Monday, June 14, 2010

Don't Hassle The Hoff

Ok I'm back. I'm writing his post while watching tv, so don't expect it to be any good. Let's see what our trope of the day is.

Not going to bother with a drum roll or fanfare or whatever.

Germans Love David Hasselhoff

The basic gist of this trope is that a character or celebrity or band or something that's only mildly popular in their home country is extremely popular in other cultures or countries. It's named for David Hasselhoff, who is a moderately well-known actor in America, but for some reason is ludicrously popular in Germany for his singing.

This man.

This isn't really a trope that manifests within fiction itself, but is at its core an audience reaction trope. The Hoff aside, the real point of this trope is that a foreign audience latches on to an aspect of a work that the "native" audience wouldn't. It's obvious that cultural differences are to blame for this.

For example, in Japan this is a legitimate fashion style.

There have always been enormous differences between cultures. The divide between Western Philosophy and Eastern Philosophy is a pretty big one. If different cultures have completely different defining views on the nature of reality, then it's a given that they're going to prefer different types of entertainment.

Most Americans have no clue
what is going on in this picture.

Of course, there's still overlap between the general preferences of different cultures; but different elements of story or characterization or musical style or whatever may receive different emphasis according to any number of factors. Then people who like different elements of the story or whatever latch onto what they like, and the rest is history.

In short:

Different philosophies = different cultural values = different entertainment preferences = The Hoff going platinum overseas.

I am aware that this post sucks. I'm working from 4 hours of sleep. Live with it.

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