When I look back over pop culture landscape of the past 20 years, I sometimes wonder how I’ll explain somethings to future generations. Beanie Babies, rap metal, Dane Cook. I don’t know how to explain these things, or why they became popular. But perhaps the hardest to explain will be Fifty Shades of Grey.
Not why it was popular. I mean, it’s porn. You don’t need to explain why porn is popular. I mean the genesis of this particular story. A woman writes vampire/ werewolf/ telepath series with some heavy Mormon overtones. (That series itself was probably heavily influenced by a different vampire/ werewolf/ telepath series.) And then a different woman wrote a series of books based on the two main characters from the first series with heavy “BDSM” overtones. And there were a bunch of movies/ tv shows based on all the various book series. It’s a literary Russian nesting doll.
And now the outer layer is the inevitable Fifty Shades of Grey knock-offs. If it helps at all, I’m pretty sure the final layer is the parody movie by the Scary Movie guys. As soon as we get that, we can officially call the time of death.
The first knock- off is Old Fashion, the Evangelical response to Shades.
The second is the indie, meta- comedy The Dramatics.
Don’t worry, guys. We’re just got two sequels to make it through.