Is it getting mainstream in here, or is it just me?

– Kiley Bell, Arts and Entertainment Editor

As a great fan of the arts and an even greater fan of entertainment, I find myself always wanting to discover what is being offered. From books to theatre, music to movies, and art to fashion, it’s usually pretty easy for me to identify the things I do like and the things that I’m not fond of.

Recently I was watching a decent vampire movie called Let Me In, based on the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In. I had wanted to see this movie since I first heard about it premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival two years ago. I wouldn’t call Let Me In the most obscure film, but then again it’s not exactly the most popular either.

I was looking forward to watching the movie until I asked a friend if she wanted to watch it with me. I was confused when she answered back with a simple “No thanks. I liked vampires before they became cool.”

“Before they became cool”? I was pretty dumbstruck by what she had just said. Just because vampires have become a popular topic in recent years (thanks a lot Twilight) does not mean that every book, television show, and movie involving vampires automatically gets written off as unworthy of our time. Why does something in the field of A&E have less significance the moment it becomes mainstream?

Stephanie Meyer’s novel Twilight getting made into a movie does not change how classic Bram Stoker’s Dracula is. Just because the popular television show The Vampire Diaries airs on The CW network does not make the film Interview With a Vampire any less epic. Take the show True Blood for example. What started as a small series on HBO is now one of the more popular shows on television. The characters are strong, the writing is fresh and surprising, and HBO’s typical balance of violence and nudity works perfectly with the often disturbing plot. But do we need to write-off True Blood as “mainstream garbage” because it’s now a popular television show about vampires?

This odd fight against anything popular is even worse when it comes to music. I will admit that even I sigh a little bit when I hear Adele’s “Someone Like You” playing on the radio for the fourteenth time that hour. But I’m not sighing because I’m mourning the death of a once indie artist becoming mainstream. If you truly love an artist and enjoy the music they make, then shouldn’t you be stoked when they make it big in the industry? Everyone’s careers have to go somewhere and they’ll usually evolve over time, especially if their singles are a huge hit like Adele’s have been. I’d much rather prefer a musician that I enjoy becoming popular and mainstream, than dropping off the face of the earth never to write music again.

I’m not ashamed to say that I like Top 40 music, because I also like some lesser known artists that haven’t had the chance to make it big yet (although they deserve to). It’s not a big deal for me to admit that there are some massive Hollywood blockbusters that I really enjoy as well as some indie flicks.

There’s a fine line between loving something original and being overly pretentious about the things you love. The bottom line is this: have some music and movies that you love, and then have a bunch that you hate, but never ignore something just because it’s “too mainstream” for your taste.

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