HBO’s new show How to Make It in America is billed as the East Coast’s answer to Entourage, but one big difference between the two shows jumps out immediately: their titles. The creators of the new program didn’t choose an innocuous, could-be-about-anything name like its precursor; nor did they go with the relatively straightforward “How to Make It.” Instead, they opted for the grand, sweeping “How to Make It in America.”
It made us think about all of the other works of art that have laid claim to that loaded word over the years. Though musicians (Green Day’s American Idiot), playwrights (Tony Kushner’s Angels in America), authors (Philip Roth’s American Pastoral), and TV shows (American Idol, which, notably, was called “Pop Idol” in England) have all co-opted the word successfully, it’s filmmakers who seem to enjoy naming their creations after this enigmatic nation of ours most of all.
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