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Best TV Opening Sequences

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Nov 26, 2013 | 9:00am EST

Dexter opening creditsShowtime

Some shows have them, some don't, to varying levels of effectiveness. Many would gladly swap Breaking Bad's 15-second opener for Orange is the New Black's 1-minute plus Regina Spektor-powered number. Most shows get a kicky theme song, some sort of montage and call it a day. But what shows treat the opening credits as an art form?

Game of Thrones

Okay, full disclosure, I don't watch Game of Thrones. (YET. I promise I'll get to it). But I was enthralled by the theme song when I watched Corbin Bleu dance a Viennese Waltz to it in an episode of DWTS. Embarrassing, I know, but let's get back on track: the opening credits on the show are amazing. Apparently, it takes ten people to work on them, and they have to be careful to make sure the hyper-realistic computer-generated gears and cogs follow the laws of physics. Their hard work certainly shows; the results are stunning.

Masters of Sex

The Masters of Sex opening credits has a remarkable sense of levity. Like much of the humor on the show, it is powered almost on innuendo alone. It doesn't show you anything x-rated per se, just a lot of traditionally suggestive images like the Washington monument, a beaver chomping down on some wood, a rocket taking off – you get the picture. It's almost astounding how simultaneously dirty and non-dirty this sequence is. Tip of the hat to you!

Dexter

Like Masters of Sex, Dexter's opening theme also uses innuendo to get its message across. It's kind of astounding just how skin-crawlingly disturbing they can make a simple morning routine – the blood orange gets to me every time. It all comes together perfectly with the downright cheerful (with just a touch of eeriness) theme song.

Six Feet Under

Instead of something you fast-forward on the DVR, this was a sequence that never failed to captivate, week after week. It takes us from hospital to grave, using a muted, almost monochromatic color palette that lets the blue sky be the focus. But the music may be the true star here: the instrumentation is refreshingly innovative – I love the off-kilter pizzicato supporting the clarinet/oboe-like electronically generated theme. Bottom line: death has never been so pleasant as it is here.

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