Academys trends guru lists the Top Ten for 10

Academy’s ‘trends guru’ lists the Top Ten for 10

The last year of the first decade of the new millennium was an interesting one; we all experienced it differently of course, with some highs and possibly (really) low lows here and there, but as is the timely tradition of the end-of-the-year,  top-ten countdown, pre-ten- second countdown of the ball dropping on a New Year, 2010 wouldn’t have been much without the following “events”:

10. Bad Reality Shows

This particular list is endless. With such gems as I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant, Married to Rock, and Real Housewives of New Jersey/New York/Atlanta, this year was full of overly-dramatic (allegedly unscripted) fights, bad decisions and painfully stupid people who are paid to be themselves.

Harsh?  So is “reality” apparently.  Reality shows originated in the 90s with Real World, and this trend has sunk these days to the depths of a few camera men following around C-list celebrities intent on scraping up their last 15 minutes of fame by making fools of themselves.

I can’t pretend to be above this silly trend, as I’m a regular viewer of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. It’s a pretty smart formula, to be honest. These shows break us away from our daily, mundane lives to slightly more glamorous, if not a bit off-kilter, lives of celebrities.

In these lives we get to see what goes on beyond the red carpets, while learning enough personal information to delude ourselves into thinking we know, say, the Kardashians personally. It’s embarrassing when we start caring about them.  I want to know if the 16-year-olds will raise their babies themselves or give them up for adoption. I want to know if Kourtney will stay with Scott, even though we all know he’s so wrong for her. As long as TV keeps making cheesy but addictive reality shows, we’ll keep watching them.

9. Inception/Leonardo DiCaprio

And to think this guy started off his film career as a side-bit character on Growing Pains. Leo DiCaprio has gone far from the fresh-faced, fatally cold boy from Titanic to a full-grown actor. Inception has been deemed by most critics as one of the important films, if not THE film, of our generation, and for which  the 10’s will be remembered , film wise.

A mind- boggling trip into the idea of breaking into people’s dreams on the surface, Inception is actually Christopher Nolan’s (director of The Dark Knight) homage to film-making itself. It’s a difficult concept to grasp at first, challenging film buffs and film geeks to break down the film, character by character.

Overall, it’s a brilliantly indie/artsy film wrapped up as a shiny blockbuster hit. The general public doesn’t even seem to realize it, but this film has opened doors: directors everywhere are learning that there’s a real formula to making honestly good films that will still fill up seats in theaters.  Now directors don’t have to sacrifice art for popularity anymore.

DiCaprio also starred in Shutter Island, another brain twister, and new starring in a new, revamped version of The Great Gatbsy, ( headed by Baz Lurhman), he doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. DiCaprio is easily one of a handful of stars who can act and look good while doing it.

8. Justin Beiber

Hate to love him or love to hate him, everyone has Bieber Fever this year. This kid literally came out of nowhere, making dance videos on YouTube that caught the eye of rapper/R&B artist Usher, who in turn landed him a record deal and the heart of every nine- year-old in the country. With puberty on the horizon and the fact that he’s mainly only famous for his hairstyle, we’ll have to wait and see if this singer becomes another victim of falling to the wayside after a year or two, much like his former rival, the Jonas Brothers. Who knows, maybe he will grow with his voice and become the next Justin Timberlake. Or maybe not.

7. iPhones

I feel as if this trend doesn’t even need to be listed. Apple is taking over the world – we’ve known this fact since the iPod, but with the new re-launching of the iPod nano, iPad, Macs and the iPhone 4, it seems putting a lower-case ‘i’ in front of anything equals millions of dollars and a devoted following. But the common phrase of the geek world is, “the moment a piece of technology hits the stores, it’s already obsolete.” Apple’s already hard at work on its new project that I’m sure in five years will make the iPhone 4 look like an Easy-Bake Oven.

6. Strong Leading Ladies

With the U.S voting in its first African-American President back in 2008, rumors of a female president lead us to believe that it’s not an idea too far off in the future. Politics aside, 2010 has been the year of women taking center stage in nearly everything- nearly every show is female oriented with more women leading the cast.

The arts and entertainment industries are finding out that women can bring in the money as well in films, TV, and books, an idea that they tended to lean away from in the past. J.K Rowling was convinced to change her pen name to a more uni-gender name because “boys wouldn’t want to read a book written by a woman as much.”

Now, with films and TV centered around strong female leads such as Twilight, Sex and the City, Black Swan, Hot in Cleveland, The Hills,  leading man are giving up the limelight to leading ladies. Actresses like Emma Stone, Natalie Portman and Sandra Bullock show that women are not just on screen to look pretty, but they can hold their own and succeed as the main attraction.

5. China

China has literally been everywhere this year in the news. With its work force building a 15-story building in six days, and its economy working hard to become one of the main world powers, China has its sights (or sites) set high.

Some critics see China as a good anti-stagnation model that the U.S should follow. China wants what we have always had (until recently) – the American Dream – with its focus on education and business initiatives, two goals the U.S needs to regain.  Chinese will soon be the number-one language for business, although more people speak English in China than there are Americans living here. The only downside is that there’s no way I’ll ever be able to learn how to type in Chinese.


No. More. Musical. Shows.  I’m begging you; sure, this show seems to be a cut above the rest of its family-Hannah Montana and High School Musical, by losing the squeaky-clean image and accepting that while they might burst into song, these are actually high school characters who deal with real teenage issues.

I applaud the creators for having an excellent cast with both singing and acting chops and scripts that are much better than they need to meet expectations for this show. The albums sell like hot cakes on iTunes, and with episodes dedicated entirely to artists like Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and The Beatles, Glee  deserves all the buzz and awards it gets.

This show is not just a cop-out to get record deals for hot young stars, such as Disney does for anyone who’s ever in a Disney Channel movie (just because you can act does NOT directly mean you can sing. I’m talking to you, Ashley Tisdale).  In its third season now, Glee is better than ever and still going strong. The talent is real, and while it might be personally annoying to have two versions of every song – the original and the Glee version- I can’t really complain about this trend, and it rightfully deserves the fourth spot on this list of what makes 2010.

3. Going Green

“This is Not A Paper Bag”  has become not only a personal choice of grocery shoppers, it’s becoming a way of life. And, honestly, it’s about time. It’s everywhere this year- car companies are planting trees and making more hybrids, water bottles are using less plastic, even make-up companies are seeing green. More and more brand names are realizing what people want – which is to help, even if it’s only in a minor way. Our generation’s great movement will probably be environmentally-based, especially since it’s really the younger generation being the one speaking up and getting involved in this particular issue. Going Green is one of the most important aspects of the beginning of this century, and will increase as the decades continue, without a doubt.

2. Vampires

Can you really be surprised? I’m really on the fence about this trend, personally. I grew up devotedly (some would say obsessively) watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a groundbreaking show that mixed humor, drama, comedy and horror all in the idea of a young girl being chosen to fight vampires. But really, it was a show about growing up and facing your own demons.

These days, the demons are just that – demons. There’s no hidden meaning, no deeper layer to it- they’re just cute guys with fangs. Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries – all shows and films centered on the ultimate fantasy: to die young and stay pretty. The Twilight Series is based off the best-selling books by Stephanie Meyer, who has gotten a lot of grief for poor writing, but decently good (if not wholly original) story telling.

All of these shows, books and movies are highly addictive, with huge fan followings and equally aggressive haters. I miss the days when vampires were weird, Gothic and dangerous. Now, it’s a silly trend that has taken all the blood-lust (pun intended) out of the genre and has left it drained dry. For the record: I’m Team Edward.

1. The Jersey Shore

Yes, it’s a silly show. Yes, it’s highly trashy. But has it become embedded in the hearts and hairstyles of every person in America? Very much so.

The gang  –  Pauly D, Snooki, Sammy Sweetheart and The Situation have become icons of the American Pop Culture this year, and as ridiculous as it is, the number one trend of 2010, hands down. Every week, thousands upon thousands tune in to see what ridiculous activities the group will get themselves into next, whether it’s involving hot tubs or Snooki rescuing lobsters, The Jersey Shore is eye-roll worthy entertainment, but other than being the number one costume idea for teenagers this Halloween, it’s just that – pure entertainment, and I will hold my head up high and fist-pump like the best of them in saying The Jersey Shore is the ultimate trend of 2010.

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Academy’s ‘trends guru’ lists the Top Ten for 10