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The Wild, Wild West

September 2, 2006

Many TV shows have had great theme songs, and a few have featured great opening credit visuals, but no show in TV history had a better “theme song/opening credits” combo than the 1960’s Wild Wild West.  The credits unfolded like a cartoon, with each panel revealing a facet of the hero’s badass personality.  Hidden gun up his sleeve, quick on the draw, good with the ladies, etc. 

One thing I was interested to see: in one version of the credits, a woman makes out with the hero only as a ruse, so she can stab him to death while he’s distracted by her charms.  West figures this out and throws a right cross that knocks her cold.  In another version, every other detail of the credits is the same, down to the part with the female assassin, but this time she stops, during the makeout, and decides NOT to kill West.  Apparently his makeout skillz are so elite that she can’t bring herself to kill him. 

I knew of both versions as a kid, when I watched reruns of the show in syndication, but I always just figured the “non-violent” version came after the initial version, probably because advocates against violence towards women had complained.  Turns out I was wrong.  In the first season, the assassin decides of her own free will not to attack, but in all later seasons, West clocks her

By the way, if you’re a TV Show credits dork, this playlist is for you.

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