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The Top Five Geek TV Shows that Fail to Live Up to Their Awesome Opening Credits

A lackluster TV show preceded by a misleadingly-impressive opening credits sequence reminds me a lot of Paris Hilton. An exciting veneer can beguile you into spending an hour with something that turns out to offer nothing but vapidity, boredom, and a motley collection of poorly-treated STDs.

No, seriously. Smallville once gave me gonorrhea of the eyes. And no bottle of Visine can wash out the clap, people.

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5) Alias

There’s nothing I don’t like about the promise of an hour-long trip to a chic, European techno-rave featuring geisha girls, a little bit of S&M, lots of leather-clad babes, and some gunplay.

Too bad that by the time Alias jumped the shark, it offered too little of the above and too much of modern spy agencies inexplicably giving way too much of a damn about 500-year-old prophecies.

4) Witchblade

Hey, look! Pretty ladies! Sex! Violence! Magic! A token Asian dude doing martial arts! What’s not to like?

Oh, one little thing. The comic book upon which the TV show was based featured a heroine whose magical powers included the ability to make “scantily clad” a PG-13-rated art form.

As you can imagine, fanboys didn’t tune in to see actress Yancy Butler put clothes on. Regrettably, she did that… and more. Instead of a string bikini from hell, producers outfitted her in a full suit of medieval armor.

Yeah. A suit of armor. The only thing to outrank mumus in terms of unmitigated unsexiness.

3) Ghost Whisperer

If the artistic directors of the fantastic shows Pushing Daisies and Carnivale got together and had a love child, it might look a lot like the opening credits of Ghost Whisperer.

Unfortunately, the rest of the show comes off like the cloying, dim-witted bastard child of As the World Turns and A Very Special Episode of According to Jim.

2) Charmed

Behold the power of a well-chosen theme song. It’s not until you turn off the sound do you realize that the opening credits do, in fact, preview the alternately wooden and ham-handed acting performances that lay ahead.

On the other hand, the credits fail to employ Alyssa Milano’s devastating cleavage as yet another tantalizing distraction, so I guess they’re not perfect. The credits, that is. The cleavage is just dandy.

1) Smallville

It’s tough to say when, exactly, Smallville jumped the shark. Could be when Clark’s dad died. Could be the moment when Lana Lang had her first speaking line. Everyone’s got their opinions.

Either way, I think it’s fair to assume that the stigma of Smallville‘s downward spiral directly precipitated the breakup of Remy Zero, the band behind one of the best-ever theme songs to accompany a television show’s opening credits.

That, or the Remy Zero guys couldn’t play their instruments any more, thanks to all the eye gonorrhea.

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12 comments… add one
  • GeologyJoe April 28, 2008, 5:05 am

    Good list but; Who is watching Charmed for the stories and acting?
    I watch it to see my childhood crush (Alyssa Milano) in a tight belly T and low rise jeans.

  • Great White Snark April 28, 2008, 12:13 pm

    Fair point, GeologyJoe, fair point. Alyssa Milano does make everything better.

  • Nima April 28, 2008, 2:02 pm

    Doesn’t every episode of ‘The Ghost Whisperer’ feature Jennifer Love Hewitt’s giant boobies? That is to say, I’m not sure it belongs on this list.

    Also, great idea for post.

  • Liana April 28, 2008, 3:45 pm

    I have to add BSG to the list. I just started watching the show, so maybe that’s my bad. But, when I watch, I’m guessing that’s what having the clap in the eyes is like.

  • Great White Snark April 28, 2008, 3:48 pm

    @Liana: The BSG opening credits are definitely pretty sweet (aside from the few seconds of spoiler images they always show), and the show frequently disappoints (esp. after the fantastic first couple of seasons), but every once in a while it reminds me why I still tune in every week.

  • dgroove April 28, 2008, 10:41 pm

    I love the BSG credits, they totally speak to the quiet desperation of the fleet. They do, perhaps, promise more space dogfights and special effects than this usually cerebral show delivers. But for god’s sake, Liana, I hope you are starting with Season 1 – starting in Season 4, I doubt I’d have a high opinion of the show.

  • dgroove April 28, 2008, 10:43 pm

    btw, I’d add Lost. The credits make it look like it’s going to be a book, and it’s clearly a television show.

  • Liana April 29, 2008, 12:45 pm

    Thanks @Great White Snark and @dgroove. I expect to receive my first BSG Season 1 Disc 1 package from Netflix in the next few days. :)

  • Great White Snark April 29, 2008, 12:51 pm

    Good news, Liana… looking forward to hearing what you think…

  • Anim8or June 13, 2008, 4:37 pm

    I still think Yancy Butler is hot as hell, and I liked the witchblade series no matter what you say :P

  • Anim8or June 13, 2008, 4:42 pm

    FEMALE ARMOR – Because Sometimes the BEST armor… is no armor at all…

  • Craig S August 5, 2008, 4:09 pm

    I agree about Witchblade. What the heck? I thought when do I get to see the metal bikini armor? Never, as it turns out because the show was canceled. I still liked the show and it could have continued if the Star Yancy Butler did not spend more time with the bottle then studying her lines. I would have been content with one or two episodes that reflected more of the imagery of the original comic. I was so disapointed with the lack of accurate representation that I wrote a whole book about a magic metal bikini. I wrote it so it only had full power when it was worn with nothing else. By the way it got published.

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