Five of TV’s guilty pleasures.

December 14, 2007 at 11:54 am (tv misc) (, )


 1. Ghost Whisperer.

Why it’s a guilty pleasure: It stars Jennifer Love Hewitt, the wardrobe department has no shame, the writing is cheesy, unrealistic and over the top, and when the ghosts attack it’s more amusing than terrifying.

But: You can still go aww at all the long heartfelt talks at the end of every episode, or wonder why Melinda always compresses the ghost’s speech into a single sentence. And when the ghosts attack, it’s amusing. Very, very amusing, especially when Mel starts shrieking. Plus, you can snark on the show. As luck would have it, Melinda is a very easy target because of her stupidity and extreme cheerfulness, which always feels fake, thankyou very much JLH.

2. Smallville.

Why it’s a guilty pleasure: Moves so fast most of the important stuff happens offscreen! Nothing in the world is stronger than the creator’s perverted crush on Lana! Plots that leap logic in a single bound! Also, most of the characters are total morons.

But: Eh, it’s young Superman. He has cool abilities and when he’s not being an idiot or sharing a scene with Lana, he’s actually a pretty nice guy. The fights and stuff can look cool and if you go over to, there’s plenty of laughs in the recaps and the forums. Which is like, half the reason I keep watching.

3. Touched By An Angel.

Why it’s a guilty pleasure: It’s a show about a group of angels who go around curing people’s emotional pain by having touching talks with them. ‘Nuff said.

But: I’ve been occasionally watching the reruns of this while I eat lunch, for two reasons. Monica’s accent is so incredibly awesome and it’s really fun to repeat the angels’ wise advice in a screechy stupid voice. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but seriously, it is.

4. Gossip Girl.

Why it’s a guilty pleasure: Really, the only reason it’s a guilty pleasure is because it’s one of those teen dramas along the lines of The O.C. So it’s not a guilty pleasure for me, but it might be for people who aren’t teenage girls.

But: Despite being like The O.C., and even being made by the same guy, this is much much better. The main character Serena is not great, but she’s good, and the actress [Blake Lively of Travelling Pants fame, but much less annoying here] isn’t bad. However, her frenemy Blair is just fantastic. She’s 95 pounds of girly evil, yet you can’t help but feel sorry for her after all the sh*t that happens. The actress [Lleighton Meester of Surface] is amazing at portraying Blair’s mix of viciousness and vunerability, and helps to make her the most layered character I have ever seen on a teen drama. The directing does a great job, the narrator Gossip Girl is one of the few narrators who don’t bug and whoever wrote her lines got much better after the third episode or so. There are a whole lot of people who love Chuck and feel really bad about it because he was a twice attempted-rapist by the end of the first episode [don’t worry, he didn’t succeed.] And for all those who watched the pilot and turned away, I urge you to come back and give it a second chance. It hit its stride at about the third episode, and just keeps getting better and better. Oh, finally, the music is really good. So yeah, it’s actually a great show even if it is a teen drama.

5. Childrens cartoons.

Why they’re a guilty pleasure: It should be obvious.

This is actually three cartoons I’m talking about, so I’ll do a bit on each of them.

Digimon: It’s kind of like Pokemon, except instead of trying to Catch ‘Em All and be Da Best Pokemon Trainer Ever!!!11!!1 these are normal kids who suddenly find themselves in a strange world [Digiworld] with weird talking animals [the digimon] accompanying them. Then they find out they need to save this Digiworld from some evil Digimon. And so starts their big adventure. The kids are actually likable, sympathetic and somewhat realistic, the plots are interesting, and the script is not great, but it’s pretty good all things considered. I am talking about the first season only, btw. The second one wasn’t very good and after seeing the ads for the third I declared myself done.

Kim Possible: As a general rule of thumb, if the episode has Drakken and Shego, then it’s a good one. If it doesn’t, there’s a fair chance it isn’t. Drakken and Shego’s sniping at each other and at Kim always brightens up an episode, as does Drakken’s drama-queen-ness. And if you get the feeling there’s going to be a message to the episode [such as eat healthy or labels don’t matter] then avoid at all costs. But yeah, the non-message ones with Drakken and Shego are pretty cool and I like the love/hate relationship they have with each other and with Kim.

 Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? This is the original series, before they added Scrappy-Doo and Fred, Velma and Daphne left and Daphne came back and they made a couple of live-action movies. Every single plot is basically the exact same thing in different settings I can’t figure out why Shaggy and Scooby keep playing dress ups and painting the “ghost’s,” picture or whatever instead of running away, or why Fred keeps sending them off alone when they always get into trouble. But I like trying to figure out which of the three or so suspects was dressing up as the ghost, the chase scenes are awesome when they put on jaunty music during them and it’s hilarious that there’s often some sheriff that reveals he has been working on the case for months and then four teenagers and a dog solved it in a few hours with no equipment. Oh, and the other thing that’s hilarious is how short Velma is. I found out she’s supposed to be 4’9’, and was giggling over that all afternoon, and then half the gang dressed up in Mr Hyde monster costumes so that the culprit, wearing the same costume as they were, would get scared into the trap. And he look behind the curtain, and there was a Hyde, and then ran to hide in the closet and there was another Hyde, and then a midget Hyde popped up and I started laughing really hard. Anyway, the whole show’s vintage fun.


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