TV Guilty Pleasure Confessions: I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

The time has come for me to confess all the terrible television I have been watching lately. With the return of cable to my life, this was bound to happen. Are you watching any of these shows, too? Will you commiserate?

At least two of these people are not smug a-holes -- an unprecedented ratio on reality TV.
At least two of these people are not smug a-holes -- an unprecedented ratio on reality TV.

Taking the Stage

I have a great excuse for watching this MTV reality show about kids in a performing-arts high school – a truly great excuse, just wait for it. I, you see, am a patron of the arts. Just try to impugn me for that, bitches!



SOMEONE in this picture should have taken a job in Paris is all I am saying.
SOMEONE in this picture should have taken a job in Paris is all I am saying.

The Hills & The City

I have been meaning to write a “Guilty Pleasure Confessions” post about The Hills for so long. I have such a post saved in my drafts, in fact, and it has been there for, like, three seasons. I watched Laguna Beach back in the day, I’ve been watching The Hills since Season 1 (How could L.C. not take the job in Paris, HOW I ASK YOU), and now I am even watching The City. Yes, I am the specific kind of jackass who watches all of these shows.



"Twelve beatiful girls stand before me, but I only have eleven pictures in my hands."
"Twelve beatiful girls stand before me, but I only have eleven pictures in my hands."

America’s Next Top Model

I have one thing to say about this show: TYRA.

Wait, let me add another thing: NIGEL.



Every single person depicted here: utterly useless.
Every single person depicted here: utterly useless.

Make Me a Supermodel

This is absolutely the poor man’s ANTM – it’s a little glossier and a little more inscrutable, but the awesomeness of Tyra, Nigel, and Miss J is only sadly mimicked by the less-than-awesomeness of Tyson (boring), Nicole (totally luuded out), and the posse of ridiculous judges. The only one I don’t want to kill is Catherine Malandrino, who is wonderful in all respects. As for the models? I don’t even remember who any of them are from one week to the next. Why am I watching this again? Oh right. I will watch basically any of these Bravo reality shows. I am the one person in America who watched Top Design.



"Not at the Cancer Society!"
"Not at the Cancer Society!"

The Real Housewives of New York City

Oh my dog, you guys, this show is great! I didn’t catch on to the Housewives phenomenon in time to board the train to the O.C.; the Atlanta show aired while I was without cable; but the N.Y.C. show, in all its awesomeness, makes up for all that I’ve missed in the other franchises. Jill Zarin is probably my favorite, but Bethenny and the Countess LuAnn DeLesseps come in a close second/third. Oh, and if you are watching this, could you please just back me up on one thing: Kelly Bensimon. Is she evil incarnate, or what? A CASH BAR at her own party! THE HELL.



I don't know.  I'm sorry. There is just no excuse for this.
I don't know. I'm sorry. There is just no excuse for this. They don't even have a decent promotional picture.

Harper’s Island

Exhibit A toward proving that I will watch absolutely any mystery or detective show no matter how bad it is. This is a truly terrible show: gruesome and violent and illogical in its storytelling, peopled with ridiculously inconsistent characters played by mostly terrible actors. This show has exactly two redeeming factors: Christopher Gorham and scenery of the Pacific Northwest.



"The hammer is my penis."
"The hammer is my penis."


Exhibit B toward proving my love for and determination in watching all manner of terrible detective shows. This particular gem is based on a ridiculous premise (no police department would ever allow a crime novelist with no police training to basically be partners with a homicide detective; I’M SORRY). Like Harper’s Island, the storytelling is embarrassingly bad: don’t even bother trying to follow the thread of an episode’s plot or of the murder investigation itself. No such thread will ever be found. Each episode is like a collage of ostensibly related scenes that basically either do nothing to move the plot forward or do too much too fast. The one beautifully consistent unifying factor? Nathan Fillion is in every scene. And there you go.



Your turn. Confess! I know you’re watching some terrible TV out there, people. Help me feel less alone.

10 thoughts on “TV Guilty Pleasure Confessions: I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

  1. clarabella April 27, 2009 / 10:09 pm

    I watch approximately 5 out of 7 of these shows (that’s how many there are, right? I am too tired to even scroll back up.), with the exceptions of Supermodel (blarg) and that dance show because you know how I feel about that.
    I concur with your comments except to add that I just really like seeing the pictures at the judging ceremonies (yikes!) on ANTM. It’s amazing to me how some really splendid pictures can come from some terrible photo-shoots and alternately how some of what I consider the worst photos get high praise from the judges. Also, can I just say BRING TWIGGY BACK! Or shit, even Janice is better than that Paulina lady. Blech.
    Now, Harper’s Island. I know I am the one who told you to watch this show, and it is without-a-doubt TERRIBLE, but here’s the WORST part as far as I’m concerned: why is no one in this motley crew worried about the missing wedding guests/attendants? COME ON! There have been 3 episodes, presumably 3 DAYS, and no one wonders yet where crazy Uncle Logan’s dad is or Blondie with the yappy dog? Do they all just think they’re on benders and will magically appear for the wedding ceremony? Also, I totally think Abby’s the killer. There, I’ve said it. Split personality or something.
    I don’t really have any terrible confessions to make, since I think a lot of the TV I DVR is pretty good, but I will say I have stuck it out and watched every episode of Heroes and WANT THOSE PRECIOUS HOURS BACK, Tim Kring.

  2. Golightly April 27, 2009 / 10:21 pm

    I am currently so obsessed with the Millionaire Matchmaker. I hate The Rules and its ilk, and I hate LA-type people. Why do I love this show? There are so many reasons: the tough love, the dream dates, the clarity of the dating laws laid down by Patti, the fact that she’s *so* Jersey but she loves to talk about “class” and “coming from a good family,” seeing aspiring models have what they thought were amazing first dates and still have guys not call them back…No, I have no justifiable reason. It’s fun as hell though.

    (Clarabella, you’re *still* watching Heroes?)

  3. Alfina the Vague April 28, 2009 / 8:38 am

    C – I completely agree about Twiggy! I wonder if she quit the show? I bet she got tired of all the nonsense. But yeah, Paulina is the bad combination: boring and occasionally annoying. And re Harper’s Island, I wonder if Henry could be the killer? It’s totally gonna be someone we would “least” expect. They are just trying so hard, you know?

    G – OK, Millionaire Matchmaker is definitely a guilty pleasure show! I will occasionally get sucked into an episode if I catch one, so I know what you mean. I prefer my housewives though.

    Re Heroes, I haven’t watched any of it lately, but I keep getting this urge to check in and see what’s up. I probably won’t, though, just because between my DVR shows and the Buffy and Northern Exposure DVDs taking turns in my DVD player, I am all stocked up on TV.

  4. Katie April 28, 2009 / 9:34 am

    Well, I used to watch The Hills, but haven’t since two seasons ago. This is probably because I know that if I do catch an episode, I’ll want to see all of the ones I’ve missed. But seeing Spencer Pratt’s face is a pretty good deterrent.

    My biggest guilty pleasure? Probably My Life on the D-List. Shhhh!

  5. Kristen April 28, 2009 / 12:04 pm

    I totally watch Castle, too. My husband is actually REALLY into it — I mostly sit on the couch with him and work while he watches, but I’m definitely finding myself sucked into the sucky premise. He wanted to start up with Harper’s Island, but I put my foot down.

    I will admit to being a little obsessed with Fringe, although I don’t know if it’s really BAD. Between Pacey Whitter and a batshit crazy old man, I’m hooked.

  6. clarabella April 28, 2009 / 12:05 pm

    Oh dear lord: TRHoNYC

  7. Timothy April 28, 2009 / 12:35 pm

    What is this “Countess” person a “Countess” of? Some no-account European dutchy? Did I wake up in 1650 this morning? I have seen a few episodes of this NYC show…they are all evil incarnate. Evil, apparently, has many incarnations.

    Guilty? I got hooked on Tough Love and I Love Money 2. I’m not proud of that.

  8. Ruby April 28, 2009 / 4:09 pm

    My poor hubby. I love the Bravo shows, they make him ill. All I’m going to say is that Kelly Bensimon is going to rot in hell for having a cash bar at her party, and that’s the least of her sins (she got arrested for PUNCHING OUT HER BOYFRIEND. The woman is a lunatic). I still don’t understand how any/most of the Real Housewives are smart enough to have graduated from college, much less hold down a job. Except for maybe the former Playboy model on the OC. Oh, and Countess of what? Nothing anymore. Oh, and I really want to know what the budget for nose candy is on any season of any of those shows. WOW.

    I *heart* Kathy Griffin.

    The Millionaire Matchmaker creeps me out and yet I cannot stop watching.

    I totally love Castle. It’s because of Cap’n Tightpants, of course, but the whole show is actually growing on me. In a good way.

    I’m really happy Fringe is back on. It make me giggle and say ooooooOOOOOooooo. And it’s got Joshua Jackson.

    Lost, of course.

    I really wanted to watch the BBC show about Captain Jack Harkness and Graham Norton finding the new lead for Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, but I hate musicals, and I forget to look for it. I love Capt. Jack, and I can’t wait for Torchwood to come back on, if it comes back on. Oh, and where’s the new season of Doctor Who? I’m starting to worry, especially since there will be no David Tennant, and my pick for the Doctor did not go as planned. *cry*

    Oh, did I not mention Dollhouse? Well for about two weeks it totally disappeared from my DVR. And then, very unexpectedly, it reappeared. So, I’ve been catching up. Thank Joss it started to get better.

    Also, if you didn’t know, fabulous writer Jane Espenson (of Buffy, Angel, Gilmore Girls, Firefly, and BSG fame) is writing for Caprica. She said in a recent interview that they are planning for the series to last WELL INTO THE WAR. Meaning, very long term. Meaning, before it even gets going, it’s going to be good. Hell yeah.

  9. jair April 28, 2009 / 10:29 pm

    Even -I- think Nathan Fillion is cute! And Firefly was awesome.

    Haven’t watched much television at all in the last few months, since the ads in this country are truly atrocious.

  10. Molly April 29, 2009 / 12:58 pm

    I don’t have cable and the little I’ve seen of broadcast reality TV tends to annoy me rather than addict me, so I was thinking I didn’t share any of your guilty pleasures. Then I reached the last two: check and check. I too will watch just about any classic mystery or detective show (by classic I don’t of course mean good; I just mean not the modern CSI-type show).

    Of course Nathan Fillion is what attracted me to Castle, but I don’t actually find it embarrassingly bad (the pilot was, but it’s improved–the screwbally banter is less forced). The plots are far from brilliant, but no worse than on The Mentalist or Bones (my other two guilty pleasure mystery shows).

    Harper’s Island keeps me watching out of curiosity: how on earth will they come up with a motive that ties together all deaths they’ve jammed in to up the scary/gory factor? The cousin (bride’s side) under the boat, the uncle (groom’s side), the old priest, the local girl, the rich suitor…I’ll be impressed if it all fits together at all logically. I’m not convinced they’re going to go with the person-you-least-suspect cliche, however. It seems like the kind of show that will give us happy endings for the characters it wants us to sympathize with.

    Also, as Clarabella commented above, it’s ridiculous how long missing characters are going unmissed. I understand that they wanted to give the viewers a taste of normal interactions to get to know the characters before murder investigations begin, but then they should have resigned themselves to fewer gory deaths per episode.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s