23 March 2008

The Death of Credits

Like YouTube before it, now Matt has gotten me hooked on Hulu -- the new television show and movie site operated by NBC, News Corp and Twentieth Century-Fox.

Both of these sites have given me the opportunity to revisit some of the great television programs of my youth (the 1960s and 1970s). Back then, these programs seemed quirky; but now, when compared to the crap coming from Hollywood, they are like Kandinsky paintings hung among the art of third graders.

While looking through Hulu today, I started noticing just how much different television programs were then. Aside from the obvious that they were so much better written, the title sequences actually have theme music, credits, and show you something about the program.

I was surprised by how many of these title sequences were animated -- like the examples shown (click to enlarge). Wow! There was some real talent involved in their creation. Whatever happened to that?

I realize the average intelligence level of viewers has plummeted (boy, was Edward R. Murrow right), and that television is all about money, with no regard to art (can you say "reality shows"?); but it is most sad that opening credits last only about four seconds and say nothing about the cast or the show. Other than the name, most are interchangeable, which is pretty sad.

[All four of these photographs belong to shows I watched in my childhood. Can you name them? Three of them can be found on Hulu.]

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