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Quality by Popular Vote
"God, I hope you are wrong. I hope the industry has not yet sunk into the state where the game with the most number of copies sold is assumed to be the best."
Timothy Cain

A.K.A. Popularity Equals Quality.

It's rare that you get to watch a TV show or film without hearing popular opinion on it beforehand. This often sets up expectations for the soon-to-be-viewed work; the more uniform and enthusiastic praise garnered by people of it, the more likely you're going to anticipate a knock-your-socks-off feature and wait with bated breath for your turn to extol it. After all, forty reviewers can't all be wrong! This is frequently used in Real Life advertising, with slogans like: "Because X (number of) people can't be wrong!".note 

There's just one flaw: Quality and popularity are not the same thing. Sometimes the work is popular for reasons other than quality (relatability, Wish Fulfillment, Sex Sells, etc.) And perhaps more importantly, what's big among the masses won't always fit your personal tastes.

Sometimes the popular vote turns out to be right. Other times, the work might not live up to the hype. Still, the disparity between pre-judgment bias and individual opinion can be jarring and leave an even deeper sense of disappointment than with no hype to set your expectations so high in the first place.

The Latin name for this is argumentum ad populum, or the ad populum fallacy.

The converse of this can happen, where the public decides that if a movie/TV show are commercial failures, they're bad.

Contrast with Lowest Common Denominator, Critical Dissonance, and It's Popular, Now It Sucks.
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alternative title(s): Popularity Equals Quality
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