I didn’t even like Hart to Hart all that much (like most Aaron Spelling shows, it didn’t have enough humour, a big flaw in a concept that calls for lightness of touch), but Chuck‘s decision to do a Hart To Hart homage in an upcoming episode is still awesome.
It’s mildly ironic that in a time when theme songs are once again endangered — to the point that the Emmys are considering eliminating the award for best theme — shows can still get away with having a full-length parody main title. Chuck‘s fake Hart to Hart intro is not as long as the original, but it’s longer than the show’s actual intro.
One other thing about theme songs is that they’re sometimes changed after the pilot episode (sometimes the pilot’s theme is permanent, but sometimes it’s just a placeholder, and sometimes it’s tossed out and replaced). Hart to Hart is an example of that, because the pilot episode began with a light, Mancini-esque theme that attempted to convey the Thin Man quality of the concept. When it went to series, Aaron Spelling brought in his house composer, Mark Snow — best known now for the X-Files theme and his improvised lyrics, “The X-Files is a show/With music by Mark Snow” — to provide a pulsating action-adventure theme with a disco beat, to announce that this show wasn’t going to have any namby-pamby elegance to it.