The Pronoun Game
There’s a scene in Kevin Smith’s “Chasing Amy” where lesbian Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams) is about to reveal to her lesbian posse that she’s dating a man. When something in Alyssa’s story sounds suspicious, her friend says to her, “Why are you playing the pronoun game?” ‘I met someone.’ ‘We have a great time.’ ‘They’re from my home town.’” Doesn’t this tube of wonderful have a name!” Recently it seems there’s a new TV show playing this same game.
Enter “Flip This House,” a new TV show on A&E with a strangely similar title to Discovery’s “Flip That House.” Two television programs airing concurrently with only a pronoun difference between them, what gives? And how do they get away with this/that? Especially considering that both of the shows are pretty much identical in content. Both shows focus on the art of “flipping” a house: Buying a fixer-upper, making it nice, and then selling it for a quick profit. Discovery’s was the first of the two shows, while A&E’s began just recently. There are a few minor differences: One show is a half hour while the other is an hour. And one show focuses on new home owners each week while the other focuses on a team of professionals and their various properties. But why the first show hasn’t sued the pants off of the second is beyond us. Surely it was an intential move by A&E in hopes that their similarly-named show would dupe fans of the other into watching accidentally. Stealing another network’s idea is no new trend in TV land, but copying the name of the show too? Could a show exist called “Fairly Desperate Housewives”? Or what about “American Idle” or perhaps “Gilmore Guys”? We think not.