Never knew we where living in a world with a mind that could be so sure.
Never knew we where living in a world with a mind that could be so small.
Never knew we where living in a world where the world is an open court.
The Year 2000
. Flying cars, androids, faster-than-light space travel... oh wait, we don't have any of that yet
. On the plus side, our computers didn't explode
, after all. While New Years' 2000 came in with a bang, attitudes from The Nineties
pretty much lingered for the first year. For the United States, the decade culturally started on September 11th, 2001 with the terrorist attacks on New York City
and Washington, DC
, which not only launched the United States into two
wars, but continues to be a lingering specter in global politics. It is possible this decade may have ended culturally in fall 2008, which saw the start of the worst economic crisis
since The Great Depression
, followed two months later by the election of Barack Obama
See The War on Terror
for the major wars of this decade. Note that, since The War on Terror
has defined American and NATO-sphere foreign policy for almost all of this time, this decade has marked the arrival of Middle Eastern civilizations as societies to know about. For example, the Persian Gulf city of Dubai
, in the United Arab Emirates went through its boom
during this decade.
The decade was a hard one for the United States, whose population suffered from, in quick succession, a controversial presidential election where the winner
didn't win the popular vote, but did win in the electoral college, its worst ever terrorist attack, the Patriot Act undermining their civil liberties, two somewhat unpopular
wars, the worst electrical black out
in American history, another controversial presidential election, the catastrophic flooding of New Orleans thanks to Hurricane Katrina, the failure of the federal government to properly respond said flooding, the worst gas crisis
since The Seventies
, the gradual transformation from the largest government budget surplus in American history, to the largest government budget deficit in American history, and the start of the worst economic crisis
since The Great Depression
. This naturally lead to growing feelings of cynicism and insecurity, which is reflected in the growing trend towards Darker and Edgier
Of course, on the other side of the coin, a lot of the decade's entertainment instead went in the direction of escapism. Much of the decade's culture can roughly be described as a retread
of either The Eighties
or The Fifties
, depending on who you asknote
. As if overcompensating for the insecurity they now felt
, the American public took comfort in materialism and conspicuous consumption. The "McMansion"
became the dominant paradigm for new homes, and enormous SUVs
, after getting their start in the late '90s, came to rule over the car market, despite oil concerns, and forget electric cars. Seriously, forget they ever existed
and buy an SUV. In fact, the car companies were so eager to make the consumer forget about electric cars
that those produced in The Nineties
were not only canceled, they were repossessed by car companies and crushed, lest one get away to make the rest of their cars look badnote
. It wasn't until 2011 and the debut of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf that electric cars would return to the roads. The tax breaks that under Clinton would've gone to electrics, now under Bush went to the heaviest cars
, and the SUVs of this decade were certainly heavy cars. Every genre of music, from Glam Rap
to Post Grunge
, idolized lifestyles of excess and debauchery, with songs about how great it is to get drunk have sex
and waste money
rulling the air waves. If you couldn't afford a new flat-screen and surround sound system, then you could just buy it on credit and pay it off later, especially if it's that Segway scooter
that George W. Bush
can't drive, which while not the only cause of economic meltdown, certianly didn't help. Media technology continued to evolve. CD gave way to MP3
in the music sphere. DVD put VHS out of business early in the decade, only to have Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, in a re-inactment of The Eighties
VHS vs Betamax debate, battle it out over who got to replace DVD at the end of the decade. Blu-Ray won.
Reality took over TV
, with Survivor
and American Idol
in the US and Big Brother
and Pop Idol
/The X Factor
in Britain launching literally hundreds of imitators across an ocean of reality TV subgenres, helped along by the explosion of cable and satellite television as a major outlet for original programming. Celebrity came to be defined not by an entertainer's accomplishments as a musician, actor, athlete, etc., but by the number of paparazzi
following his or her every move and the amount of tabloid press that he or she had. It was something that could be achieved for seemingly nebulous reasons, as shown by the inexplicable rise to superstardom of such people as Paris Hilton
and Kim Kardashian
, who built media empires on their status as socialites
and reality TV stars. The societal implications of this were not lost on the world, with Charlie Brooker
in Britain, the Chaser
in Australia, and The Soup
and The Daily Show
in the US leading a wave of shows and blogs that satirized and parodied the decade's culture.
And speaking of blogs, this was also the time in which the internet really became a part of society at large, instead of being limited to computer geeks and Usenet groups. Everyone got connected, with many people owning media storage devices, having access to the internet, etc. If you didn't have a computer with internet access, you were
left behind. Technology was always getting better and less expensive via Moore's law, and you could walk into a department store and buy a computer which was at least a million times more powerful than the ones that put man on the moon. Video games
finally started to gain mainstream recognition, especially near the end of the decade, with the release of the Wii
. Games became Darker and Edgier
, with much more mature storylines and realistic plots, although how mature and realistic they are is subject to debate (some see it as a repeat of The Dark Age of Comic Books
). Meanwhile, the sports gaming industry was effectively monopolized by Electronic Arts
, to the horror of some.
Gaming's turn towards realism was reflected in speculative fiction. There was a great demand for more "realistic"
depictions of what happens if we were to actually meet aliens
or fight robots
. If we are higher tech, there is a good chance that Humans Are the Real Monsters
, and when we have the inferior tech, don't expect to come out of the situation alive or overcoming against bad odds. This shift is perhaps best exemplified by LOST
and the remake of Battlestar Galactica
, two of the defining sci-fi shows of the decade, which were both heavily focused on character-driven drama, philosophy and gritty realism
(the latter especially in BSG
A lot of humor consists of Crossing the Line Twice
, and things which would have caused the Moral Guardians
to have strokes just a few years earlier are now seen as just mildly offensive. As such, an obsession with Japan and awareness of East Asian affairs (especially with China's rapid rise as a world power
) is becoming popular in the US once more. Movies tended to be more about adventure and self discovery than action and blowing things up. Of course, when you consider what started the decade off, it's kind of understandable why
Note that this was only named as such because few can decide on what to call the 2000-2009 period. In Britain and Australia, this decade is often called the Noughties, as the word "nought" is another word for "zero." However, the word "nought" has faded from American English, which means that, to American ears, the term "Noughties" sounds like the more snicker-inducing "Naughties." note
As a result, Americans are more likely to refer to this decade as "The two-thousands" or "The double-o's".
See Also: The Edwardian Era
, The Roaring Twenties
, The Great Depression
, The Forties
, The Fifties
, The Sixties
, The Eighties
, The Nineties
, Turn of the Millennium
and The New Tens
Now has Useful Notes
Tropes associated with the time period:
- All-CGI Cartoon: Disney and other animation companies abandoned traditional animation during this decade, though towards the end of the decade there was some hope that the two might coexist. Of course, anime is stronger than ever before and still averts this trope for the most part. Furthermore, this form finally began to break down the All Animation Is Disney stereotype beginning with Dreamworks Animation hitting the big time with their 2001 smash hit CGI feature, Shrek, becoming the first real feature animation company to challenge Disney over the long term, although it would have a period of artistic decline until it came roaring back in 2008 with a new quality commitment in 2008 with Kung Fu Panda.
- Interestingly, Stop-Motion animation has also received a re-invigoration from CGI pseudo-backlash, as it's become apparent that some aesthetics are better suited to Stop-motion than CG (one of the best examples being Flushed Away, which had the character designs of an Aardman Animations character, but were CG - audiences generally said the animation looked weird because of it.
- The Alleged Car The SUV of this decade got this reputation for much the same reason as cars from The Seventies did, because they where overweight gas guzzlers being sold durring a Gas Crisis. One example that stands out is the Ford Excursion. The combination of its curb weight of 7230 lbs, and it's 6.8 L V-10 engine, make for the ultimate gas guzzling SUV, getting only 9.6 mpg.
- Animation Age Ghetto Became less powerful due to the success of Adult oriented animated TV shows like South Park and Family Guy, and a large wave of adult oriented Anime, but still existed to some extent.
- Auto-Tune: Existed before this decade but it was used a lot during the late 2000s among Pop Stars and Rappers .
- Boy Band: Boy bands like N Sync and Back Street Boys remained a 90's holdover, but generally faded away by 2004 or so.
- But Not Too Black: Many of the Black Celebrities at that time specifically the women like Beyonce and Rihanna and Alicia Keys.
- But Not Too White
- Butt Monkey: George W. Bush, Michael Jackson before he died, and Britney Spears in the late 2000s .
- Blue Orange Contrast: began to spread like wildfire across the movie world with the advent of post-production digital coloring.
- Cash Cow Franchise: Every TV series or movie or video game that was successful during that decade.
- China Takes Over the World: Popular in fiction now that Japan doesn't have the cash to take over the world anymore and Russia is still a complete clusterfuck, even after 20 years.
- Contested Sequel: While it's not really a sequel to anything, the decade is generally hated by people who grew up in the 20th Century (especially The Nineties kids) causing Nostalgia Filter to become everywhere.
- Darker and Edgier: When compared to The Nineties, things got a lot more serious and frightening in this decade, what with 9/11, The War on Terror, Hurricane Katrina, the Indonesian tsunamis, the 7/7 London bombings, and much more. In a possibly related phenomenon, Darker and Edgier also became a popular trend for media sequels, reboots, and adaptations.
- Deconstructed Trope
- Defective Detective: Started in 2000 with Monk, the trope namer, and spread with Psych, Life and Bored to Death. The Good Guys and Terriers seem to be continuing this trend.
- Digital Distribution: The "legitimisation" of downloadable music, the success of Valve's Steam platform for PC games and client/server shops on all the major consoles and the advent of on demand TV and film services have made this a reality. YMMV on how this has been achieved, which leads us on to the following trope.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: Or is it? But as with the aformentiond Digital Distribution this is when it became mainstream and super-easy.
- Digital Piracy Is Okay: The prevaling opinion among everyone who wasn't a multi-billionaire media tycoon.
- Epic Movie: Too many to list.
- Emo Teen
- Everything Is an iPod in the Future: The iPod itself first appeared in 2001. The aesthetic took some time to really spread.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Ever since the success of the documentary March Of The Penguins in 2005 penguins are featured a lot in movies and TV in the mid 2000's .
- Friending Network: MySpace both rose and fell, and for the last couple years Face Book and Twitter carried the torch.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: In women's evening dress and hairstyles.
- From Bad to Worse: An entire decade of this happening.
- Gag Series
- Girl on Girl Is Hot: Especially on reality shows .
- Glam Rap: Rappers during that decade started to turn like this to become mainstream .
- Hip Hop: Became one of the most popular music genre after pop music during that decade
- Hipster: First officially appeared in 2000 with High Fidelity, and exploded around 2006.
- Hotter and Sexier: The music videos and advertising of the era saw new extremes of Fanservice, mainly to a male audience but occasionally to women.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Continuing with the "growing cynicism" theme, one of the prevailing attitudes of the Turn of the Millennium can be summed up as "Hate humans or there'll be hell to pay."
- Which then also got combined with the Green Aesop, probably making it even more Anvilicious than it already is.
- Hummer Dinger: Most of the giant SUVs sold during this decade.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: A lot of people who grew up during this period are deeply cynical. And Heaven help you if you're not.
- Kid Com: Both Disney and Nickelodeon shifted the focus of their networks to focus on "Tweencoms" and building franchises around the stars of their shows.
- Live-Action Adaptation: Scooby-Doo, Garfield, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Josie and the Pussycats, Transformers, Fat Albert Movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and The Cat in the Hat.
- Long Title: Everywhere in music in the middle of the decade, regardless of genre.
- Memetic Mutation: Internet memes existed well before the '00s, but became a huge part of the series of tubes in this decade.
- Moe: This is the decade where anime execs really started mining this trope for big payoffs. This caused a lot of contention in the fanbase over the entire decade.
- Money Song: Many songs like that in this decade especially from rappers but occasionally singers would make and song like this.
- Mood Whiplash
- Moral Guardians: Post-9/11, everything became more conservative. See the Useful Notes page for more info.
- Network Decay: Started in The Nineties with MTV, now it's moved on to just about every cable network.
- New Media Are Evil: The old media's reaction to the Internet.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Hooray; Saddam's evil empire is dea—wait; what's this about them being a huge supplier of oil, and our economy being based on oil?!
- And all those violent groups who were kept in check by Saddam but are more able to bomb the streets now that he's gone?
- Nostalgia Filter: It's always been around, but this era is probably when it's been the most prominent.
- Noughties Drama Series
- Post-Grunge: Most of the mainstream rock music of this decade falls into this category. In fact, it was one of the few genres that wasn't Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, or a derivative thereof that saw major airplay on mainstream radio. (Not counting oldies or classic rock stations of course). Though by The New Tens, this genre had worn out its welcome.
- Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie
- Reality TV: Not invented in this period, but it exploded in popularity.
- Red-and-White Comedy Poster
- Shaking The Rump: This was quite common in many hip hop music videos at that time.
- Shallow Parody
- Stripperiffic: Just about every female pop star was expected to do at least one video in a bikini's worth of clothing or even less, and street fashion in real life sometimes imitated this.
- Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks
- The End of the World as We Know It: Predicted. Multiple times. It did not happen... yet...
- The Eighties The decade of choice for much of this decade's nostalgia.
- The whole 20th Century in general has started to be remembered a lot more the it has been it past decades. Makes sense for a decade with a lot of horrible events and crappy entertainment.
- The War on Terror
- Tsundere: The concept existed before this point, of course, but really seemed to take off in this decade, becoming a prominent character type even in Western media.
- Who Forgot the Lights?: The Great Northeast Blackout of 2003, the largest in North American history, left Millions in the United States and Canada without electricity for days, and happened during the US war with Iraq, causing many to believe they were under attack.
- Wide Open Sandbox: First became popular in games
- Wolverine Publicity: Most of the biggest Celebrities in the 2000s like Paris Hilton.
- Zeerust: All those science fiction movies taking place in 2000 look so old now.
Works that were made in this time period: