In light of how frequently people seem to be using the word iconic today, what are some alternatives which are perhaps more apt and more accurate? I've always associated the word with paintings in a church, which have that certain iconic look to them. I guess you'd call it a signature- or highly stylized look, and not very realistic.
I've provided a few "before and after" examples below, but I welcome suggestions for improvement; that is, better alternatives. Possibly you prefer the word iconic and would not seek to substitute another word for it. That's OK too.
The O. J. Simpson trial is the iconic controversial trial from the 90s.
The O. J. Simpson trial is representative of controversial trials from the 90s.
Snowboarder Joe Schmo's performance in the 2014 Winter Olympics was iconic for that relatively new event.
Snowboarder Joe Schmo's performance in the 2014 Winter Olympics was the quintessence of that relatively new event.
The iconic romantic comedy from the 90s has to be "Four Weddings and a Funeral," starring Andie McDowell and Hugh Grant.
"Four Weddings and a Funeral," starring Andie McDowell and Hugh Grant, is the epitome of romantic comedies from the 90s.
Perhaps the appropriate alternative word or expression varies from context to context. If so, could you also explain grammatically why that is so? I'm not much of a grammarian, so please be simplistic, if possible.