A Definitive Ranking Of Every TV Show & Movie Starting With The Word "American"

"'Murica, fuck yeah!"
That's how I imagine television executives respond when someone pitches a show with the word "American" in it. Add to that movie executives, who greenlit the titles American Beauty, American Pyshco, and American in Paris. Regardless of how the citizens of America really feel about the country, filmmakers in the United States love the word "American." Our girl's got that je ne sais quois, I guess.
Just this year, we've had American Animals, the movie starring Evan Peters, and now American Woman, the TV series starring Alicia Silverstone. And we're not even getting into books territory — An American Marriage by Tayari Jones made waves, and that's just one book.
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So, what is it about the word "American" in titles? Well, for one, it ensures that we know that the movie/TV show is a commentary on America. American creators really want to have a "conversation" about this country. Or, they want to hold a mirror to America's flaws. That's certainly the idea behind American Woman, the Paramount show about the childhood of RHOBH's Kyle Richards. Richards' mother (or a fictionalized version of her) leaves her cheating husband for life as a single mother. How's that for redefining the traditional trope of "American woman"?
In honor of that show and the impending Fourth of July, we decided to get a little patriotic. Ahead, our very arbitrary ranking of the movies and TV shows with the word "American" in their titles. For the purposes of this exercise, these are the rules governing the following titles:
1. "American" must come first. No prepositions or articles may proceed the word "American.
2. The titles have to be at least sort of good. So, no, I am not including any artsy student films called "American Hunk" or "American Study Booty."
3. We will not be discussing books, songs, works of art, or essays. There's just too much content, okay?
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18. American Housewife (2016 - )

How American is it? A stay-at-home mother struggles to raise her kids, have fun, and have a healthy relationship with her husband! This version of America is tired, but not tired enough to get cancelled.
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17. American Ninja Warrior (2009 - )

How American is it? Running around obstacle courses? Jumping across ravines? Being really athletic? Having fun? Not American!
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16. American Made (2017)

How American is it? It stars Tom Cruise, which would have made it American, except Tom Cruise is years beyond his own patriotism.
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15. American Idol (2018 - )

How American is it? Only vaguely so. Amateur singers compete to win the title of "American Idol." Only a few of the contestants — Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson — actually become idols, historically.
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14. American Woman (2018)

How American is it? Well, it's on the Paramount Network, a rebranded version of Spike TV. To rebrand and be reborn is very American! It stars Alicia Silverstone of Clueless fame, and it's about a woman leaving a loveless marriage. It's try-hard American.
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13. American Assassin (2017)

How American is it? It stars Dylan O'Brien, a slender sad boy, as a CIA recruit. It wants to be American, but it also wants to be sad.
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12. American Ultra (2015)

How American is it? It stars Kristen Stewart, an actress who is very punk rock. Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) also appears as a stoner-cum-government agent.
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11. American Pie (1990)

How American is it? Well, it's about a group of teens desperate to lose their virginities. It's American because it's a little juvenile and sophomoric. It's also named after "American Pie," the Don McClean song that tried its hardest to encapsulate the spirit of America.
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10. American Gods (2017 - )

How American is it? This Starz series is based on a book by Neil Gaiman! It also featured the wildest sex scene of 2017. This is America.
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9. American Beauty (1999)

How American is it? American Beauty examines the suffocation and claustrophobia of American suburbia. It also prosthelytizes about the beauty of plastic bags. Add to that a violent homophobic character and a general homophobia — the only gay character in the movie is the only violent one — and, unfortunately, you get America.
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8. American Crime Story (2016 - )

How American is it? Each season revisits a different crime scandal in America's history. Given America's obsession with true crime, this is American as hell. (Also a Ryan Murphy property.)
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7. American Horror Story (2011 - )

How American is it? Well, it's always very gory. And it usually stars Sarah Paulson, who masticates the scenery as various iterations of "deranged damaged woman." Ultimately, very American! Very Ryan Murphy! (Ryan Murphy is Americana television. This is canon.)
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6. American Dad! (2005 - )

How American is it? American Dad is a cartoon spoof on conservative American patriots. From Family Guy's Seth McFarlane, the show depicts a CIA agent (voiced by McFarlane) who is ultra conservative and a wee bit violent. Gentlepeople, this is commentary on America.
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5. American Animals (2018)

How American is it? First, it stars Ann Dowd. There is nothing more American than Ann Dowd, an actress who did not encounter renown until middle age. (If this were a non-cruel world, she would have been an ingenue!) Second, the movie follows a pack of white boys who plan an ambitious heist, Ocean's Elevens-style. Things go awry, because the boys are prideful idiots. Prideful idiots = America.
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4. American Hustle (2013)

How American is it? Jennifer Lawrence calls a microwave a "science oven."
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3. American Psycho (2000)

How American is it? Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is relentlessly obsessed with his looks and access to money. He is vanity personified, which is definitively American.
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2. American Vandal (2017 - )

How American is it? Drawings of male genitalia plague a local school. Authorities subsequently launch an investigation into who drew the dicks. Dick-drawing, vandalism, and also parody are quintessentially American.
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1. American Honey (2016)

How American is it? American Honey stars newcomer Sasha Lane (who will soon appear in The Miseducation of Cameron Post) alongside Shia LaBoeuf (Even Stevens). Lane plays Star, a newly minted 18-year-old who joins a crew of magazine salespeople after a kid named Jake (LaBoeuf) recruits her. They flicker in and out of love as they travel across the country trying to make money. The movie's title is actually based on the song by Lady Antebellum.
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