Monday, November 14, 2016

Nothing major

As I was starting my Christmas shopping in rather depressing fashion yesterday -- not because I was depressed, though I sort of was, but rather, because I was having no luck -- I kind of drifted through a particular book store, hoping for a spark of inspiration that I kind of knew was not coming.

I did see, however, a book advertised called The Wrong Girl, which I had heard about recently but couldn't remember why.

Looking at the cover, I figured it out: It's a major television series.

"What the hell is a major television series, Vance?" you ask me.

It's a television series. With the word "major" in front.

I instantly recognized the convention being honored, of course. When you do a new print run of a book that has been adapted into a movie -- Gone Girl, let's say -- you adorn the jacket with the phrase "Now a major motion picture."

Television, though, has no equivalent, maybe because books aren't usually adapted into television shows.

One option would be to write "Now a television series." But that sounds pretty bland. It sounds like you couldn't give two shits about its new spot in the pop culture landscape. You need that adjective.

Adding "major" in the front doesn't really solve the problem, because, as you asked before: What the hell is a major television series?

I'd probably go with "Now an exciting new television series," or something to that effect -- but if I wanted to do that, I'd probably have to go for a smaller font. And there's probably some theory on the optimal font size of this type of announcement as compared to the size of the title or the author's name.

I'd venture to say that in the U.S., they would figure out a reasonable solution. Yep, this is an Australian show (and I suppose also an Australian book). That explains a lot. I don't want to slag off my adopted home -- which may be my home for some bit longer with the election of Trump -- but let's just say some of the things they do here are goofy. They frequently use the patently ridiculous word "unmissable" when talking about a piece of entertainment you shouldn't miss, and the TV stations have a habit of not telling you when a show will actually be airing until right before it actually airs. Oh, they'll advertise it, but they'll say things like "coming in March," even if it's February 28th. My wife and I joke that they just want you to sit there watching the station constantly so that you'll get to see it when they do finally air it.

Oh Australia. But at least you didn't just elect Donald Trump.

He's definitely The Wrong Boy.

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