Thursday, September 8, 2011

New TV Words And Terms I Have Coined

I've decided to compile a list of new TV words and terms I have coined.  Some of them may be good, some of them may not.  However, as I think of a new one, I will add it to the list.  Anyone can use these at any time.  It would be great to get them into the TV vernacular.

Condeluded-When the plot of a TV show becomes so convoluted with its desire to take the viewer away from whodunit, it becomes condeluded. This was found in many plots in the Law & Order franchise.

Bore-A promo before a TV episode, that is about what's coming up, is called a tease.  Any time a TV series does a recap, before the next episode, of what's gone on during the season, it is now called a bore.  This was found in The Event, Damages, in the season finales of Burn Notice and Suits, and many other series I can't think of right now.  Both teases and bores are like stepping in dog crap, and should be avoided like the plague.

Hyperdrama-When realistic situations are manipulated so much that they become completely unrealistic, they become hyperdrama.  It is the equivalent of the farce, in comedy.  Just like farce, in comedy, doesn't give us any realistic chance of taking the product seriously (intentionally), hyperdrama doesn't give us any realistic chance of taking the product seriously, while expecting the audience to take it seriously (unintentionally).  This was found in HawthoRNe.

Sarcama-I have coined this word to fit TV series that are not comedies, dramas, or dramedies.  In order for a series to be considered a sarcama, it has to be a relatively serious series that derives most of its humor from sarcastic interactions between characters.  The full name of this genre would be saracastic drama, which I have reduced to sarcama.  Series that are in this genre are Harry's Law, Suits and Nurse Jackie.

Product Makement-I have coined this term as a complement to the very famous product placement that has gone in TV shows for about 20 years, or so.  There was a time when everything used (beer, sodas, chips, etc.) was generic, lest we forget.  The definition of product makement is anything that is made, specifically, as a prop, for a fictional TV show, that may eventually be sold to the TV viewing public.  Pan Am is a failed airline, but if the series, Pan Am, becomes popular enough, it's possible the airline could make a comeback.  This idea is what inspired me to come up with this term, but a truer example of product makement is the Entertainment 7Twenty swag that Tom brought in on Parks and Recreation.  I want some of that, so if there's any chance someone from the Parks and Recreation team is reading this (it's my favorite show), I would love some of that swag (and no, I'm not talking about the bra...k thx bye). 

Hybrid Serialization-I have coined this term to describe a relatively new type of television storytelling technique, that is beginning to gain immense popularity.  Even though you can certainly take the idea of this all the way back to TV shows from the 80s, and possibly even further back, it likely wasn't the intended effect, at the time.  The definition of hybrid serialization is any show that has a larger storyline going on in the background, while not overtly telling it in a continuous way.  Generally there is a one off case or story, while the elements of the larger story are nearly constantly in play, though not anywhere near the forefront of each individual episode.  Person of Interest (CBS) and Grimm (NBC) are excellent examples in completely different genres.  If I really gave it any thought, I could probably easily come up with at least 20 network and cable TV shows that are done this way.  In my opinion, it's the best way to do serialization, outside of one season story arcs, similar to how Damages (FX/DirecTV) was done.

The Showtime Problem-I have coined this term to describe when a show tries way too hard to prove its worth as an edgy, or different type of TV show.  It specifically refers to the typical standard of programming that the cable premium channel, Showtime, is trying to produce.  It often features extremely shocking lewd dialog, and/or sexual situations.  These shows also try to hit you over the head with how cool they are, while basically saying, "Can you believe we just did that?"  As the most practical example of The Showtime Problem, I am going to use House of Lies, since that series is what spawned the term.  The gold standard of this (although it is a much better show than House of Lies) is Shameless.

Obvlivious-I have coined this word to describe characters who should know what's really going on, or that something strange is going on, but, for some unknown reason, can't seem to figure it out, even though it should be really obvious to them.  Great examples of this are the characters Hank, from Grimm (NBC), and Daniel, from Revenge (ABC).  In Hank's case, his obvliviousness often ends up adding humor to the story.  In the case of Daniel, it mostly winds up being sad, and makes him look naive, gullible, and stupid.

Cremated-I have coined this word to describe a TV show that has premiere ratings so low that the show cannot even be described as DOA.  I first used the word in the 2011 TV season, but it was officially coined in reference to the premiere of the FOX TV show, The Mob Doctor.

If you have other ideas for new TV terms, feel free to write me at, and I will add it, and give you credit for your submission.  This list will be added to as I see fit.  Thanks for reading.

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