The term “prestige TV” represents a refinement of almost every aspect of a given show, from writing to performances. That also extends to title sequences, which have evolved considerably since the kind of cheesy joviality “Too Many Cooks” set out to lampoon. A new video from Wired explores this phenomenon, tracking the major themes and inspirations that helped create the modern TV title sequence.
The whole video is interesting, but it’s the dissection of the highly influential True Detective opening sequence that’s most revealing. Designed by Patrick Clair of production studio Elastic (who also created the memorable title sequences of Westworld and Halt and Catch Fire), the show’s lead-in was painstakingly created to help reflect nuances in the show’s characters, visual tone, and general themes.
Not to be ignored, however, was the title sequence of True Detective’s second season, which was just as good (even if the show itself, well, wasn’t).