So you’re watching a television show or a movie and you see an actor whose name escapes you.
In the old days, you could always catch the name in the credits. These days, you’ll need eagle-eye vision and a magnifying glass. Probably a DVR, too. And a little luck.
That’s because the credits — if they exist at all these days — are usually retyped in a nearly-microscoping typeface and shoved to the side for a stream of promos. Or they’re sped up so fast that you’ll never have a chance to read them.
The other night, I noticed, while watching a rerun of The Andy Griffith Show on TV Land, that during the last scene of the show, that episode’s credits appeared on the lower third of the picture. All of a sudden, when that scene faded to black, the opening titles to the next episode began immediately.
There’s something to be said about going seamlessly right into another show without having to sit through another commercial break.
But I still miss credits. And the theme songs that used to accompany them.
Sometimes, the themes are much better than the series ever was. The theme to The Andy Griffith Show, which wasn’t better than the show, is one of those tunes that almost everyone immediately recognizes.
Then there are themes like Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, St. Elsewhere, and M*A*S*H that take you back to they heyday of prime time television when you could always find something worth watching despite having only a fraction of the stations we all now have to choose from.
You don’t hear these themes much anymore. Unless you go to iTunes and buy them.
And even then, you might still miss the name of the actor who played the little fat mayor.