12 TV Show Theme Songs And My Emotional Responses


1. Mad Men – Arousal

It makes sense. The entire cast is so beautiful you actually can’t look directly at them in real life. They are collaboratively the solar eclipse of people. However, arousal can also apply to the alert state needed to view this show. It’s a world where lawnmowers attack and just when you think you’ve tapped into the essence of a character, they morph into a completely different person. And by “they” I mean Bobby Draper.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcRr-Fb5xQo&w=584&h=390]

2. 30 Rock – Hysteria

The music is so good throughout this show. The incidental music is nearly another zany character.  Yet, something about the bonkers jazz intro fills me with an excitable panic. It is not unlike the panic Jenna experiences on those Czechoslovakian organ-slimming pills or a non-fictional human experiences when she really has to pee.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNKA7OkpKtY&w=584&h=390]

3. Family Ties – Nostalgia

What’s that? I can barely hear this song over the deafening longing for my childhood.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H3JuQUQTLQ&w=584&h=390]

4. Tailspin – Frenzy

This song is the closest I’ll ever get to ingesting a club drug.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ReyS9i9BJg&w=584&h=390]

5. Community – Bashful Optimism

This song, like the earlier seasons, lifts hopes only to dash them.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veBokK7K9vE&w=584&h=390]

6. Dexter – Disconcerted

Such a jaunty theme set against the most visceral, sanguine breakfast of all time. Plus, this song reminds me it is time again to decide whether or not to root for a serial killer. But doughnuts!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej8-Rqo-VT4&w=584&h=390]

7. L. Word – Sadness/Rage/Comprehensive Distress/Spirit Diarrhea

The people who wrote this are good people, they do good things, but this is not one of them. It’s the worst theme song I’ve ever heard. This song haunts my daymares. That’s right, it doesn’t even wait until nighttime!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4c6-yvRLnE&w=584&h=390]

8. Gummi Bears – Vague Patriotism

Somethings cannot be explained.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3TgSOhdqQk&w=584&h=390]

9. Teen Wolf – Nervous, but Excited

Watch a show for teenagers. Have the emotions of a teenager… on a first date… in the 1950s… in the movies.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkIcDy17l_o&w=584&h=390]

10. West Wing – Wistful

I wish President Bartlett were the President. Well, really I wish Rizzo from Grease were the President. However, due to the sorry state of our nation–people BARELY care about musicals anymore–Stockard Channing is, sadly, not going to carry enough electoral votes. Not even if Toby and Sam wrote all the speeches, CJ were Vice President, and Olivia Pope ran her campaign. This theme song reminds me of the death of a dream: a Bartlett White House.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmp1sGsHOAg&w=584&h=390]

11. Dawson’s Creek – Contempt

This song is mildly irritating. It is like blond, boxy sweatered 1990s James Van Der Beek. It isn’t the worst Van Der Beek (See: How I Met Your Mother’s balding jerk Van Der Beek.) It also isn’t the best Van Der Beek (See: Present-day Van Der Beek, or that time he tells that guy he doesn’t want his life.)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raGFI8pUau0&w=584&h=390]

12. Pretty Little Liars – Pleasurable Tension

Got a secret? I do, in fact. It’s that I watch this show. Fine it’s not a secret. It’s not even a guilty pleasure. It’s just a pleasure. Now that I’ve cleared the air, I can focus on what the gang will do when the police find ANOTHER, another body.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDR0nICerNg&w=584&h=390]