Titles

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Titles in TV shows

Despite not being a part of the show per se, episodes’ titles can be very important and conscientiously made and choose by the creators. Indeed, they may reveal clues about the plot. They may add up to something, they may be little enigmas, they may seem incomprehensible at first, they can be cultural or academic references… For instance, Blindspot’s convoluted titles are in fact anagrams, the titles of Mr. Robot’s episodes from season one to three are written in Leet Speak, while in the recent Netflix show Warrior Nun each title is a reference to an extract of the Bible in connection with the episode’s plot. Other titles may include puns or schematics. Some titles’ format may become a tradition throughout the show.

From there, many questions can come to mind. Can we discern trends, whether historical or thematic? Is there some TV shows that stand out for their particularly clever use of episodes’ (or show’s) titles?

To what extent can we say that titles are a part of an implicit pact between the creators and the viewers? With platforms like Netflix and the increasing temptation to binge-watch our favorite shows, we may be paying less attention to the titles and the cuttings, therefore, to what extent are titles still relevant? How the pact previously mentioned could evolve in the future?

  • Favorite episode title choice is "Ozymandias" from Breaking Bad Season 5. The title tells you everything you need to know about the episode by referring Percy Shelley's poem. I also like a lot of Halt and Catch Fire's episode title which reference 1980s Computer Commands/Systems, song titles, and cultural ideas. I feel like those help ground the viewer in its 1980s-1990s world and are a treat for people who understand the references. – Sean Gadus 3 weeks ago
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  • An interesting idea. Are there are studies showing the title of a episode matters? I remember in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the title of the episode was announced at the beginning of some shows on TV. – Joseph Cernik 2 weeks ago
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