Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ascendancy of the literal

Have you ever seen the show 'Supernatural'? It's on ITV2 (tagline: "Scary just go sexy") and it's about these two brothers who go around the country and investigate...supernatural goings-on. Really, it's not half bad in a sub 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' kind of way, although to be honest there is less arse kicking.

I digress, slightly, but I got something in the office recently about a new show on the Sci-Fi Channel about a medium and it's called...'Medium'.

Or there is this show about these people who are lost on this desert island called...'Lost', not to mention '24' and 'Desperate Housewives'. You see where this is going right?

When did the naming of TV shows get so literal? It seems like another case of TV executives dumbing down. Have you seen 'Ultimate Force' (OK, I have, and really I have no excuse)?

I'm sure programme titles used to be a bit more varied, maybe not exactly describing what you're getting on the packet in one word or less.

TV shows used to be called things like 'Hill Street Blues', 'The Rockford Files', 'Maverick', 'Hart to Hart', 'Moonlighting' and 'Remington Steel', none of which actually give much away in the title.

I'm not saying that the new trend of literalism is producing terrible names, because it's difficult to argue against such generic words. I mean how can you knock the word lost? All my existential angst is tied up in that one and I guess what they really wanted to call it was 'Mysterious Island', if only there hadn't been half a dozen shows about that already.

Personally, I'm convinced that 'Return to Mysterious Island', had to be worth a punt. Gloss over the fact that no one is actually returning anywhere and just add it to the riddle.


At 9:48 AM, Anonymous The Wee Scotsman said...

Gordon a rose by any other name would smell as sweet! Clearly you've not actually watched 'Medium'; if you did you'd realise it's actually one of the best programmes on television at the moment. Crisp dialogue, a blurring of the boundaries between the conscious and the subconscious and a hot protagonist. What more could a boy want? What's more it's been running on BBC1 every Tuesday night for the last six months or so- hardly new. I believe it won a couple of Emmies last year.

Ignore the name focus on the content. It's not about branding it's about quality of content.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Gordon said...

I didn't realise that had been on BBC One. They never shouted about that one and now I see its on in the 11:15 to midnight, slot, which explains why it passed me by. Why do they do that to quality US drama?

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's certainly extremely irritating Gordon. We have to stay up late to watch it whilst sitting through crap like 'Ultimate Force' during Prime Time.

I recommend you check out Medium, even if you have to video it.

BTW-how crap is the new series of Lost??


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