The Sweetness trend

Recently I was thinking on the possibility of a new trend.  

And I wrote it up here.  

Have a look.

You will see that I rush the conclusion.  These are early days and at the moment we have little more than a suggestive trace of the new trend.  Still, early notice has to start somewhere, as it were.  

Here’s a paragraph from the post.

Why sweetness? Well, we are coming out of an era of some darkness. We seemed almost to celebrate skepticism and snark. We dwelt upon the grimmest aspects of the human experience. TV and movie making were increasingly ghoulish, with new standards of viscera and depravity. Shows like CSI and NCIS dwell lovingly on the crime victim. Bright lights and strategically placed towels protect our sexual sensitivities, but everything else on the autopsy table is enthusiastically examined. Once the standard bearer of heartlessness, The Silence of the Lambs (1991) now looks a little quaint. Since its release, we have seen a succession of werewolves, vampires, serial killers, and human monsters of every kind. If you are 40 or under, you’ve grown up on a steady diet of heartlessness.

This just in (Tuesday, February 26)

Steve Crandall had this excellent datum to add to the post. It turns out he recently had dinner with one of the writers for Big Bang Theory, who “said the show was designed to be “sweet’ … characters who might be considered intimidating due to their skill in math and science [were] brought down to human scale by being socially clueless and quite “sweet”.”  

Thank you, Steve.  (See Steve’s excellent blog here.) 

8 thoughts on “The Sweetness trend

  1. Grant Post author

    Sara, thanks a mill. Now fixed. And thanks for the spidey confirmation. Best, Grant

  2. Tom

    Talk about sweet We need some serious discussion on the loss of Hostess
    Cupcakes and the social effects on the children!!!!

    Growing up my favorite lunch on Saturday was a set of
    those cupcakes and a 6 oz Bottle of Coke.

    Nirvana for the 10 year old.!!!

  3. Henri Weijo

    Sort of relating to this, I’m really looking forward to how the new Superman movie (Man of Steel) is going to be received.

    The movie was more or less green lit with the premise of “make it dark and realistic like the new Batman movies”, but for those who know Superman, he’s always been about hope and humanity’s greatest aspirations. When the movie was first announced, I more or less cringed at the thought of how such a character could translate in the current “dark” superhero paradigm. But from looking at the trailers so far, I’m definitely getting a vibe of the movie borrowing its aesthetics and inspiration from the darkness of Batman, but still manages to keep Superman’s idealism and hopefulness intact.

    1. Grant McCracken

      Henri, thanks! Have you written about the “dark Batman” trend? Grant

      1. Henri Weijo

        Only comments here and there. But I’d check out Grant Morrison’s Supergods. He does a pretty good analysis on how and why Hollywood got involved in superheroes post 9/11, and why the dark and realistic Batman series resonated so powerfully. The book came out in 2011 and at the end of the book he’s already asking what comes after the “Dark” movies, how does for example Superman find relevance again in such economic turmoil and general pessimism.

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