Are you protective of your TV watching experience? If you’re like us, you may shut off all forms of communication or even send out a precautionary announcement, politely saying, “My show is on. Nobody expect to hear from me for the next hour or so.”
We don’t blame you if you don’t want to miss the introduction to the show, because every second matters.
We’ve pulled out 50 of the most stylish opening sequences, counting down to No. 1. These intros all combine striking visuals with music to create something truly memorable and iconic.
Looking at the intros on their own, all in one place, might make you rethink TV watching a little bit. The episode hasn’t even kicked off but so much has happened in such a short time, setting the tone for what’s to come:
50. Charlie’s Angels
The intro to the 1970s TV series shows off three glamorous women kicking butt and taking names. Charlie provides a voiceover introducing us to the three detectives (Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Jaclyn Smith) working for him at Charles Townsend Detective Agency.
49. Big Love
The creators of Big Love use ice skating in the opening credits to help portray a life of polygamy between Bill Henrickson (Bill Pullman) and his three wives (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin).
The TV show Nip/Tuck revolved around a plastic surgery office. Featuring creepy mannequins, the intro walks us through what it takes to get to “perfection.”
47. The Saint
Roger Moore starred in the 1960s TV series The Saint. An animated silhouette of Simon Templar (Moore) fights his way through the opening credits.
46. Fringe (2008)
The brief but impactful intro for J.J. Abrams‘ Fringe gives us a little bit of Science 101, peppering the screen with terminology and calculations.
45. Secret Diary of a Call Girl
The opening sequence for Secret Diary of a Call Girl deffo gets us in the mood (for the show, that is). We see Doctor Who‘s Billie Piper as Belle, getting ready for a night out on the town in London. The series kicked off in 2007 and ran for four seasons.
44. China Beach
China Beach is a wartime drama, but the intro, set to The Supremes‘s “Reflections,” has a high-energy, fast-paced rhythm, focusing on life beyond the trauma.
43. Bleak House
The 2006 TV adaptation of Charles Dickens‘ Bleak House is introduced to us with a very romantic feel. The camera pans from the bottom of the screen, moving up through images like a wax stamp, measuring scales, photos, flowers, and letters tied together.
We meet the wealthy Carringtons in the intro for the nighttime soap opera Dynasty, with a backdrop of mansions, polo matches and oil rigs (how they paid for the former). 1980s excess at its finest.
41. Nurse Jackie
We get to see Edie Falco as Nurse Jackie in the show’s intro, as well as some hints of her secret habits flying through the air. Nurse Jackie aired from 2009 through 2015.