Not to make every other post about TV theme songs and intros, but when the main title of “The Cleveland Show” was finally released, I couldn’t help thinking that the placeholder intro — the one that consisted of clips from the show — was much better than the final version, which was newly-animated. The clips went well with the theme song, particularly since it’s in a ’70s/’80s style, and the shows it’s paying tribute to would have used clips for the opening title. The newly-animated main title is kind of boring and on-the-nose (with the disco ball and rainbow patterns).
Having watched the pilot of “Cleveland,” my prediction for the show, which may be totally wrong (that’s why it’s dangerous to discuss a show based solely on the pilot), is that it looks like it will be better than “Family Guy,” worse than “American Dad,” less popular than either. It wants to be more of a story/character-oriented show than “Family Guy,” but it can’t let go of the overlong jokes and stupid cutaways. (Like a cutaway to baby Dolly Parton, who, apparently, had big boobs as a baby. Get it? Dolly Parton has big boobs!) It could get better, but the premise is such a conventional domestic-sitcom thing — they even refer to themselves as “The Black Brady Bunch” — that it may not have a chance to do what “American Dad” has managed to do, which is to tell silly stories that have a certain amount of coherence and integrity. It looks suspiciously like they’re might have to keep grafting bad comedy onto ’80s sitcom stories.
But like I said, it’s only a pilot and I could be wrong. And Fox probably needs a smaller-scale, more sitcom-ish cartoon to replace King of the Hill; indeed, the fact that it was conceived as a replacement for KotH may explain why the writers chose the southern setting and Dale Gribble-ish neighbour.