You wouldn't name your kid Dorkapottamus Reginald Crotch-Burns III, would you? So why do TV networks insist on giving their shows, which are essentially their version of human babies, such poor titles? Now that the major networks (and The CW) have announced their new offerings for the fall 2012-2013 season, it's time to start judging the incoming freshman class. And it is not without its Dorkapottamuses and Rudy Bumsniffers.
Let's take a look at the worst offenders and throw elementary-school-style taunts at them, because nothing says more about show than its name.
The Mindy Project (Fox)
As far as I can tell, this comedy about an awkward gynecologist named Mindy has no "projects" involved whatsoever. But it does have a Mindy in it. The word "project" should only be used in the titles of makeover shows or names of '70s-inspired psychedelic bands. Instead, I'm waiting for Mindy Kaling to be some sort of bionic human unleashed by the government to clean up the streets. The worst part of this title that it used to be better: The show's original title, It's Messy, was way, way better—but prude-y Fox thought calling a show about a gynecologist It's Messy was gross.
Our alternate title suggestion: The Vagina Mindylogues; Lady Parts; Remember That Indian Girl From The Office? Well She's Got Her Own Show Now; Newer Girl
Guys With Kids (NBC)
Exec 1: "What's this show about?" Exec 2: "Guys with kids." Exec 1: "I love it! Here's $40 million."
Our alternate title suggestion: Breastfeeding Jokes; Daddios; The Hangover Baby Times Three; Motherf*ckers
The Carrie Diaries (The CW)
Dear The CW, please limit the number of Diaries shows on your schedule to one per season. This Sex and the City prequel is set in the '80s and follows a young Carrie Bradshaw. (You'll need to know that to understand some of the "jokes" the follow.)
Our alternate title suggestion: Sex and the Schoolyard; Jailbait-ies Dance Party; Another Goddamn CW Show About Horny Teens; Hairstyles Your Mom Used to Have
Friend Me (CBS)
Everyone knows this title is a play on social networking websites, specifically Facebook. And this comedy is about two guys who work for an internet company. But to show just how out-of-touch studio execs are with the real world, the company the main characters work for is Groupon, the online discount service that keeps white-water rafting companies in business. This is like calling a show about football Slam Dunk.
Our alternate title suggestions: Two-for-One Pedicures; Web 2.0 Tweet Tumblr Comment; Myspace Is Still Cool, Right?; LOL; Every Other Buddy Comedy But Set at a Website
How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest Of Your Life) (ABC)
Oh my god this title is so long it will take forever to type I mean there are 12 words in the title alone and even if you acronym it it becomes the unsightly HTLWYPFTROYL which looks more like some Internet speak for rolling on the floor having a seizure than a shortcut for a show about a woman who is recently divorced and moves in with her embarrassing parents and the worst part is they know it's really long because they tacked on another entire show title in the parentheses! Starring Sarah Chalke.
Our alternate title suggestion: Mom, Stop It!; I Just Want My Dad's Pants Back; Wait, Why Don't I Just Get My Own Place?; You've Already Invested Enough Time Reading the Title of the Show You May As Well Watch It!
The Mob Doctor (Fox)
Sometimes a title can be so to-the-point that it leaves nothing to the imagination. This drama is indeed about a doctor who works for the mob. Oh, Mob Doctor! M.D! Now I get it. (But I wish I hadn't.)
Our alternate title suggestions: Doc Mafia; The Italian Nose Job; Gooddoctas
Ben and Kate (Fox)
If you've named your show after your two main characters, you are the laziest person on the planet. Come on, this is the '10s! But believe it or not, Ben and Kate is actually an improvement over the show's original title, Ned Fox is My Manny.
Our alternate title suggestion: Something That Describes What This Show Is About; Bate (or Ken); Two Main Characters
Red Widow (ABC)
This is the second pilot of the season to use the word "Widow" in its title, the first being the even more horribly titled Widow Detective, which CBS passed on. The ABC drama is about a woman who takes over her assassinated husband's role in the mafia, so that explains the "Widow" part. But is she a communist? Does she honor the Lord of Light? Is she perpetually embarrassed? Red Widow was named Penoza right up until ABC ordered it to series, and while that doesn't make any sense either, at least it sounds like a pretty yummy pasta dish!
Our alternate title suggestion: Stromboli Mama; I Married a Mobster: The Show; Why Do I Always Fall For Bad Boys?; One Of These Days We'll Get a Show About an Ass-Kicking Woman Down Right!
Arrow (The CW)
What, was The Green Arrow too much description? What if Superman was just Man? Or Batman was just Man? Or Aquaman was just...
Our alternate title suggestion: Duh, The Green Arrow!
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom