So after eight seasons and boatloads of pleasant-if-mostly-forgettable memories, as of last night, the HBO bromantic comedy series Entourage has finally run its course. (Until the movie comes out, anyway). While we'll miss certain things about the show—namely that it always provided a half-hour's worth of entertainment on the most depressing night of the week without ever being totally shameful in its fluffiness—there's one thing about it that we are guaranteed to not miss. For the eight years it was on the air, Entourage's theme song, Jane's Addiction's "Superhero," was easily the most insufferable song to grace the credits of an otherwise-watchable TV program.
Many TV programs these days don't even have extended opening credit sequences (think the ten-seconds-tops title cards of Curb Your Enthusiasm or Breaking Bad), or if they do, they get creative with switching it up (think the theme-song artist shuffles of The Wire or Weeds). Entourage, however, was fairly old fashioned with it, going with a minute-long clip of the Jane's Addiction song over a relatively staid sequence of the series' four main characters driving down the Hollywood strip, with the show's primary actors' names appearing on signs and billboards that they pass by. That's not a bad thing in itself, as The Sopranos successfully used a similar theme structure for a full 90 seconds back in the day. But the song they used (A3's "Woke Up This Morning") was a whole lot better and more appropriate than the plain awful "Superhero."
"Superhero"—which isn't even available for viewing in its full studio version on YouTube, as if it was now the sole property of Entourage—is representative of just about every criticism often levied against the show. The appeal of the song is all sheen and no substance, keyed around its slickly distorted guitar hook, impossibly smooth production, and superfluous "Yeah, Yeah-ah!" yelps, all of which become impossibly grating by the end of the song's minute of screen time. It sounds exactly like the kind of song that a Hollywood suit would pick as something that hip young people would listen to, even if by the time of the mediocre 2003 album Strays (which "Superhero" is plucked from), not even a couple of '80s babies like E and Vince would have still been listening to Jane's Addiction. (Drama, maybe, but why would the other guys ever let him wrest control of the car stereo?)
Of course, the show does the song no favors by cutting up its verses and choruses in such a piecemeal fashion that it guarantees that the lyrics make no sense and bear absolutely zero relevance to anything that happens in the show. "My mind had been enabled / In a memory you overflow / Want to be your superhero / Even if I tumble fall / I'm OK / you know I need you desperately." If you can find any way to spin that nonsense as being about the characters or events of Entourage in any way, then congratulations on your successful career in public relations. It's not quite so bad in the full song—of which the Entourage credits take the last half of the first verse and two-thirds of the chorus—where the whole thing amounts to just a dippy psychedelic love song, but in the Entourage edit, the lyrics come off as even dumber and more annoying than they already are.
On some TV shows, when the opening credits roll around, it's a familiar and comforting experience, and in the best cases, it can even be integral to the show's identity. With Entourage, the credits are just a reason to be grateful for the invention of DV-R and the fast-forward button. As much as we'll miss the show's steadily above average presence on TV and in our lives, we'll be infinitely grateful for our Sunday nights to be forever free of Perry Farrell mewing "YEAH! OH...YEAH!" amidst the sound of car doors opening.