The 65th Emmys nearly are upon us , and we'd be an embarrassment to our DVD collections and "Breaking Bad" analyses if we didn't pay homage to the awards in some way.
So to celebrate, we've taken a look at the 12 nominated series in the Best Drama and Best Comedy categories and rated their theme songs from best to worst. That's right: these are the honours that truly matter (unless yours is the theme we liked the least – and in that case, we're only joking).
And the Emmy goes to…
1. Game of Thrones
The majesty! The triumph! The fact that this anthem could play before a tournament at Medieval Times Dinner & Theatre! Composter Ramin Djawadi more than succeeded at combining the drama of the series with the intensity of its characters and narrative, giving us the perfect theme song (or ringtone) for anyone with a penchant for dragons or <a href="http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/you-know-nothing-jon-snow" target="_blank">know-nothin' Jon Snow</a>.
2. Downton Abbey
You may not like period dramas, and that’s fine because we’re all allowed to be wrong. But despite your feelings about aristocracy and the Edwardian era, John Lunn's sweeping melody encompasses the series' romances, the mansion's grandeur, and the epic classicism in every episode. Now let's drink some tea and marry off members of our family.
3. Mad Men
We may have become immune to its effect since the series' 2007 debut, but RJD2's "A Beautiful Mine" still embodies the mystery and bleakness of Don Draper -- the silhouette we arguably see in the opening credits falling to his death. Far from the vintage setting and aesthetic, the theme offers a necessary coldness to a show draped in nostalgia.
4. Breaking Bad
In 18 seconds, composer Dave Porter encapsulates nearly every aspect of the (greatest) series (on earth): smoke, wind, the desert, minimalism, good old-fashioned American badassery -- everything. It may not be a melody you can sing along with, but "Breaking Bad" is hardly a series that follows anyone else's lead. (As proven by our PTSD following these last few episodes.)
With a vice-president like the consistently irritated Selina Meyer, a theme song that both pays homage to and mocks the greatness of the American government is necessary to convey the show's spirit. Fortunately, Rupert Gregson-Williams and Christopher Willis created a musical opening so in-step with the pomp and circumstance of congress, you can't help but feel the way Meyer does most of the time when listening.
"But 'Girls' doesn't have a theme song!" you may be shouting at your computer. It's going to be okay, relax: you’re right. And while creator Lena Dunham may have opted out of the traditional creative process, her choice to use a new song every week to sum up a specific episode is perfect. "Girls" is about inconsistency and change – shouldn't the opening reflect that, too?
Using Stories' rendition of "Brother Louie" is great for a few reasons: the name "Louie" is repeated constantly, it moves at the same pace at which Louie walks, and it's classic -- no muss, no fuss, it's just a good song. Louis C.K.'s comedy is quite similar: common sense issued via wonderful delivery. Something like the "Downton Abbey" theme just wouldn't fly.
8. 30 Rock
Composer Jeff Richmond's playful take on wife Tina Fey's series is a great follow-up to a well-written cold open, and somehow manages to reflect the quirkiness of nearly every character. (Yes, even Jack – paintings of horses in hand.) However, once I heard Jenna Maroney sing along for the first "30 Rock" live show, it just isn't the same without lyrics.
Sean Callery's "Homeland" theme completely reflects the series (Carrie's jazz obsession to her all-over-the-place-ness state of mind), but that doesn't make it an easy listen. Accurate, yes, but also grating. Listening, you can't help but feel like you're in a bad place yourself.
10. House of Cards
You get the same uneasy feeling listening to the "House of Cards" theme as you do watching Kevin Spacey address the camera, but frankly, that's not enough. A little too close to "Homeland's" theme (minus the Mandy Patinkin voiceover), this Jeff Beal-composed opening needs a kick to reflect just how terrifying Washington is.
11. Modern Family
It's short, and it's sweet, and it's to the point. It's like the TV show itself, which is fine enough. But here, it's about the competition: if your theme is as short as "Breaking Bad," we’re sorry but "Breaking Bad" wins.
12. The Big Bang Theory
There's nothing wrong with the Barenaked Ladies, but in a time when opening themes are getting shorter and more poignant, its old-school vibe also makes it feel dated. It's the only lyrical song in the bunch and while it may pay homage to TV tradition, the others simply prompt more emotional responses.