We all know that a TV show is only as good as its cast. If we’re going to spend 30 or 60 minutes with these people every week, we need to bond. But there’s one special cast member that only a handful of shows have to deal with: the narrator. And I’m not talking about in-their-head, main character voice over. For a show with an unseen narrator, it’s like we the audience are being guided by an invisible force. The narrator is our friend, sometimes our co-conspirator. That voice has the power to shape the entire world of the show. Get that right and— well, you’re not guaranteed a hit, but you’ve at least got a leg up. Here’s a look at some of the best unsung favorites in the unseen field. Some are much, much more familiar than others.
Ron Howard, Arrested Development
Jim Dale, Pushing Daisies
Anthony Mendez Jane the Virgin
Bob Saget, How I Met Your Mother
Katey Sagal, A to Z
Which for the life of me I can not find an embeddable example of. Her voice is carefully coveted treasure. Listen here.
Who looks like this:
Kristen Bell, Gossip Girl
Brenda Strong, Desperate Housewives
Daniel Stern, The Wonder Years
So how important is voice-over? Well, just look what happens when it’s gone.