Admit it…you all have one. That show that you’re embarrassed to admit you not only watch but love. The show you know is rotting your brain but you can’t help but be addicted to. The show you hope no one sees on your DVR or in your Netflix queue. It’s ok, the first step is acceptance. Here at TB Talks TV, we decided to make you feel better about yourself by comparison, so we’ve listed some of our favorite guilty pleasure TV shows. Just don’t tell anyone!
To that end, we’re working on a new rule around here: if you’re not worried about spoilers, it’s probably a guilty pleasure show.
TEEN WOLF (MTV)
We admit, we really kind of liked this show when it debuted. It was campy and fun and didn’t take itself seriously at all. You had a bunch of extremely attractive “teenagers” (are there any other kind on TV?) running around, cracking jokes, and occasionally taking their shirts off. Also, werewolves. And for what it was, it was really good! And then the third season hit and the writers and showrunners erred the way so many do – they tried to go serious and the fun that made the show so enjoyable at first got sucked right out of it and was replaced with “mythology.” So while we’re still watching it, we’re just not bragging about it.
SAY YES TO THE DRESS (TLC)
The joy here isn’t so much watching someone pick out a gown, it’s sitting back in your sweatpants judging every inch of fabric as well as their decision to spend a year’s worth of rent on a single dress for a single night. (All right, maybe 6 months of rent, depending on your neighborhood.) The point is, the wedding industry is a $40 billion a year business and there’s something satisfying about watching the wealthy and the supremely wealthy waste $10,000 on a single article of clothing while we’re kicking around in a shirt we’ve been wearing since high school.
If cookie batter had a TV equivalent, this would be it. There’s no nutritional value but you keep returning to it, even when you know you’ve already had too much. It’s fluff TV at its finest and we can’t get enough.
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS (ABC Family)
It’s a rule: If it’s on ABC Family and it’s enjoyable, it’s a guilty pleasure. (“The Middleman” excepted, of course.) Sure, the show’s mystery could only really be resolved at this point by the reveal of a town-wide conspiracy against the main characters; sure, the acting is sometimes not the greatest; sure, it’s embarrassing for an adult to have to admit to watching a show that’s even called “Pretty Little Liars.” But damn if we don’t enjoy it.
UNDER THE DOME (CBS)
We started watching this because how can you not watch a show from the dynamic duo Steven Spielberg and Stephen King? This show had so much potential (the book is amazing!) and has, so far, failed to deliver. We’re sticking with it, though, through thick and thin. What can we say? We’re optimists.
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
Yes, it’s our second Shonda Rhimes series on the list. And, yes, we know we should have given up on it years ago. We just can’t help ourselves – between McDreamy and McSteamy, can you blame us? The speeches are still brilliant, the patients of the week still manage to tug on our heartstrings, and the doctors still find ways to get busy in the on-call room without getting fired.
BRITISH PERIOD DRAMAS
Between “North and South,” the “Pride and Prejudice” mini-series, and “Upstairs, Downstairs,” it’s obvious we have a soft spot for tall, dark and British. There’s nothing better than cozying up with a cup of tea and a British series that you know can only end one way. The accents! The brooding! And the moment when the guy gets the girl? *sigh*
ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC)
The guilt over watching a show where “stealing someone’s happy ending” is apparently a legitimate and literal threat is dwarfed by the guilt of watching a show where the characters make really stupid decisions and every other episode reveals that the characters are related to each other in some new and complicated way. (The branches of the “Once Upon a Time” family tree are seriously tangled.) But the things that make “Once Upon a Time” strange and confusing are also thing things that sometimes make it a lot of fun to watch. Looking at this list, maybe we should just put all of ABC’s schedule up.
ARROW (The CW)
All right. There’s an argument to made that much of “Arrow” can be enjoyed utterly guilt-free. But where’s the fun in that? This CW superhero show is one of those things we look forward to every Wednesday’s night, even though we know the next hour of television isn’t necessarily going to be the most enlightening thing we’ve ever consumed. But we’re still on the couch waiting.
What are some of your favorite guilty pleasures?