Multi-link Mike Post post
February 1, 2008 9:44 AM   Subscribe

If you only watch the opening credits of 279 shows from the late 1980s, make it these 279 shows from the late 1980s. posted by Horace Rumpole (57 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow, this is awesome.

And how has there never been a MacGyver movie/remake?
posted by DU at 9:49 AM on February 1, 2008


This seems like it'd make for a good power hour.
Thank you.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:51 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


DU, the intelligent pacifist hero has been replaced with the moronic sociopath anti-hero.

MacGyver just isn't edgy enough for kids today. Throw in a dark past, alcoholism, some mindless violence and the film will be Bruckheimertastic! That, and mullets don't test well anymore (except here in Madrid for some unknown reason.)
posted by slimepuppy at 10:07 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Members Onlyiatious!

But...why?
posted by Toekneesan at 10:09 AM on February 1, 2008


That is pretty awesome that someone did all that work, and it is a fine post. At the same time, it actually makes me kind of happy I was annihilated on drugs and tequila from approx. 1980 to 1994 and missed most of those shows.
posted by marxchivist at 10:10 AM on February 1, 2008


Dang I've watched a lot of TV. (shakes head)
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:12 AM on February 1, 2008


*stop watching these and go back to work*
*stop watching these and go back to work*
posted by Adam_S at 10:13 AM on February 1, 2008


MacGyver had a dark past. He was against guns because, IIRC, he accidentally killed a friend with one when he was a kid. ...OK, but that was really, really dark to a sheltered 10 year old in 1983.
posted by DU at 10:14 AM on February 1, 2008


"Taittenger"? "The Bronx Zoo?" WTF? I don't know any of these shows.

I graduated high school in 1985 and didn't buy my first television until about 1991, which I guess explains it. I also personally didn't fully understand the cultural significance of the mullet, since I didn't know anyone that had one, but from sampling a few of these, it seems everyone did in those years. What else did I miss? Will my watching all these over the weekend fill this cultural void at long last?
posted by psmealey at 10:15 AM on February 1, 2008


Jeffrey Tambor with a beard! *woof!*
posted by troybob at 10:18 AM on February 1, 2008


Wow, 279 reasons why adult males play video games.

Except MacGyver, which was awesome.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:31 AM on February 1, 2008


MacGyver was that long ago?

These sequences seem so LONG. Granted, I do'nt really watch sitcoms these days, but am I correct in thinking title sequences have been shortened dramatically?

The only title sequences I can think favorably of are 1) BSG (because it shows scenese of the upcoming episode) and the Sopranos, because David Chase and crew are a fucking master of montage.

Also: people were older then.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:32 AM on February 1, 2008


Also also: PERFECT STRANGERS!
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:33 AM on February 1, 2008


Mac did use a gun at least once - as a wrench to close a valve on a nuclear power plant or something like that. And what's with not liking guns but being perfectly happy to improvise artillery every third episode?
posted by Foaf at 10:34 AM on February 1, 2008


These Premises, nowadays the shows themselves are several minutes shorter than they were in the 1980s (more commercials, natch) so they've understandably chosen to waste as little time as possible on credits.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:39 AM on February 1, 2008


Okay, I have a serious question. I notice a pattern to these opening credits: City establishing shot, a few narrower establishing shots, smiling main character, clip of pratfall, shot of buddy or female supporting cast, cute friendly ensemble cast shot, progressively wider establishing shots, final shot with producers name. Why the hell does it matter what city these dopey sitcoms are set in? "Perfect Strangers is set in Chicago? Well, fuck that. I'm doing my fractions homework instead." Huh?

Thank God Seinfeld came along and did away with this nonsense.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:39 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sledge Hammer was fucking awesome.
posted by waraw at 10:47 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


1987 Ohara with a decidedly smoother less edgy Katherine Keener!
posted by tkchrist at 10:49 AM on February 1, 2008


Why the hell does it matter what city these dopey sitcoms are set in?

...

Thank God Seinfeld came along and did away with this nonsense.


Seinfeld changed TV in a lot of ways, but making setting unimportant is definitely not one of them.
posted by DU at 10:49 AM on February 1, 2008


Metafilter: and there ain't no nothin' we can't love each other through
posted by kimota at 10:51 AM on February 1, 2008


Thank God Seinfeld came along and did away with this nonsense.

Yeah, thank god that formula was never applied again!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:52 AM on February 1, 2008


Two thoughts:
1) People's attention spans obviously tolerated longer opening credits in 1986 than they do in this age of remote "trigger-finger".
2) Those Amiga Video Toaster graphics were really something for their time, weren't they?
posted by spock at 10:55 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also. This goes to show you that even after all the humiliation of surviving the entertainment industry gauntlet and finally landing your big break and getting a prime time TV show it still doesn't mean shit.

90% of those shows died on the vine and the stars either languished in obscurity since, crossed their fingers and had to take another decade re-inventing themselves, or become back ground fixtures on the crappy TV merry-go-round eternally. Brutal. The indignity of it all must be awful.
posted by tkchrist at 10:55 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seeing Andy Warhol's face pop up as a Love Boat guest star just about gave me the brain-fall-outs.

Besides [Warhol's] own shows he regularly made guest appearances on other programs, including "The Love Boat" wherein a Midwestern wife (Marion Ross) fears Andy Warhol will reveal to her husband (Tom Bosley, who starred alongside Ross in sitcom Happy Days) her secret past as a Warhol superstar named Marina del Rey.

Brrrrrrrrrrr.
posted by Skot at 10:58 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I may or may not actually get around to this (279 seems...daunting), but as long as "The Equalizer" and the '80s "Twilight Zone" are in there, I'm happy. Sheer awesomeness.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:59 AM on February 1, 2008


The indignity of it all must be awful.

I imagine the actors were just happy to be working in a chosen field in which it is difficult to find work. Becoming a superstar is not the only measure of success or pride in one's work; that seems more a tv-audience-conditioned judgment. A carpenter does not suffer indignity because he's building a whorehouse.
posted by troybob at 11:24 AM on February 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks to this, I now know the faint memory of a little person having wacky adventures was called The Wizard and wasn't a hallucination. Thanks MeFi :-)
posted by Mamapotomus at 11:34 AM on February 1, 2008


tkchrist writes "1987 Ohara with a decidedly smoother less edgy Katherine Keener!"

Really? Oh, man, I gotta check that out.

Maxine: Tell me a little about yourself.
Craig Schwartz: Well, I'm a puppeteer...
Maxine: Check!

posted by krinklyfig at 11:45 AM on February 1, 2008


That is pretty awesome that someone did all that work, and it is a fine post. At the same time, it actually makes me kind of happy I was annihilated on drugs and tequila from approx. 1980 to 1994 and missed most of those shows.

Me too. God I hate tv.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:17 PM on February 1, 2008


Metafilter: what might be right for you, may not be right for some.
posted by Flashman at 12:24 PM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just watched the opening for You Again?

Did Jack Klugman ever fuck John Stamos? If not on the show, what about off-camera?
posted by flarbuse at 12:31 PM on February 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ok, I was 7 in 1985, so maybe I'm too young to be able to understand. But you know how you can look at fashion from past decades and most of the time you think all right, I wouldn't wear that now, but I can see how it would have had a certain awesomeness at the time...but then I look at 80s hair, and WHAT. THE. FUCK. were they thinking?
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:42 PM on February 1, 2008


but then I look at 80s hair, and WHAT. THE. FUCK. were they thinking?

It was morning in America.
posted by psmealey at 12:49 PM on February 1, 2008


It was moussing in America.
posted by troybob at 12:52 PM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I mourn for America.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:58 PM on February 1, 2008


Seems from alot of these that in the 80s, framerates were much, much lower than they are today.
Around 1 or 2 every 5 seconds or so.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:29 PM on February 1, 2008


What gets me is less the hair than the shoulder pads. Whoa! I think in the Facts of Life intro, they're wearing pajamas with shoulder pads. That's just excessive.
posted by not that girl at 1:33 PM on February 1, 2008


This has potential to suck time and to reactivate long-unused memory-bank neurons. Favorited.

Oh boy - already spotted Sandy Duncan, Edie McClurg, and Jason Bateman in the same TV show.

These aren't all Mike Post theme songs, are they?
posted by not_on_display at 2:00 PM on February 1, 2008


These aren't all Mike Post theme songs, are they?

No, I was just riffing on the phrase "single-link YouTube post". Also, I should probably confess that I didn't literally count the number of shows. Most parts seemed to consist of 9 shows, and there were 31 parts. Could be 278, could be 280.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:08 PM on February 1, 2008


Wow. The Wizard. All I remember is that David Rappaport played drums when he couldn't figure out the solution to a problem. I thought midgets were awesome as a kid so a midget playing drums just about blew my mind.
posted by Hugonaut at 2:09 PM on February 1, 2008


Whats this thing that looks exactly like a flat panel monitor:

http://img172.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture3hz5.jpg
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:15 PM on February 1, 2008


I think it's a beige CRT with a privacy screen disappearing into the beige background.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:19 PM on February 1, 2008


Also can someone with the time and wherewithal (and possible addiction to methamphetamine) go through and catalogue just how many of these them songs are about "makin it"?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:19 PM on February 1, 2008


Ooh ooh! Do the 90s now!
posted by arcticwoman at 2:27 PM on February 1, 2008


FUN FACT: When a cop is transferred to another city, they stamp his file with a stamp the size of a shoebox
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:36 PM on February 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Diane from Cheers -- in case you ever read this thread... you were my one true love. Unless Olivia Newton John shows up. Then I would have to kick you to the curb.
posted by vronsky at 2:40 PM on February 1, 2008


Wow. What a "lip flap"-a-thon (people talking minus audio- like in Family Ties and L.A. Law).
posted by Jay Reimenschneider at 2:47 PM on February 1, 2008


I think the Hart to Hart credits will always be one of my favorites.
Because when they got together, it was moidah.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:03 PM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


vronsky writes "Diane from Cheers -- in case you ever read this thread... you were my one true love."

Yeah, used to be that way for me, too. Then, watching the reruns on Nick at Nite, I realized that the Diane character is a pretentious pseudo-intellectual. She's pretty and she sounds smart, but her fragile ego is too easily bruised, and she's too good for anyone who would want her (and she's not nearly as smart as she comes off). Sam, in contrast, comes out more mature and human by the time Diane left, though that was probably due to Shelly Long leaving the show and his character staying on. But, yeah, a part of me still remembers ...
posted by krinklyfig at 3:05 PM on February 1, 2008


What do you suppose happened to the legions of saxophone players primarily employed by the 80s tv theme industry?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:15 PM on February 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ok, I was 7 in 1985, so maybe I'm too young to be able to understand. But...

I was -3 in 1985, and I know exactly what you mean.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 4:07 PM on February 1, 2008


And how has there never been a MacGyver movie/remake?

They tried
posted by pupdog at 4:57 PM on February 1, 2008


as long as "The Equalizer" and the '80s "Twilight Zone" are in there, I'm happy.

I actually have every single episode of the 2nd Twilight Zone series. That was a damned fine show, and worthy successor to the original.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:43 PM on February 1, 2008


Can't seem to find Benson or The Greatest American Hero, but great tubes nonetheless!
posted by Brocktoon at 7:57 PM on February 1, 2008


Oh My God. I still remember all the lyrics to the "Gimmie A Break!" theme song! And Nell Carter's sassy little jump at the end!
posted by nevafeva at 4:36 AM on February 2, 2008


This FPP
IN STEREO
(where available)
posted by not_on_display at 11:24 PM on February 2, 2008


spock writes "1) People's attention spans obviously tolerated longer opening credits in 1986 than they do in this age of remote 'trigger-finger'."

Nah, it's not an issue of attention spans. It's a matter of advertising cutting into running time. For proof, go check out the opening credit times on channels without commercials (Showtime and HBO). The Sopranos, Dexter, and The Wire all have pretty long opening credits.

Dormant Gorilla writes "I look at 80s hair, and WHAT. THE. FUCK. were they thinking?"

You'll think the same thing in a few years about those emo haircuts I see when I go back to the US. I'm sure they seem really normal to everyone, because they're thick in the middle of it, but for someone outside the US, they seem like they're going to have a really bad aftertaste in a few decades.
posted by Bugbread at 4:05 PM on February 4, 2008


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