Is “mainstream” mainstream anymore? I’ve heard the argument that there’s no such thing, there are just some niches that appeal to many audiences. Surely horrors like Love Island or Overweight People Work Hard to Please Cultural Demands are pretty specific. Is it just that most people get entertainment from the concepts?
Or, let’s try this another way. What’s generic and popular in a popularism sense about The Last of Us, The Mandalorian, Picard, or Everything Everywhere All at Once (at least before Everything Everywhere was suddenly everywhere)?
Those are the shows that dominate March 2023 from the streaming search engine JustWatch. Where are the so-called ‘mainstream’ titles?
Popular TV and movies in the States in March 2023
I’ve not seen highly ranking The Whale yet, and despite Brendan Fraser, the pitch doesn’t appeal to me. What do you think?
A reclusive, morbidly obese English teacher attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.
Popular TV and movies in the UK in March 2023
I have seen the Triangle of Sadness, and before it was one of the ad sponsors at Scotland Loves Anime last year. I watched because of the fun it pokes at so-called influencers.
Many friends hated it, but I thought it was clever, arty and punchy.
A fashion model celebrity couple join an eventful cruise for the super-rich.
What, then is mainstream?
The Cambridge Dictionary says;
considered normal, and having or using ideas, beliefs, etc. that are accepted by most people
Is Love Island really considered “normal”? or is it just that ordinary people are okay watching carefully selected body-beautiful people battle egos in the sun?
I asked Google’s Bard three questions and think the head-to-head of Love Island versus Star Trek is pretty telling!
#1 Why is Love Island popular?
- It’s a guilty pleasure. Love Island is a show that people love to hate. It’s full of drama, hookups, and catfights. It’s the perfect show to watch when you want to escape from the real world and indulge in some trashy reality TV.
- It’s aspirational. The contestants on Love Island are all young, attractive, and seemingly living their best lives. It’s easy to see why people would be drawn to watching them.
- It’s relatable. Despite the fact that the contestants on Love Island are all very different, they all share one thing in common: they’re all looking for love. This makes the show relatable to viewers who are also looking for love.
- It’s social. Love Island is a show that’s meant to be watched with friends. It’s the perfect show to have on in the background while you’re hanging out with your friends. You can all make fun of the contestants together and share your thoughts on the show.
- It’s addictive. Love Island is the kind of show that’s hard to turn off. Once you start watching, it’s hard to stop. You just want to see what happens next.
#2 Why is Star Trek popular?
- It is a well-written and well-acted show. The writers of Star Trek have created a rich and complex universe, and the actors have brought the characters to life in a way that is both believable and engaging.
- It has a rich mythology. The Star Trek universe is full of interesting characters, planets, and technologies. This makes it a fascinating world to explore, and it helps to keep viewers coming back for more.
- The characters are complex and relatable. The characters in Star Trek are not perfect. They make mistakes, and they have flaws. This makes them more relatable to viewers, and it helps to make the stories more engaging.
- The stories are often thought-provoking. Star Trek often deals with complex issues such as racism, sexism, and war. These are issues that are still relevant today, and they make the show thought-provoking and interesting to watch.
- It has a strong message of hope and optimism. Star Trek is a show about the future, and it offers a hopeful vision of what the future could be. This is something that many people find appealing, especially in today’s world.
#3 What is mainstream?
Mainstream is a term used to describe the dominant or prevailing trend in a society or group. It can refer to a wide range of things, including fashion, music, politics, and culture.
In general, mainstream ideas and activities are those that are widely accepted and popular. They are often seen as the norm, and those who do not conform to them may be seen as outsiders or rebels.
The mainstream can be a powerful force in society. It can shape our values, our beliefs, and our behavior. It can also be a source of comfort and security, as it provides us with a sense of belonging and identity.
However, the mainstream can also be stifling and restrictive. It can pressure us to conform to its norms, even if we don’t agree with them. It can also make it difficult to express our individuality and to be ourselves.
Ultimately, whether or not we choose to follow the mainstream is up to us. We can choose to embrace it, to reject it, or to find our own path somewhere in between.
You can find thoughts and opinions on this article in the comment section below.