Fessin’ Up To Guilty Pleasures–What’re Yours?

As a freelancer, I have a particular set of guilty pleasures. Like, right now Golden Girls is on in the background and in a few minutes I’m going to take a break and watch a second episode, followed by a couple of episodes of Frasier. (Those beer posts exhausted the heck out of me.) It’s pretty typical if I want to take a break from all the fiction/nonfiction work, I’ll catch an episode of one or the other. And, in the afternoons, if I’m working out at home, I’ll have Judge Judy on in the background.

So, there, them’s me guilty pleasures. What’re yours?


  1. Eddie Duff says

    Lost… I’ll watch four episodes at a time- maybe more. Trying to catch up with the seasons on dvd.

  2. says

    Seeing as how I work on a Cubicle Ranch, my guilty pleasures are limited to reading things like this on my Google Reader when I should be focusing on other stuff. I’m also indulging my voyeuristic streak by reading the twitter feeds of people like you, Warren Ellis, and Ben Templesmith.

  3. GB Steve says

    I watch Just Shoot Me before going to work in the morning.

    If I’m looking for time filler at other points in the day, I’ve got all the Fry and Lawrie Jeeves and Wooster on DVD. It’s probably too good to be a guilty pleasure.

  4. says

    Somehow I have utterly failed to watch a show regularly for the past, hmmm… coming up for 20 months. Wonder if it’s anything to do with the diminutive offspring who’s, hmmmm… coming up for 20 months. The Xbox (OMG-Bioshock rules) and dystopian movies currently fill out the time I should be writing in the evenings.

  5. says

    Oh, I have a few: I’ve found myself watching “My Name is Earl” more than a few times, and I really like Coors Lite beer. I think I have an inner redneck.

  6. says

    If an argument can be made that something is validly great, I generally don’t feel guilty over it. Unfortunately very few videogames reach past goodness into greatness, so a few (2 or 3 ever maybe?) games aside, I consider the thousands of hours I’ve wasted on videogames guilty pleasures. I have probably wasted more time watching TV and movies though, but luckily I have great taste in film and television, so little of that would qualify as guilty. Actually, I’m just being an ass. I enjoy the shows like the not as good as it could be/soon to be cancelled Reaper and movies like the Wicker Man remake and Dreamcatcher far too much. Those two movies bring me to a second category of guilty pleasures: things I enjoy out of some element of irony. I’ve been getting into some cheesy metal lately, which at least isn’t necessarily a waste of time since I can work while listening, but I still feel guilty. Not that I feel bad about liking all Metal (though unfortunately I find good metal fairly rare), but I definitely think I should feel guilty about the cheesy stuff I only like because they’re singing about wizards and demons and shit.

  7. Eric says

    Frasier and Will & Grace reruns, UFC Unleashed re-runs, fart jokes, love poetry and Java Girls mochas (for the coffee and for the girls serving it).

  8. says

    Bad movies, especially bad comedies. The more painfully bad the jokes, the better, provided it’s the right vintage of bad. I refuse to even dabble with modern-day gross-out amateurs, and (justifiably, I’d argue) despise swill like the American Pie movies. Mel Brooks? Far too classy, although he has some gems. No, when I need a fix I go to one place; a dark, seedy pleasure palace of Bad:

    The Cannonball Run. Oh, such sweet pain! Burt and The Dom tearin ass across America in perhaps the ultimate offensive, bad (yes, offensively bad) “comedy” of all time. The Hollywood Squares cast, the unbelievably problematic jokes, the wretched soundtrack…a balm for the soul. Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin make me howl with mirth at the sheer classlessness of their dialog. I love the sophistication of a Tom Stoppard play or an Italo Calvino novel but sometimes the almost meta thrill of laughing at something which is attempting to be funny precisely because of how unfunny it is proves irresistible…any MST3K fan can yuck it up during a bad drama or horror film, but do you have what it takes to watch what may be the worst film of all time and laugh at every awful line? As for The Cannonball Run II, well, it’s got Telly Savalas, so clearly only professionals need apply.

    I also have the low tendency of altering my beverage of choice depending on what I’m watching, so The Cannonball Run flicks are best served with whatever cheap beer you can stomach; I suggest Yuengling. I suppose that’s a guilty pleasure as well: I usually prefer an Islay malt or Knob Creek, but when I’m watching an oater like The Proposition or the Deadwood series I trade in my airs for some Old Crow Sour Mash and Ginger Ale. Apparently, I could have better summarized my guilty pleasure as being mildly masochistic!

  9. says

    The movie Lifeforce, by Tobe Hooper. So superbly weird and off-kilter, like the British Quatermass movies of the ’60s. Makes no sense, completely over-the-top, gruesome, and silly, and I cherish it always.

  10. Jess Nevins says

    Pish. Most of these don’t really deserve the adjective “guilty.”

    Now, my perverse affection for World’s Most Shocking Police Videos…I *deserve* to feel guilty for liking those. If pornography is the prurient contemplation of the debased, I consume the most shameful sort of porn.

  11. Rick Klaw says

    My guilty pleasures are abundant and fluid.

    I’ve rarely encountered an ape movie that I won’t sit down and watch. Same goes for ape comic books. Hell, I just flat out enjoy funny books.

    TV-wise, I was on an Ellen kick for years but have managed to get that monkey off my back. Now its Ninja Warrior and The Venture Bros.

    Paul O. Miles introduced me to the joys of old time radio that is available over the web. I spend an inordinate amount of time searching the web for shows. My current faves are Horror! and X-1.

    Though not really a guilty pleasure, I’ll rarely do anything else when a baseball game is on and I can’t go to bed at night until I check out the scores. Throughout the day, even if I’m not watching, I’m constantly getting score updates. I spend a lot of time reading about baseball as well.

    Another one is Linux. I need little excuse to tinker with my os. (I write this as I wait for the latest version of Ubuntu to download.) Once I start, I rarely stop until I figure it out.

    I have a real weakness for ice cream… I get excited when Ben & Jerry’s releases a new flavor. And root beer. My latest junk is Maine root beer (http://www.maineroot.com/index.php). I’ve actually had lengthy online debates about the best root beers.

    I own Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein (’nuff said).

  12. says

    “And, in the afternoons, if I’m working out at home, I’ll have Judge Judy on in the background.”

    Oh my – me, too!!! The show comes on right about the time I get home from my day job, so while I’m putting away my work shoes and booting up the writing computer, I listen to her lambaste foolish people. It’s weirdly refreshing.

  13. Eric Schaller says

    Re: My name is Earl, mentioned above.

    In my opinion that can not be considered a guilty pleasure. As far as I’m concerned, that is one of the best written shows on tv. I feel no guilt in screaming at the top of my lungs: I love “My name is Earl!”

    Now “Will and Grace” is a guilty pleasure that I will cop to.

    But “The Golden Girls”, my God Jeff, are you insane!

  14. says


    See, it’s about these four women who live together, all past age 60, and their adventures and stuff. Sometimes, one of them keeps babbling on about St. Olaf and the surreal life she led in the old country. It’s craaazy.


  15. says

    I had a roommate in college that was huge into the Golden Girls. His appreciation was such that even his girlfriend (now wife I think) thought he was more ‘girlfriend’ than boyfriend material when they met. Some afternoons all five of my roommates, all straight college age males (not that there would be any problem if one of us wasn’t), would sit around and watch Golden Girls reruns together. Between those half hours of comradery, and the fact that the creator of Arrested Development was a producer on that show, I’m willing to say The Golden Girls is underrated.

  16. says

    Frasier, Scrubs, Will and Grace, I love Lucy , and the classic Warner Bros. ‘toons by the Holy Trinity of Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc, and Carl Stalling, in their original and pristine pre-butchered state, that is.

  17. says

    Ghost Hunters. There’s just something about it, the right mix of people (now) I guess. The spin-off/gravy train shows not so much (IGH and Destination Truth), but this one is still pretty good.

  18. Jen A says

    Wow, I think everyone’s guilty pleasures are actually pretty respectable, and nothing to feel guilty about at all!

    I, however, got snagged by something truly shameful. Something that makes me hang my head in public. It started innocently enough when someone shared a link of Christian Siriano’s guest appearance on Make Me a Supermodel (yeah, you see where this is going), and I clicked the link. Worst. Mistake. Ever. That shameless, train wreck of a show totally addicted me. All of a sudden, in my spare moments I was lurking around Bravo’s website, watching the old episodes, clicking the galleries. It’s not even on the air anymore, people. But I couldn’t stop myself. The Bronnie! Tyson Beckford’s craptastic attitude! Naked models! Squirrel gravy! Truly, truly awful — and yet mesmerizing.

    Whew. Confession is good for the soul.

    (And I would second Charmed, but I can’t, since I only watch the Shannen Doherty years and that is some good shit. What? You’ve lost all respect for me now? Well, what took you so long?)

  19. David RS says

    Betty White and Estelle Getty used to kick some kind of ass.

    I’m guilty of still enjoying old school American Gladiators, Jimmy Buffett albums, and Third Rock from the Sun.

  20. Ann V. says

    Well then, how about the Ernest movies? My favorite is Ernest Goes to Camp, although Ernest Scared Stupid is a close second.

  21. says

    Have you checked out Jim Varney’s movie Dr. Otto & the Riddle of the Gloom Beam? I’m pretty sure it is pre-Earnest and is weirrrrrrrrrrrrrrd, even by Earnest standards.

  22. says

    Ernest Goes to Camp is a classic. I even have a soft spot for Goes to Jail, though I haven’t seen Scared Stupid. Looks like Dr. Otto just made my netflix queue too.

  23. says

    Lane, Ernest Goes to Camp was filmed in my hometown area and some childhood friends of mine are extras in the movie. Small world, huh?

    As for my guilty pleasures, there’s always pro wrestling, even if I haven’t watched much at all the past few months. Playing ping pong during breaks teaching at work now (and hustling the poor residents into thinking that they can beat me). Watching Faux News or televangelists like John Hagee on occasion just to get riled up and ready to write something really sarcastic. Watching the “banana” clip that Felix Gilman is so fond of posting on his blog now…yeah, that’s about it for now.

  24. Mary C says

    I’m a huge Anime fan. Sure “Akira” and “Ghost in the Shell” are respectable. But I also like some of the YA stuff — “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “Gundam Wing.” “Mushi-shi” I highly recomend. “Cowboy Bebop” and “Samurai Champloo.” Not to mention “Avatar the Last Airbender” though it’s American. You get the picture.

  25. mothbeast says

    Wow! That takes me back to college. In 1991-1995 in Baltimore Golden Girls was one of the last things on before stations went off the air around 3am? I haven’t really watched them since. These days guilty pleasures tend in involve foods especially forbidden carbs though mystery novels and horror movies are high on the list too.

  26. Rebecka says

    I don’t own a tv.
    When i need a break from my studies i usually talk to my plants or brows internet for books i can’t afford

  27. says

    Napping. Oh, my goodness, the pleasure of crawling into bed for an hour or two during the afternoon, when I know it’s going to screw with my sleep at night and that I should be doing almost anything else. Hitting the reset switch after a bad day at the computer and starting fresh in the late afternoon — it’s a joy only telecommuters working part-time can really understand.

  28. says

    Mine is espresso. I recently broke a two and a half year long caffeine fast in which I consumed nothing even resembling caffeine or containing a measurable amount for that entire time. By the way, if anyone cuts caffeine cold turkey after a long time, the headaches _do_ stop after about two weeks of withdrawl. You will then feel really good for about a month before the feeling subsides. It’s pretty much the same effect as taking up heavy caffeine levels initially. A true hedonist would learn to cycle it.

    But back to the point: my recent guilty pleasure was made up of 3 shots of speed boiled/pressed espresso, steamed milk and enough flavoring syrup to make my barrista’s eyes nearly shoot out of her head. I said extra, she said to say when… and I just kind of tapped my foot… and waited as she grew alarmed that it wasn’t all going to fit into the grotesquely huge coffee cup. That sweet… sweet… grotesque cup of unwholesome but tasty personal rule breaking. Makes me want another… but I think I’ll wait until it will have maximum kick all over again.

  29. says

    The Golden Girls actually have some social comentary that still works today. Like when Rose was molested by her dentist or Blanche’s brother came out about being gay. So how it could possibly be a “guilty pleasure” when it actually has some meat to it….

    That being said, the movie Van Helsing. It’s intentionally awful. I loved it so much I even wrote a very Mary Suish fan fiction where Van Helsing teams up with The Phantom Of The Opera to take down Mestophiles from the opera Faust.

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