Growing up, I watched a lot of TV – especially cartoons and sitcoms. I had my favourites and this could act as another nostalgia trip. But one thing I’ve never seen fellow TV and film bloggers talk about, are the rare times when the theme songs are actually better than the TV shows.
This is a short list of shows where all the best writing and composition seems to have gone into the theme tunes, which still kick ass today and I regularly find myself listening to when I’m not in the mood for something evil or speculative. It’s a short glimpse into the deep and dark world of my cynicism about the entertainment I grew up with.
So without further ado, here are the Top 5 TV Theme Songs That Are Better Than The Shows:
5. “Where I Find My Heaven” from Game On.
I’ve included this awesome power pop number at the top of this list because I’ve already talked about it on my Top 20 90s list. And because the sitcom, portraying the lad culture of the 90s in its most misogynistic never once achieved to deliver a good laugh. Game On my have turned off for me but Gigolo Aunts will remain as one of my all time favourite One Hit Wonders.
Here’s the show:
And more importantly, the song:
4. “I’ll Be There For You” from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
Yes indeed, I fucking hated this show growing up. Sorry to all you keen Friends fans reading this, but I cannot ever recall finding a single joke in this hugely overrated pile of TV shite amusing.
Oddly enough, this song also qualifies as a One Hit Wonder, and I would love to see the awesome Todd In The Shadows do a video about The Rembrandts. As far as I’m aware, this was their only hit to get onto the Billboard 100 and it will remain a keen favourite of mine forever more. Interestingly if you want to see Matt LeBlanc at his funniest, I suggest you watch Episodes.
3. Every Pokemon Theme Beyond The “Orange League” Season & Every Power Rangers Theme Beyond “Mighty Morphin” Season.
Once again a tie. Not between two songs, but between two shows – both of whom had excellent first seasons but then descended into poorly written, over complicated mythologies I just couldn’t keep up with.
And with those poorly written seasons, all the effort seems to have gone into the theme songs, hoping to pull the purists back into the swing of things – only to remind us we’ve been away too long so we don’t have a clue of the characters, what’s going on or where the hell the story is taking place.
And thankfully a fellow YouTube blogger, whose band were supported by my friends on the London metal circuit, has made up a fantastic medley of every one of these themes. Thank you PelleK, keep up the good work. (Please subscribe to his channel, it is awesome even if you don’t listen to metal).
And Power Rangers:
2. The Gummi Bears Theme.
This show had a few funny moments, but it really is nothing to write home about. I did grow up with Disney, but this show never got me hooked the same way classics like Recess, Hercules, Buzz Lightyear and Chip N Dale did.
But this is a classic example of a time when theme songs were big business in the music industry. Whoever wrote and performed this piece must have been a professional composer with a full backup of musicians, as it sounds like Jim Steinman playing kid friendly Power Metal.
Here’s to the Gummi Bears. Awful show; awesome theme.
And The Number One Best Theme Song That’s Better Than The Show Is:
“Run With Us” from The Raccoons.
There was a running theme in late 80s/early 90s cartoons about environmentalism. What kids didn’t know, was they were watching shows peddled by multi millionaires like Ted Danson (Captain Planet, etc). In order to save the planet and human race from extinction, we had to watch shows of poorly written anthropomorphic animals and buy overpriced, sweat-shop produced merchandise.
And among that canon of pseudo-eco warrior bollocks, came this poor show about a bunch of raccoons trying to save their home from a money hungry business alien. And with it came the catchiest, spine tingling piece of 80s New Wave since Toto’s Africa.
The Raccoons was never anything to write home about, and I always waited for the end credits as “Run With Us” always made me feel empowered. Now there’s something that could have held a better message: music, not corporate TV. I use this song every now and again to remember that I have passion for the things I love and I’m not alone. The New Wave years are pretty much epitomised in this four minute gem. Let’s hope this song lives on forever and the show and its creators just rot to oblivion.