Celebrity Names Blog

Are These Names “Normal” or Not?

Are These Names “Normal” or Not?
Fame/Flynet

This Fall TV season is bringing a new show from Glee creator Ryan Murphy. Glee gave us an abundance of names, some appropriate and others unrealistically trendy. So how does his new show, The New Normal, stack up name-wise?  

The plot of The New Normal revolves around a gay couple (Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha) who seek to have a child via a surrogate (Georgia King), and the surrogate and her family as well.

We have guessed at the characters’ birth decades based on hints from the show and the actors’ ages and so far the major characters we have are:

David Murray Age: 30s

Perennial favorite David sounds pretty right for a character of any age. This classic name has been a top-20 name for almost 80 years.

Bryan Collins Age: 30s

An excellent name for a character born in the late 70s or early 80s. Bryan stayed strong in the top 100 from 1959-2010 and peaked at #42 in 1977.

Goldie Clemmons Age: 20s

Goldie is a very uncommon name, it peaked around the turn of the 19th Century and the last time it was seen anywhere on the charts was in the 1960s.

Shania Clemmons Age: 8 or 9

Best known as the name of Canadian country singer Shania Twain, this one stands out as an unusual choice for a sitcom kid. Shania is currently almost off the charts right now, but in the early 2000s Shania was #384.

Jane Forrest Age: 70s

The name Jane peaked in the 1940s, which makes it perfect for a great-grandmother on the show.

Clay Clemmons Age: 20s

Though currently not very trendy, Clay has risen and fallen within the top 500 for decades. When this character would have been born (approximately 1980s), Clay was around #430. Not common, but not too unusual either.

By our count we have three age appropriate names, one major outlier, and two maybes. Compared to Glee’s characters, this show has gone the opposite direction and not picked any trendy or rising names.

As we’ve noted before, the names of fictional characters can be used to give us hints about the writer’s intentions for the character. We’ll have to wait and see if David and Bryan are just regular guys, Goldie has a heart of gold, Clay is grounded or earthy, and Shania is unusual.

Do you think The New Normal creators did a good job with these names? What TV names have you noticed lately?

-H.A.

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