BY THE BULLSH!T TEAM
Ah, guilty pleasures. The thinking persons justification behind sitting down, shutting off and becoming immersed in a world far removed from our own. We’ve all got them – those things we think twice before bringing up in general conversation, for fear of the wrath of the judgement of our peers.
The production values are low, the content often lacking, and the performances might leave something to be desired, but it can’t be forgotten that guilty pleasures form of a valuable part of the television landscape, carving out their own piece of the genre just as premium-quality giants like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones have. They offer an escape, and fun without much thinking – and when life can sometimes get rough, that’s nothing to be laughed at.
The BULLSH!T team got together to share some of their own frothy highlights. Readers, leave your judgements at the door.
1. Teen Wolf
When news broke that MTV were developing this infamously cheesy Michael J Fox teen flick into a television series, a collective laugh seemed to ring out around the world. When the series premiered three years ago with an opening episode that was laden with poor visual effects, wooden performances and more than questionable writing, the laughter continued. However, as the story began to unfold over a next few dozen episodes, the series began to carve out it’s own niche in the guilty pleasure genre, evolving into an at-times compelling, albeit heavy-handed metaphor for growing up in a contemporary world.
Above all the other current entries into the teen drama field, Teen Wolf is particularly notable for the progressive world under which the action occurs – one which series creator Jeff Davis has noted as being one completely free of sexual discrimination. It’s a notion observed subtly within the narrative, but it’s one that is certainly there, and very important to the shows predominantly teenage audience.
Plus, there’s the frequency of which the male cast members shed their shirts. Which is never a bad thing.
2. Pretty Little Liars
From the first episode you knew you were onto something so terrible it could only be good. From the suspenseful music every time the ‘liars’ got a text from ‘A’ to their well practiced, shocked expressions as they glanced around the dimly lit forest/street/house/whatever-else-can-be-dimly-lit. But four seasons on, everyone is still absolutely mind-fucked as to who A is. Is Alison really alive? Is Mona a baddie or a goodie? Do the liars know more than what they let on? HOW THE HELL DOES A KNOW WHAT THE GIRLS ARE DOING AT ALL TIMES? While it may get more ridiculous as it goes along, it’s crazy addictive.
Not to mention all the eye-candy; the girls are babes, the boys are babes. Though the departure of Caleb soon will leave many fans unimpressed (especially me).
3. Keeping Up with the Kardashians
It’s the one show I judge myself the most for watching, yet I can’t stop. I have actually seen all 8 seasons of Keeping up with the Kardashians. Probably not EVERY single episode, but I’ve been there through Kim’s disastrous love life, Khloe’s weight battles, Kourtney’s pregnancies and Kris and Bruce Jenner’s relationship woes. For some reason it only seems to get funnier as it goes along – funny in the way that I can’t believe these people actually exist, and funny in the way that sometimes their behaviour around the house is so ridiculously insane that the only thing you can do is laugh. I mean have you seen the time Kim got offended that her family thought it was gross she wanted to eat her own placenta, only to get revenge on them by cooking them placenta and disguising it as something else? Who even does that?!
Oh and one other thing: Scott Disick. He started off as the worlds biggest jerk, but has morphed into one of the most hilarious and bearable people featured on the show.
4. Big Brother
Ok, it’s a show that every single year I say to myself ‘You are NOT going to watch it this time’ and yet I still find myself not only watching it, but reading the live blog, researching each housemate and having in-depth conversations about it with anyone I can find who shares the same problem.
I have actually watched every single season of Big Brother Australia since it began in 2001. I get so emotionally involved with all the dramas and relationships in the house, and can’t help but dissect everything as if I were in there with them. When I was younger, I’d watch Uncut on the lowest volume in my room, so nobody knew, and would watch the UpLate live feed on mute when I couldn’t sleep. Maybe I should just complete the circle of obsession and apply to be a housemate for next season.
You guys would vote for me, right?
Despite the eye rolls it gets, I don’t feel remotely guilty about indulging in a weekly dose of Survivor. Debuting in 2000, it was the first reality TV show to achieve international success. It set the format for all reality contests to come – a group of people living and competing together until all but one are weened off – and a whopping 26 seasons later, it’s still going strong. While most reality TV shows determine the winner through challenges or voting, Survivor is all about strategy, alliances and backstabbing, meaning an underdog can win and ensuring nail-biting drama.
In the vein of teen classics such as Mean Girls and Easy A, Awkward (another entry from MTV) has managed the rare feat of elevating itself from a trite premise to become charming, quirky and downright addictive. The action centres around Jenna, who begins the series as a social pariah following an accident that’s mistaken for a suicide attempt. Her subsequent trials and tribulations are narrated via blog entires that Jenna keeps. It doesn’t take itself too seriously – which is good, cause neither do we.
l’ll admit this really wasn’t a good show. I don’t even recall the source material – 90s drama Beverly Hills, 90210 – being that great, so why it deserved a reboot is beyond me. Nonetheless, I watched the pilot and was instantly and inexplicably drawn to its stock standard plot of one-dimensional characters.
I was a bit embarrassed that I liked it, considering the girls at school thought is was naff, and even tried to convince my mum I didn’t like it every week when I tuned in. When it was abruptly axed from Australian airwaves, I nearly shed a tear, but alas, I’m a boy.
Remarkably, the show managed to last all the way until the end of its 5th season, bowing out a few months ago with an unremarkable series finale that left fans with raised eyebrows. A fitting end, considering all that had come before.
This article was compiled by Tahlia Pritchard, Courtney Fry, Harrison Cartwright and Vincent Varney. They hope you’re not going to judge them too harshly for their sometimes questionable choices in television viewing. Follow BULLSH!T on Twitter, or Like Us on Facebook.