1. Mad Men – Arousal
It makes sense. The entire cast is so beautiful you actually can’t look directly at them in real life. They are collaboratively the solar eclipse of people. However, arousal can also apply to the alert state needed to view this show. It’s a world where lawnmowers attack and just when you think you’ve tapped into the essence of a character, they morph into a completely different person. And by “they” I mean Bobby Draper.
2. 30 Rock – Hysteria
The music is so good throughout this show. The incidental music is nearly another zany character. Yet, something about the bonkers jazz intro fills me with an excitable panic. It is not unlike the panic Jenna experiences on those Czechoslovakian organ-slimming pills or a non-fictional human experiences when she really has to pee.
3. Family Ties – Nostalgia
What’s that? I can barely hear this song over the deafening longing for my childhood.
4. Tailspin – Frenzy
This song is the closest I’ll ever get to ingesting a club drug.
5. Community – Bashful Optimism
This song, like the earlier seasons, lifts hopes only to dash them.
6. Dexter – Disconcerted
Such a jaunty theme set against the most visceral, sanguine breakfast of all time. Plus, this song reminds me it is time again to decide whether or not to root for a serial killer. But doughnuts!
7. L. Word – Sadness/Rage/Comprehensive Distress/Spirit Diarrhea
The people who wrote this are good people, they do good things, but this is not one of them. It’s the worst theme song I’ve ever heard. This song haunts my daymares. That’s right, it doesn’t even wait until nighttime!
8. Gummi Bears – Vague Patriotism
Somethings cannot be explained.
9. Teen Wolf – Nervous, but Excited
Watch a show for teenagers. Have the emotions of a teenager… on a first date… in the 1950s… in the movies.
10. West Wing – Wistful
I wish President Bartlett were the President. Well, really I wish Rizzo from Grease were the President. However, due to the sorry state of our nation–people BARELY care about musicals anymore–Stockard Channing is, sadly, not going to carry enough electoral votes. Not even if Toby and Sam wrote all the speeches, CJ were Vice President, and Olivia Pope ran her campaign. This theme song reminds me of the death of a dream: a Bartlett White House.
11. Dawson’s Creek – Contempt
This song is mildly irritating. It is like blond, boxy sweatered 1990s James Van Der Beek. It isn’t the worst Van Der Beek (See: How I Met Your Mother’s balding jerk Van Der Beek.) It also isn’t the best Van Der Beek (See: Present-day Van Der Beek, or that time he tells that guy he doesn’t want his life.)
12. Pretty Little Liars – Pleasurable Tension
Got a secret? I do, in fact. It’s that I watch this show. Fine it’s not a secret. It’s not even a guilty pleasure. It’s just a pleasure. Now that I’ve cleared the air, I can focus on what the gang will do when the police find ANOTHER, another body.