Ranking best to worst, only the shows I'm catching up on right now. I wouldn't know where to put Sex and the City.
  1. True Blood
    One of the best. No clips, no actors, no foreshadowing, no vampires. Instead, it argues this: the human condition is a contradiction, for our purposes set in the South. Ecstasy/agony, piety/profanity, love/hate, life/death. Life is ugly, beautiful, scary, sexy, short. Oh right. Then throw in a kick-ass jam with a creepy as fuck refrain - I want to do bad things to you - that, like everything else, could mean a fun time? Or a really really bad time.
  2. True Detective
    Empty fields, industrialization, strippers, religious icons, trees, fire. Devotion. Pain. Yes, we see glimpses of the actors but with these images projected on them (or inside them?). There is less of a coherent story than there is a feeling of regret, bad decisions. The song's lyrics and performance are the highlight. What is creosote? Mountain cats, rattlesnakes, cactus blooms. What is going on here?
  3. Treme
    There is one basic fact about Hurricane Katrina: real people lived and died there. Real people who sang and danced and buried their dead. Subtext: we forgot about them. But the sequence also makes it clear that the show is going to be about rebuilding and not just death. And great music. You cannot listen to the bass line and not want to move.
  4. Game of Thrones
    Boooooring. My guess is that the animation of building the lands was supposed to symbolize mechanization, machinations, risk. Instead, I see a Legos commercial. Overly dramatic period music. For a show about honor and intrigue, this makes me feel nothing.
  5. John From Cincinnati
    May I suggest? Unwatchable show. One of the best opening sequences in TV history.
    Suggested by @helytimes