Monday, February 19, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

I’m wondering are we allowed more than 1 guilty pleasure? I’m hoping so as I came up with the 5 below without any hesitation and I’m sure any further analysis of my habits might find others. The requisite element seems to be that you enjoy the habit, or programme or apple, cheese and mustard sandwich knowing that adjudicators of fashion and cool would frown deeply on it. There is some sense of consolation in knowing that I am not alone in enjoying some questionable distractions but I am interested in how diverse and out of bounds peoples pleasures go so be sure to post your own.

Home and Away I have been watching the beautiful people of Summer Bay since I was a child and it was a necessary part of the feeling of freedom after finishing homework each evening. I was lucky enough to visit Palm Beach outside Sydney late last year where the famous beach is located and despite some rain that day it is a beautiful place. I am well aware of the cheese factor, the cyclical nature of the drugs, bullying, joining cults storylines and the great socio-geographic anomaly of so many natural disasters and parentless children turning up in the same place but the show is still compulsive viewing in my books and in Alf Stewart we have one of the great characters of soap.

Sugababes Sugababes before they underwent as many line up changes as Happy Days and sold out to catchy pop and cover versions put out some credible and well written pop music. I didn’t like them as much then. Now that they have gone the holy road of pouting at the screen and wearing kinky little skirts I am a big fan. Importantly, for them to remain a guilty pleasure appreciated from afar I can never learn anything of their personal lives or hear them speak as the bubble will burst all too quickly.

Bewitched (The Movie) Normally, this is the type of movie that smacks of laziness and is usually something I would not given a second glance at, especially if I want to uphold the pretentious standards I like to maintain when it comes to movie watching. However a dark evening a while back when funds did not allow activities beyond watching TV, it was my only choice and I committed to giving it a chance, totally sceptical after being subjected to Nicole Kidman’s last foray into remake land, ‘The Stepford Wives’, which was an atrocity. Anyway, it was a charming little film, with the standard romantic comedy elements given just that extra little bit of humour and depth, with great support from people like Michael Caine, Shirley McLaine and the squeaky voiced chick from ‘The West Wing’. Nicole Kidman was gorgeous and Will Ferrell, wonder of wonders was not even just watchable but also enjoyable. They were a great duo and there’s a nice little nod to ‘Singing in the Rain’ in the middle.

Nigella Lawson This woman is lovely, she can cook, talks with an unbelievably flirty upper crust English accent and has a background as a literary editor so surely must be some way intelligent. The episodes of her TV Show have been branded gastroporn, she can lick a spoon like no other entity on the planet and talks about how she likes to cut food into sizeable chunks but realises our mouth mite not be as accommodating as hers. I could devote an entire blog, let alone an entire post to the virtue and sin combo this woman puts on display. I like to be as self-sufficient so she has also served a purpose beyond the purely aesthetic and taught me that hot-coffee poured over ice-cream is the best and easiest way of making a great dessert and that there is no going back after you have boiled bacon in a bottle of Coca Cola! The thing with ‘Lost’ is that all that keeps me coming back is the mystery. I tire of the back stories, I realise they have significance, tie into the larger mystery and they often overlap and are intriguing in their own right but sometimes they just seem given over to dipping into another side of the characters life which I don’t care about, I want to know what the hell is going on. So I go to, a site which gives spoilers for all the main primetime shows coming out of the U.S and the kind people of the site bring together information from other sites, message boards and T.V columns in one handy site. I know its terrible to look at spoilers and in my defence I never did it for shows like ‘The West Wing’ and largely stay away when season finales are coming up but the wait sometimes is just too much and I at least like to know the outline of upcoming episodes. Furthermore I am a great believer in re-watching mystery films a second time to re-appreciate the story that leads up to the revelation. I don’t have time to re-watch each episode of ‘Lost’ so in having an idea of what’s coming up I am really just ensuring I fully experience each episode. I am just being an appreciative viewer.


Eamonn said...

You have misdefined a guilty pleasure. The definition of a guilty pleasure is something you enjoy, but are embarrassed to admit. It has nothing to do with what others think is cool, unless this makes you embarassed to admit you like it.

So if you enjoy something and have no problem admitting it to others that is not a guilty pleasure. With that in mind, I'll keep mine to myself thank you very much.

Eamonn said...

Oh, almost forgot...Home and Away, there is just no excuse.

Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike, I have a half-typed up post about this too and my guilty pleasures include that cheesy Saturday night quiz 'Pokerface' with Ant & Dec.

The shame...