The Peacemaker Opening Credits Are a Masterpiece

Though a spinoff of The Suicide Squad, HBO Max’s Peacemaker immediately establishes its TV bona fides with a preposterously catchy opening credits sequence.

Judomaster (Nhut Le) in Peacemaker
Photo: HBO Max

Peacemaker, the HBO Max series spun off from James Gunn’s DC film The Suicide Squad, asks one very important question right from the top.

“Do ya really wanna, do ya really wanna taste it?”

Well…do ya?!?!? Following a funny cold open that picks up right after the events of The Suicide Squad and finds John Cena’s titular antihero convalescing in and then absconding from a hospital, Peacemaker launches into one of the most unabashedly fun opening credits sequences on television in years.

The credits take place in what appears to be an abandoned ‘90s mall photo studio – a sparse set featuring only neon laser coloring. As the notes of Norwegian glam metal band Wig Wam’s song “Do You Wanna Taste It” blare, Peacemaker and the rest of the show’s characters perform a simply choreographed group dance number, all with blank expressions on their faces. 

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Peacemaker, the show, is good … maybe great. But its opening credits sequence? A masterpiece. One could be forgiven for impatiently waiting to get to the song and dance number after each episode of Peacemaker begins, the first three of which premiered Thursday, Jan. 13 on HBO Max. The secret to the credits’ success comes down to a very simple pop culture premise: folks just love singin’ and dancin’…particularly in situations that wouldn’t normally call for it.

 A catchy song certainly doesn’t hurt either. “Do You Wanna Taste It” is in keeping with Peacemaker’s ‘80s hair metal aesthetic, though the song doesn’t come from the ‘80s. When speaking with critics about the show during last summer’s Television Critics Association press tour, Gunn revealed that a lot of the show’s songs come from more modern times

“It’s a lot of eighties hair metal but it’s also a lot of modern like sleaze rock and hair metal that comes out of Europe and a lot of really great bands that people don’t know about,” Gunn said. “I love that stuff, but there’s also a lot of really bad hair metal, so it was fun finding the really good stuff to inject the series with its flavor, which we keep throughout the whole first season.”

Wig Wam’s song certainly falls under the “good stuff” category that Gunn was referring to. Wig Wam hails from Halden, Norway and was founded by its four members in 2001. They are considered one of Norway’s most popular live acts (with a group of fans known as Wig Wamaniancs) and even represented the country in the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. “Do You Wanna Taste It” is from the group’s 2010 album Non Stop Rock’n Roll. The band released a video for the song as well and its YouTube upload comment section is currently inundated with commenters revealing they discovered it via a Peacemaker teaser, which also featured the tune. 

“Do You Wanna Taste It” is just one half of Peacemaker’s opening credits’ unpretentious brilliance, however. The other half belongs to the group of actors who trusted that the least cool sounding thing ever on paper would somehow translate to pure joy onscreen. As choreographed by Charissa-Lee Barton, the actors’ expressionless dance moves in essentially a laser tag arena perfectly complement the absurdity on display.

“I remember there was a moment where (James Gunn) was like, ‘Danielle, stop moving your face so much,’ because I was doing the most,” actress Danielle Brooks told critics. 

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Though Peacemaker still has five episodes to go in its first season, it’s already established itself as a rarity on streaming television as a series that goes the extra mile for its opening credits. And according to its star, there is still more dancing to come. 

“I’ve learned two things about James Gunn through our relationship,” Cena told critics. “One: he’s obsessed with my tighty-whities. And, two: he always wants to make me dance.”

New episodes of Peacemaker premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.