The Art of TV Opening Titles


Is it me or have TV opening sequences become an art form in themselves?

Sure enough TV theme tunes are recognised as hugely influential and I bet we can all sing along to many with just a couple of notes introduction, but the visuals were seldom as important.

It seems to me that the first of this new wave of amazing programme openings was the little seen but remarkably brilliant ‘Carnival’.

Carnivale

These titles are excellent for giving the viewer the sense of the period (the Great Depression) and what is happening in the world and closer to home. It also features the Tarot cards which give a sense of the supernatural that featured in the show. A beautiful example of the effort HBO put into this show. Damn them for cancelling it….I need to know what Sofie was gonna do next!

Mad Men

Another great one for capturing period and for giving a hint to the idea that the series will be capturing (in exquisite and excruciating detail) one man’s descent both literally and existentially.

The Borgias

Art, religion, seduction and lots of blood…it’s all here ….what more could you ask for?

Six Feet Under

Another earl(ish) example of this new artform. Many have imitated its style.

Dexter

Blackly witty which perfectly serves this darkly witty show. A serial killer of serial killers who is also a blood spatter expert, what’s not to like? And the theme tune is playfully undercutting the imagery which clues us in to the tone of the programme brilliantly.

True Blood

A favourite in this bloggers’ house as you could probably tell from the number of times I have posted about this show. Can’t help but singalong …’I wanna do bad things to you’. The titles encapsulate the hot, sticky, sweaty locale. Decay and death is everywhere. Religious fervour is highlighted and I always smile at the roadside signage ‘God Hates Fangs!’

Nurse Jackie

Another one with great photography and tells us all about our main character as well as the tone of the show. Nice one!

Bored To Death

Not mad about this show, but really wanted to like it because of the title sequence. Maybe I should give it another shot!

Game of Thrones

So far in my quest I think this is the standout opening sequence yet. The makers have obviously understood that a saga of this magnitude is gonna lead to a lot of head scratching if they didn’t give us the equivalent of the maps and family trees you find in the books of this type. Therefore every week we get a reminder of the geography of the many locations in the story as well as the comparable size of the various kingdoms and their relative distances from each other. That, and some beautiful animation. Super cool!

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Toilet humour


Many years ago,and I do mean many years ago, I worked in Soho, London and would meet up with a friend in a pub round the corner. It was the same pub used by a group of comedians that were, at the time, making a sketch show called Naked Video.

A typical sketch from one of the funnier members of the cast John Sparkes

His other great character is Shadwell the Welsh poet –

 

Game of Thrones


The Boyf and I have  just finished watching the excellent ‘Game of Thrones’

At first I didn’t think I would be able to get into it as it so many characters, names and locations – not to mention speeches like this….

“In the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, by the word of Eddard of the House of Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, I do sentence you to die”

Phew! Thank goodness they had the excellent Sean Bean as Eddard and that he can make guff like this sound cool.

Mind you, all the best lines are given to the incomparable Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister –

Not an enormous amount of eye candy for the Boyf and I sadly except, perhaps, for

Jaime Lannister. However, since he seems to be getting it off with his sister, he is a little offputting.

But he is sure pretty!

Not sure who the Boyf fancies in it but here are some choices –

But I suspect it is Drogo –

Khal Drogo Game of Thrones

The strong silent type – just like me really!

Now that the first season is over and it will probably be the best part of a year before the next, I am gonna have to give in and read the books!

American Gods


On holidays recently, sunning our bits by the pool, and whilst the Boyf was steaming through the Sookie Stackhouse / “True Blood” novels, I read Neil Gaiman’s ” American Gods”.

A fantastic book that explores the idea that if God/Gods exist and if, therefore, all the immigrants that make up America brought their ‘real’ gods with them wouldn’t there be a fight for top dog? (did you see what I did there? LOL)

Well I am delighted to say that it has been picked up by Hollywood and is to be made into a movie/TV series! All I ask is that they don’t fuck it up!!!

BTW, Neil has also written an episode for the new Doctor Who season called the Doctor’s Wife!

It was ‘fantastic’  and in this humble geek’s opinion, one of the best episodes of this half-season! Roll on the second half-season!

 

Dr Who on the front cover of Gay Times…..oh yeah!

How cool are TV themes?


Though I don’t want to make this blog a complete nostalgia fest, I do want to give readers of a certain age that frisson that comes from older TV and movies.

So here for goosebumps everywhere is the opening titles of Gerry Anderson’s ‘UFO’

And just to say, I had the SHADO vehicles as toys but the number of times I lost the missles from the interceptors and the mobiles down the back of the sofa…unconceivable!

This is how one should dress in space!

 

 

And apparently, this too is being remade. If I could ask the producers one thing, it would be….please make it cool, 1960’s, cool cars, cool clothes and make Straker super cool! Thank you! And let me do a cameo jumping into the space tubes pretty please –

 

 

Sexy Spacemen!


The title of this post says it all but I want to take a moment to reflect that

in space… no one can hear you whack one out!
 
 
Oh Gil, to a young gay geek you were GOD!
 
 
Though I suspected you had to wear a corset under there!
 
The original Buck! I so woulda
 
 
Flash I love you but we only have 14 hours to save the Earth!
 
 
The original Flash! Buster Crabbe really cornered the market in the early days.
 
 
Prince Barin – pretending to like girls.
 
 
Tell me you wouldn’t, even with that moustache!
 
 
He’s pretty hot still!
 
 
Zardoz, one of the dullest movies in history – but it does have Sean Connery in a nappy!
 
 
Ok technically, these guys are underwater (in string vests) but there are spacemen too in Gerry Anderson’s U.F.O.
 
 
Mal, lovely Mal, why was Firefly canned?!?!!??!?!
 
 
Do Vulcan’s have big willies?
 
 
Star Trek sandwich – yes please!
 
 
Yes and even the baddie, especially when it’s Eric Bana.
 
 
 
Starman with Jeff Bridges. I remember watching ‘Starman’ in a gay sauna in Madrid – how nerdy is that?
 
 
You may think this choice is a little odd but oh boy look at him now –
 
 
Tom Hardy = WOOF!
 
 
John Crichton, you can point your weapon at me anytime you want.
 
 
or you could just smoulder at me!
 
 
 
Apollo, you are awesome. One of the many reasons to watch Battlestar Galactica…..
 
 
Thank God for slo-mo on the DVD.
 
 
Another one for BSG fans – ‘you had me at Helo’
 
 
Helo in uniform (though I tried to find one without uniform).
 
So, who have I missed?
Who are your favourite sexy spacemen?
Comment and I will add them to the list.
 
 
 
 

There’s more to photography than sexy men – allegedly!


Another of my interests, apart from movies and naked men, is contemporary art photography so every now and then I would like to post a few images of some of my favourite snappers.

Today I want to highlight some of the work of Gregory Crewdson who makes startling, disturbing, elaborately staged and vaguely sinister images.

His ability at capturing human beings lost in their interior worlds made him the perfect candidate to make the promotional photographs for ‘Six Feet Under’
 
 
Which just happens to be one of our favourite TV shows!
What amazes me, however, is that these amazing images require lighting crews, set designers, props men and assorted helpers. Crewdson doesn’t even press the shutter on the camera!!
If this is contemporary art photography, and many galleries would absolutely say it is, can it really be called a work by Gregory Crewdson? Or is it, in fact, the workshop of Gregory Crewdson as it would have been in the early Renaissance? You decide – and post your views!