Brighter Naming generally focuses on company and product names, and Jess Holden’s post on that site focused on the impact of peoples’ names. However, there’s another category where naming is crucial: creative works, such as books, movies, and TV shows.
If you don’t think naming is important here, ask yourself how much you’d shell out for a book or a movie called Mules in Horse Harness. (Hint: frankly, my dear, I don’t think you’d give a damn.)
1. The show’s star is named Russell Brand.
2. He works blue (X-rated).
3. Everybody remembers the TV commercials where the sponsors’ product (often a laundry detergent) always beat “Brand X”.
Or does everyone really remember the original Brand X commercials? Russell Brand is 37 (b. 1975), and I’m pretty sure he’s not aiming at an older demographic. When was the last time a genuine commercial featuring “Brand X” aired? Looks like “Brand X” has become a cultural meme, with a life of its own.
Wish the same could be said of the show, which could more accurately be titled A British ‘Comedian’ Marginally Less Grating Than Ricky Gervais. (At least that would properly set viewer expectations.) In the bigger picture, I write off the likes of Brand X as an inevitable cost of business for a cable network that is trying to be really experimental, and pushing the envelope. FX also brings us the informatively-named American Horror Story, which brings its viewers…an American Horror Story. Name freaks should also get a kick out of the eponymous Louie—not for the title of the show, but for the very odd name of its star, Louis C.K.
My actual favorite on FX is the animated Unsupervised—which turns out to be much more than the Beavis and Butthead knockoff you’d expect.
Does FX have a good show with a multi-layered title? Anger Management assumes the viewers are in on the joke about star Charlie Sheen’s off-screen antics. IMO, he’s back in top form, giving a weekly clinic on comic timing.
Now, what did I do with that remote?