The Serpico Mixes: The TV Disc

In a joint collaboration with my weekday roommate and Bronx ally Skip Serpico, I’ll be discussing a mix CD a week. He makes them, I listen to them and provide my in the moment commentary. You, hopefully, read said commentary and maybe open up your musical horizons. You can come here every week for the Serpico Mixes. And you should also visit Skip’s site, Fission Spaghetti, for his musings on food and Saturday Night Live (and more!)

 We barely survived this one, folks.

We barely survived this one, folks.

Mix #32

Theme: TV Disc

Sesame Street Theme- Can’t seem to remember what version precedes the Season 39 episodes my daughter is watching now, but this makes me realize it isn’t this one. That makes me a touch sad.

Love the song, don’t remember the child voices being quite so grating though.

Underdog theme- Surprisingly epic. I get why people like it so much.

Rocky and Bullwinkle Theme- Fun but feels SOOO long. Wonder how much actually ran before the episodes start.

Spider-Man Theme- Truly iconic.

Fun fact: this is in the top 3 songs my daughter demands I sing to her.

Woody Woodpecker Theme- I like that the horn blasts are a sort of aural reflection of the titular character’s horrible, horrific laugh.

Fat Albert Theme- I don’t care for Bill Cosby threatening me with learning in the middle of this song. The theme is as fun as I remember though.

The Jetson’s Theme- It’s weird how certain things feel like the future to someone. For instance, the opening notes of the Jetson’s theme evoke a sense in me of “Oh yeah, music in the future would totally sound like this.” It’s especially odd because the rest of the theme is sort of big brassy jazz. Great, but very much of its time.

The Pink Panther theme- Is it just me or is the Pink Panther theme kind of…sexy? Also, love that concluding horn blast.

Johnny Quest Theme- I’m sure it works famously as a theme. As a piece of music, I could take or leave it.

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego theme- This is actually a lot better than I remember it being. I legitimately enjoyed revisiting it.

The Muppet Show Theme- A towering achievement of the genre.

Lost in Space Theme- This is so sci-fi-y of the 60’s. So their credit.

The Munsters Theme- It works. It doesn’t seem like it would fit with The Munsters, but it totally does.

Silver Spoons Theme- Do not like. Do not like at all.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme- Probably the only modern non-cartoon TV theme I know most if not all the lyrics to. That’s high praise indeed.

Lost in Space Theme- I like the first Lost in Space Theme better.

The Odd Couple Theme- This always felt like this felt like a theme to a different show. It felt too…dramatic.

Sanford and Son Theme- I never want to watch Sanford and Son because there’s no way it can live up to this theme.

Barney Miller Theme- First reaction: It’s got a good beat and your could totally dance to it. Was Barney Miller a really funky show?

Seconds later reaction: Oh, this just got incredibly cheesy.

Fish Theme- Actually, I think this sounds kind of musically similar to the current Sesame Street Theme orchestration.

Night Court Theme- So much sax. I think the moments where the big music sound alternates with that simple woodblock sound.

Alice Theme- Oof. The voice, the lyrics. Just…oof.

The Bob Newhart Show Theme- First reaction: Wow, a so not lowkey theme for a show headed by such a lowkey performer. Seems very weird.

Seconds later reaction: Oh wait, this seems more like it.

Final moments reaction: Wait, no, where did that come from?!

Arrested Development Theme- A perfect merger of theme and show tone.

 M*A*S*H* Theme- I’m tempted to say it seems a little too melancholy for what was ostensibly a funny show, but I actually think it nicely hints at the pain that was clearly always running through the background (and sometimes the foreground) of the whole series.

Taxi Theme- More people need to watch Taxi.

This is another theme that, like M*A*S*H*, fails to nail the comedic aspects, but does seem to understand the sadness of the show.

Police Story Theme- This is fine.

Barnaby Jones Theme- I like the triple time cymbal that is in the bed of the song. The rest of it makes little impression on me

Police Woman Theme- I’m starting to feel awash in sameness here.

Baretta’s Theme- Wow, this is wild. I’m not inclined to say it is good, but it is wild.

Hawaii Five-O- A classic that nonetheless never really seemed to evoke the time, place, or tone of the show to me.

Quincy, M.E. Theme- I like the transition between the more sinister opening to the brigher, lighter music. I don’t like the transition from there to a more romantic theme or all the music that follows that.

Rockford Files Theme- Given what I know about the show, this seems like a good fit for it.

Streets of San Francisco Theme- More sameness. So much sameness.

Magnum, P.I. Theme- So propulsive!

Law & Order Theme- A great theme because it is different, evokes the show, and worked with the credits.

Deadwood Theme- A good western theme. Unlike the rest of the show, it’s not very unique but it is a solid theme.

Breaking Bad Theme- Less a piece of music than a mood delivery system, it’s great as a theme. Not much listenability in the wild though.

The Wire Theme- Tom Waits is awesome. I always thought this was a little odd for The Wire, but it is a good enough song that I don’t mind that discord.

Have Gun Will Travel Theme- Adequate.

Branded Theme- Not familiar with Branded, this theme does not make me want to get familiar with it.

Mission Impossible Theme- So, so great.

Wonder Woman Theme- Sometimes ridiculously cheesy is the way to go. Case in point, the Wonder Woman theme.

The Incredible Hulk Theme- I love it and find it to be such an evocative piece of music. There’s a great sense of paranoia and danger laced through it.

The Fall Guy Theme- What…what is this show about? A stuntman? This is…well, it is something. I don’t dislike it but it’s a really odd choice for a theme. I assume the show has a sense of fun?

The Twilight Zone Theme- Damn near perfect.

The Carol Burnett Show Theme- Despite some odd flourishes, this is pretty unremarkable. Just not the same without her singing.

Masterpiece Theatre Theme- Another example of a great marriage of theme and show tone.

Mystery! Theme- Playful. I like it.

The Price is Right Theme- I always felt like it was a bit much. No one at home watching this middle of the day show wants a theme this bright and splashy. And what’s with the sort of sci-fi-y bridge?

Laugh-In Theme- I’m really having a hard time caring at this point, but, for the record, Laugh-In deserves better.

The People’s Court Theme- Great but always  has been too much theme for such a lousy, kind of morally terrible show.

Hullabaloo Theme- There’s a chance that theme is still going on right now. It is endless. It is in my brain. I think it might be driving me mad.

Happening ’68 Theme- I’m ok with it, but it does not do much for me.

Unsolved Mysteries Theme- Arguably the scariest part of the show. It did its job and more.

Breaking Bad Closing Credits- An even better fit to the show than the theme.