Thursday, April 29, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition-TV Score or Theme Song


I think we did this before but, that's ok because there are so many that need recognition. Wandering Through The Shelves showcases themes each week with the last Thursday dedicated to TV. You get to choose 3 films or tv shows(for the last Thursday of the month) that fit the theme and here are my 3...

1. SECRET AGENT MAN-1960-1962 & THEN 1964-1968

Patrick McGoohan stars as Drake...John Drake, the spy who gets in from the cold and saves the day without dipping his tongue down some girl' am nasty) or rarely using a gun. He uses his intelligence and wits to get through each episode. It was called Danger Man in Britain (where it began) and had a first run in the early 60s only to come back in the mid 60s becoming a hit. This song is just perfect for a spy show that became a hit on the dance floor too. Patrick McGoohan also starred in "The Prisoner", an excellent Science Fiction show where former spies are sent to the village and cannot escape or the big white balloon will come after you. Anyway, Secret Agent Man is a really good series and Mr. McGoohan was happily married who did not believe in kissing other women so he made sure nothing like that was ever in the scripts.

2. HAWAII FIVE-O-1968-1980

Yes, there is a successful remake(I think it was recently cancelled) but my heart belongs to the original with the squared-jawed Jack Lord as McGarrett who leads a team of police officers, Danno, Chin Ho and streetwise Kono to stop all sorts of crime on the islands. This show dealt mainly with how they were catching the criminal with little emphasis on their private lives which I like. I don't need to see who is kissing who and bedding who all the time. Anyway, this theme is so popular, they kept the original for the reboot of the series. Why mess with perfection?

3. CHEERS-1982-1993

I love this show which was a staple on Thursday nights and created some memorable characters, the most famous being Frazier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammar, who got his own spin-off in the 1990s. Actually, this famous show was almost dead last in the Nielsen Ratings but the famous Brandon Tartikoff, believed in the show and made sure it could keep going. Thankfully, the audience found this gem and it became a #1 show for many years. Sam Malone (Ted Danson) an alcoholic former baseball player owns a bar who hired his old coach as a fellow bartender (who suffered too many balls to the head). Carla is the acerbic tiny waitress you never want on your bad side; Norm, the man who lives at the bar and has put a serious dent in the floor and beer and then there's Cliff.....Cliff, a postal worker who seems to be an expert on everything and knows nothing. Enter Diane, a haughty snob chick who is hired by Sam to waitress, horribly so. By the time the romantic twirling of Sam & Diane take off so did the ratings. This song became a staple and a hit for a short while. Hey, I visited the bar in Boston(the outside is famous but the inside was nothing like the was small, cramped stuffy and packed.

So, which 3 come to your mind?


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    Hope you are feeling better today, dear friend!

    I was a regular viewer of Cheers because I appreciate comedy done right. I like police procedural dramas and that's why I occasionally watched the original late 60s TV series Hawaii Five-O starring Jack Lord's hair. Danger is my middle name, and that's why I enjoyed The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. and Get Smart. Yet, for some reason, I sampled then skipped Danger Man aka Secret Agent aka Destination Danger aka John Drake aka Lone Wolf. There are several reasons I can think of to explain why Secret Agent didn't get teenage me jazzed. It probably seemed dry to me because it was a British show filmed in the early 60s in black and white and released in the U.S. in April, 1965, at a time when color was starting to bloom on TV. Moreover it is recognized as one of the least violent spy series ever. (Me no likey.) I think I know what happened. In the early weeks of 1965, I had gone with my cousins to the theater and experienced Goldfinger. The big screen color and spectacle, over-the-top violence and explosions, seductive half-nekked women and swaggering Sean Connery all spoiled me rotten. Secret Agent simply couldn't compare. I didn't watch The Avengers regularly either. Had I given Secret Agent and Avengers more of a chance, I might have found that I liked them.

    For my TV theme song picks I will name The Patty Duke Show and go back to the well and pick the themes from Monk and Psych.

    Thanks, dear friend BB. Have a happy day and a wonderful weekend!

    1. Cheers is so great and Frazier is par excellence. You had me laughing about Jack Lord’s true. I love James Bond but I also really like Secret Agent Man because it was cat and mouse to me which I like.

  2. We are in sync. With one anyway. My first thought was Hawaii Five-0. I never saw the original, but I realy enjoyed the reboot, except for the casting disputes with so many leaving.
    I too like the Monk theme and it is one of those series where I have seen every episode, albeit in reruns.
    And then Perry Mason. So dramatic - thunk-a-thunk....

    1. I had no idea the new series had all these casting disputes... shame. Perry Mason is an excellent choice.

  3. These are such classics! I love them.

  4. Your picks are good ones. I never got overly psyched up about TV scores or theme songs though I can identify a great many.

    A couple of my favorites are the sixties series Batman and Twin Peaks--back when that show was all the rage I bought the soundtrack and listened to it a lot.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Oh, Batman is a classic. I can’t recall Twin Peaks

  5. LOVE your picks!!

    Secret Agent was such a clever show and had the super advantage of the great Patrick McGoohan carrying the show.

    I didn't mind the remake but I agree that the original Hawaii Five-O is the best version even if both Jack Lord and James MacArthur could be on the wooden side.

    I watched Cheers every week when it was on and loved it but it's one I don't revisit much, unlike its spin-off Frasier which I could watch on a regular basis even now.

    There is a wealth of choices this week so I narrowed by going with enormous hits from the seventies, all with instantly recognizable openings.

    Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983)-Two wacky single gals work in a brewery and look for love in Milwaukee.

    Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!
    (Just an FYI according to an old Yiddish saying “A schlemiel is somebody who often spills his soup, and a schlimazel is the person it lands on.” Hasenpfeffer is a German stew.)

    The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)-Spunky, independent single woman moves to Minneapolis to start a new life. Lands as Associate Producer of the news at tiny WJM station. Spends the next seven years surrounded by classic characters.

    Who can turn the world on with her smile?
    Who can take a nothing day
    And suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

    The Jeffersons (1975-1985)-Prosperous dry cleaner George Jefferson & his often exasperated wife Louise move into a ritzy apartment on Manhattan’s East Side. Thanks to George’s cocky brashness endless humorous troubles befall the pair.

    Well, we're moving on upppp
    To the East side
    To a deluxe apartment in the sky-y-y
    Moving on up to the East side
    We finally got a piece of the pie!

    1. I’m so glad you like my picks and you are so right about Frazier which we have the entire collection and are watching them right now. Every episode has made me laugh out loud. I had no idea what the Laverne & Shirley sentence meant and always wanted to know since I knew what Haffenpfeffer meant. Love the iconic MTM and finally found out who that woman was in the background with the cat eye glasses was. I am so loving the fact that you chose The Jeffersons which is a brilliant comedy and that theme song is excellent.

  6. At the time Cheers ran scoring a hit with viewers so too did Star Trek TNG. So for me TNG, Moonlighting and Star Trek Voyager. Why "Voyager" actors never starred in a major trek movie except for a few cameos here and there is unknown, conversely Cheers, TNG and Moonlighting all hit the big screen.

    1. Any Star Trek is a given for being famous and Voyager is one of my favourites if not my total favourite. It just sounds so majestic and I love the opening as well. Yeah, except for Seven of Nine, the rest never really caught a break. Moonlighting is another theme song that became a hit during the 80s.

  7. Yay, we have a match this week! I actually almost picked HAWAII FIVE-O (it's so catchy!) but decided to go with just TV theme songs.

  8. I've heard of all three songs, but never saw Cheers or even knew about Secret Agent Man. I would have enjoyed that show, because there is so much unneeded sex and violence in today's tv shows. Most of it is just filler so they can get the time needed to fill the required 42-48 minutes.

    I HAVE seen the original Hawaii Five-0, because there's a channel I get that runs old shows on the weekend, and one weekend, it was jack Lord and "Book 'em Danno" all weekend long!

  9. I know all three of the theme songs, but I only ever watched Cheers. Sad that Diane's replacement has turned into one of those celebrities...

  10. Oh my god! I love the Hawaii Five-O theme song! So catchy!!!

    Check out my Thursday Movie Picks!

    Ronyell @ The Surreal Movies and TV Blog

  11. Book 'em, Danno. One of my favorite Cheers episodes was Cliff on Jeopardy! My choices are MASH, The Gilmore Girls, and Mad Men.


  12. Cheers. Definitely a classic.
    Take special care.

  13. Never heard any of these before but I'm now in love with Cheers. Such a catchy song!

  14. BIRGIT ~

    There are so VERY MANY great TV theme songs / instrumentals, that it's really challenging to pick just 3 favorites.

    Hawaii Five-0 definitely is a serious competitor. When I think of that theme song, I also think of an Australian Punk(-ish) Rock band I loved circa 1977 or so. I played their album 'Radios Appear' nearly to death. I loved their tribute to Hawaii Five-0, a rip-roaring, roller coaster of a song titled 'Aloha, Steve & Danno'. It was probably their most "commercial" sounding song, and I still dig it. I'm sure this will be too fast and loud for your tastes, but you'll appreciate THEIR appreciation of Hawaii Five-0:


    Even some shows I don't really like had excellent TV theme songs, such as 'Welcome Back, Kotter', 'Sanford & Son', 'MASH', 'Cheers', 'The Jeffersons', 'The Odd Couple', 'Taxi', 'Hill Street Blues', 'The Rockford Files', and so on...

    And then there were shows I DO like that also had great theme songs, such as 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', 'The Andy Griffith Show', 'Barney Miller', 'Batman', 'Route 66', etc.

    If I had to pick ONLY 3 favorite TV theme songs, I believe I'd go with:

    #3) MASH



    There's something so bittersweet about my #1 choice. It's almost the definition of 'SAUDADE':

    SAUDADE: a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for something or someone that one cares for and/or loves.

    ~ D-FensDogG

  15. Birgit,

    Magnum PI, Miami Vice, and Angel theme songs instantly come to mind.

    Hawaii 5-O and Cheers theme songs are fabulous! TV programs from long ago really knew how to produce good stuff. If you think about it, today's TV shows don't often have a theme song or anything to speak of. It's so disappointing, too.

  16. Great choices.

    One I don't see mentioned by anyone above: "The Greatest American Hero." In fact, aside from Cheers, I might choose it as the very best one. The show itself was above average. The song was fantastic.