The title of a new television show is usually the first thing a potential audience learns about said television show, and even the most open-minded viewers among us are occasionally guilty of allowing a poorly-thought-out or ridiculous-sounding name to affect our uninformed opinion.
Every once in a while, a series rises above its silly or misleading title and makes us regret having judged it prematurely. Take The CW's upcoming dramedy Jane the Virgin, for example—when the show was first announced, we rolled our eyes, but now it's one of our most anticipated new shows of the fall.
Below, I've listed a handful of shows whose unfortunate names obscured the magic within. Some went on to achieve greatness despite their terrible monikers, while others did not. Share your own examples in the comments!
One of the most obvious examples of a series being hindered by its title is FX's short-lived drama Terriers, which many people wrongfully assumed was about dogs. Spoiler alert: It was actually about two amateur private investigators and their personal lives, and it was one of the most compelling new series of 2010. We're still upset that it didn't live to see Season 2.
I think we can all agree that Buffy is a silly and misleading name for someone whose job is to slay vampires, demons, and forces of darkness. I mean, it was chosen precisely for that reason, but still, BUFFY? Come on.
While it's true that Krysten Ritter's titular B---- couldn't always be trusted (she was a con artist, after all), it's not like she was a malicious murderer or anything—she was just a fun-loving party girl who made a point of looking out for No. 1. Not only did Don't Trust the B----'s negative name suggest that maybe the show itself couldn't be trusted, it totally undersold the rest of the show's cast, which was largely delightful. Plus, it was too long and those hyphens were super annoying; even the pilot title of Apartment 23 or the original pitch title of Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 would've been an improvement.
Did this primetime soap feature money that was both dirty and sexy? Or was the title just a string of descriptive words for the opulent Darling clan? We still don't know, but the lame title didn't sell this fun and funny series as well as it could have.
Cougar Town was a terrible title even when it matched the show's premise, and it only got worse as the series progressed. While the Bill Lawrence sitcom definitely started out with "older women dating younger men" storylines, it soon evolved into a cohesive ensemble comedy focused on strong friendships and stable relationships. I mean, even the show itself made fun of its name.
I'm still bummed about Trophy Wife's cancellation, and while there are a handful of reasons as to why the very funny family comedy with a great cast failed at ABC, the show's off-putting name—which wasn't all that far off from Cougar Town's, tbh—certainly didn't help.
Which shows with dumb titles have pleasantly surprised you?
AIRED ON 5/20/2003
Season 7 : Episode 22