Best TV Show Themes

You know what I really miss (besides being in kindergarten)? When primetime TV shows had theme songs.

I loved sitting down and picking out scenes I remembered from episodes and gossiping about which characters got edited out. I totally get why producers opted for a title card instead of a 30 second poppy song; after all, those seconds could collectively make up about 20 minutes of lost screen time per season. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss screaming the lyrics to the best title jams.

It’s #throwbacktuesday y’all. Let’s kick it:

1. Charmed: How Soon is Now? – Love Spit Love

Charmed began in 1998, so I basically grew up watching this. I was probably way, way too young to even be considered part of their target demographic, but I could chant the spells alongside the sisters and drool over their men with the best of them. The demons that freaked me out as a six year old still give me the creeps (looking at you Shax) and I will always ship Cole and Phoebe. Singing along to this with my own sisters was definitely a bonding experience.

I’ve been rewatching the entire series on Netflix, where the theme song has been changed to some generic rock-ish melody, probably because of licensing issues. Despite the incredibly cheesy special effects, I’m still under Charmed’s spell.

2. The OC: California – Phantom Planet 

Continuing with the theme of shows I was far too young to watch, comes The OC. My sisters and I devoured seasons in mere days, living vicariously through the lives of the rich and disorderly. While Seth Cohen was the fan favourite for making dorky, cool, I lusted after Ryan Atwood. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a bad boy.

I feel like this song became the unofficial anthem for Californians, or at least for east coast tourists travelling there. This song was honestly a banger, because you just couldn’t sing “California” quietly.

3. One Tree Hill: I Don’t Wanna Be – Gavin DeGraw

The OC’s primetime rival was definitely One Tree Hill. While still a drama about dysfunctional high school kids, One Tree Hill touched on deeper issues and was definitely more relatable. It lasted long after The OC was done, which in retrospect, wasn’t the greatest idea. Though the last couple seasons were farfetched (spoiler: there were too many kidnappings), One Tree Hill has been binge watched by teens everywhere.

This show taught me to love music. Frequently featuring indie artists and musical cameos, One Tree Hill was rich in pop culture and quotes from classical literature. Gavin DeGraw himself made an appearance on the show to sing this popular theme song.

4. Grey’s Anatomy: Cosy in the Rocket – Psapp

This is quite possibly the most mourned of all theme songs. I loved the intro, and felt it captured the show perfectly with hospital equipment giving way to parallels of relationships. Grey’s Anatomy made Shonda Rhimes famous, especially for her ruthless character casualties. Eleven seasons later, and I’m still tuning into to see what Meredith and the other ridiculously hot docs get themselves into.

Now, the twinkly theme lives only in the end credits which is a real shame. The Grey’s theme song era was part of what was arguably the show’s strongest seasons. And yes this song is still part of my iTunes.

5. Gilmore Girls: Where You Lead – Carole King

If I had to choose an ultimate favourite TV show, Gilmore Girls would be it. I don’t exactly know how, but creator Amy Sherman-Palladino created the perfect world where there would always be sunshine and 1000 yellow daisies (points to you if you catch the reference). The theme song was an essential part of the show and somehow hearing it, always reminds me of home.

There’s a very good chance this will be stuck in your head for the next week, and for that I apologize. Except I’m not really that sorry because Gilmore Girls is the best and there will never be another show like it again.


I think what we’ve all learned today is that I had absolutely no adult supervision on my TV watching habits growing up, and that I’m a 75 year old woman ranting about the good old days when shows had proper intros.

I’m okay with that.

– S.

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