Five Ways A TV Title Can Fail
Just Plain Bad Titles
Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade and admit there’s just no other way to describe a TV show’s title except ‘Just Plain Bad.’ Of course, you could easily cull titles from our other categories to find more than a few that fit the Just Plain Bad bill but there’s no point in kicking the dead horses and rehashing any names for being misleading, bland, pun-filled and/or a mouthful. Except maybe Cougar Town, that one bears repeating. On top of Bill Lawrence’s terrible title, which even he ‘proudly’ acknowledges is one of the worst ever, one of the other recent series’ monikers to instantly spring to mind was ABC’s GCB aka Good Christian Bitches (or Good Christian Belles). An odd, even absurd, mix of edginess and faith, it should be no surprise that the comedy based on a book of the same name failed to survive its first season despite a talented cast.
Some series are so desperate to capitalize on the success of others that they attempt to not only recreate the show but also make sure that the title captures the same audience as its model. Case in point, Pretty Little Liars which, instead of finding the same catchy, alliterative ring of Gossip Girl, just sounds stupid. Other titles are just plain nonsense, with Dirty Sexy Money, Cop Rock and Shasta McNasty. You remember the last one, right? Sounds like a really cheap strip-club. Gross. Many of the worst offenders come from shows that want to capture the zeitgeist by adopting a certain phrase for the name but executives/creatives must be forgetting that sayings once in fashion or amusing- Baby Daddy, All That, It’s Like, You Know and Work It - can quickly become neither. So what’s in a name? Well, Shakespeare, when it comes to TV audiences, a lot. How many truly terrible titles persevere?
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