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What is the greatest adult cartoon of all time?

1

Futurama

Jan 09, 2015
Futurama

This show was engineered by Simpsons creator Matt Groening to allow for the creative control and free reign he was never able to have with his first series. The show centers around Frye, a young pizza delivery man who accidently gets cryogenically frozen on New Year’s Eve while out on delivery. He wakes up in 31st century New York, and this becomes the premise of the show. Frye works as an interstellar cargo deliveryman for a mad scientist who is actually his far-removed grandson, even though the frozen Frye is much younger than he is. He also makes best friends with Bender the evil robot, voiced by John DiMaggio, and falls in love with a one-eyed mutant woman. The show is canonical in that characters form relationships and things change, although most episodes follow the typical cartoon formula of a large conflict building to a resolution at the end of the episode. The show also tackles relevant political topics, parodying 21st century issues with 31ist century ones.

Creator: Matt Groening | Time on Air: March 28, 1999 – September 4, 2013 | Voice Stars: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, David Herman | Channels Aired: Fox (1999–2003), Comedy Central (2008–2013) | Run Time: 22 minutes

Premise: A goofy pizza delivery guy from the year 2000 is accidently frozen on New Years Even and wakes up in 31st century New York, where the story takes place. He works the same occupation in the future, running delivery of cargo to other planets. | Appeals To: sci-fi fans, general humor, political and social commentary

2

South Park

Jan 09, 2015
South Park

One of the longest running shows of all time, South Park has been on the air since 1997 and it is still going strong. The premise focuses on four young boys, Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny, who live in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado. They have to deal with the annoying nuances of everyday life, which always reflect the bigger picture with the world at large. The show is largely realistic, but often contains depictions of Satan, Jesus, and other mythical figures walking among the living, and has drawn some serious controversy for their treatment of U.S. politics and religious figures. The show is done in a collage-animation style, and most of the voicing is done by the creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The show started out completely non-canonical, with Kenny being killed each episode and then appearing in the show again the next week, but with the most recent season, they have actually started carrying on jokes and recurring themes.

Creator: Trey Parker, Matt Stone | Time on Air: August 13, 1997 – present | Voice Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman (1997–1999), Isaac Hayes (1997–2005), Eliza Schneider (1999–2003), Mona Marshall (2000–present), April Stewart (2004–present) | Channels Aired: Comedy Central | Run Time: 22 minutes

Premise: Four young boys growing up in the fictional town of South Park Colorado encounter ridiculous scenarios that mirror issues in the larger world in their everyday lives. | Appeals To: fans of social commentary and political humor, those who love standard cartoons like The Simpsons

3

Family Guy

Jan 09, 2015
Family Guy

Probably the best known of the adult animation world, Family Guy took TV audiences by storm in 1999 when it first aired. Rhode Island native Seth MacFarlane hit a serious nerve when he introduced this goofy New England family to the viewing world. Each character on the show is distinct and dynamic, from Peter, the father, who is fat and idiotic and his similar son Chris, to Stewie, the evil and demonic baby and Brian, the family dog, who is a failed writer and womanizer. However, despite the overwhelming initial success, the show has received some criticism. Many of the jokes rely on cut scenes where the characters imagine something that happened in the past, in which cases the humor does not relate to the present storyline. The events also don’t match up and the characters never develop. Macfarlane has created one other very successful show, American Dad, about a family in the F.B.I., and also a flop, The Cleveland Show which was a spinoff of Family Guy

Creator: Seth MacFarlane | Time on Air: Original run: January 31, 1999 – November 9, 2003 Second run: May 1, 2005 – present | Voice Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry, Patrick Warburton | Channels Aired: Fox, Adult Swim (episode 50), BBC Three (episode 147) | Run Time: 20–23 minutes

Premise: A family in a small Rhode Island town trying to get by and live a middle class lifestyle, but Peter, the dad, is especially dumb, Meg, the daughter is unpopular, Chris, the son, is not very bright either, and Stewie, the baby is diabolically evil. | Appeals To: parody and satire, dark humor, blue humor, plays to the same crowd as The Simpsons

4

The Venture Bros

Jan 09, 2015
The Venture Bros

This odd and extremely unique cartoon follows the life of Dr. Venture, a retired “boy adventurer” similar to Johnny Quest who is now a scientist living in a military bunker. He has two sons, Dean and Hank, who have actually died numerous times from horrible accidents, so they are really clones, and the family always has a bodyguard living with them. This show is extremely canonical and actually tells a pretty deep and layered story that has yet to be fully resolved, as the series is still ongoing. However, while this may be the case, it doesn’t skimp in the laughs department either. All of the characters are witty and goofy, and there are a ton of odd minor characters, like the cross-dressing Sargent version of Hunter S. Thompson, and Dr. Venture’s arch nemesis, a butterfly-themed supervillain called The Monarch and his partner, Dr. Girlfriend. This show does a great job telling a good story, getting more than a few laughs, and parodying old-school action/adventure shows while staying relevant with modern comedy.

Creator: Jackson Publick (Christopher McCulloch), Doc Hammer | Time on Air: Pilot: February 16, 2003, Official: August 7, 2004 – present | Voice Stars: James Urbaniak, Patrick Warburton, Michael Sinterniklaas, Christopher McCulloch, Doc Hammer, Steven Rattazzil, Dana Snyder | Channels Aired: Adult Swim | Run Time: 22-24 minutes

Premise: A retired boy adventured is now a major scientist living in a compound with his two sons and raising them as a single father, only they aren't his original sons, but clones, and they have to live with a bodyguard to keep them safe from international espionage and supervillains. | Appeals To: sci-fi fans, adventure and action fans, those who like a comedy that tells a good story

5

The Boondocks

Jan 09, 2015
The Boondocks

The Boondocks was adapted from a popular comic strip of the same name by creator Aaron McGruder, which explains the anime-inspired feel of the show. The plot focuses on an African-American grandfather, voiced by John Witherspoon, and his two grandsons, Riley and Huey. They are from the inner city in Washington, D.C. but finally got the money together to buy a place in the suburbs. Huey is very politically and socially conscious and all about black rights and solidarity, while Riley couldn’t care less and is focused on shallow, material gains and his gangster credibility. The results of this dynamic are as hilarious as they are politically charged, and the show has caught a lot of flack as well as a lot of respect. While it’s been censored and protested for having an episode where Martin Luther King says the n-word and for perpetuating stereotypes, it also received the NAACP image award. McGruder’s bottom line is to portray the struggles of African Americans with no sugar coating as to any problems he sees within his race, and the result is one of the few adult animations geared towards black people, as well as one of the funniest shows ever.

Creator: Aaron McGruder | Time on Air: November 6, 2005 – June 23, 2014 | Voice Stars: Regina King, John Witherspoon, Cedric Yarbrough, Gary Anthony Williams, Jill Talley, Gabby Soleil | Channels Aired: Adult Swim | Run Time: 22 minutes

Premise: An African American family living in the suburbs of Washington D.C. tries to come to terms with their opposing views. The grandfather has old-school values and questionable morals, young Huey Freeman is reasonable and an advocate for fair treatment and black rights, while Riley, his brother, tries to fit in with the gangster/thug stereotype, to the horror of Huey. | Appeals To: fans of political commentary, dark family humor, one of the few grown-up cartoons geared towards African Americans

6

Archer

Jan 09, 2015
Archer

This is one of the more recent animated shows to air; it didn’t officially go live until 2010. Archer is a young and attractive spy who loves to drink and womanize, even when it gets in the way of his high-profile secret agent job with ISIS where he works for his mother. The show focuses on character relationships and humor, but it also tells a bigger story about espionage and adventure, all the while parodying the ridiculousness of some aspects surrounding covert operations and homeland security. The humor is dry and a little mean, but H. John Benjamin, the beloved voice actor who also does Bob on Bob’s Burgers, drives every line home with his deadpan delivery.

Creator: Adam Reed | Time on Air: Pilot sneak peek: September 17, 2009, Official: January 14, 2010 – present | Voice Stars: H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Chris Parnell, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, George Coe, Adam Reed, Lucky Yates | Channels Aired: FX | Run Time: 19–21 minutes

Premise: A son and his mother are part of a spy organization that works behind the scenes to keep American safe, but Archer, the son, is an alcoholic and a womanizer, which gets in the way of his spy work | Appeals To: sci-fi fans, action and adventure fans

7

King of the Hill

Jan 09, 2015
King of the Hill

This beloved Mike Judge creation was so solid while it lasted, and many of us still can’t fully accept that it is gone. It sounds very similar to the other family-centered adult animations: patriarch Hank Hill struggles to sell propane and propane accessories and raise his son and support his wife in a small Texas town. But the very premise of the show is different in that Hill is not a bumbling idiot or a lush like Peter in Family Guy or Homer in The Simpsons – he’s a good old-fashioned American with values who is struggling to keep up with the changing times. You love and feel for the family as the show goes on, from Hank’s son Bobby’s love for the theater that the family struggles to accept, to Hill’s niece Luanne’s coming of age story. All the humor in the show is centered around love and understanding instead of the harsher black humor of more modern cartoons, and the action unfolds almost like an old Western or a soap opera.

Creator: Mike Judge, Greg Daniels | Time on Air: January 12, 1997 – May 6, 2010 | Voice Stars: Mike Judge, Kathy Najimy, Pamela Segall Adlon, Brittany Murphy, Johnny Hardwick, Stephen Root, Toby Huss | Channels Aired: Fox | Run Time: 21–23 minutes

Premise: A family in Texas learns to get along in a world with modern values that contrast with the simplicity of their patriarch, Hank Hill. He has to deal with his wife and niece being a bit more progressive and liberal and his son liking acting and food more than sports. He also has to try and appease his cranky old war general grandfather. | Appeals To: fans of the sitcom and darker family humor

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The Simpsons

Jan 09, 2015
The Simpsons

A show that almost needs no introduction, The Simpsons is the longest running animated series of all time, including children’s cartoons, and it is also one of the most beloved. None of these other shows would exist without the Simpsons, it’s true. This was the first show to make the humor based on a dysfunctional family with issues, and so many of the jokes have become so timeless that they don’t even need the context of television anymore. However, the show is in a bit of an odd place because creator Matt Groening has somewhat abandoned it, claiming he no longer has the creative control he wants and he’s not very involved with the show anymore, and many feel it has been on the air for too long and Fox won’t let it die because they are too keen on the profits it brings. Still, despite all this, the show has good ratings and still does well each season.

Creator: Matt Groening | Time on Air: December 17, 1989 – present | Voice Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer | Channels Aired: Fox | Run Time: 21–24 minutes

Premise: A nuclear family consisting of parents, a son and daughter, a baby, and a dog and cat live their day-to-day lives in a generic town called Springfield. The joke is that they are literally nuclear, since the father, Homer, works in a power plant. | Appeals To: cultural humor, political commentary, American humor

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Metalocalypse

Jan 09, 2015
Metalocalypse

This Adult Swim exclusive is based on the idea that a death metal band – instead of being underground and obscure – have managed to become the most popular media powerhouse in the whole world, and are the seventh largest economy, including developed nations. The ridiculousness of this is to parody how absurd celebrity has become, and how odd this would look if someone besides a blond pop star had this much power and influence. The show is absolutely hilarious, especially if you follow pop culture or are a metal fan and can get some of the more obscure jokes and jabs. There is also a dark subplot where an evil group is trying to take control of the world, and the fictional band from the show, Deathklock, have actually morphed into a real musical project that tours and puts out albums. The show relies on incredibly dark and gory humor mixed with almost slapstick comedy, and is definitely an acquired taste, but for those who can relate to the cultural elements portrayed, it was a long time coming.

Creator: Brendon Small, Tommy Blacha | Time on Air: August 6, 2006 – present | Voice Stars: Brendon Small, Tommy Blacha, Mark Hamill, Victor Brandt, Malcolm McDowell | Channels Aired: Adult Swim | Run Time: 11 minutes (2006–2008; 2012–present), 21 minutes (2009–2010)

Premise: A death metal band, instead of being underground and not very well-known, is one of the largest economies in the world and more successful than any pop star. There is also a backstory about an illuminati-like plot to take over the world. | Appeals To: metal fan inside-jokes, pop culture humor, political satire

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Jan 09, 2015
Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Aqua Teen is by far one of the strangest shows on TV, on any channel. A milkshake, an order of fries, and a wad of uncooked meat live in a house together in New Jersey, where they have a neighbor they ignore and get into fights over typical roommate issues. However, they are also superheroes who have powers and are sometimes called to fight evil aliens and other invaders. The show has gone by several names now, and the writing is very surreal; the show can take odd turns and veer off at strange moments, leaving the viewers asking what exactly happened. This show is pretty edgy and probably won’t appeal to everyone who likes Family Guy or South Park, but for those more open to odd humor, it can be a real treat.

Creator: Dave Willis, Matt Maiellaro | Time on Air: Episode 1 sneak peek: December 30, 2000, Official: September 9, 2001 – present | Voice Stars: Dana Snyder, Carey Means, Dave Willis, Matt Maiellaro, George Lowe, C. Martin Croker | Channels Aired: Adult Swim | Run Time: 11-12 minutes

Premise: A milkshake, an order of fries, and a wad of uncooked meat live together in a house in New Jersey. Beyond that, not much is clear and the plot changes often. It is never really certain if these characters are superheroes or if they just have delusions of grandeur, although they do interact with aliens and one of them has powers. | Appeals To: fans of the dark and surreal, those with an odd sense of humor


GOAT Staff Score - Adult Cartoon

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Overall Humor (20%)Story (20%)Social Commentary (20%)Animation Style (15%)Cast (15%)Cultural Appeal (10%)Raw ScoreGOAT Score
Futurama87877845750
South Park55995639650
Family Guy793831040645
The Venture Bros.2107101737615
The Boondocks1021052433585
Archer186210532530
King of the Hill46539330510
The Simpsons63466227460
Metalocalypse 91248125430
Aqua Teen Hunger Force34114922325

GOAT Verdict:

Greatest Adult Cartoon of All Time
The greatest adult cartoon show of all time, according to TheGOATSeries.com is Futurama. This cartoon has it all when it comes to story, laughs, and relatability to real life. The show is undoubtedly funny, pulling from Matt Groening’s seemingly endless storehouse of humorous situations, and striking a perfect balance between edgy/shocking and safe/fun. It’s also a really great science fiction story, pulling from some awesome tropes, containing some really deep episodes as well as goofy ones, and actually advancing the story as far as relationships between characters and overall achievements. On top of all that, it also provides relevant parody, managing to touch on several sci-fi and literature references each episode while also including political commentary. By far, this is the best and most effective animated series targeting an adult audience we’ve ever seen.

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What is the greatest television credits sequence of all time?

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Game of Thrones

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 53
Game of Thrones

Quite possibly the one sequence to spawn more imitations, spoofs and remakes than any other on our list is the Emmy award-winning opening to Game Of Thrones. Implementing a small-scale version of George RR Martin’s endlessly rich world, the camera adopts a bird’s eye view to showcase what’s in store for the viewer. It sweeps across the vast sun-dappled topography this Middle Age-esque fantasy inhabits, every majestic turn and pause accented by Ramin Djawadi’s beautiful score that’s impossible to stop humming. Perhaps the reason die-hard Thrones fans never miss the segment, is because it is riddled with clues pertaining to the next hour’s entertainment. The determination and breadth of challenge taken on by the team at Elastic, who crafted the journey through the seven kingdoms, meant every single episode’s titles varied. As the series of cogs and pulleys cause cities, towns and castles to rise and fall, who knows where the next stop on the map will be as the story focus shifts from one episode to the next.

Running Years: 2011-? | Credits Designer: Angus Wall | Soundtrack: Ramin Djawadi "Main Title" | Sequence Length: 1:40

Genre: Fantasy | Style: Table-top modeling, animation | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2011) | Youtube Views: 12,344,670

2

Dexter

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 46
Dexter

The sloppy push of a knife as it skewers a soggy fried egg. A dull razor scraping against a bristled cheek. Pink bacon slathers as it’s devoured by a hungry mouth. The stark visual montage of Dexter is chiefly why it remains memorable to audiences - but it’s the attention to crisp, clear sound design that amps up the morning routine of the Miami serial killer. Tight close-ups of Dexter preparing for the day evoke sickening sensations, as even the most pedestrian of activities - like pulling a sweater over his head - draws comparisons to the macabre nature of his ‘dark passenger.’ It’s a very cleverly composed sequence, with every step taunting the viewer even more due to the carnival-theme musical score. A jittery, happy-go-lucky ditty that only creates anxiety and fear. The colour palette of these credits might be bright, bold and striking - but the heart of the piece beats as black as night.

Running Years: 2006-2013 | Credits Designer: Eric Anderson | Soundtrack: Rolfe Kent "Dexter Main Title" | Sequence Length: 1:56

Genre: Drama | Style: Live-action | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2007), Nominated - Primtime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music (2007), Won - BMI Cable | Youtube Views: 4,062,828

3

The X-Files

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 53
The X-Files

Dare you quest into the realm of lurking terror that awaits every man? From the opening strains of Mark Snow’s theme, an eerie whistle of a tune now synonymous with the show, the matter of whether or not the truth is out there has never seemed more ambiguous. The 40-second title sequence encourages audiences to question the impossible through a simplistic bricolage of live-action footage and static imagery. A lurking shadowy figure hovers in a hallway, a screaming man’s face is distorted by an unknown force, grainy hand-held footage depicts a flying saucer hovering in the sky amidst flashes of barely-visible monstrous shapes. Partly to establish tone, and introduce us to the premise, it ultimately makes you wonder; if that elusive truth is “out there” - who would want to come face-to-face with its inextricable horror?

Running Years: 1993-2002 | Credits Designer: James Castle, Carol Johnsen, Bruce Bryant | Soundtrack: Mark Snow "Materia Primoris" | Sequence Length: 0:42

Genre: Sci-fi | Style: Still photography, live-action | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences (1994), Nominated - Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual | Youtube Views: 768, 467

4

True Detective

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 47
True Detective

A simmering struggle between images of light and dark, the seedy gothic underbelly of the Deep South is exposed to astonishing effect during the opening moments of True Detective. The implied ‘truth’ behind the show’s two leads is introduced via a montage of juxtaposed stills, depicting the industrial wastelands of Louisiana. Serving as a reflection of the characters’ complex personal issues, the sequence focuses on the fragmented nature of humanity and how people are defined by their environments. Double-exposure photography chillingly fuses together images to form new, terrifying icons of horror. Head shots of its two stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, devolve from what you’d expect from HBO. Signalling their strife in uniquely unsettling methods, there’s no finer example of a mood-setting TV opener than this.

Running Years: 2014-? | Credits Designer: Raoul Marks | Soundtrack: The Handsome Family "Far From Any Road" | Sequence Length: 1:37

Genre: Drama | Style: Still photography, live-action | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2014) | Youtube Views: 1,025,284

5

American Horror Story

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 51
American Horror Story

An anthology horror show that’s in a league of its own, American Horror Story’s opening credits are arguably the greatest in terms of atmospherics. The work of design house Prologue, chief designer Kyle Cooper cut his teeth on David Fincher’s Seven and has matured further into the darkest recesses of human nature. The disturbing imagery - broken dolls, fetuses floating in jars, corpses trapped beneath plastic wrap - roll out like a scene from a fractured mind unable to untangle this jumble of horrors. For each subsequent season the specific footage has been tweaked to include clues to the season’s narrative arc, but all remain twinned to one constantly pulsating terror - the soundtrack. A bloodcurdling disjointed jam, perfectly timed to the changing onscreen icons, there’s no chance you’ll doze off before the real fright begins.

Running Years: 2011-? | Credits Designer: Kyle Cooper | Soundtrack: Cesar Davila-Irizarry "American Horror Story" | Sequence Length: Still photography, live-action

Genre: Horror | Style: Still photography, live-action | Awards: Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2011, 2012), Won - BMI Cable Award For Music Composition (2012), Won - OFTA Television Awards for Best New Theme Song In A Series, Best New Titles Sequence (2012, 2013) | Youtube Views: 274,579

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The United States of Tara

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 55
The United States of Tara

Sometimes, a simple stream of head shots with captioned names serves a TV show that might not harbour the most unique premise. A wholly brilliant dramedy from the sprawling creative mind of Diablo Cody? It had to have the perfect title sequence. Part exposition device, part creative jamboree, the stop motion cut-out figures that introduce us to the world of split-personality Tara paint her three “alters” to utter perfection. Each pop-up lures us into a triptych of seemingly different worlds, each inhabited by their respective alter. Springing up out of nowhere, the seamless blend between the trio of larger-than-life personas hosted inside the regular mom are brought to life by award-winning designer Jamie Caliri. The most telling element - the cherry on top of the sundae - is Tim DeLaughter’s catchy theme song, a riff on Tara’s mission to take control of her fate.

Running Years: 2009-2011 | Credits Designer: Jamie Caliri | Soundtrack: Tim DeLaughter "Learn To Love The Ride" | Sequence Length: 1:05

Genre: Comedy drama | Style: Stop-motion animation | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2009) | Youtube Views: 811,232

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The Simpsons

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 44
The Simpsons

Fox’s premier family comedy is renowned for the attention to detail creator Matt Groening and co. cram into every single title sequence. As puffy cumulus clouds part to reveal the title breathlessly worded out in song - BAM! - the fast-paced race home for The Simpsons through the town of Springfield begins to Danny Elfman’s legendary orchestral theme. Now in its second update since the series began in 1989, the creators kept two of its defining gags in tact. When the camera peers in on Bart’s detention, his chalkboard punishment changes from week to week; ranging from amusing childish quips to cutting social commentary. However, ask anyone about The Simpsons title as the unanimous verdict on their brilliance will be in the mere mention of the couch. Moments before the episode starts proper, the family scramble into the living room to retire on the sofa - and each week are confronted by a new challenge preventing them from doing so. It’s really an impressive addition to the show - which has seen guest directors Guillermo Del Toro and graffiti artist Banksy brought on to helm sequences - proving that this is one classic comedy that’s still got what it takes.

Running Years: 1989-? | Credits Designer: Matt Groening | Soundtrack: Danny Elfman "The Simpsons Theme" | Sequence Length: 1:30

Genre: Comedy | Style: Animation | Awards: Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music (1990), Won - BMI TV Music Award (1996, 1998, 2003), Won - National Music Awards UK Favourite TV Theme (2002) | Youtube Views: 15 million+

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The Sopranos

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 42
The Sopranos

The gangster genre of 70s, 80s and 90s cinema brought the intimate lifestyles of wiseguys into the public consciousness. HBO took that notion a step further with The Sopranos. Delivering a black comedy drama via mob patriarch, Tony Soprano, the show capitalised on his continued struggle between his familial obligations and his life as the leader of David Chase, the show’s creator, forged a simple opening sequence that introduces us to Tony’s daily route from New York City back to his New Jersey homestead. It’s an engaging minute that sheds light on a routine activity that even mobsters undertake on a day-to-day basis. To top it off, Alabama 3’s sultry song accompaniment further showcases the inner turmoil of the show’s loveable antihero.

Running Years: 1999-2007 | Credits Designer: David Chase | Soundtrack: Alabama 3 "Woke Up This Morning" | Sequence Length: 1:37

Genre: Drama | Style: Live-action | Awards: None | Youtube Views: 160,431

9

Mad Men

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 53
Mad Men

The shortest entry on this list by far, Mad Men’s simple graphical sequence begins with the cut-out figure of a man entering his office. It harks back to the pioneering work of film credit designer Saul Bass, which is a clever touch as his finest achievements in this particular artform were at their best during the 50s and 60s - the very era Mad Men depicts. To the tune of RJD2’s string theme - again a nod to theme composer Bernard Hermann - the shady man plummets from the great height of a skyscraper. His descent is glorified as his tumbling body whizzes past gigantic advertisements. Moments before he splatters to his death, he is scooped up by an impossibly large woman’s foot. Thematically it addresses the show’s dark streak running throughout each season; everything might look peachy keen but even the suave Don Draper can fall from grace.

Running Years: 2007- | Credits Designer: Mark Gardner | Soundtrack: RJD2 “A Beautiful Mine” | Sequence Length: 0:36

Genre: Drama | Style: Animation | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2008) | Youtube Views: 1,497,964

10

The Outer Limits

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 54
The Outer Limits

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. As a series of waves oscillate across the screen, the monotone “control voice” narrated by Vic Perrin immediately confronts viewers with the possibility that they are subject to a shady government experiment. While this spooky anthology series draws inevitable comparisons to The Twilight Zone, its opening credits evoke a far more sinister work at play. Much like the hysteria derived from Orson Welles’ War Of The Worlds radio broadcast, the clever wraparound credits serve as a quasi-cautionary warning. At the time of release, breaking the fourth wall was not a common occurrence, making this one of the most chilling opening titles ever seen on the small screen.

Running Years: 1963-1965 | Credits Designer: Project Unlimited, Inc. | Soundtrack: Dominic Frontiere "Outer Limits Theme" | Sequence Length: 1:08

Genre: Sci-fi | Style: Animation | Awards: None | Youtube Views: 41,580


GOAT Staff Score - TV Credits Sequence

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Originality (25%)Visual Style (20%)Soundtrack (20%)Atmosphere (15%)Critical Reception (10%)Influence (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
United States Of Tara85625127510
The Outer Limits11261819265
The X-Files269981044665
American Horror Story743109740625
The Sopranos33734626420
True Detective47886538630
Dexter910547439695
Game Of Thrones10910710248855
The Simpsons62452928455
Mad Men58113321380

GOAT Verdict:

Games of Thrones The Greatest Television Credits Sequence of All Time
One of the most popular TV shows currently on the air, Game Of Thrones’ also lays claim to possessing the Greatest TV Credit Sequence Of All Time. Ranking far higher than every other entry on the shortlist by a landslide, it snags the title with ease. For such an intricately-woven storyline that continues to tangle itself with each passing season, the only way to present such a masterclass in television is via its breathtaking introduction. The sprawling map of the seven kingdoms rendered in painstaking 3D models demonstrates the vast universe the show’s beloved characters inhabit to stunning effect. A web of machinations – cogs, pulleys, levers – all sync together to orchestrate the rise and fall of empires; a truly informative introduction that incites genuine excitement for the episode to come. It’s no surprise that it won the Emmy for Outstanding Main Title – but it’s still a shock that Ramin Djawadi’s achingly-beautiful score went unnoticed.

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