The great­est in­ven­tion of the 21st cen­tury

The Guardian Weekly - - Comment & Debate - Stu­art Her­itage

I’m in­creas­ingly of the per­sua­sion that Net­flix’s “skip in­tro” but­ton is the great­est in­ven­tion of the 21st cen­tury. It’s cer­tainly the most sat­is­fy­ing. You turn on Net­flix. You choose a show. Its in­ter­minable ti­tle se­quence lurches into ac­tion. A lit­tle rec­tan­gu­lar but­ton pops up in the bot­tom right of the screen. It says “skip in­tro”. You hit it. As if by magic, the ti­tle se­quence goes away and you’re slap-bang into the show it­self. It’s mirac­u­lous.

One down­side of Peak TV is that 95% of all ti­tle se­quences are ter­ri­ble. This is be­cause there are too many pres­tige dra­mas and they’re all try­ing to prove that they’re more pres­ti­gious than the oth­ers.

Pres­ti­gious open­ing ti­tles have be­come such a lazy trope that lesser shows are start­ing to mis­use them. The in­tro to Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery, for in­stance, is tow­er­ingly self-im­por­tant. It is drip­ping with ref­er­ences to the Renaissance up to and in­clud­ing Michelan­gelo’s fresco of The Cre­ation of Adam, set to the sort of am­bi­ent chim­ing they play in tall lifts to stop peo­ple freak­ing out.

Worse still, just when you think it’s done – be­cause the words “Star Trek Dis­cov­ery” pop up – it lum­bers on for 13 more ag­o­nis­ing sec­onds. This would be good if Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery was pres­ti­gious, but it isn’t.

In an ideal world, all ti­tle se­quences would be as short as the one for The Good Place, which is just a mo­men­tary white-on-green screen. A se­quence like that proves that the show is des­per­ate to tell you as much story as it can be­fore time runs out. But, un­til that hap­pens, at least we’ve got this mag­i­cal but­ton. Its un­known cre­ator should step for­ward im­me­di­ately, so we can all throw flow­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.