Five Ways A TV Title Can Fail
Some titles are just too long or too awkward to say, or to write. A TV show title that needs needs an asterisk or an acronym is one that needs to go back to the drawing board. Some titles are trying too hard to be edgy by using curse words, and then censoring them anyway - like Sh*t My Dad Says, and some are so long that no one ever says the full name - like The Secret Life of the American Teenager . Some go the extra mile to combine the two. Donít Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 has both a censored curse word, rendering it nonsensical, and itís too long. (see also: Plot-binding Titles)
Some titles are short and curse-free, but just plain awkward. Suburgatory is one word but still manages to be a mouthful. The new Hawaii Five-0 replaced the ďOĒ with a zero, leaving us to wonder if itís Hawaii Five-Zero. The most recent entry into the short but awkward is Matthew Perryís Go On, which didnít take long to become Goon (or #GoOn) to many. My So Called Life was a little on the long side, but mainly just awkward.
Some are long and bad for other reasons too: Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place (long and dull), The New Adventures of Old Christine (long and hard to say) and Tim and Eric Awesome Show. Great Job! (long, nonsensical, and just plain awful). ABC has another offender on their hands with the upcoming How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) which is too long even as an acronym.
Bottom line: itís hard to get people talking about a show when they canít (or donít want to) say the name.
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