Thursday, March 25, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition-Opening Title Sequence


Wandering Through The Shelves picked a great one this week because there are so many to choose from so I had to go with the first 3 that popped into my head and that I memorized and sometimes sing(badly) with my best friend. Here are my 3...

1. GILLIGAN'S ISLAND-1964-1967

After being on the school bus for an hour, I would run inside, drop my books and turn on the TV to watch Gilligan's Island and then, Lost in Space. My mom, ever so patient, finally asked if there was anything else I could watch since I had seen the repeats, repeatedly. I told her no way! These castaways were on a 3 hour cruise when they got into a terrible storm and landed on an uncharted, deserted island. The first year, poor Mary Ann and the Professor were just "All the Rest" because Tina Louise-AKA Ginger- AKA Ego Maniac, had it written in her contract that she wanted no name to come after her. When many wrote in asking why the other 2 were not named, it was changed. The show is dumb and they all brought enough clothes, except for the Professor, The Skipper and Gilligan, to last until they were 105, but it is fun to watch. Nope, you see no belly button just short shorts.

2. GREEN ACRES-1965-1971

Green Acres is the place to be...Who doesn't love Oliver, who can't grow an aloe vera plant (after my own heart) never mind being a farmer who lives with his elegant, outstandingly dressed Lisa, his wife, in a true dump of a place. They must deal with a whole bunch of very weird people and Arnold the pig, the smartest of the whole bunch.

3. THE BRADY BUNCH-1969-1974

My Nose! Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! A lady meets a man and they get hitched(the very first show) with each having 3 kids. She has 3 girls and he has 3 boys and they must all get along. The patriarch is an architect but the 3 girls must all share a room and the same for the 3 boys. All 6 must share a bathroom. Alice has her own room and bathroom plus that orange kitchen. Nowadays a kid gets upset if they don't have their own spa. Anyway, so many shows are classic and, later on, they even became singing sensations(we will not mention the horrible variety show that came after..well, I just did). 

Can you sing a long to any of these?  Who is your favourite, Ginger or Mary-Ann? They are so catchy! Which tv theme songs would you pick?


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    TV land is my turf, dear friend. The theme songs of these three series were part of the soundtrack of my teenage life in the 60s, and the characters shown in the opening montages are familiar to this day, even though I haven't watched Green Acres or Brady Bunch in years. I watched all three of these series during their original run and for many years thereafter in reruns. Like you, I often jumped off the bus and literally ran to the house to turn on the set and watch a favorite TV show. On Gilligan's Isle, Mary-Ann was my favorite, and I am still upset that Dawn Wells caught the COVID virus and died recently. It's interesting that Green Acres star Eddie Albert lived a long life, passing away at age 99, while his co-star Eva Gabor, died much younger, at 76, from complications following a fall in a bathtub while vacationing in Mexico.

    I first became familiar with Ann B. Davis in the mid and late 50s in the main cast role of "Schultzy" on The Bob Cummings Show, renamed Love That Bob in syndication. I wish I had been a fly on the bedroom wall whenever Alice, the Brady's maid, made whoopee with her sweetie Sam the butcher. It's gonna take the jaws of life to pry that disturbing image out of my head!

    One of the most catchy and toe-tapping opening title sequences in TV history was on Psych. The theme song, "I Know You Know" by The Friendly Indians, was performed by series creator Steve Franks' band, and the snippets from various episodes of the show are hilarious and changed constantly throughout the series run. Another example is Monk, with quick cuts of the quirky detective shown while we listen to the theme song "It's A Jungle Out There" written and sung by Randy Newman. The long-running hit medical drama ER also had a compelling opening sequence. There were so many elaborate show intros back then but, as we have previously discussed, not very many are being produced in recent years.

    I got your email and I'm smiling, dear friend BB. Have a wonderful day!

    1. I’m glad you are smiling! We are both smiling😀. I am also so sad and upset that Dawn Wells died of COVID19 after having such a tough few years. I don’t know Psych and have to watch and listen to the opening. Monk has a good opening and I never watched it even though I love Tony Shalhoub and the little I saw, it looks good. I never could get into ER even though it was on for a long time. There always seemed to be some kid dying on the show.

  2. Good choices. My first thought was The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. And what a cast they had.

    1. I never saw this show but Bob Denver and Warren Beatty were both on this show.

  3. 3 really iconic openings! I already hear the theme songs in my head.

  4. Great choices!

    I can't tell you how many times I've seen all the Gilligan episodes! Yes they are ridiculous but that doesn't stop me from watching if I run across one. I'm team Mary Ann all the way and was bereft when Covid claimed Dawn Wells just before the end of last year.

    I wasn't so devout to Lost in Space though, just an occasional episode here and there. It was The Big Valley and Barbara Stanwyck that I ran home to see after school!

    I watched Green Acres when it was first on, love both Eddie Albert and especially Eva Gabor, but when I revisited it in reruns I found it hard to take now.

    The Brady Bunch is so universal and despite the clothes, timeless. I watched it when I was young, so did my sister's kids and now their kids do too!

    We have two matches!!! I was expecting one but not a duo. My other is one I'm guessing you watched though. I included a link if my descriptions don't quite make it. :-)

    Bewitched (1964-1972)-Clever animation of the lead couple-witch Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) and human Darrin (first Dick York, later Dick Sargent) plus troublesome mother-in-law Endora (Agnes Moorehead) represented by a cloud of black smoke set to zippy music that hints at the magical theme of the show all in under 40 seconds!

    Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967)-Imagine a small boat, a storm-tossed sea, a spinning captain’s wheel and a lonely isle then sing along!
    “Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
    a tale of a fateful trip,
    that started from this tropic port,
    aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
    the Skipper brave and sure,
    five passengers set sail that day,
    for a three-hour tour,
    a three-hour tour. The weather started getting rough,
    the tiny ship was tossed.
    If not for the courage of the fearless crew
    the Minnow would be lost.
    The Minnow would be lost.
    The ship's aground on the shore of this
    uncharted desert isle
    with Gilligan,
    the Skipper too.
    The millionaire and his wife,
    the movie star,
    the professor and Mary Ann,
    here on Gilligan's Isle!”

    The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)-Over the background of a tic-tac-toe board filled with the faces of the cast all mobile and smiling at each other we hear:
    “Here's the story
    Of a lovely lady
    Who was bringing up three very lovely girls
    All of them had hair of gold
    Like their mother
    The youngest one in curls

    It's the story
    Of a man named Brady
    Who was busy with three boys of his own
    They were four men
    Living all together
    Yet they were all alone

    'Til the one day when the lady met this fellow
    And they knew that it was much more than a hunch
    That this group must somehow form a family
    That's the way we all became the Brady bunch

    The Brady bunch, the Brady bunch
    That's the way we became the Brady bunch.”

    And then Alice pops into the middle square!

    1. I was and still am upset that the sweet Dawn Wells died from COVID19 after a few years of hardship...poor thing. I watched a few episodes of Green Acres last week and some of the characters are annoying like that guy who keeps forgetting things. I just love that theme song. I can’t believe we match with 2! Both are iconic and I almost went with Bewitched...can you imagine if we matched with all 3!? I have the box set of Bewitched and still dream of being a Witch and with a twitch of my nose, I could travel wherever I want to go. I never would have listened to my hubby like Samantha did.

  5. You've picked some good ones that I would include in a list. Others would be Beverly Hillbillies and The Addams Family. Mostly I remember the wordless musical themes like Get Smart, Twilight Zone, Lassie, and so on.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. They are great choices....I loved The Munsters.

  6. I love the Bradys! They were one of my favorite Nick and nite shows.

  7. Cool! I remembered the Brady Bunch theme song! Great list!

    Check out my Thursday Movie Picks!

    Ronyell @ The Surreal Movies and TV Blog

  8. I never watched Green Acres, but I did watch the others. When I hear theme songs, Knight Rider comes to mind. I'm still obsessed with this clip, from last year:

    1. Now there is a unique pick! No one chose that one yet.

  9. I would also choose Gilligan and Green Acres. I can still sing those songs. My third would be Petticoat Junction.

    I preferred Mary Ann. I saw an interview with Bob Denver long ago. He said "the rest" got changed "the Professor and Mary Ann" because he demanded it and he was the star of the show with top billing.


    1. Another great tv theme. Yes, I read that as well and Bob Denver was not a fan of Tina Louise

  10. I have never seen a single episode of Gilligan's Island, BUT I do know the song. I also have seen a few episodes of the other two in reruns. I never got to see the famed nose one, though. I actually got interested in The Brady Bunch when HGTV bought their home to remodel. Although I never saw the show, I would pick Mary Ann over Ginger any day.

    1. The theme songs are so well known that many know the song rather than the show. I think most pick Mary Ann. I have a feeling that the men would screw Ginger and then leave her but Mary Ann, they would screw her too but also take her home to meet mom.

  11. I am not familiar with any of these but The Brady Bunch is nice and the theme song is quite catchy.

    1. Oh wow! You are the first who has not even heard of Gilligan?? You need to watch these very dumb much fun.

  12. Maryanne is my favorite for certain. I actually remember all 3 of these. Silly but fun and now classics! Hugs-Erika

  13. Hi Birgit, well I've never seen any of these titles, I think they were probably not shown over her.
    Hope all is well with you, Kate x

    1. Wow! I thought they went all over the world. I saw Green Acres in German which was very weird.

  14. Green Acres is the place to be 🎶
    Our family watched and rewatched that show. It was brilliant. Hoping all is well with you.

    1. I get allergic smelling hay🤪. One of my all time favourites f theme songs. Wishing you well.

  15. I think I still have a crush on Marcia Brady...

    I'm definitely in the Mary Ann camp. I always though Ginger was too much of a diva.

    MeTV has been running "Green Acres" at 9:30 weeknights, before "Hogan's Heroes," and I've been watching at least part of it, enough to think it has to be one of the weirdest shows of all time.

    The opening sequence of "Hogan's Heroes" is one of my favorites. I also liked the start of "The Jeffersons," "The Bob Newhart Show" and its successor, "Newhart," "Three's Company," "The Phyllis Diller Show" (also known as "The Pruitts of Southampton"), "Car 54, Where Are You?" "The Munsters," and "The Addams Family." And those are just the ones I can think of...

    1. You probably picked up on the vibe that Tina Louise was a diva. Hogan’s Heroes is great and Robert Clary is still alive and he was a holocaust the Jeffersons. I had no idea that Phyllis Diller had her own show. I always love The Munsters theme more than The Adams Family plus I like the show better too.

  16. I loved all three of these and can sing them too! Fun choices. Great facts about the Gilligan's Island too. :)

    1. It’s so much fun to try and sing these songs.

  17. Cheers is special. I don't think there's a better match between show and theme song.

    Also, especially for the music...

    The Greatest American Hero
    Welcome Back, Kotter
    Hill Street Blues
    Mission: Impossible
    Hawaii Five-O

    And, of course... The Muppet Show.

    1. Love, love love your picks and almost went with Cheers and Hawaii Five O. I also almost chose WKRP in Cincinnati

  18. I like the Brady Bunch opening. Visually it was very simple, it was the late 60s and 70s not many I suspect was pushing it creatively, but it was very fitting.

    I think it was either I Dream of Jeanie or Bewitched that used animation. That was fun.