by Linda Rosenkrantz
Every TV season or so we scan the video landscape to see if any particularly interesting character names have popped up. And each time it becomes more and more daunting as the number of new and newish shows on network, cable and streaming platforms has gone through the roof. But we try.
This year it was nice to see so many Namberryesque names appearing—Camille, Celeste, Elsa, Hermione, Lavinia, Maeve, Marisol, Nova, Prudence, Trixie and Thea, for example. Also, as you’ll see below, a lot of scriptwriters have picked up on the boy-name-for-girls trend.
Focusing on the girl names, here are almost two dozen of the most intriguing TV character names.
BLUE—On The Conners Juliette Lewis plays the new girlfriend of David, whose ex-wife Darlene has referred to as ‘a crayon’. Blue, as in Blue Ivy Carter, has become a cool gender-neutral name, in both first and middle place.
CHARLOTTA—One of the two tough protagonists on Weird City, she is played by Asian rapper-actress (Crazy Rich Asians) Awkwafina, born Nora Lum. Charlotta is actually a Swedish variation of Charlotte and appears in Anne of Green Gables.
CRUZ—A female character on the Starz series Vida. Although many of us associate the name with the Beckham boy, Cruz, meaning cross, is used for both girls and boys and is a common surname as well in Hispanic cultures.
DELT—Weird City is a weird city with weird character names, many of them with a single syllable. Delt (not short for Delta, is a gym trainer played by Rosario Dawson. Her co-characters include Liquia (Laverne Cox), Mulia, Jathryn (Sara Gilbert) and Glail.
GUINEVERE was a main character on the first season of You, who was more often called by her last name, Beck. The name of the beautiful Queen of Camelot has come to be seen as less formidable by some contemporary parents.
KIP—The BBC drama series Collateral, co-produced by Netflix, stars Carey Mulligan as a London detective inspector named Kip. Kip is a traditional nickname for Christopher, like Kit, but has also been used on its own.
PRAIRIE—On The OA, Prairie Johnson, played by Brit Marling, was born Nina Azarov, and then becomes the OA—or Original Angel. Her adoptive mother named her Prairie because her blue eyes reminded her of Prairie skies. Prairie definitely has possibilities as an evocative nature name; Thomas Pynchon used it for a character in Vineland.
SHIV—It’s actually short for Siobhan, worn by the child on the satirical HBO comedy-drama, Succession.
TWYLA—The innocent waitress character on Schitt’s Creek is played by the real daughter and sister of the show’s creators. The name has long been associated with dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp. The SC cast list includes another boyish nickname name, STEVIE.
Would you add any to this list?