BRAND NEW LIFE! BRAND NEW LIFE arouuuuuund the bennnnnnd. And obviously we would be but shells of ourselves without the Dynasty theme (also, please, the positioning of Gordon Thomson and the champagne bottle…) and Dallas, the jazzy strains of Moonlighting, AMAZING sax solo and slamming car trunk of L.A. Law, the Melrose Place crew, and of course The Brandon Walsh Punch:
But, that’s not what got me here today. If you follow me on Instagram — which you probably regret, or have already muted, because I’m super boring — then you might know Kevin and I have stumbled twice now upon a Canadian procedural called Hudson & Rex, which debuted two years ago yesterday. Its closest U.S. analog is Turner & Hooch (by the way, they are shooting a series version of THAT… in Vancouver) but it is based on an Italian/Austrian show from the mid-90s. Kevin is obsessed with what a bad actor Diesel vom Birgenwald is, and yes, that is the dog. Anyway, the main titles of the new Hudson & Rex are pretty meh, BUT a reader sent me a link to the YouTube compilation of the credits from the original Kommissar Rex and THEY ARE A SCREAM.
A note: There are five versions in here, and you may not think you need to watch all of them, but you do. There are plot twists. Recasts! Reshoots of the same basic gag! Subtle song changes, from arrangement to vocal intensity! Billiards! You will also have the amazing theme song in your head for the rest of the day. Don’t they seem older somehow than 1994-2004?
Parenthetically, I’ve heard through the grapevine that this dog actor is better, but I’m not convinced. Amusingly, Rex — full name: Reginald von Ravenhorst, for real — has been played by four dogs, with names of descending complexity: Santo vom Haus Zieglmayer, and then Rhett Butler, and then Henry, and Nicky. It’s a journey.
Your turn! What are the TV themes, random or otherwise, that are burned in your head? Saved By The Bell? The Brady Bunch? Step By Step? Something as simple as Mad Men? Throw it all the way back and give us some earworms.