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Pop culture pet peeve: Lacey Smithsonian and other absurd character names

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Csimiami_l

Csimiami_lWhat does the name “Lacey Smithsonian” conjure for you? Maybe you’re a fan of Ellen Byerrum’s Crime of Fashion series? Or maybe you’re looking forward to the Lifetime movies based on those books this summer. But I don’t care how street smart this crime-solving fashion reporter is: All I can think about is my Pop Culture Pet Peeve. Ridiculous Names, you drive me crazy!* And not in the fun, we’ll-get-together-at-the-end-of-this-rom-com way. In the real way.

Historically, my least-favorite, OMG-no-one-is-named-that name might be “Serena Sutherlyn” on L&O, although “Arizona Robbins” on Grey’s Anatomy definitely earns a spot on my wall of shame. (I’m excluding soaps and shows like Gossip Girl that acknowledge, embrace, or otherwise use unusual nomenclature as part of the essence of the show.) CSI: Miami is an across-the-board offender — Horatio Caine, Alexx Woods, Calleigh Duquesne — unlike most cop shows, which tend to pass the “Does this sound real?” test. Next season, we’ll have to tolerate such names as “Auggie Kirkpatrick” (new Melrose Place) and “Chloe Payne” (on Mercy), both of which might as well be “[Nails on a chalkboard sound] Jones.” Seriously, drag queens have more believable names.

What about you, PWers? Are there character names that make you batty?

*My obsession with character names hardly ends there: Why must characters named Sookie have unusual last names that start with S? Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls, Sookie Sapperstein in Igby Goes Down, Sookie Stackhouse on True Blood…three is a trend, so QED.

addCredit(“Gale M. Adler/CBS”)