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Sunday, December 29, 2013

On guilty pleasures....

If there is one phrase in the English language I despise, it is "guilty pleasure".  After all, a guilty pleasure is defined as

                      something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite
                      feeling guilt for enjoying it. The "guilt" involved is sometimes
                      simply fear of others discovering one's lowbrow or
                      otherwise embarrassing tastes, such as campy styles of
                      entertainment. Fashion, video games, music, films, and junk
                      food can be examples of guilty pleasures. (Wikipedia.com)

My question is why anyone should feel guilty about enjoying anything.  If you like something, and it is nor hurting anyone, there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about it.  If you look at what I watch, it might very easily be defined as a list of guilty pleasures.  I watch several shows on the Disney Channel (Austin & Ally, Lab Rats, and Mighty Med), Hub (Spooksville), or Nickelodeon (The Thundermans) that many might consider to be for younger children.  I love the High School Musical series and many other Disney Channel movies.  Many shows I watch(or watched) on network (or cable) television are teen dramas such as Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswood, Teen Wolf, or One Tree Hill.  I do watch other shows too because I like a variety of different things.  I am not ashamed that I watch any of these shows.  In fact, I love them all.

It seems that many people hear about shows like this and just dismiss them without watching them.  So, if you admit that you watch them, you have somehow committed some sort of serious sin and are guilty of having "bad taste".  Personally, this doesn't bother me in the slightest, but it does bug me that people have to stay in the closet (so to speak) about shows that they love because they might be perceived as being immature or some other such nonsense.

I know that one reason I love some of these shows is that they help take me away from the messiness of the adult world to a time when things were simpler and more innocent.  Some people may criticize that, but for me it is very important to sometimes just escape and get away.  So much television these days is gritty and dark that it is nice to have some lighter fare that is simply enjoyable and fun.

Now, I know that not everything I just listed is light, and those I enjoy for different reasons.  Some I enjoy because the stories are just fun and draw me in, others because there are stories that resonate with me, still other because I like the actors involved.  For the most part, I don't think about them too hard, rather I just let the story pull me along.  A couple (Teen Wolf and One Tree Hill) I do think about a lot as is evidenced by my reviews of them.

I know this was a little unfocused, but my point is to be proud of what you like.  If other people don't like the same things, so be it.  If they criticize you for liking what you like, screw 'em.  There is nothing wrong with liking what you like and enjoying it.  So let's excise the phrase "guilty pleasure" from the English language, because it just flat-out doesn't belong.