Some theme songs required that you knew a tiny bit about the plot, so you could figure out why Chico shouldn’t get discouraged, or just how Wonder Woman got in her satin tights, fighting for our rights. Others were so subtle that they actually charted – “Kotter’s” bouncy “Welcome Back” could have been about any dreamer returning home, and “Greatest American Hero’s” peppy “Believe It Or Not” resonated with anyone who couldn’t believe their luck. (“It should’ve been somebody elllllllllse!”) And some shows appeared to have written a theme song, then said “aw, to hell with it” and had an actor speak it instead. (“Now they work for me. My name is Charlie.”)
My favorite has to be the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" theme. I love the whole sequence, shot in Minneapolis, so everything looks familiar to me. I once interviewed one of the kids who crossed the street with Mare and the school patrol. Apparently they were just filming and ran across this group of kids walking home and told them to cross the street with Mary, and that was it. Celluloid fame forever.
What's your favorite TV theme song?