Summary of “In the age of streaming TV, who needs title sequences?”

Until Tony Soprano took viewers on a strange journey over the New Jersey Turnpike for the very first time in 1999, television title sequences were mostly straightforward affairs.
Title sequences can feel like a vestigial nuisance for viewers who are four episodes into a season-long binge At the same time, the way we consume TV shows has also changed dramatically.
Something like the recent title sequence for Stranger Things, which paid homage to the opening sequences of Altered States and The Dead Zone, would have been created digitally and then “Filmed out,” or transferred to film which was processed to gauge the final effect.
Patrick Clair, who works with Elastic, is arguably the modern master of television title sequences.
Clair’s latest title for American Gods opens with a jittery blitz of visuals that reminded me, the first time I watched it, of a mashup between Coney Island, a Jewish synagogue, and the Berlin nightclub Berghain, filmed and edited by a tech-savvy millennial with ADHD. A medusa with fiber-optic hair, a Buddha confettied with pills, a crucified astronaut – the sequence says a hundred things simultaneously, mainlining themes and world views directly into your brain.
Clair, for one, is skeptical of this: “At the end of the day, the title sequence doesn’t mean much without the very dense and complex drama that follows.” And the trend for increasingly extravagant openers is beginning to raise eyebrows in some other corners of the industry, too.
Will Perkins, an editor at Art of the Title, says, “It’s become a sort of title sequence arms race. If every show on television has a flashy title sequence, what can they do to set themselves apart? They’re going to have to keep one-upping each other with these increasingly elaborate opening credits just to compete at that level. I think that might, at some point, encourage viewers to hit the ‘skip credits’ button.” Actually, a few shows are already skipping the credits automatically: most recently The Handmaid’s Tale, which used nothing but a brief title card flash.
In 2016, the producers behind American Horror Story decided to drop the show’s famously evocative opener for AHS: Roanoke, perhaps because a slickly produced title sequence conflicted with the season’s documentary aesthetic of found footage, reenactments, and “Real” interviews.

The orginal article.