Fast Company

What Do Glenn Beck and American Idol Have In Common?

Pop Culture Trend: Cheers and Jeers Trend Tags: Glenn Beck, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, NBC, Harry Potter, Good Vs Evil With consumer outrage at financial institutions, there has been a renewed attitude about good vs. evil. This polarization has reflected in pop culture with such films as Monsters VS Aliens and web sensations like Red VS. Blue. However, the top TV shows of 2009 illustrate that it’s more complicated than just black and white, good vs. evil — everyone has their own winner. Increasingly, we want get behind “our guy or girl” and cheer them on. The Cheers and Jeers trend is about being passionate and getting behind people you most identify with. At times it is the fight between good and evil, while at other times it’s about picking “your winner.” Key Elements Good VS Evil — In recent years, headlines have been marked by corporate fraud and scandals. The back-door dealings that lead up to the financial crisis have polarized consumer attitudes. These shifts in attitude have reflected in pop culture. Consider the top ten movies of 2009. Of the top ten movies, over half of them have clearly defined antagonists. Transformers 2 ranked #1, followed by such blockbusters as Harry Potter and even Monsters VS Aliens. Picking Sides — Not always are competitions as simplistic as good vs evil. Sometimes it’s about which competitor you can most relate to. Consider the the three TV shows of 2008: #1 American Idol, #2 Dancing with the Stars, and #3 NBC Sunday Night Football. For each of these reality shows, it’s not about the good and bad guy, it’s about whom we have more of a connection with. Though some of us rooted for Lil Rounds, at the end of the day, viewers were for or...

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