What's the worst TV theme?

21:49, May 13 2013

Katy and I have a lot more TV theme tunes running around in our heads these days. One of us will catch the other singing "Raa Raa/you are/a noisy little lion!" and whoever is doing the singing will promptly get a good telling-off. I deserve a telling-off anytime I sing, of course. You see, I failed at a career as a musician and promptly became a music critic. It was all I could do. I'm surprised, given that's the inverse path, that there aren't more Kiwi singers writing columns. Perhaps there are? Anyway...

Raa Raa is one of Oscar's favourite TV shows. He shouts out "Ra Ra!" or - as he pronounces it.

"A-Wa Waa!" not so much because he desperately wants to watch the show all the way through but because he wants to have the television on. And he knows that Raa Raa is on the TV at some point during the day. His other favourite show is Peppa Pig. I might have talked him into that one (better theme tune - better show; shorter too, always a bonus with children's television programmes - the best episode of Peppa Pig, by miles, is the one where Mr Potato Comes to Town. Er, anyway...).

We don't watch all that much TV - at least not in real time. We watch things we've recorded - after Oscar goes to bed. We catch bits of the News here and there, often in and around dinner. And we'll rent a TV series on DVD from time to time - when we do get the time around blog-writing and work and study and parenting and the occasional fragment of our old life.

The current show we're getting hooked on is Justified. Took a recommendation from the bloke at the video store and gave it a shot. So far it's working out pretty good. But damn it's got a terrible theme song. This could have actually been a deal-breaker. But, in accordance with a good video store recommendation he did warn me that the show featured "the worst theme tune ever".

Here it is then, Long Hard Times to Come by Gangstagrass & T.O.N.E.Z.

Terrible song, terrible name.


It sounds like Fun Lovin' Criminals were seen to Deliverance-style.

Because I knew to look out - to listen out - for the awful theme song, it doesn't bother me. And I'm watching it on DVD, I can fast-forward/skip. So no big deal. Really.

But watching a series over a few nights - as is our intention with Justified - means this song is going to rival Ra Ra's theme (actually, anything to knock that out of my head) and other silly earworms ("Everybody sing Humf", "Gaspard and Lisa/Gaspard and Lisa..." and "we're so silly/and we don't care/a very silly boy/and a very silly bear...").

For the past few weeks I've been sitting at my desk at work with Ra Ra going around and around. So now, maybe, it's your turn.

Anyway, all of this is by way of introducing a very simple topic - but one we've never covered here at Blog on the Tracks.

What is the worst TV theme song you've heard? Are there theme songs you hate for shows you love? Can a theme song put you off the show? Or is that redundant in the age of DVD box-sets, MySky and TiVo?

A while back I shared some of my favourite TV theme songs; all-time favourites.

Oscar's favourite TV-show-on-DVD is the first season of The Muppet Show (all right, I might have forced that on him just a bit). Now that's a theme song I don't get sick of. But this Justified theme really is bad. And so many of the shows we catch tiny snippets of on the Kidzone channel for the small moments in the day when the TV is on are really awful too. Cruel, hypnotic, horrific.

Have you had it up to here with kiddie TV show themes? Or are you still getting over that pissing-moaning horn that bleeds all over Coronation Street that's haunted you since your own childhood and sounds like what a really weak, awful, depressing cup of tea with remnants of cameo crèmes mashed into the bottom from dunking-gone-wrong tastes like? For example.

I'd expect to see a few shout-outs for Shortland Street and Neighbours and the like. But that's a given - they're also awful shows.

Anyone hate the theme tunes to the likes of Mad Men, Sopranos, Deadwood and The Wire? The sort of shows that are considered "best ever" by so many people's inner Comic Book Guy or Girl.

Or is your idea of a bad TV theme when you hear the News starting, perhaps? How about The Simpsons? Or Family Guy? I don't hate the Family Guy theme as such but I hear it now and cringe at what's coming. It's a channel-changer.

So, worst TV themes? Worst TV theme to have stuck in your head at work? Might as well share the pain, right?

And anyone out there actually love the Justified theme? (You sick, sick puppy.)

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