From 'Inside Amy Schumer' to 'Devious Maids,' The Best & Worst TV Posters Out There
They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but New Yorkers — and Londoners, San Franciscans, Parisians, really anyone living in a major metropolitan area with a public transportation system — are used to first learning about a show via its subway and bus ads. When you live in a city like New York, no matter how many countless hours a week you spend glued to entertainment news sites (guilty as charged), you are bound to spend more time commuting, which means three things: you're awesome at Candy Crush/2048/Flappy Bird, you've been stuck in multiple strangers' armpits, and you are constantly staring at the ads for brand new shows plastered all over the train.
It's not talked about a lot, but New Yorkers kind of freak out over subway ads, by which I mean, most of the time they absolutely hate them. And we love talking about how much we hate them! Remember that "Lucas Uses Venmo" disaster? Those ads were mocked and defaced relentlessly, but boy did we love talking about how freaking weird they were. So if you want to get New Yorkers interested in a brand new TV show, you'd better have subway ads so good that they remember them— for the RIGHT reasons!
Here are some of the best, and worst, subway ads for TV shows in recent memory.
Good: Inside Amy Schumer
It helps that I was already a fan of Amy Schumer, but this poster was a cheeky, self-deprecating, and fun wink that got me excited for Season 2.
Bad: Devious Maids
Get it? She's "Sweeping" "lies" under "the rug"!
Good: Penny Dreadful
Is that Billie Piper? Is she coughing up blood? JOSH HARTNETT? Yeah, I'll watch that.
Technically it's not TV, but it's definitely worth mentioning. If you don't live in New York, you may have been blissfully unaware of the giant, inexplicable YouTube ads that suddenly popped up everywhere — not just in our subways, but on the sides of our subway trains. Look, I love Michelle Phan, but why am I suddenly seeing her everywhere? Everyone watches YouTube! What is this achieving?!?
Good: Orange Is the New Black
You're telling me there's a show where the cast isn't just composed mostly of women, but mostly of women of color? Finally. Yes, please.
Bad: Once Upon A Time
Sorry, OUAT fans, I'm sure the show is great, but this poster makes it look like a cheesy Disney on ice show.
Good: Kroll Show
First thought: Yeah, I hate to admit it but I'd watch a show called Gigolo House. God, who have I become?
Second thought: Aw, sweet, Kroll Show is back!
Bad: Welcome to the Family
THEY DON'T GET ALONG BUT THEY HAVE TO GET ALONG WILL THEY GET ALONG. I'm over it.
Best: The Spoils of Babylon
At first, it's just a poster for any miniseries based on a novel you haven't read. Then you realize that it features Kristen Wiig, Tobey Macguire, and Haley Joel Osment. Then you realize Eric Jonrosh isn't a real author. Now you HAVE to find out what this is! Spot-on genius.
Worst: Do No Harm
So it's a show about a doctor who has badly-photoshopped-face-on-hands-itis? That sounds dumb. Oh, wait, it's a modern day version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? ... That still sounds really dumb. Note: to this day, my friends and I refer to this piece of network garbage as "Dr. Facehands."
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