‘Premium Rush’ and Four Other Wildly Misleading Titles

Hardcore pop culture fans are a hard bunch to please. It’s inevitable that our critical tendencies will flare the moment any detail is released from a TV show or movie. But high-profile casting isn’t the only thing that often gives us pause — movie and TV show titles can serve to draw entertainment fans in… or confuse the dickens out of them. Which is why when we first heard the title for this weekend’s Premium Rush, we couldn’t have been the only ones to wonder how the film’s name translates to Joseph Gordon-Levitt riding a fixed gear bike while mysterious assassins try to whack him.

Of course, we eventually make peace with project names. Just at look at the success of Magic Mike and The Vampire Diaries, two projects with titles that are certainly misleading. (Where are the wizards? And this diary you speak of?!) Still, we couldn’t help but recall the days before we understood these accidentally cryptic titles. Here’s what we thought the first time we heard the names Premium Rush, Cougar Town, Magic Mike, Vampire Diaries, and Happy Endings.

Premium Rush

Premium Rush Coffee

What we thought it was about: Honestly, it sounded like a new, super-caffeinated, probably hipster-skewing brand of coffee backed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It does, however, invoke images of bikes in that anyone who’s down with a coffee strong enough to merit the name “Premium Rush” probably has a fixed gear bike and probably lives by the motto “Death Before Decaf.” Are we generalizing? A little. But we’re probably pretty right.

What it’s actually about: A bike messenger, who refuses to ride anything but a fixed gear bike (“Breaks are death,” according to Gordon-Levitt’s protagonist), finds himself carrying cargo that may or may not get him killed.

Cougar Town

Cougar Town With Actual Cougars

What we thought it was about: Well, ABC certainly wouldn’t greenlight a show about over-sexed older ladies, right? So clearly, this has got to be some hyper-stylized sitcom, perhaps in the style of Dinosaurs, in which all the characters are cat people who also happen to enjoy oversized glasses of red wine.

What it’s really about: Courteney Cox and her group of hilarious friends. They really like wine.

Magic Mike

Magic Mike The Wizard

What we thought it was about: A wizard.

What’s it really about: Channing Tatum, the amazing, irresistible stripper.