Why is modern American entertainment so grim?

(I forgot to mention this in the clip above, but here is the tweet that originally set me thinking about this.)



  1. Interesting and thoughtful audio post. I enjoyed listening to it.

    I steer toward the dark in my reading and viewing choices, no doubt. I do a bit in my writing too, although my stories usually end with hope and progress, if not outright happiness. I think inherently there’s more conflict in dark fiction, and that’s why it can be more riveting to read or watch. Adding conflict to uplifting fiction might be more challenging. It can be done, of course, but whether that conflict will sustain a reader’s attention or not is the question.

    1. Personally, I think “Eating Bull” is a great example of how to do fiction that has dark elements but still ends on an upbeat note.

      And I don’t want to come across as being opposed to dark and/or tragic stories. (After all, I’d be condemning a lot of my own work.) Where I think it becomes problematic is when a significant number of artists or critics start to believe stories *must* be dark or end tragically in order to be taken seriously.

      1. Yes, I agree. Uplifting work should not have to take a back seat to doom and gloom. Sometimes a positive theme is exactly what we need. And thank you for your comment about Eating Bull. 😊

  2. I agree and have seen some of that bias in favor of the depressing in literary magazines and such. That being said, a trend towards darkness might also be a reflection of the difficult times we live in. Things do not feel very uplifting right now.

    1. Quite true; things feel very bleak. Actually, for that reason I’ve been deliberately seeking out upbeat entertainment–just to keep my own morale up.

      1. Good idea. I also firmly believe that sometimes whimsical happiness is the best form of rebellion against the joyless dark forces of this world. I need to practice more of that, too.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?