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Everton 2-2 Tottenham: Player ratings to the theme of TV show opening titles

Everton FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Well, crap. Tottenham Hotspur didn’t exactly play great away at Everton on Saturday, but you’d have thought they did enough to get a nervy three points out of it. Instead. Everton played bully-ball throughout, successfully boxed out Guglielmo Vicario on set pieces, and scored a late header on a free kick as Spurs drew 2-2. It’s not a TERRIBLE result — Everton are a decent team well set up under Sean Dyche and would very likely be a top half team this season without the Premier League point deductions (and that’d be pretty good considering the past couple of seasons). And an away draw is not awful in a vacuum, either. But yeah, that definitely feels like two points dropped rather than one earned. Nothing to do but move on.

I had the idea for this theme a while back while rewatching the first season of True Detective in preparation for Season 4. That opening title has always captivated me, and it got me thinking what makes for a good (and bad!) opening title for a tv series. When you boil it down, for me it it comes down to whether when it comes on it has you reaching for the remote to skip it and get to the start of the episode.

This is a HUGE topic and naturally my selections aren’t going to represent your favorite (or least favorite) title, so consider these as conversation starters. Multiple shows could be listed in each category, and indeed I omitted a bunch of contenders for this article — good titles such as Severence, Westworld, Halt and Catch Fire, Cheers, and The Simpsons, and bad ones such as 7th Heaven, The Ropers, Two and a Half Men, and pretty much every 1980s sitcom other than Diff’rent Strokes and The Jeffersons. (Dis-?)Honorable mention goes to Seinfeld, which didn’t have an opening, just a slap bass them over Jerry doing bad comedy.

Anyway. Here are your Tottenham Hotpsur player ratings to the theme of TV show opening titles.

5 stars: Game of Thrones


The best show opening themes are the ones that meld interesting graphics with a banger of a theme, and Game of Thrones has both in spades. The bombastic waltz of the music is catchy and instantly recognizable and goes perfectly with the clockwork steampunk of the visuals. And they CHANGED depending on the locations of the action taking place in that episode. Nobody ever wanted to skip the opening credits because you wanted to see the gears rising for the Eyrie, or Dragonstone, or the Twins or whichever new castle you were visiting that week. This is an S-tier opening title. Many others are excellent, but none are better.

No Tottenham players were this good.

4.5 stars: Stranger Things


When you’re making a prestige TV show set in the ‘80s that is heavily influenced by the time period, it’s best to lean fully into the aesthetic. Stranger Things knocks this out of the park. I love everything about this opener, from the synth-heavy (and still ominous) music, to the glowing and simple titles, to the use of a vintage ‘80s font inspired from the pulp horror paperbacks of the era. It’s a masterpiece.

Micky van de Ven (Community — 4.5): Micky really impressed me on Saturday with not only his commitment to the high line but his recovery pace to race back and cut out several good chances when Everton went high and long. He even was pretty decent in the air!

Richarlison (Community — 4.5): I feel like Richy took a slight step back in his hold-up play, but he continues to be fantastic in the press and it’s hard to argue with two one-touch goals. He’s the most in-form striker in the league at the moment and I couldn’t be happier for him.

4 stars: True Detective (season one only)


This is the opening title that inspired the theme, so I have to include it. I adore this opening as it takes what is an interesting (if somewhat blasé) and heretofore unknown song and elevates it through some spectacular graphic design. Season 1 of True Detective heavily leans into the weirdness of the southern Louisiana people, religion, and the barrenness of the landscape and its petro-industrial dependency (and despondency). Seeing oil refineries, religious iconography, and deep south police imagery skewed and superimposed on, and sometimes replacing, the heads of the main characters is a striking imagery. Season 1 of True Detective was a deeply unsettling show and this opening captures that tone expertly, even if they may not have stuck the landing.

No players here, just filling out the categories.

3.5 stars: Cowboy Bebop


If a show’s cold opening theme is supposed to give you an idea of what to expect from a show, well, Cowboy Bebop more or less fails in that regard. Watch this and you’ll have no idea what’s going on or what to expect. But holy smokes, y’all, what an opener! A Japanese space-western anime with some of the most unhinged plotlines I’ve ever seen that basically drops you in the middle of the story with no life raft, and has a theme with frenetic big-band jazz? Buddy, I have no idea and I binged the entire series based on the theme alone (and still had no idea what was going on).

Destiny Udogie (Community — 3.5): After a horrific match against Brentford, I feel like Destiny bounced back well and put in a pretty solid performance. Got the early assist in what was a vintage Ange-Ball cutback goal for Richarlison and was involved in the buildup to Spurs’ second goal as well. I’m not sure he’s figured out quite how to play with Timo, that’ll come.

James Maddison (Community — 3.5): Again was the creative engine for the team, and again still doesn’t look quite up to speed. But it’s getting there. Got the assist for Richy’s second and forced a save from Pickford, all while getting fouled a ton.

Pape Sarr (Community — 3.0): Instantly shored up the midfield, at least for a while, in his first action since coming back from AFCON. It’s good to have him back.

3 stars: Friends


OK, look. You might hate the show. You might just not GET the show. You might have questions about the visuals (Why are they dancing in the fountain? Who’s house is that? Why’s the couch there? Can Joey and Chandler actually dance?). But a TV show opener is often carried by something as simple as a good song, and you have to admit, even reluctantly, that “I’ll Be There for You” is a BANGER. Some fun trivia: the Friends pilot was originally called “Friends Like Us” and the opening title used REM’s “Shiny Happy People.” I’m convinced if they used that, the show would’ve been canceled.

Guglielmo Vicario (Community — 2.5): I really have no idea what to do with Googly Elmo. While I agree a bit with the opinion that he wasn’t strong or commanding enough on Everton set pieces, I also think allowing opposing clubs targeting him like Everton (and City) did is horseshit and shouldn’t be allowed. Ultimately, while I think Vicario could’ve done better on Saturday, this is more of a systemic issue than an Elmo issue and Tottenham really need to dedicate someone (Cuti?) to protect him more. Three stars.

Pedro Porro (Community — 3.0): While he did test Pickford late, he didn’t establish himself as an outlet in the way that we often see him. He was fine but I’m not sure I’d say he was good.

Cuti Romero (Community — 3.0): IDK y’all, I’m not going to judge Cuti too harshly for that header on Everton’s last goal, but he did have a couple of dumb passes in the first half as well. Got better as the match went on... until, y’know.

2.5 stars: American Gods


If a good opening title is the combination of intriguing visuals with impressive music, American Gods got neither right. If you know the story, leaning into the Native American totemic imagery and combining it with modern technological flourishes makes sense. But the theme music is discordant and the visuals come across as more disturbing than memorable. It’s also overly long and doesn’t do enough to make you want to watch it more than once. It’s a skip for me, dawg.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 2.5): Once again, plenty of industry but some incredibly frustrating loose passing. I feel much more charitable towards Hojbjerg in this system when he’s a late substitute put in to shore up the midfield rather than an architect of the system.

Rodrigo Bentancur (Community — 2.5): Something still ain’t right with Lolo. It was notable that Spurs’ midfield looked instantly better as soon as Pape Sarr came on as his replacement (at least until the tactics shift). I am hoping that it’s injury related and not Lolo’s fit under Postecoglou’s tactics, but I haven’t ruled that out yet.

Ange Postecoglou (Community — 3.0): I was somewhat baffled by Ange’s choice of substitutes in this one, especially Gill and Skipp when shoring up the defense with Davies or Dragusin might have salvaged the three points. The tactical shift to the back three also didn’t look great. But on the other hand, it was about set pieces and... I dunno. This match blew.

2 stars: Gilmore Girls


If there was ever an opening title that did not at all reflect the general tenor of the show in which it was opening, it’s Gilmore Girls. Generic pulled-from-footage visuals combined with some of the most saccharine opening music in the history of TV. Gilmore Girls is a wonderful show, but its opening titles did it no favors whatsoever.

Brennan Johnson (Community — 2.5): Had one decent ball in that Timo fluffed but otherwise was mostly a passenger. Extremely frustrating to watch him out there.

Timo Werner (Community — 3.0): As dynamic and present as he was against Brentford, he was wasteful and absent against Everton. I don’t expect him to score, but I’d at least like him to be involved.

Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 2.5): Stupid, stupid, stupid foul. That’s all I’m going to say about Deki today.

1 star: Star Trek: Enterprise


Is there anything LESS Star Trek than opening a sci-fi television series set 200 years in the future with a schlocky pop power ballad sung by Rod Stewart (I honestly thought at first it wasn’t Rod Stewart but rather Rod Stewart’s American non-union equivalent) about “faith of the heart”? The title card didn’t even have the words Star Trek in it! A universally reviled opening title and for good damn reason. What’s Star Trek without a grand, sweeping musical theme and an opening monologue about space being the final frontier? Cancelled, that’s what.

Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating:


Oliver Skipp, Bryan Gil, Radu Dragusin

Erik Lamela Memorial Shithouse Award:


Because I stupidly neglected to nominate some players here after the Banter Bowl, I’m going to piss people off even more and give this award to Everton’s Jack Harrison. I hate it, but sticking his ass into Vicario on every corner kick got Everton a point on Saturday, and if he thought he could get away with it you KNOW Lamela would’ve been doing that every match. Game recognize game.