We all love a television show. Whether it’s a serious, hard-hitting drama about most things illegal or a playful, hilarious comedy with a twist of breaking your heart occasionally, we all have one or two that we will watch over and over again until we’ve memorised most of the scripts ourselves. 

TV show theme tunes have always been an important factor in the series, because it’s the most recognisable part of it. We all still get giddy at the upbeat, happy-g-lucky introduction to Only Fools & Horses, and we all still remember the lyrics to the Pokemon theme tune, even though it was first aired 18 years ago. And here’s a few more good ‘uns for you…

1. Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black

Regina Spektor – ‘You’ve Got Time’

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAyFRgdjKU8]

As soon as we hear those jail gates crashing as they close, we’re all anticipating the up-tempo drums and the first words that Regina speaks. It’s an interesting theme song. First of all, I think it’s a fantastic because the lyrics do give an interpretation about criminals in jail. However, it has that great cut-down part of just vocals and piano singing “think of all their voices, think of all their choices.” It gives a sense that the show is fast paced, but has moments of strong emotion. It may be a little long, but I think it paves out a hint to the shows content very well.

2. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones

Ramin Djawadi – ‘Main Theme’

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdQ3JDLlmPI]Could the show have a more to-the-point theme song? It’s obviously composed using a large orchestra but, according to Wikipedia, Djawadi was given 10 weeks to write and have it recorded. A superb effort, in my opinion. It easily gives the sense of medieval times, of war and again has a section for the song to breathe which would suggest that the show has its lighter-hearted parts. A long theme for a long show. 

3. Skins


Fat Segal – ‘Skins Theme Tune’
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKz6r7y0cuA]

The main reason for choosing this theme song is for its nostalgic value. It’s a strange song really, because it’s a bizarre mixture of electronic and orchestral instruments, but not overdone. The drum beat is a little obscure, and the glockenspiel hook-line is simple but brilliantly memorable. However, as soon as I hear that music quickly build and launch in to the main section, all I am filled with is the feeling of being 17, not stressing about life, and just being with friends which, with a bit of drug use and murder included, was initially what Skins was all about. 

4. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1HNuAE9WdU] Dave Porter

I’ll start this by saying that, if you haven’t watched Breaking Bad yet, you’ve missed a phenomenal bit of television and I suggest you amend this. The theme tune is great as it uses few instruments, mainly a slide guitar to give that Southwestern feel, a percussion part of (presumably) congas, and, after some research on Keyboardmag.com, a dramatic backing percussion part that they are actually automobile gas tanks struck with a timpani mallet. These together form an eerie, dark and slow theme song that lays out the feel of the show as a whole, as well as its rough locations. 

5. Scrubs


Lazlo Bane – ‘Superman’
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tOG3v_pnqE]

Again, this is a song I mostly included for the nostalgic value of it. Love it or hate it, Scrubs set out from the get-go to give a serious environment a fantastically hilarious outlook through a young doctors eyes, often with tear-jerking moments that bring the location back in to reality. The theme song, in a subtle way, does bring this across. The song itself being a laid-back, easy-to-listen-to country song, but with the hookline of “I’m no Superman,” supporting the storyline that being a doctor, as well as trying to have the social life of a young man, was never going to be a flawless plan. 

What are your favourite TV show themes?

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