Sunday, May 28, 2017


Yeah! You guys finally picked one right! Proud of you, audience, readers, and others.

So, I decided to do another Top Ten List by request, 'cause, god fucking damn, we need to just have a little fun for once, or else it's just all Trump all the time, or new reboots or remakes, or eh-, whatever the hell's going on at Cannes right now. (Seriously, Cannes, are you gonna be that obnoxious that I'm gonna have to pay attention o you guys? It's just Netflix, what's the problem. Good lord.)

Anyway, I took a poll as usual asking for suggestions for Top Ten Lists that you haven't or rarely seen, and after getting, my usual quota of two responses with only one of them I deemed decent enough to actually poll for, I came up with a couple suggestions of my own, and put the poll out there on the Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as in a couple of the my popular Facebook groups.

Here are the results:

And yes, in a runaway, TOP TEN WORST TV SHOW THEME SONGS won by a landslide!. And I'm happy about that, that was one of my suggestions to the list and the one I most wanted to see win.

And this is an interesting, fun topic, that I think everybody's like to think about. Hell, I know I do. And most of the time, my thoughts on it are positive. There's a lot of great, great theme songs out there. And, many different kinds of theme songs as well. If I were ever to have to do a Top 100 Best Theme Songs List, I would have extreme difficulty in narrowing this down. In fact, I'd probably have to make multiple lists, one for ones with lyrics and one for one's without. And possibly a third list for great theme songs that were originally theme songs. I mean, hell, there's a good long list of great TV shows that aren't even apart of good television shows; they're shows that are mostly remembered for and stick in the popular consciousness because their theme songs were so good.

Hell, that can be an interesting Top Ten List itself, but it does give me to a constant thought I have that makes me wonder about the quality of TV theme songs. I mean, are they actually as good as they seem, or is it that they're good because we connect them to the show so much that they might not necessarily be as good as we think. And then I wonder if that's a bad thing at all. Shouldn't the theme song represent or compliment the show more than be a good piece of music in of itself? You have to think about things like that, I imagine.

Now, just by logic standards, there has to be some bad theme songs out there, which is why I wanted to do this particular list. There's a lot of television to sort through, and you know, let's be honest, I think the opposite is also a bit true when it comes to theme songs. A good theme song can a save a show, but a bad one can probably destroy a show, or in some cases, just be another sign of just how bad the show actually is. If you don't remember a show's theme song, there's probably a reason (and conversely you probably don't remember the show too well, and there's probably a reason for that too) Or maybe it's the opposite, maybe a theme song is, just fine, as a piece of music, but maybe it's use as a TV theme song is somewhat questionable.

So, this is a challenge, I have to do a little research and think about this one. So, I'm gonna take a day and just seek out as much television I can find that purportedly has some really bad or questionable theme songs to them. Can't be too hard. Sure, sixty years of television to sort through, and let's see, sitcoms, dramas, eh, I know most of the game show ones. Old children's television, that's gonna be annoying. And, I'm sure it's not that many, and hopefully I'm sure I'll find enough to fill the list, but what's the worst that can happen.


(Cut to me throwing up in a shower, breathing heavy with a frightened tone of voice!)


I've made a huge mistake.

Okay, yes, there are so, so, so, sooooooooo, many bad TV show themes! Like, oh my God, how did this ever get made, bad songs. Okay, I'm gonna have to rethink this a bit. Well, unsurprisingly, not too many people have made lists of them, because, well, they're sane, although the ones that I have, I have serious, serious criticism about some of them. (Seriously, "The L Word", kept showing up on Worst Lists, that's one of the fucking best theme songs of all-time; they're out of their mind! That might've made a Top Ten List that amazing song.) Still though, there's no reasonable way I can do a complete, assured Top Ten, knowing that I have so, so, so,many TV shows that I'd have to sit through to check, And now, double-check to see how I'm gonna rank them.

Look, I'm gonna try to analyze all these theme songs and a few more as they pop-up, 'cause I'm still doing research as I write this, and-eh, yeah, it's very possible something much more horrible is gonna come around, but I'm not gonna lie, to some degree, this is just gonna come down to the songs that piss me off the most.   I mean, I'm gonna be trying to figure out why they make me so annoyed and come up with, in most cases some perfectly valid reasons, for many, if not most of these selections, but, yeah, listening to this much truly shitty music at once, not good. Not, something that I would ever recommend, to anybody, especially when you really want to seek out television theme songs. Basically, I'm not looking for just bad songs in general, a lot of time a theme song might be bad or annoying on purpose, so I don't want to count those. I'm looking for the things that fundamentally don't work. They don't help with the show or improve the show, in some cases they might bring a show down, even. A lot of this, will be thinking hard on, what they could've done, as opposed to what they did. That's where I suspect the really, really bad theme songs are gonna come in,

That said, I tried to get to as much as possible, there's a lot I probably missed. I mean, I didn't even get to comment on, all these dishonorable mentions:

"Young Dan'l Boone"
"Dusty's Trail"
"Logan's Run"
"The Waltons"
"The New Dick Van Dyke Show"
"Three's a Crowd"
"Highway to Heaven"
"Finder of Lost Lovers"
"Paper Dolls"
"Call to Glory"
"Cover Up"
"7th Heaven"
"Bionic Woman"
"Hart to Hart"
"Knight Rider"
"Mann and Machine"
"Earth 2"
"Touched by an Angel"
"Who's Watching the Kids"
"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"
"Nanny and the Professor"
"Me and the Chimp"
"BJ and the Bear"
"The Search for the Nile"
"The Cavanaughs"
"Fathers and Sons"
"St. Elsewhere"
"Family Man"
"I'm a Big Girl, Now"
"Raising Miranda"
"Better Days"
"Have Faith"
"Family Feud (2002)"
"The Donny & Marie Variety Show"
"Big Love" (Season 4)
"Robbery Homicide Division"
"UC: Undercover"
"The Good Guys"
"Here Come the Brides"
"Ladies Man"
"The People Next Door"

And, frankly, there's dozens more than all these, so if you don't think you're, um, "favorite" (Shrugs) worst theme song is on my list, I might've missed it, so let me know, comment. If I agree and think it's really bad, you might be right, but I-, I can't. I can't go on. No mas, no mas, too much, too much. Just comment and I'll look it up later, and agree or disagree with you.

Anyway, I didn't think I'd end up doing multiple lists, but we're doing multiple lists. So, we'll start with the Instrumental theme songs, Top Ten and then, a Top Ten with Lyrics, partly because I don't think it's fair to compare them, and partly 'cause I need to. I really need to. Oh, boy do I need to. (Intense deep breath) Yeah, ten's not enough this week. (

(Long intense pause/sigh)

Okay, we're ready. Top Ten List #1! We're counting down!


Number ten!

10. Nurses (Third Season) (NBC, 1991-'94)

"Nurses" kinda gets forgotten nowadays, and to be fair, it was never exactly the greatest show or anything, but I never thought it was that bad, and it had quite a bit of potential. But, they never could quite figure out what to do with it, entirely, so it never did find a really consistent and solid rhythm and the network kept trying to make subtle changes to it. One of the changes they kept making was the theme songs. Now, the original first season theme, actually is one of my favorites, it's a highly underrated theme song that both conveys the struggles and travails of the profession, especially with the nice touch of a heartbeat as the intro and outro of the song. They switched it in the second season, to a more outwardly sitcomish comedic, piano and horns theme to it, but one that still sorta fit the show and still related a lot of the hospital motifs. This third theme song though,- well, first of all, the fact that they added Loni Anderson to the cast was an absolutely terrible idea. Just terrible, destroyed what little chance the show had, but besides that, does this theme song sound like anything, much less a hospital-themed sitcom? This pan-flute whatever thing, could've been the theme song to anything. Not even just television series, anything. If I heard it in a Wendy's commercial, I doubt that I would even think anything was weird. Or that this ever was a TV show theme. Nowadays, "Nurses" is only ever brought up because it's apart of the same universe as "The Golden Girls" and "Empty Nest", and I definitely think this was apart of why that is.


9. Mr. T. & Tina (ABC-1978)

Yeah, I went digging for some of these. "Mr. T & Tina", first of all, has nothing to do with the Mr. T. you're definitely thinking of. It's actually the show that Pat Morita left "Happy Days" to do, although for some strange reason, it's actually technically a spinoff of "Welcome Back, Kotter", (Shrugs) and lasted five episodes. The theme song, oh boy. There's a couple other themes I can think of as being fairly racist, but this one's just strange. It's a bizarre mix of Oriental Riff, and eh, "Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)", apparently. (Scratches head) I don't even think the idea of taking a song like "Chicago" and then adding Oriental influences, even some disturbing cliche ones at that is that bad, but this combination is just weird. It's not so much an alternate version or a new remix, it's just a randomly awkward mixed combination of the songs. It's almost strange enough to give it some slack and dismiss it as some warped existential avant-garde piece of music, but I don't think so. I think this was a show put together in a hurry that they didn't fully have fledged out, so they ended up trying to combine what they had. It's Pat Morita, so something Asian, and it takes place in Chicago, so, hey "Chicago"! Well, use that song. I find it more perplexing than bad to some degree, but it's bad, and I think it could've been good, which is why I'm putting it on this list.

Number Eight!

8. Dads (ABC, 1986-'87)

Do you remember this show from the '80s? No, of course you don't. Do you remember this theme song? No, you don't. If I played it to again right this second, would you recognize it as the theme song from "Dads"? No, you would not. That's why it's on this list. There's actually been a few different sitcoms over the years called "Dads" and none of them had a decent theme song, btw, but this wouldn't even pass as elevator music. Much less a TV theme song. A sitcom theme at that.


7. Too Close for Comfort (aka The Ted Knight Show) (ABC,1980-'83; Syndication, 1984-'86) 

Oh God, I always start developing a twitch when I hear this theme song. So, Ted Knight had a couple post-"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" attempts, he finally had a successful one with "Too Close for Comfort" eventually, which is unfortunate 'cause this is really a bad show. But the worst thing about the show, and keep in mind, this is a show that the best thing it had going for it was Jm. J. Bullock, is the theme song. God, this song's so boring and forgettable, and yet, so distinctly bad that it's almost impossible to conceive of it. It's like, it knows it bad, but doesn't know how to convey it. Like, it's trying really hard to not be the "Who's the Boss" theme, but it doesn't know the kind of theme it wants to be, so it kinda doesn't pick anything. Come to think of it, that also describes the show, so maybe it is appropriate for the show, but honestly it doesn't help in this case. It only exemplifies how, pathetically below average the show is. Hell, most people couldn't remember the name of this show when asked, in general, even when you describe it, and a fairly memorable theme song would've helped that, but, no chance of that ever happening.


6. The Ropers (ABC, 1979-'80)

Oh, dear God, this is bad! Wow, this show never had a chance! Why is there a tuba farting all over the theme song? Why this theme song? Why these opening credits? A lead tuba! I'm at a lost for words. I mean, the "Three's Company" theme song is cheesy, but it's fun and it fits the show. This theme song, it doesn't fit anything, much less "The Ropers". Oh god, this is awful. The opening credits don't help, but no, this would be bad no matter what it had. It's almost like they didn't write the theme song, but they shot the credits and this was just the placeholder until they found the real theme, but never did. Man, this is just a disaster; there's not much more to add to this, I'm gonna move on.


5. The Brian Keith Show (oka The Little People) (2nd Season) (NBC, 1972-'74)

Okay, ignoring the bizarre "Legends of the Hidden Temple" tiki-mask note at the beginning, which, I'm not, but if you do, you'll eventually fall asleep listening to this. I know, I keep doing it. Originally titled, "The Little People" before being renamed "The Brian Keith Show", this is one of Garry Marshall's more forgettable series. I couldn't find the original theme song of the series, so I'm not sure what they had before, but how do you create a TV show that takes place in Hawaii, and have such a duldrom boring theme song. I seriously think of all the shows that take place in Hawaii, "Hawaii Five-0", "Magnum, P.I.", hell, even "The Diamond Head Game" knew enough to have a decent theme song, and considering how little that show knew, that's saying something. Oh and Brian Keith, is one of those actor who seemed to be in like a thousand different pilots over the years. He's most famous for starring on "Family Affair", most of his shows aren't remembered too much now, and from what I can tell, most of them don't have good theme songs. (Well, except for "Hardcastle and McCormick") That's unfortunate, he was a pretty good actor though. "The Parent Trap", "The Russians and Coming, The Russians are Coming", etc. He committed suicide in '97, after suffering from lung cancer and the death of his daughter, also a suicide, a couple months before. He got a Star on the Walk of Fame eleven years after his death, but yeah, it's unfortunate that his name got shoved onto this project. Garry Marshall of course created some much more memorable shows over the years, but yeah, he's had as many failures as he had successes. This one's a forgotten one that's somewhere in-between his worst failures and biggest successes, but still, it's Hawaii, come up with something better.


You may have noticed that so far, I've listed several spinoff series, "Nurses", is a spinoff of "The Golden Girls", "Mr. T & Tina" is a spinoff of "Welcome Back, Kotter", and of course, "The Ropers" a spinoff of "Three's Company". I didn't intend that, but it really is hard to separate some of these shows. We so associate a lot of these with the original theme song, that it becomes natural to compare them which makes their faults more obvious. I'd rather not do that, but unfortunately we're gonna be in a run here where the next three shows on the list run the gambit of just being shows being associated with previous hit shows, that, might not necessarily have great theme songs to begin with, but they, let's just say, they fail in comparisons to their originals, for many reasons, and while that's really not fair, I think I'm safe in saying that, even if they weren't associated with the other shows, they would still be atrociously bad and would be justified in making this list. I don't know why these shows have such a hard time coming up with, in these cases even competent theme songs, but... (Sigh) Anyway, let's start with the most, "What the fuck" one of the bunch.

4. Still the Beaver/The New Leave It to Beaver (All Seasons)-(Disney Channel, 1984-'85; Superstation WTBS 1986-'87, Superstation TBS-1988-'89)

I was only gonna put Season One of this on here, 'cause of just, how, warped this is, but, after I looked at the rest of the theme songs this series had, I had to include them all here. Okay, this is one of the very few examples out there of a successful, "Sequel Series" Not a spinoff, a sequel series that would be a continuation of a previous series, and if this doesn't tell you just how fucked up the '80s were, nothing will. As to the theme songs, they're all bad, and their all re-versioned editions of the original "Leave It to Beaver" theme, which was already a theme song that I think is more memorable than it is good, but they're all weird and bad in different ways. The first, is this totally mismatched double-sided theme song, that sounds, at first, more like a funeral than the "Leave It to Beaver" theme but then there's this demented jovial tonal switch to it, that you got hear to believe. They got rid of that for the second and third season, for I guess, a better, more smooth jazz interpretation of the opening. Kind of reminds me of that "Jeopardy!" theme song with the horns in it, but it's still not exactly great. (And certainly no where near as good a song as the jazzy "Jeopardy!" theme.) I mean, it's slightly elevated from elevator music but not much, still sounds more like a bad talk show's theme song. But then the last season of the show has a doo-wop/scat interpretation of it. It's really bad, but it's also nonsensical. I mean, that would've made sense for a re-imagining of the original series, but this wasn't a reboot, this was a revival sequel series, some thirty years after the original series. It took place in the modern-day eighties, so it doesn't actually sound right, here either. I mean, I guess it's better than the first season's, but, really, they're all bad reworkings of an already iconic theme song.


You know how one of my criteria for this list is that, for these shows, you have to think about what else they could've done, instead of what they did? I mean, sometimes the best idea, like this next show, would be to have never done it all, but if they were going to do it, then, you might as well do as well as you can, right? (Sigh)

3. The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (ABC, 1976-'77)

It's the theme to "The Brady Bunch" played on a kazoo.

Maybe, you didn't read that right, I'll repeat it. "The Brady Bunch" theme song, (Lewis Black-like pause) played, on a goddamn fucking kazoo! I am dead serious. Yeah, there's a bit of a Broadway musical opening, but it's goddamn Brady Bunch theme played by a KAZOO!

I don't think I have to explain myself anymore on this one, so, moving on.....


2. Sanford Arms (NBC, 1977)

This was a spinoff of "Sanford & Son", that had no Sanford and had no Son. That's already an amazing pile of holy fucking shit,-, I mean, this is first reported time I can think of where basically the TV show's Set Design got a spinoff of it's own. And it lasted four episodes, one less than "Mr. T & Tina", but really, "Sanford & Son". That show makes nearly every list of the greatest and most iconic theme songs ever made. I love it, and I'm not even a particular big fan of the show to be honest, I do love Redd Foxx, but I can usually take or leave the series, but everybody loves the theme song. So, for a spinoff, it better be something, at the very minimum. And what do we get? Ugh, nothing. Like-, it doesn't remotely sound like the original theme song. Hell, even "The Ropers" play a couple notes of "Come and Knock on our Door" in their theme, but not only does it have nothing to do with "Sanford & Son", it's so bland and lifeless. "Alley Cat" seems more jovial as bouncy than this. I mean, I hear a piano, horns and bass, but how do you go from, "Buh-bum-bom-bom, buh-bum-BAH-bam-BAH-bam-bom...", this funky song that seems like it's from a juke band with junkyard made instrument, to something so lifeless it barely exists! In terms of a spinoff series theme song, truly being an insult to the greatness of the original, I think this has to be way the fuck up there. I get trying to be different, but this would be bland and forgettable for any show, much less as a spinoff for a show as memorable as "Sanford & Son".

Alright, before I got to number, let's go to a few dishonorable mentions that you'll all have to look up on Youtube yourself


"Super Password"-Ugh, I didn't have room for "Super Password"! Oh man, I thought this would be near the top of my list, even before I decided to separate this to two lists. I know some would like to look at say, the Donnie Osmond "Pyramid" for worst game show themes, but "Super Password"'s theme is awful. This doesn't sound like a game show, at least not one for adults. If this was the theme to "I'm Telling!" or something, I probably wouldn't have noticed, but as much as I love "Password" as a game, this song is just too cheery and demented. It sound like it's played on the piano from the toy store in "Big". I mean, listen to the theme from "Password Plus" and how much better that is compared to this one. This has my vote for worst game show theme song.

"Sanchez of Bel-Air"-What the hell was this? Is Bobby Sherman Hispanic? Believe it or not, and no I couldn't believe it 'til I looked it up, this is an important show, not just for the almost entirely Latino cast, but it was also the first basic cable show to have a SAG and a studio, in this case Paramount, agreement for reruns residuals. This is where the very insider Union term "Sanchez Formula" comes from. Oh yeah, it was a series about Latinos written by White people, so yeah, it didn't last long enough for meaningful rerun residuals and the theme song's terrible. Think every other boring cliche '80s sitcom theme, only with a couple Mexican instruments added.

"Flying High"-Well, this is clearly some bad long-forgotten early bad version of "The Love Boat" theme.  Except it came out before "The Love Boat". And stranger than that, this was a sitcom?

"Free Country"-"Yeah, this song that sounds like it's a cutting room floor track for "Fiddler on the Roof" won't get annoying," is apparently what somebody thought. No wonder this only lasted five episodes.

"Merv Griffin's Crosswords"-Oh god, another game show theme that sounds like a children't song. I guess they throw some hints at the "Jeapordy!" theme in there too, but this is bad.

"Hazel"-There's nothing necessarily wrong with this theme song, it's just so boring and forgettable though. It seems like the in-between music between scenes more than the actual theme song.

"Bring 'Em Back Alive"-This is quite possibly not only the most blatant ripoff of John Williams score for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" ever, but it could very well be the earliest known blatant ripoff of it.

"Whiz Kids"-Man this show, so wishes it had the "Doogie Howser, M.D." theme. I know, product of the time a bit, but I don't know, they could've added more conventional elements mixed in, like some better strings to make this theme a little less alien.

"Harry O"-There's something wrong with every version of the theme to "Harry O", which, yeah, stupid title, I know, but I can't quite explain what it is, with either song. It just all sounds off, like somebody was trying to create the the next theme to "Quincy" or "Mannix" and somebody else was trying to create "Roundabout". I don't know, it just doesn't go together.

"Cagney & Lacey"-Oh, I'm gonna get some shit for this one. Look, "Cagney & Lacey" is a great show, underrated even, but I hate this theme song. Seriously, tell me that this song, in any way, sounds like a cop show? It doesn't even sound like a drama series. I think I can imagine this song played at the end credit of a game show watching the host talking to the other contestants.

"Boy Meets World" (Season 4, 2nd Theme)-After the "Full House" era of TGIF ended, I like to pretend the theme songs for many of those shows got better over time, "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" is a good example of one where it did, and that's true of "Boy Meets World" too, for the most part, although, I actually think this is worst than their first year theme. I can see the argument elsewise, 'cause the first season's annoying too, and has that weird ragtime bridge for no reason, but I don't think this generic three-note rock song with no lyrics that barely lasts thirty second was any better. It's half a song at best.

"Trauma Center"-I guess technically this isn't a terrible theme song, but it really doesn't fit the show. Especially with the intense opening about how traumatic, a "Trauma Center" and then, I don't know it might as well be the "Buffalo Bill" theme, only without the irony.

"Viva Valdez"-I'm fairly certain this is just the theme song to "Three's Company" without lyrics and in a different key.

"Airwolf"-Oh, another one I'm gonna get shit for. That said, even as a kid, something always bugged me about this theme song. I feel like, it's a beat that I've heard before, like a children's song beat that's hidden inside this bizarre combination of strings and synthesizers that somehow makes it seem menacing. I can't figure out what song it is, but, this song never worked for me, but then this is a show that I thought as a kid, "What the fuck is this?" .

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"-Actually, this is one that popped up on a few other peoples' Worst Theme Songs  lists I found. Honestly there's so many things that I personally that I cannot stand about this show, that made me pissed off and angry that honestly, the theme just skipped right by me, so I never quite gave it a real listen. Now, that I have, I guess I get it, this is kind of an oxymoronic theme choice considering the show, but eh, honestly it's not up high enough on the annoyance scale to really bother me. It might be questionable for the show, but even me, who loves to take an opportunity to beat up on this show, eh, even I'm passing on this one.

"The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan"-I should be angrier, but I'm gonna give this one a pass for at least being more musically interesting than "Mr. T and Tina"

"Quantum Leap"-Boy, this show's so lucky it was actually good, 'cause if this was bad; we wouldn't be looking nostalgically at the theme song, we'd be laughing at it. And you all know it too! Admit it, this is not a good theme song!

Alright, the number one WORST TELEVISION THEME SONG-INSTRUMENTAL goes too...


1. Clutch Cargo (Syndication, 1959-'60)

What the fuck is this Native American drumming thing? Is that the theme song? I'm not even sure this even counts as a theme song but...., if it does then it needs to be up here. Look, "Clutch Cargo" is an atrocity of a show. This show is just an insult to animation, television, and moving pictures in general, but, the fact that this barely counts as a theme song, this twelve-to-fourteen seconds of Native Americans, I presume Native Americans drums, although I wouldn't be surprised if this was some beatnik's old bongos they decided to pawn, is the theme song, kinda just represents  how lazy this is. I mean, it kinda fits the theme of the show, the hero character traveling and adventure, but they couldn't find any other instrument to use? A flute and drums, basically enough to hear every beat and note, and nothing else. This show used the infamous Synchro-Vox printing system, where they would put a static picture on the frame, and cut out the mouth and replace that with a human mouth talking. There's literally no animation in this animated show. I mean, yeah, it's cheap, apparently made for $18,000 a weekly episode, but at the same time, Rocky and Bullwinkle were reinventing what we could do with animation. The rest of these songs are bad, but at least the songs don't seem like they were made up or could've easily been recorded during a six-year-old's third music session. When you look at where animation is now, including shows that have shorter than half-hour time slots, like "Clutch Cargo" did, you can see how far we've come, but my God, when you look back and see shit like this, you realize how some people can still have trouble taking animation seriously as an art form. And a decent or halfway decent or worked-on theme song, could've improved that a little. For those reasons, I have to throw "Clutch Cargo" off the plane here, as the worst instrumental television theme song.

Okay, that was only the appetizer, Everyone; now, to the main course.... We got two Top Tens for the price of One today, so, let's take a breath. (Deep breath) Bleed just to know I'm alive. (Slice back of wrist with pocketknife) Eh, close enough, and let's get to. We're counting down...!



Alright, I know this is a cheap shot, but I can't help it.

10. Cass Malloy (CBS, 1982) 

Never heard of it? Good, me neither. (Sigh) This was, believe it or not, and I really can't believe I have to talk about this thing, is a pilot episode that did not get picked from '82, that, five years later would get rebooted in first-run syndication as "She's the Sheriff". No, that wasn't a show that "South Park" made-up on their own, that was an actual series. I know it sounds like a joke, Suzanne Somers in "She's the Sheriff, but that actually was real, and it's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. Really bad, even by Suzanne Somers standards. But, at least they improved the theme song five years later. You know, I'm usually one of the more lenient people when it comes to uses of da's and la's for lyrics, but, I can't defend it here. This is atrociously bad. I should give this a break 'cause it's a pilot that only aired once and wasn't picked up, but it did technically air, so unfortunately I have to count it. (Hey, I looked for a loophole, but I couldn't find it). And besides there's a list of hundreds of series good and bad that had great theme songs from the pilot onward, and while it's not unusual for a TV show to have a pilot episode with a theme song that's incomplete, hell, there's a-, well, speaking of Suzanne Somers, there's actually and early unaired pilot of "Three's Company" where they're doing the same thing over the theme song to that show on Youtube. Just, Da-da-ing it, but that pilot never aired on television and this did. Maybe it shouldn't have, but I gotta put it on here.


9. My Two Dads (NBC, 1987-'90)

 If this was a Top Ten Worst Opening Credits Sequences, this might've easily been on the list as well, and I appreciate that Greg Evigan tried to not simply create a theme song that describe the show, a la, "Mister Ed" or some other shows I'll probably mention, but boy this doesn't age well. This is like the hackiest George Michael impression ever. And "You Can Count on Me", that's such a bland, generic statement to be sung so enthusiastically after such a ridiculous show premise as this is. I mean, this, oldest sister on "Step By Step", just lost her mother and now is living with two strange men, one of whom is the father she never met, the other is the other person her mother was also sleeping with at the time...- maybe some more, "let's struggle to come together and go against the odds," themes would've been more appropriate here? Plus, the way this thing, just blasts at how loud it is doesn't help. This is a really typical example of what it means, to "Try too hard".


8. Joanie Loves Chachi (ABC, 1982-'83)

(Sigh) You know, while this is a pretty deservedly derided theme song,  I can't really tell what the real problem is with this theme song. I mean, it's not good sure, but why? Maybe it's the bad lip-syncing, maybe it's that whoever's lip-syncing them aren't good singers either. Maybe it's the fact that this is clearly an early '80s/late '70s song and this is supposed to be like, 1965. Maybe it's that, it's just a love song about looking at each other, that's totally creepy. Not loving, just looking. If it wasn't a duet, this would sound as creepy as The Police's "Every Breath You Take", only, sucking. It's just a bad love song, by supposedly talented singers that doesn't sound sung well, and doesn't really convey the love they supposedly have for each other. It doesn't look like either of them are good at selling it either, especially Scott Baio. You know, the weirder thing is, when you look up the first time they perform the song on "Happy Days", it doesn't sound that good there either, and it's the long version. You know, maybe it's that love songs don't make good sitcom themes. I mean, think about it, how many can you think of off-hand, and true love songs, at that. There's a lot of sitcoms about two people and how in love they are, but they don't usually have love song themes, unless maybe, "As Time Goes By", which just used a classic old song. You don't see this with new songs. The closest I can really think of is "Mad About You", and that song's about two people in love, not a song about how much they love each other. This really isn't a good formula, which is probably why, while otherwise benign, just hits everybody the wrong way in hindsight. It's a weird title too, now that I think about it. Why couldn't it just be, "Joanie and Chachi"?


7. David Cassidy-Man Undercover (NBC, 1978-'79)

What the hell is this....! (Befuddled look, bursts into laughter.) Oh-kay, oh that's just-, oh God. Okay, so what's worst than love song for a sitcom, apparently, a disco love song for a cop show, starring an old teen idol? This is-, okay, this needs some explanation. So, at some point, David Cassidy got a Guest Acting spot on "Police Story", that everybody claims to be really good, surprisingly good, in fact, and he even got an Emmy nomination for it. So, they made a spinoff series for him, where David Cassidy plays, an undercover cop, and they called the show, "David Cassidy: Man Undercover", hahahah, I shouldn't be laughing. Anyway, actually, the show, is terrible, but it's not a bad series idea. In fact, it's basically what became "21 Jump Street" a few years later, but you gotta remember, David Cassidy was trying to shed his teen idol image. "The Partridge Family" was off the air, like four or five years at that point, and hypothetically, this move made sense. If it was just a regular cop show, that happened to star David Cassidy, and it wasn't treated like a big thing, I think it could've worked. (I write that, knowing that I've seen an episode of this, and no, it wouldn't have, 'cause this was not a well-written show but, supposing it didn't completely suck...) But, you don't then slap a romantic, ballad as the theme! I mean, "Police Story" didn't have much of a theme song; it was like the "Dragnet" of it's day, a by-the-book procedural.... This just makes so little sense. I mean, out of context, this is probably not a bad song, but for this, at a time, when cop shows had good theme songs. "Simon & Simon", "Starsky & Hutch", there was a coolness to the shows at the time, and this just doesn't fit in. It's one of those amazingly bad television screw-ups that makes you seriously wonder if there's an alternate universe where everything good could've possibly happened for Cassidy here and whether he could've made a pretty long-lasting and quality television acting career out of this, instead of just being the "I Think I Love You" guy. I mean, he is the son of a talented actor, and his stepmom was Shirley Jones, in real life and she was an Oscar winner too. But, even in that era, why this theme and approach to the show? (Sigh) Oh well, next.


Some of you might be a little surprised that I haven't included more kids shows so far. Yeah, I had "Clutch Cargo" number one on the Instrumental list, but that's to kids show what Jessica Simpson is to an IQ test, but still, I can definitely think of a few pretty bad kids themes. Not as many as you'd think, especially modern shows I'm not as up on, but there's a few out there. I tried to listen to as many of the ones that I ran across, I'm probably missing a few. Mostly though, I don't think they're too bad overall. I mean, the one thing that you can probably count on is that a children's kids theme song will be appropriate for the show, Even the bad ones will at least, fit the series kinda decently. That doesn't make them good, but it gives them some leeway on this list. (Sigh) That said, there's a line, and we're crossing it here, and we gotta go back to the well for this one, 'cause oh Jesus, sometimes, the very thing you're aiming for kids, is really for no one.

6. The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (oka The Banana Splits and Friends) (NBC, 1968-'70)


You know, when Geekcast Radio Network did their Top 100 Cartoon Characters Countdown that I participated in, I got some slack from some of the gang there, 'cause I'm one of those people who doesn't think much of, most anything Hanna & Barbera did after Tom & Jerry, even the more critically-acclaimed stuff I'm not that crazy about, they thought I was being a little mean. Maybe I am, but then again, (GRINNING TEETH) "THE BANANA SPLITS ADVENTURE HOUR!!!!!!!!" God, I hate this. This, this is just evil. (Sigh) Excuse me a minute.

(Stands up, walks over to wall, bangs head against wall, repeatedly, continuously and in rhythm to the song)
Tra, la, la, tra, la-la, tra, la-la, la, tra-la-la, Oh my fucking God, make it STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Sam Kinison-esque yells)

(Elevator music plays)

(27 minutes later)

Okay, I think I'm fine now. (Deep breath, rubs head) For the most part.  Like, I know what they were trying to do and what they were doing. This was late '60s, every show had a band or tried to have a band associated with it, and that especially included kids show in America. This is the era of Josie and the Pussycats and The Archies, but oh dear God. This is what being surrounded by evil kindergartners on sugar rushes sounds like in the head. It's not even just that, there isn't anything to this song, it's just, "We're here!" One banana, two banana...-, it's basically half-way inventing the Name Game Song. There had to be better lyric choices to put on the four-chord monstrosity than this, something that says something about the Bananas. I mean, think of the Monkees theme, it doesn't say much else or anything than literally, "Hey, hey, we're the Monkees," but there's personality there. They're introducing themselves to us, how they're all different, and they didn't beat it into your head either. We're here, we're fun, we're gonna entertain you. I don't know anything about The Banana Splits other than there's four of them. (And from the looks of it, I just realized, they look more like dogs instead of bananas?) Ugh. Oh, and those costumes were created by Sid & Marty Kroft, that was their big break and if you know anything about '70s Kids TV, then you who they are, and you know, that to some extent, it gets way more fucked up from here. But, no, I'll take all those theme songs over getting beaten over the head with this. (Sigh) This song broke the Top 100 on the pop charts by the way. Oh, and Sid & Marty Kroft were the producers on "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour" also, so they're probably the ones responsible fot the fucking KAZOOS, so throw that atrocity onto them too. Anybody ever tell you that kids shows are, I don't know, too educational or too much mass marketing or, whatever, just not as good or the same as kids shows in their day, punch them in the fucking face. Multiple time, in rhythm to this. Sing it if you can at them, (GRINNING TEETH) "tra-la, la, la, la-la, la..." (GROWLS) NEXT ONE PLEASE!


What the hell do I have worst than that? (Checks list, starts chuckling) Ha, oh shit. That's a memory.

5. Thunder in Paradise (Syndicated, 1994)

LOL, oh fuck, I forget this existed. What the hell happened here? I don't know what the hell this theme song is? There's like almost a minute of buildup, that leads to, nothing, and then that nothing lasts like, a minute and a half, and it's all, what-, ugh I-, (Chuckles again) I don't know, there's clearly words being sung, and instruments being played, and there's coherentness to it, but still, I think this would be difficult to justify as a "Song". For those, who didn't live through this, this is "Thunder in Paradise" this started, originally as a made-for-VHS movie, that got picked up and turned into a series, that, also included within the episodes, two, two-parters that themselves were rebranded as straight-to-VHS movies, that are titled, "Thunder in Paradise II" and "Thunder in Paradise 3", (And no, I didn't change from roman numerals to arabic numbers, they did.) and yes, as you can plainly see, this show starred, master thespian, Hulk Hogan as an ex-Navy Seal who's a tropical resort mercenary, God, I can barely type this with a straight face. Now, there are alternate versions of this theme, one that's really fucking hilarious at the beginning of the first Pilot movie, where it's not a sudden shift to, acoustic guitar, but it's just as bad as it's just a droning and forgettable power ballad with no meaningful lyrics. Think Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings", only without the catchy parts.  Part of me wants to let this get away with it considering it was so bad, but there had to have been something better than this. Say what you want about any of the themes of "Baywatch", at least they were trying. I mean, sure, it doesn't help that "Thunder in Paradise" was a lousy show that was part-"Baywatch", part, um, "Commando", I guess (Sorry, I'm surprising weak on '80s action films), I don't fucking know. This show was a doomed nonsensical vanity project to begin with, but this theme song really didn't help. This is what the cocaine-fueled remnants of the hair metal era we're spilling out while the rest of the world was at the dying days of grunge. This is the show that made "Pacific Blue" seem like a thought-provoking alternative. (Hell, that show had a good theme song) Okay, next one.


(Sigh) Part of me, wants to not count this one, I probably shouldn't to be honest, but, this is just, so lazy, I can't believe they actually did this. I mean, seriously, this is the best you could think of?

4. Mama's Boy (NBC, 1987-'88)

Oh boy, we're getting up there on this one. Look, I really didn't want to bash theme songs that weren't originally intended to be theme songs of TV shows, but, c'mon!. You get a show called "Mama's Boy", with Bruce Weitz in the lead no less, right off of "Hill Street Blues" and teamed with Nancy Walker too, and all you can come up with is an a capella doo-wop version of Eddy Arnold's "Mother". A bad, 40-year-old country song, at the time...-  That was weak sauce, even back then. No wonder NBC didn't know what the hell to do with it and somehow ended up airing it's six aired episodes over a twelve-month span! I mean, what do you do, put that on after "ALF" and see what happens? I know, I did some choices before that were reversioned of original theme songs, and I'm not a crazy about a cover song being on the list. If you want to pretend something else is here, then bump the rest of the shows up one and put the 3rd Season theme to "Felicity" at number ten, but yeah, you have to try a little harder than that.


3. Lamb Chop's Play Along (PBS, 1992-'95)

LOLOL, okay, that's funny. Now, seriously, what's the real number three on the list?

(Long pause)

Go ahead, put the real one-, What do you mean, that's the actual-? What the hell, that's-, No! NO! That's-, hold on, stop the list for a second, where's my Editor? HEY! What the hell?!

(Looks towards offscreen Editor, who's voice is heard but not audible)

 We already did a kids' show with The Banana Splits, why is this on here. Besides,"Lamb Chop's Play Along", that had a good theme song!!!! YES IT WAS! Yes, I'm talkin-, I'm  not talking about the "Song That Doesn't End", I'm talking about the theme song. "Hey, it's Lamb Chop's Play Along! Where to come, to play along, and fun things, and all we have to... (Singing voice trails out)," that was a good theme song. I mean, it's not the greatest or anything but c'mon! It's Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop, they were great. I stole a lot of jokes from this show-, I mean, they've-um, they influence quite a bit of my sense of humor over the years. The theme song wasn't that bad. (Annoyed sigh) Fine, I'll prove it to you, put the Youtube clip up, and I'll show you that it's a perfectly fine theme song. Doesn't belong on this list.  Play it!

What the-, oh fuck, they rapped the beginning! Oh, my god. Okay, yeah, that's-, oh-, okay, I forgot that rapping part to open it. Alright, yeah, that was unfortunate, Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop shouldn't be rapping, but the chorus is oh-okay-  OH JESUS FUCK, I FORGOT ABOUT THIS PART! Oh, no! No! No! No!, Okay, you win, I tap. I tap. Oh god, what the hell was Shari Lewis thinking?! Okay, okay. Oh God, Oh dear. Well, there's a memory I had apparently repressed. I love Shari Lewis, I mean, I was genuinely sad as a kid when I heard she suddenly passed away of complications from her second bought with breast cancer, and I think she's very underrated in terms of television history, as well as puppetry, and she was an accomplished musician too, and she won six Emmys for this show, but-, oh man, I can't defend her for this. "Bounce your bottom in the air!"I-eh, oh my God. I'm gonna need another moment. (Sigh)

Alright, I'm fine now, let's go. NUMBER TWO!

2. America's Next Top Model (All Seasons) (UPN, 2003-'06; The CW, 2006-'15; VH-1, 2016-Present)

I wasn't even gonna put this on the list at first; I mean, I saw a few other people list it as one of the worst themes songs, so I listened to the first couple seasons themes, and it was bad, and yeah, probably the worst reality show theme I could think of, and that seemed to be the general consensus elsewhere, (Reality shows, strangely, tend to be pretty decent theme song wise) but you know, worst of the worst, of all of television, eh, probably not. (Sigh) But then I thought about it for a second and I realized that, "Oh shit, they've done like 20 seasons of this thing..., and so, I took a listen to some of the later seasons theme an, oh, dear god they're awful. There's some shows who's theme songs get worst and worst over time, but oh boy, this one really got worst and worst over time. At some point, it doesn't even resemble music anymore, it's just random noises just layered and layered on top of each other. There's no beat or rhythm, or anything. It literally sounds like a catfight. I'm not talking two VH-1 reality stars, I mean, two cats fighting in another room ,knocking shit of the fall and scratching the curtains and screeching, meows 'til the end of the time. I mean, Season-, I mean, Cycle 23, the one with Rita Ora, eh, I guess marks the first time they actually improved the theme, because at least there, I can make out the remnants of an actual song, but barely, and it's still terrible. I mean, I don't need reality shows to have a great theme song, and I get how a show that's been on this long, has to change a bit, but there's a way to do it. I mean look at the revolution of "Project Runway" or "Top Chef"'s theme songs over time, they still reminisce back to the original, but they also carefully add and take away sometimes, little touches as they go. "America's Next Top Model", which, I repeat, didn't have a good theme song to begin with, but was at least, tolerable and passable, but they just kept adding more and more and more and more. Static, autotune, some Li'l Jon wannabe, who may actually be Li'l John yelling. I'm all for avant-garde sounds in music, I mean, hell I listen to Sasha Grey's music unironically, but this isn't trying to be different or avant-garde, it's trying to be cool and keep up with the times, and it's failing miserably by cherry-picking aspects that might in some context be popular or hip, but failing complete understanding how they work. Either that or Tyra Banks just has shitty taste in music, which I'm not exactly putting outside the possibility either, but either way, this is literally unlistenable music.

Alright, let's build the tension up a bit; we've got a lot of Dishonorable Mentions for the Lyrical themes as well, so let's get through them:


"Felicity" (3rd Season Theme)-Wow, talk about a bad theme song change for a show. This came pretty damn close to making the list. I never liked "Felicity" to begin with, but wow, they went from a really dark and hauntingly beautiful Stevie Nicks meets Tori Amos-esque theme for the first two seasons, to this really moronic one for the rest of the series. "Can you become a new version of you?" What does the hell does that mean? I want, you, to be somebody, completely different entirely, but still you? What the fuck?!

"Walker, Texas Ranger" (2nd Theme)-I have never understood the appeal of Chuck Norris, at all, not then, certainly not now, so I never watched "Walker, Texas Ranger" growing up. Looking back, I still don't see the appeal, and I'm wondering who the hell decided to let Chuck Norris sing his own theme song?

"Growing Pains"-This was gonna make the list and pretty high until I decided to give it a little leniency, 'cause it does fit the show really well, but when it comes to the ultimate in just, generic, average, boring, meaningless, vaporous theme songs that mean absolutely nothing, to a show that's all of those things and more, I don't think you can actually top "Growing Pains". I know it's easier to pick on something, like a "Full House" or something, but God, "Growing Pains" is really much worst when you think about it. "Show Me That Smile...", well, what if I don't want to smile. Fuck you, "Growing Pains" theme!

"Star Trek: Enterprise"-Since leaving this one off the list is gonna cause some debate and controversy, let me it get out the way; I actually don't think it's that bad. I mean, yes, it's bad, and not a great choice for "Star Trek' of all things, but, to be honest, I kinda get it. If the chorus was something else, I bet others would too. "Faith in the Heart" is stupid, But, you know, it's a prequel series, it's about the first Enterprise ship and the beginning of space travel, all the other classical themes were more advanced, why not have something a little more earth-bound and modern-ish. I mean, it's got a nice little "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" going on there, not that good a song, but hell, that was a cheesy rock song that didn't go with it's sci-fi movie either, so... (Shrugs) It's bad, but not bad enough to make this list.

"13 Queens Blvd"-Oh my God, this theme song makes Carole King's "You've Got a Friend" sound like X's "Johnnie Hit and Run Pauline". Who the hell thought this was a good idea!?

"Gloria"-Ugh, this really ill-conceived "All in the Family" spinoff doesn't have as bad a group of La-di-das as "Cass Malloy", but it's up there. If there's one thing I learned doing this, don't be a spinoff to a show with a really great and memorable theme song, you're just doomed to fail.

"Batgirl"-Say what you want about the original Adam West theme song, but some themes songs should not have lyrics.(Head slap)

"Sweet Valley High"-What the hell was this? Okay, this is the other, other, other '90s series about teenage twin girls,- God, why was that a thing? We had a weird thing about twin girls for some reason, but yeah, this is the one that's not "Sister, Sister", and,  apparently the theme song is what happens when The Babysitter Club tries to make the "Beverly Hills, 90210" theme. I-, (Shrugs) Your guess is as good as mine; it's another one of those "Saved By the Bell" ripoffs that nobody wants to admit happened. God, and I get crap for liking "California Dreams", but seriously, give me "The Patty Duke Show's theme song any day over this faux Cranberries ripoff. (Hell, and the "California Dreams" theme song is better. I don't care, I like that theme song.)

"Getting Together"-And this was a show about songwriters? What the hell is this? This sounds like a children's song from elementary school music class that your taught and you have to learn on the xylophone or something. I keep waiting for them to go into, "Oops, there goes another rubber-tree plant." Between this and the David Cassidy one, how is it so hard for a show, with a professional singer in the cast to have a good theme song?

"Small Wonder"-Normally I'd say that shows like this, you should give a little pass to, 'cause what the hell else would you do? Um, in this case, I think something else could've been done. Not much, but something.

"Silver Spoons"-You know the same guys who created "Married... with Children" also created "Silver Spoons"? I don't get it either. There's not much to say about the song, it's just bland, boring, cheesy, forgettable, very eighties.

"Joe's World"-What the hell's with that low, Joooooooooooooooooo....? Good lord, there must been something better than that, who came up with this?

(Clicks "Joe's World", closing credits)
Joe's World Theme Song by

(Mouth wide open, shock, long, long, pause, delayed recall)
Ohhhh, that's right! He did have a career doing that. Wow, did I shove that fact out of my head. I wish I can blame for him the "Growing Pains" theme song, but ironically, he didn't do that one, so, go figure.

"Veronica's Closer (Season 3 Theme)"-I was a little confused when I kept seeing "Veronica's Closet" show up on some other worst theme lists I can find; I mean, the original isn't great or anything but I didn't hate it or think it was that awful. Although, they got rid of it in Season 2, but this was a show that constantly struggled and they made severe changes every year to the series, so, you know, okay. Then, I remember they brought a theme song back for Season Three. Oh god, I-, (Sigh) I don't know what they were going for with that one.

"Firefly"-Oh, come at me on this one; this song sucks! Really, you guys get pissed at "Enterprise" for trying a non-conventional theme song, but this dreary faux-inspirational cowboy ballad that sounds like Raffi might've written it, gets a pass 'cause it's Joss Whedon? Yeah, no thanks. Oh, and this show wasn't any good either.

"My Mother the Car"-Okay, this is shit, but what exactly would you come up with for this ridiculous show?

"The Ugliest Girl in Town"-Again, shit, but, like I don't know what they could've done. At least this show was smart enough at some point to drop the lyrics in it's opening.

"Valerie"/"Valerie's Family"/"The Hogans"/"The Hogan Family"-I dare you to remember anything about this show, other than the facts that Jason Bateman was on it, and that it's the show that Valerie Harper got fired from in that whole contract debacle. Seriously, I grew up watching it, and I don't remember anything else about it. Oh, except for the fact that the theme song might be the most generic and forgettable thing Miller-Boyett ever produced, and that's saying something. Even Roberta Flack couldn't save this sweet insanity although she almost does. (No, serious, that's Roberta Flack singing this theme, bet you didn't know that. I sure didn't)

"Archie"-Yeah, "Archie"'s here too. He's an easy punching bag, but there's so much worst.

"Eight is Enough (Third Season)"-"Eight is Enough" had two themes over it's run, neither are great, but the lyrical one that started in the third season is particularly awkward. It's not a bad song, in of itself, necessarily, but it just doesn't work as a theme song, even for something as saccharin and lousy as "Eight is Enough" was. I mean, this theme started in 1979,  and the song sounds like I'm hearing it at some really bad Joan Baez-wannabe folk concert from 1966.

"Gung Ho"-I'm as confused by the fact that they made this into a TV series too. Much less this song that seems so out-of-place. I never saw the movie, so maybe it relates to the film, but still,  that '80s power ballad thing has to be used sparingly for best effect. That's why "Perfect Strangers" can get away with it.

"A Fine Romance"-Oh God, what the hell is this? Okay, this is actually an old Ella Fitzgerald song, that was also covered by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at some point, but this isn't either version. God, thank Christ, Judi Dench ended up with a good TV show that's titled after a classic song about a romance.

"Good Time Harry"-This is another one where I have to look at the date the show aired and tilt my head. I mean, "Wild About Harry", is a fine classic song, although this version sucks, beyond this, why is this Cotton Club era jazz doo-wop version? This show was in 1980, you can update this a little bit?

"Big John, Little John"-(Sigh) Look, I'm giving it a pass, 'cause what the hell would you do for a concept this hare-brained.

"Jennifer Slept Here"-Another one in the bad show concept pass category, although this one kinda makes me giggle.

"My Secret Identity"-Another in the "premise so dumb you just have to laugh" category. So, apparently Jerry O'Connell wasn't even fat as a kid. Huh, he's a pretty devoted actor, ain't he.

"Dawson's Creek (Alternative Theme)"-Okay, I never liked "Dawson's Creek", but goddamn this has one of my all-time favorite theme songs. If you don't know, the original theme song is "I Don't Want to Wait" by Paula Cole, which is just an amazing song in general. It was a big hit at the time and won more than a few Grammys, and deservedly so, it's just this gorgeous epic song about getting older and reflecting on the past. It's one of the best songs of the '90s and it's absolutely perfect for "Dawson's Creek". Unfortunately it's such a big song that they apparently can't afford the rights to keep using it for DVDs and reruns, so there's this alternative theme song out there, that's, really not good at all. This is such a cliche-ridden bore sung by some Nathalie Merchant wannabe, I just feel sorry. I know that's a risk you take when you use modern pop songs for themes now, but that's just sad.

"Happy Tree Friends"-LOL, okay, sure, but you know what, it fits the show.

"Tammy"-I don't know what this show was, but boy this theme song sure doesn't help.

"Domestic Life"-There's a certain kind of sitcom out there, where you can tell they, don't really have an idea on what the sitcom is, there's a few of those that I'm bringing up, but yeah, when your gimmick, is, we're a sitcom? "Domestic Life", man, poor Martin Mull.

"Fanboy and Chum-Chum"-Okay, no. I know it's fits the show but that's stupid. That's trying to be too different for the sake of it. You know, if you want to be a "Ren & Stimpy" knock-off fine, but they actually had a pretty normal theme song, 'cause you know, they were funny and didn't need to be obnoxious with the seem song to make up for it.

"Full House"-You know what's actually wrong with the "Full House" theme? It took me a minute or two to realize it, but, the longer the show went on, the less of the theme song they played. It you watch the early seasons, with the full version, it doesn't sound as bad or out-of-place, but then, as they went along, more and more of it kept getting cut. (Which is weird considering how the regular cast kept on growing, come to think of it) But by the end, when it's chopped to shit and blasted over the cheesy credits, it stops seeming like a real song and it just feels like a warning. "Everywhere you look, there's a heart a hand to hold on to,"  it actually seems almost threatening by the end. Hell, that's kinda why the new spinoff's theme song doesn't sound that bad, when it's a fuller song, it's okay.

"77 Sunset Strip"-What the hell's with the snapping!? What is that instrument, the two pieces of wood being slammed together?  I vastly prefer it's spinoff series, "Surfside 6"'s theme song.

"Nick and Hillary"-So there was a drama series called "Tattingers" that, for some reason was turned into a sitcom called "Nick and Hillary" at some point. I've looked at both themes, the "Tattingers" one is better 'cause it at least evokes, a mood, this one, doesn't evoke anything. I have no idea if either show is any good, this one's news to me, but I can't imagine it was.

"Webster"-There's been a lot of TV shows about characters suddenly coming into a home environment over the years, and are about how they've changed their lives. I'm not gonna say all of them are bad, but the ones that are, usually have something to do with the idea that, "Then came you..." and everything's good and everything's better now with you vibe to it. Those songs aren't generally great.

"Together We Stand/Nothing is Easy"-Both of these theme songs were terrible. This show, which was, believe it or not originally planned as a spinoff of "The Brady Bunch", didn't make the air 'til 1986, and then went through a name change, and a complete revamp. I can't blame the songs too much though, they were clearly rushed and it doesn't help that this show has not one, but two of the worst and most generic sitcom-titles, ever! Seriously, I can think of a 100 sitcoms off the top of my head that these would've been an alternative titles for. And why are so many of these sitcom theme songs, sung like it's a lullaby. You're supposed to be setting us up for laughter. Not that this generic song from a forgotten sitcom would've been bad no matter how it was played, but still, what are they thinking?

"Get Christie Love (All themes)"-You know, none of the themes to "Get Christie Love" were bad in of themselves, but none of them seem completely right for the show either.

"The Facts of Life"-Eh, this was a weird show to begin with so I'm giving it a pass on it's theme song. And hell, they greatly approved the arrangement in the second season, so... (Shrugs).

"Barney & Friends"-You know, after The Banana Splits, this doesn't sound that awful, really.

Man, that was a lot of Dishonorable Mentions, and I swear I cut back, 'cause there's a lot more out there. That said, let's get to the main event.


1. Charles in Charge (CBS, 1984-'85; Syndication, 1987-'90) 

Ugh, (Sigh) Okay, I truly didn't intend to bash Scott Baio shows twice here, but, really think about this. Okay, this is a bad show, it's a premise-based theme song, but you know, I can see some, obnoxious asshole person, but a person, saying, "Show me that smile..." who the hell, would ever think, "I want Charles in Charge of me?" Like, really think about this, can you imagine, what I presume, is a kid's perspective, considering the show, a young girl's perspective at that, saying anything remotely like that? A theme song, about him in charge, could work, if it was a slightly different perspective, like if she's resigning to it, or was about how he ended up with this family, but the way it's done here? He's just the new boy in the neighborhood who lived downstairs. I mean, he was on "Happy Days", Fonzi, was a new boy in the neighborhood who lived downstairs, he wasn't suddenly of the family, either. How did this show last six seasons?! Imagine, if this was the theme song to "Charlie's Angels", how many people would truly be pissed off at the insinuations that it would have, and that was a show was literally about a guy named Charles who was in charge of a group of women! I mean, that was a terrible, terrible show too, but at least it knew not to have a theme song like that! (Hell, it knew enough to actually have a good theme song.) That's why, "Charles in Charge" has to be ranked a little higher than most, 'cause this is the kind of thing that takes something that would have just been cheesy bad, but passable, in a fairly saccharin era where there was an over-abundance of bad family sitcom and turns it into, just, disturbing. I mean, this song makes me want to throw up when I hear it. Thank God Michael Jacobs, would go on to create "Boy Meets World" among shows that aren't that bad, and were actually good and hopefully people have forgotten that he was responsible for this show, and it's theme song, but my God, this has gotta go to the top of the list. For being a theme song that seems like it's better suited for a sitcom based on "Fifty Shades of Grey" than this, "Charles is Charge" is the worst theme song of all-time.

Alright, that's the list. If you can think of some that were even worst than these, let me know. Comment with your recommendations. I won't be surprised, 'cause I wish I had a little more time to sort through, but I'm fairly certain that this is a solid list, and there won't be too much worst than that.

And I think I'll end this with some theme songs I actually like.

Yeah, that makes me feel better. (Pleasant sigh)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


CLERKS (1994)

Director/Screenplay: Kevin Smith

Believe it or not, if I’m truly being completely genuine and honest, one of the biggest personal influences in my writing career, both in terms of the story of his success as well as his personal style, is Kevin Smith. Yet, despite having watched it approximately 30 times over the years, I’ve been reluctant to add “Clerks” to my canon, for various reasons, all of them, dumb trivial reasons.  

Smith has now made about a dozen feature films, the best of his films being “Clerks,” “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” and “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”. He doesn’t always make a good film, and with “Cop Out,” he made the mistake of not writing the picture himself and just directing. It’s not that Smith isn’t a capable or even a talented director, in fact, with most of his recent films, which has seen him almost violently switch from comedy to horror, he’s actually proven that he can be quite the skilled and fascinating auteur, particularly with “Red State” and “Tusk”. Still though, I don’t watch Smith’s work for the directing. He’s never needed it before since he’s always been such as astute and talented writer, that you didn’t need much more than what was necessary visually to get a great film from him. That’s not a knock, in fact, I think that’s something that’s missing from film these days; as great as every other aspect of film can be, it should really work well on the page before anything else, and what’s better on the page than just great dialogue spoken by actors. Hell, great Smith dialogue can make some great actors out of some friends of his who literally weren’t actors at all.    

Still though, despite some evidence to the contrary, particularly when he decides to get his family involved, Smith is probably best when he doesn’t stray too far home. Home being the Asbury Park, NJ area where most of his films either are made or are close to taking place to some extent. The kind of place where everybody owns a hockey jersey, and everything goes back to, something that happened in high school, usually involving a party and something sexual. When connecting some of his films together, they create the Viewaskewniverse, an entire world of Kevin Smith films that each take place in the same universe as the other movies, such as the recurring characters of Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Smith).  So, I don’t know why the fuck we’re crediting Marvel and the MCU for this idea….- Ahem…. Alright, sure Smith is a comic book fan and geekdom is definitely a part of his aesthetic, but still…. The great thing though, is that you don’t need to have seen any of his films to understand the other ones, although it doesn’t hurt. (Something the MCU and DCU can learn from)

It’s a misnomer to say that nothing much happens in “Clerks,” a lot happens, but the protagonists don’t have much interest in forward momentum of any kind. Dante (Brian O’Halloran) is a college dropout who’s dating Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) but is still obsessed with his old high school girlfriend Caitlin (Lisa Spoonhauer). In the meantime, he’s a clerk at a local convenient store. He isn’t supposed to work today, and his day begins with him drinking coffee out of a cookie jar lid, writing a sign out of shoe polish to make sure everyone knows they’re open, and getting cigarettes thrown towards him by an angry crowd, riled up by some gum salesman. Randal (Jeff Anderson) works at the shitty video store across the street, both stores have the same owner, so it’s not uncommon for each of them to cover for the other. 

Randal’s basically your typical smartass laze instigator. He’s wants to do as little work as possible, and he works hard at it, and is able to justifiably argue his position, to basically everybody. I think most writers would’ve centered the film around his character, but Smith’s a better writer than that. There’s an unusual combination of typical daily lives coexisting alongside outrageous comedic events in “Clerks”. Some scenes are more famous than others. The hockey game on the roof, the intimate scene of Dante painting Veronica’s fingernails behind the counter, the unseen events that apparently occurred at a funeral,… then there’s an unseen sex scene in a bathroom involving Dante’s ex-girlfriend, that could almost surely only occur through a bizarre combination of events orchestrated by a Kevin Smith screenplay. 

The famous story of the making of “Clerks,” and the battle with the MPAA (The movie originally got an NC-17 rating for language alone) are too well-known and infamous to really bother recounting. It’s now the prime example of cheap, brilliant independent filmmaking. Kevin Smith has personally admitted to being the worst director in Hollywood. He might be the laziest, but he’s not the worst. Considering nearly every scene in “Clerks” is based around two locations, it’s amazing he keeps the film so fresh looking but he does.

“Clerks” is about the everyday bullshit of life. Whether that’s losing a girlfriend because of one’s own stupid obsessions with your ex, or whether it’s dealing with the same annoying customers that come in everyday. There’s a rhythm to it that’s both musical and comedic, and can only be as uniquely observed by Kevin Smith. Possibly Mark Twain, well a New Jersey version anyway. Famously, the film was made for less than $30,000 total and Smith basically went into debt on his credit cards to make the film. Amazingly the movie got into a couple film festivals and later won awards at Cannes and Sundance, allowing it to get distribution from the Weinsteins. Don’t think he isn’t aware of just how lucky his career is, ‘cause there’s definitely another universe where this film never caught on and he’d still be working at that convenient store, probably just now finally getting his debts paid off.

I think the thing that distinguishes his best work, no matter the genre, especially when he’s writing it, is that you can tell he truly cares about the content. Whatever it is, he dives into the same amount of thought and complex over a discussion about whether independent contractors were killed when the incomplete death star was blown up in “Return of the Jedi,” as he does in “Dogma” over whether plenary indulgences would allow fallen angels back into heaven hence proving God fallible thus negating existence.

Doesn’t sound like the same artist at work, but it is, it’s the same approach. Take a subject of interest, analyze it to death and write about people who talk about such things. Write what you know, and do it well, the fastest path to success, and Kevin Smith might be exhibit A for that. 

NOTE: I was in the process of posting this when news broke that Lisa Spoonhour had passed away. If I had time to change I would've put some other film up, but since I didn't, consider this a coincidental tribute to her. :( RIP 

Monday, May 15, 2017


So, I'll be honest, until I looked it up, a few seconds ago, I hadn't actually seen or heard Emma Watson's speech. It's a good speech, and appropriate for the situation and, eh-um, people were talking about it, apparently? And people were annoyed at it, um, for some reason.  I'll be honest, I wasn't really listening to everything being discussed about it, 'cause who cares? It's the MTV Movie Awards,- oh, excuse me, Movie & TV Awards, 'cause like the Broadcast Film Critics have done in recent years, they're trying to combine both of these mediums and make them seem equally important and I get why, does it really work, and,... well,  that's a discussion for another time.

The discussion that others seem to be having is about, the fact that, the MTV Awards, did do something unusual with their acting awards, they combined, the genders. There wasn't a Best Actor and a Best Actress, there was a Best Lead Acting and Supporting Acting award for each medium, and Emma Watson, went down in history for winning the first such award, and she made note of it, and the significance of that. For instance, it's pretty amazing that such an award was indeed won by a woman. And not one named Meryl Streep for that matter, although to be fair I don't think Streep ever done particularly well at the MTV's but I don't think she loses sleep over it. But seriously, I'm a skeptic, and no particular enthralled with the way popular votes seem to go these days; I would've thought a guy would've won.

Anyway, the reason that MTV is doing this, is two-fold and it's about including who don't necessarily identify themselves as one gender or another and since there are more examples of such successful performers and actors out there in general in the world, MTV, always on the more progressive side, decided to make notice of that first, to start a conversation about it. And, yeah, you know what, I have in the trans community, and have close friends all up and down the LGBTTQQIAAP rainbow, and, while the MTV Movie Awards are hardly the most legitimate thing around, change doesn't happen in a vacuum and start at the biggest and most popular part of the pop culture populace; it always starts at the fringes before it inevitably takes effect elsewhere as more and more people start becoming receptive to the idea, so if this is, the future, we should talk about it, and discuss it.

Should acting awards, be genderless?

(Takes a breath, looks around. Checks time on computer. Sighs loudly Takes another deep breath. Take a sip from big gulp.)

Oh, did you want me to start? Why don't you start? What, why do I have to do all the talking on this? I don't know what to think about this? You think I have an answer to everything? I don't know what to talk about here? I mean, I can make a joke or two, but, I don't know the right answer to this?

I mean, I can look some stuff up, and give some facts or whatever, and I probably will, but, (Shrugs) I mean, I can see every side of this and I don't know of any good answer. I mean, the idea of a genderless-, well, that's not really the right word either-, eh, gender-bling acting awards, doesn't sound awful. And, marketing-wise, I gotta admit I'm not exactly thrilled about how things are marketed towards one gender or the other. I mean, one of my favorite film critics, Manohla Dargis put up a Facebook post about a month ago, about having to pick a gender in order to sign up for Hulu, and talked about how insensitive it is, and you know, she's not wrong. Especially for those who don't fit into either gender easily. I mean, if you check out my Hulu or youtube or Netflix or anything, you probably won't be able to pick out my gender particularly easily. I'm a sports fan that binges on "Project Runway', what sex does that make me?

Look, that's what really at stake, is how this is about society's perception, and not really so much about whether an awards show separates by gender or not, And in terms of how society looks at, and treats women, much less any other sex other than males, this is so far on the bottom of the problems with society that, it's almost literally the last thing there is to fight for. But, I picked the entertainment business, so what exactly is the big deal? Well, who won the Oscar for Best Female Director last year?

Yeah, it is only acting awards, and-, well, there's good reasons and bad reasons for that. For one thing, it is sexist. I mean, just the fact that we have the word, "Actress" is a bit odd. Actor, means, a person who's profession is acting, but "actress" means, a woman whose profession is acting. And I'm not being obnoxious grammar person, and nor am I making that up, that's literally the meanings of those words. Actor is not gender-specific, actress is, and that even goes back to the words origins, 'cause, keep in mind, in many parts of the world at some point, women weren't allowed to be actors. The term came about when that trend started dissipating. and there have been efforts to eliminate that stigma. The Screen Actors Guild for instance, if you check their website; they don't give out Actress awards, they give out Female Actor in a Leading Role or Supporting Role awards. They still separate by gender, but they don't use the word "actress". There are some who I've heard go further and really claim that actress is particularly derogatory because it implies that actresses can only play roles that are female, and that's not true at all. Linda Hunt famously won an Oscar for playing a male character in "The Year of Living Dangerously" and some female actors, most notably Whoopi Goldberg are known for seeking out and taking roles that defy their gender and their "types". Whoopi for instance, once played the role of the slave on Broadway in "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum", a role made famous, and originally written for, Zero Mostel. And if you're familiar with that play, that's a pretty big jump in casting.  But she's an actor, and as she claims, she can play any role, not just female roles, so why not?

That's the thing, casting. I know, there's always talk about how we can never really know who the best actor is unless we get them all to play the same part, but if you're a producer or a Director, do  you always have to cast the best person for the part? I mean, I doubt "Moonlight" would've been as good as it was if Mahershala Ali's part was played by Rosie O'Donnell. (Not to pick on Rosie, I actually think she's an underrated actress) It might be a great performance and a good movie, but yeah, it clearly a miscast part. I mean, for all the talk about whitewashing roles that goes on, mainly under the somewhat legitimate notion that you need stars in lead roles to make money on a film and most major stars, for one reason or another are mainly white, the fact remains, most of the time, you're trying to cast the best person for the best part, not just talent, but aesthetics-wise. You have a 30-year-old white male lead character, why not cast a 30-year-old white male for the part, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that, if that's the kind of actor you most need for the role. Same goes, for 100-year-old Black grandmother, to teenage Asian chick, to, 40-year-old Latino lawyer, to, overweight again male cop and every part in-between, That's part of my main reason, I'm not so, sold on gender-blind awards for acting, 'cause it's not necessarily the actors fault that they get the parts they get. But then again, there's nothing wrong, with it the other way, having a set character type in mind, and then casting outside of that, either. The real problem comes when it's presumed or assumed that certain roles or parts have their features built into their roles, as apart of the character's identity they're sex, ethnicity, etc., and then, there's a presumed casting choice that goes against that. That's one of the reasons I'm not as prone as others to thinking that Idris Elba should play James Bond, but then again, the first time anybody played James Bond that remotely resembled the character from the novels was Daniel Craig, so I guess there's 40 years or so of casting against part of precedent, then sure, why not a Brit of African descent?

I keep saying, "but then again..." in this article, and I have a feeling I'm gonna say it a 100 times more just thinking about this issue. For instance, then again, one of the reasons I'm not crazy about gender-blind awards, is that, I like seeing awards given out, and I think there's enough of a compelling argument above to claim that there's a good enough reason to give out male and female awards separately. Even besides that, I like seeing people honored for their craft, across all fields, and you do too. I know there's morons out there, who want to be hip and cool, and shit on all awards and award shows, but at the end of the day, if something you like wins, you're happy they won. Even if the recipient doesn't give a shit. Hell, I give out my own awards every year; we like doing it, we like seeing it.

And there is another option here, we could also give out acting awards separately for every other gender's performance? I mean, there's not necessarily enough to break trans and others into their own category every year for every awards show, but one day there will be. That would be great!

No, it won't that's just dumb. Yeah, nevermind, separating genders into more groups to give out more awards, no, I'd rather have gender-blind, it actually is fairer, and it's not separating people more. And, to go back to one other point I made, why only acting?

I mean, sure the obvious reason is because, we know the actors more than most of the behind the scenes people, and the above listed reasons why actors should be listed separately since, you can argue that they're not up for the same parts, for legitimate reasons outside their control, but, is isn't the same for behind-the-scenes roles, right?


Well, let's consider. Only four women have ever gotten an Oscar nomination for Directing, only one has won, which is a considerably better record than Cinematography, which has never seen a female nominee, much less a winner in the category. I can think of a few categories where there's a more even distribution of female winners to male winners, Costume Design, Editing, probably, since the early days of cinema actually had quite a few female editors and that tradition has carried on, Casting is often a female-driven field and they don't even get an Oscar category for reasons that make zero sense. Here's two names you don't know, but should. Lora Hirschberg and Anna Behlmer. They're the only two women ever nominated for Sound Mixing Oscars. Behlem has ten career nominations, while Lora has two, and one win. (Yeah, Behlmer is winless she's up there with Greg P. Russell and until last year Kevin O'Connell) That's a category where there's usually three or four people nominated per nomination. Sound Editing has one female nominees, one winner is Cecelia Hall, and half the people in the industry couldn't tell you the different between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing!

(And if you consult this Variety article below on the difference, it makes you realize that they probably need more categories to differentiate the different art form just in Sound alone. )

And you can insert the other examples yourself, across every awards you can think of, and across the whole industry in general if you really want to check the statistics. Now separate all these categories into and male and female and perhaps every other genre, and worst than any of problem of conceding that there's a difference in genders in performing certain tasks and giving into whatever PC bullshit we're giving into for trying to promote women in film or in the name of equality, blah, blah, blah, worst than all that, we'd end with like a nine-hour Oscar broadcast.  And that's just the Oscars, god help all the Emmys. So, if you thought award shows were just Hollywood kissing it's own ass before....-, Yeah. I mean, it'd be nice, to see an award for a Female Director, when there's great movies made by female director every year and more of them should be honored, but-eh, no, not like this. Despite all the Hollywood problems with the lack of diversity in general, across the fields and crafts of filmmaking you can imagine, this is probably not the solution either.

But I'd hate to see, in a future, where something like Charlize Theron's performance in "Monster" isn't honored, because she's up against Sean Penn for "Mystic River", or, Nicolas Cage not win for "Leaving Las Vegas" because they really want to give it to Susan Sarandon for "Dead Man Walking". Oh, shit, she'd be up against Sean Penn too in that category, 'cause they both deserved nominations that year. And insert your other favorite retroactive hypotheticals here. I've looked at longform Emmy ballots in the past, and the long, long, long, long, long, lists of actors that submit their names and in what categories they put them in, and doubling that, especially Supporting characters, there'd be 500 or so names total, and only seven nominees? Hell, I'm already annoyed the Emmys insisted on seven series nominees for Comedy and Drama Series, and yet they insist the actors only get six, when there's way more potential acting nominees than series nominees. Hell, maybe that's is, we should just start increasing the nominees numbers, if we do this? Or have multiple winners? Who says we only need one winner every year. There's precedent for that too btw with the Academy; there was an ancient rule where anybody who loss by three votes or less would be a winner too, so, why not bring that back. Or, just have the two top vote-getters win and increase it to ten nominees, gender-neutral?

Or fifteen or twenty, or, hell, do that with every category.


I don't know, what the award shows or the future will look like, nor do I know how long it'll take the rest of society to, become as gender-blind, for all genders everywhere, across all fields of society. And part of me wants to say, that, like George Carlin once brought up, that maybe this is going too far, like how, Businessperson and spokesperson are okay, but personhole cover for manhole cover is a bit too far,... but then again, English is an inherently sexist language to begin, and most of the words of the language come from inherently sexist language, where literally every object is either male or female. (Seriously most western language are very sexist in nature; they just are. I didn't learn much failing four years of French, but conjugate a couple dozen male and female nouns and you'll learn that quickly) And, that's apart of the perception and changes like these are positive.

Look, it's probably in a step in the right direction somehow and Emma Watson's speech, did a pretty damn good job trying to explain the importance of the moment and for the most part, as far as I can tell, while a small factor in the grand scheme of everything, MTV's heart's in the right place and they're trying something, and who knows, what it will lead to in the future. I remember when people laughed at Bill Clinton for doing an MTV Town Hall during the '92 Election, now they host multiple debates every year; they're trend is to be a little ahead of the time for everyone else, so there's that.

As for my awards, I'm not ready to separate yet. Although, lord know what'll happen when I think Laverne Cox deserves a nominations, or some other trans actors. Hell, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Talylor, came damn close just a couple years ago.  But that's my insignificant made-up awards, what happens the real, important and culturally significant made-up awards start thinking about this and doing things, who knows? Whatever changes are gonna happen, it's gonna be painful for everyone involved, and that includes the film industry, because change is painful, for everybody, whether it's happening too fast for some, or too slow to those who need it the most.

In the meantime, it's just an award show. They're here to honor and celebrate those who's work we admire, and like the rest of the industry, yes, they're here to entertain us, and dammit we can use as much things to entertain us as possible these days. So let's enjoy them.

Oh, and fuck Piers Morgan! (Mocking) "Oh, when I think gender-neutral, I think Emma Watson", shut up, you tried to hack celebrity cell phones, for your stupid gossip newspaper, go screw yourself! Yeah, and you're the kind of person who I think of to comment on gender-neutrality as well, aren't you? (Eye roll)