You know when you go to the bookstore (wait a minute; you people do still go to the bookstore, don’t you?) looking for a new read, there are titles that either grab you or they don’t? I guess that could be a whole other post — What Makes You Pick Up a New Book? — but for today, let’s take that concept and apply it to television shows. Will a series name in and of itself cause you to pass it by, or is that just me? Of course, if I’ve heard some favorite actor is in a series, or it’s been created by a particular writer or director, I might be convinced to give something a go, regardless of the title. But, say you’ve only heard that title and either it doesn’t grab you (nondescript, sounds like a reboot/tread, or something about it just plain irks you), would you skip that series entirely? I’d venture to guess the first two issues are more common deterrents, but would an annoying title like keep you away? More
importantly annoyingly, why am I bothering you with such nonsensical, inconsequential…nonsense? Kurt mothereffing Sutter, that’s why.
Sons of Anarchy was a good series title. For one thing, it’s got the word “anarchy” in it, and because I’ve got the rebel mentality of a 13-year-old, that pretty much guarantees I’m going to watch it. Yeah, anarchy! Put on your Docs and cue The Ramones; I am all the fuck in. “Sons of” just sounds good with the “Anarchy,” so for me that title worked. (I guess he could have called it Anarchy and I’d have been just as likely to show up.) Despite the indisputable fact that the majority of the third and sixth season’s sucked, I would check out most any series Sutter writes and runs from now on, but every time I see the name of his new series, it bugs me. So, that kicked off — and I’m kicking off with it — this list of poorly titled shows headed our way.
The Bastard Executioner
This is too Wordy McWorderson — it’s too self-important. Each word on its own would be just fine, and though perhaps The Bastard or The Executioner mightn’t have been enticing enough, neither are pretentious sounding titles. If the guy’s an executioner, that’s what’s interesting — who cares if he’s a bastard?
You, Me and the End of the World
Now that I’ve read what this show is about, I could be interested in it; since it’s on NBC, I know better than to bother. However, like Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, You, Me and the End of the World is too long. Unlike T: TSCC, YMatEotW isn’t even descriptive enough to tell us whether we are/could be interested in the series. Like me, you probably had no idea this is a British-American science fiction series starring Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer and Megan Mullally. They obviously know there’s a title problem, since the series has been previously titled Apocalypse, You, Me and the Apocalypse, and my personal favorite, Apocalypse Slough.
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
They’re kidding, right? Just call it, How Many of These Criminal Minds Things Can We Get You Idiots to Watch?
Better Late Than Never
No, it’s not. And this kicks off the sub-list of all the trite, cliché titles TV people seem to think are so — I don’t know — cute? Catchy? Truth Be Told, Of Kings and Prophets, The Real O’Neals, The Mysteries of Laura…those aren’t catchy, they’re fucking stupid. And no one will watch them. BTW, Better Late Than Never, in case you’re wondering, features 84-year-old (!!!) William Shatner backpacking around Asia with Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman and Henry Winkler, and checking shit off their bucket lists. Jesus; I might actually watch that. It’s based on the much-better-named Korean series, Grandpas Over Flowers. Admittedly, that makes my brain go funereal, so uh, I’ve got nothing on what this should actually be called other than possibly: Holy Shit! The Shatner Got Another Show!?
This is about as boring and lazy as it gets, and what it tells me is Tim Kring and Co. realized calling it Heroes Reboot wouldn’t really work, so they put in the least amount of brain power to change “Reboot” to “Reborn.” What it also tells me is they’re not interested, as much as I’m not interested. Heroes died because the show got boring and stupid. It’s dead, it should’ve stayed dead, and it sure as shit can’t be reborn.
Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris
If there’s one thing we can learn from the title of this show, it’s that it will not be the best time ever. I don’t mind NPH in small doses, and he and his family are freaking adorable. I don’t really know if he can bring back the variety show, but what I do know is he needs a new series title. Since I presume at some point he’ll be singing, and there’s no way Nathan Fillion won’t pop in at some other point, I’d go for Doctor Horrible and Captain Hammer Go Rogue (Trust me boys, “rogue” is totally a buzzword word, right now.)
Hot and Bothered
I think Eva Longoria’s idea for a comedy that takes place behind the scenes of a telenova will probably do okay, but the new (previously titled Telenovela) name is as base and uninspired as the old was merely descriptor. From reading about the series which is partially based on Longoria’s own experiences, I don’t think the target audience is a pubescent boy — but hey, I could be wrong.