Sunday, June 28, 2009

Follow That Sound

Lately, the trend regarding opening titles has been to make them as short as possible. Gone are the days of ones lasting a minute-and-a-half. And rapidly going are the days of ones lasting thirty seconds. For example, both Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives once had excellent sequences—a satirical look of the representation of women in art, and a clever montage of love lives and professional lives intermingling. But both sequences have been replaced by mere title cards lasting five seconds, tops.

That's why I was so pleased to see that A&E bucked the trend starting with the second-season premiere of The Cleaner. This was a show that used to display a simple title card. But now, it has been granted a luxuriously long—and damn good-looking—title sequence, which you can view below (so long as YouTube doesn't yank the video). The imagery is stunning: oblique glances at Los Angeles locales captured in reflections from broken glass and drug paraphernalia, all culminating in a shot of William Banks approaching a soon-to-be interventionee's car. And now we can hear more than just a snatch of the theme song, Sharon Little's "Follow That Sound."

Maybe this upgrade was only possible because cable shows have more latitude than networks ones, but all producers should take note: quality shows deserve quality introductions.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What They Should and Should Not Have Done

As I was discussing the sorry fate of Jon and Kate Gosselin with my mom earlier tonight (before the inevitable happened), we agreed that they are to blame for their level of media exposure. Yes, the paparazzi are nuts, but they knew that. The job of the paparazzi is to find scoop, and Jon gave it to them, no matter what his intentions were. And Kate is just as culpable for airing her grievances to People, probably to try to rally sympathy while earning a pretty penny—but all she did was come off as passive-aggressive.

My mom and I talked about their overwhelming desire for all things material. Indeed, Jon recently professed that he only does the show for the goods and chattels that come with it. And to think that, at first, they claimed they were doing the show to pay for their children's futures. They must have already done so, because they then cashed in their hefty paychecks from TLC to buy a much larger house on a much larger piece of property. But my question is this: instead of using the excess money on real estate, why didn't they keep their perfectly fine middle-class existence and donate to a charity? Or perhaps create a new charity to support other parents financially affected by multiple births?

In any case, it is a depressing state of affairs, and I feel very sorry for the kids. And as for the parents, I do have a modicum of sympathy for them, despite their thoughtless behavior.