Nick Leshi

Nick Leshi
Bronx, New York, United States of America
December 13
Writer, actor, media professional, fan of entertainment, pop culture, and speculative fiction. Contact for more info.


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AUGUST 8, 2012 11:48PM

The Dangers of a Bad Title

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I've written previously about the importance of a good title, and the debut of Bryan Singer's highly anticipated new online science fiction series was an example (for me at least) of the dangers of a bad one. The well-produced first two episodes of the digital show have already earned stellar reviews, but the sticking point for its long-term survival is its name -- H+.

Ever since I first heard about it, I was rooting for Singer's online eexperiment to succeed and raise the bar on what Web series can be, but I also had trepidations about that title. People might confuse it with Hulu Plus or with some pharmaceutical hemmorhoid cream. You laugh, but I'm being serious -- it's a dumb title.

Entertainment history is strewn with projects that suffered from misguided monikers, some deserving of failure, but others poor victims of the bad titles with which they were labeled -- The Shawshank Redemption, Quantum of Solace, Mr. Margorium's Wonder Emporium, and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.

Episode 1 is called "Driving Under" and Episode 2 is called "On Their Level."  Maybe H+ can prove me wrong and overcome its horrendous name.

H+ is available to watch for free on YouTube.  Ignore the bad title and enjoy it for what it is -- a terrific new tale of wonder.

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well said....kinda surprising how so much effort goes into a project and falls short on the title.....
ooooo it sounds wonderful. Terrible title but that picture looks intriguing.
On the other hand:

The original title of a Tony-winning Broadway musical was "Death Is for Suckers." It was later changed to "City of Angels." I told my friend, who also won a Tony for the show, that I was dissappointed with the change because I thought it moved from the edgy to the mundane. His memorable response was, "I agree, but, Gordon, there's no such thing as a bad title for a hit."
Gordon, great point! I don't consider City of Angels necessarily a "bad" title, although the original title was far more edgy and interesting. I can't think off the top of my head any big hit movie or TV show with a really bad title. Sequels with long subtitles probably are the closest ones that come to mind -- and the Star Wars movies. :)