Off Topic: Guilty TV Pleasures

There comes a time when the TV isn't for playing games, but instead sitting (or slumping) in front of while your brain slowly and enjoyably curdles. There are plenty of shows that are critical and cultural successes… and then there's the less glorious stuff, which can be enjoyable, if a little shameful.

Photo: Roxanne Ready

I've got two primary guilty TV pleasures that aren't quite raising my intelligence any. Firstly, The Amazing Race. Generally, I've no time for the contrived and calculated nature of reality TV, and there's no doubting that Race is as guilty of that as most. But the daft nature of the challenges, the reaction of people to different cultures (sometimes enlightening, sadly all too often insular) and the ongoing battles with fatigue make it comfortable and gripping TV.

Then there's professional wrestling. Yes, (sigh), I know it's fake. That's probably why I like it, actually. I don't have much time for MMA, because that's an incapacitation sport that makes me wince at least a little. But the choreographed nature of 'wrasslin, combined with the over the top theatrics makes it gripping stuff for me to unwind in front of. A good, well paced match is, if properly done, a thing of beauty, albeit slightly steroid enhanced and ridiculous beauty.

What's your guilty TV secret?


    Anything late at night on the infomecials, i get enthralled and cant change the channel.

    Love Chef tony
    The renevator
    Total gym

    all of it, i never buy anything, but teh adds just hook me.

    Last edited 16/07/13 11:03 am

      Oh man, you need to see the infomercial for the X-Hose. It'll change your life.

      My friend and I were drunk one night watching tv...raged that this add for knives had been going for half an hour. Turns out we had it on the infomercial channel -.-

    Oh man... Amazing Race. So good. I feel you Kidman, I feel you.

    I'm hopelessly addicted to Revenge and I enjoy Auction Hunters way too much.

      Auction hunters has me wrapped, Im always waiting for the day it just doesn't work out for them and they scramble to break even but it never happens.

    Me and my wife are totally hooked on the A&E channel, it's quite sad really. Have found myself watching The Block too, god knows why

    Star Trek: Enterprise...



    Shows I kinda meant to watch but didn't have the time for it in the past and when I now have no other shows to watch I find they are on Netflix and I watch episodes back to back until I catch up or the series ends..

      Nothing wrong with Lost, my friend. :D

        Well it's a love or hate thing...

        It's the same with "24".. for me I always hated the format of the shows.. especially with the constant cliff-hangers that often weren't resolved properly until many episodes later.. but when you have the ability to watch them back to back, it makes the whole show that much more enjoyable.... though sometimes watching Lost back to back made less sense because there is no gaps to make you forget the cliff-hanger from the previous episode :)

    "Dance Moms". So wrong... So much anger....So much hate

    I used to watch RASSLIN' because it was just so patently absurd.

    A soap opera for men where oiled up dudes wear as little clothing as possible and settle dispute by pinfall or submission.

    It's a lot like YuGiOh. One game decides everything in that universe.

    That and BAH GAWD Jim Ross was entertaining to listen to.

    Endless Simpsons reruns on Fox8. It doesn't really matter what you're doing, whether it's gaming, reading, wargaming, cards... Having some Simpsons on in the background is always good for a chuckle in the quiet moments, or when the other person is having their turn.

    Hmm I like a lot of TV, but 'guilty pleasures'? Ellen maybe? Hardcore Pawn? I also didn't miss an episode of The Voice and will likely be glued to Big Brother :)

    I like family dramas from time-to-time. Stuff like Parenthood and Brothers and Sisters. Wholesome escapism. Haha!

      Also, uh, Grey's Anatomy. Haha! The first few seasons were actually some great TV. :D

    My crazy obsession and my strange addiction those shows are definitely my guilty pleasure I even stay up to watch them

    Big Brother - much to the disgust of most of my friends.

    My girlfriend brought the box set of keeping up with the kardashians..after sitting through the first 3 seasons I didn't mind it I just zone in and out whenever a fight breaks out.

    Other than that probably lie to me..loved that show and for some reason no one else did

      Thoroughly enjoyed Lie To Me though I will concede that it lost the direction it had in the first season at some point during the second season.

      I loved lie to me as well, probably in my top 10 for TV.
      was spewin when it was canned, as well as reaper


    I freakin' love it. At least 3 episodes before bed every night.

    Grand Designs
    Antique Roadshow

      +1 love me some Grand Designs or Antiques Roadshow

      Another guilty pleasure is cartoons on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon - Ben10, Rugrats, anything really though you do occasionally discover some gems like Avatar this way :)

        Oh and Man vs. Food that show is awful but I just can't turn away :)

      If anyone makes you feel guilty for watching Antiques Roadshow then they deserve to be punched in the mouth.

    Poirot. Funny little Belgian detectives are freaking awesome.

      Poirot is awesome!

      Likewise Miss Marple & Midsummer Murders!

    I'll happily watch Masterchef if they're doing something interesting- I preferred the "Professionals" series though.

    Not a guilty pleasure, an unabashed pleasure that others (like the building hater @dc) don't like, is Grand Designs.

    Survivor... The original reality show (at least the first one that spawned the current spate of them), yet still the best... I enjoy watching the physical and mental struggles... The last season with Cochran was great, had something like 4 contestants drop out due to injury or stress.

      Cochran really surprised me too but he also deserved the win.

      Hopefully, I just hope we get another strong cast for next season too. Rumor has it, that they're bringing back that vile racist from Survivor: One World.

      Last edited 16/07/13 12:11 pm

    Antique roadshow
    It should be so utterly boring but instead is absolutely enthralling
    Also over the top late 90s shows such as hercules

    Guilty TV pleasure would probably be Pokemon and Dragonball Z. 18 Years old and I still love watching both those shows :)

    Border Security and Highway Patrol. Hilariously entertaining, even if unintentionally.

    Last edited 16/07/13 12:14 pm

    Master Chef, though granted I watch it on the 10 website because I get home from work after it finishes. Thankfully their web player has at least marginally improved, last year and the year before that each 45min episode was split into like 6 parts and the UI on the site was ordered most recent first rather than last with no "queue up entire episode" option resulting in scrolling up and down arranging eps in a viewable order.

    lately it is Naked and Afraid...I cant help but watch it lol

    Love me some Monsterjam!!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now