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Arts in Review

Commentary: Secret pleasures

We all have that guilty pleasure – that one show that we secretly watch. No one knows we watch it, but we love it. Our clandestine television fanaticisms lead us to PVR it when we’re gone, buy the DVDs and watch the extra bits as we become emotionally invested in the characters. And we all do it. Our pretentious peers are always ready to judge us but, you know what, the truth is they all have a guilty pleasure or two as well. And it might even be the same show.

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by Brittany Wiesner (Staff Writer)

We all have that guilty pleasure – that one show that we secretly watch. No one knows we watch it, but we love it. Our clandestine television fanaticisms lead us to PVR it when we’re gone, buy the DVDs and watch the extra bits as we become emotionally invested in the characters. And we all do it. Our pretentious peers are always ready to judge us but, you know what, the truth is they all have a guilty pleasure or two as well. And it might even be the same show.

For me it’s Gossip Girl, America’s Next Top Model and Jersey Shore. It’s sad, but true; I love trashy shows. Who doesn’t love girls in fashion talking smack to each other or guidos and guidettes partying?
Don’t judge me. You know you love it. You’re just as invested in Chuck and Blair, and you know you’re on team Ann, and you’re probably just as a big of a fan of Snooki’s outrageous expressions as I am. The bottom line is that we watch these shows for a reason: they’re entertaining.

These dirty little secrets are our escape. We’re students who spend our days reading textbooks and our nights writing papers. We skip meals to save money, and we spend money to see our friends. Our lives are busy and full of duties and requirements, so for just an hour or so each week, we get an escape – a chance to immerse ourselves in something dramatic and entertaining, something we don’t have to think about, which we can turn off our brains and enjoy.

It’s truly a wonderful thing. I love my Monday nights because after class I come home and turn on Gossip Girl. Immediately, I’ve forgotten about work, and I’m watching gorgeous people in gorgeous clothes having gorgeous problems. Afterwards I laugh at the absurdity of their pretend lives, of course, but I still love it.

We know we “shouldn’t” watch these shows, but they’re so addicting and so enjoyable. We wait with baited breath to see what’s going to happen next – is so and so voted off the island? Will whats-his-face and whats-her-face get together, finally? I can’t believe “that” happened, what a shocker! It’s our relief from our hectic lives, and it’s bloody brilliant.

As well, what you call trashy TV someone else may take seriously. It’s like the Twilight phenomenon – we all know it’s shit, but 13 year-olds love it. Just because you dislike the Situation and J-Woww doesn’t mean someone doesn’t seriously worry about their lives.

Stop worrying what other people think, and start proudly wearing your fandom. You know you care who got voted off American Idol last night. Don’t be ashamed; we all have our guilty pleasures, and we shouldn’t hide them, we should embrace them! TV’s about pleasure, so watch what you want. As long as you’re enjoying it, it doesn’t matter. I love Gossip Girl and I’m not afraid to admit it. What do you love?

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