Snow White Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Laughter, pleasure, malice, and the pursuit of adult fun

Guilty TV Pleasures: Why I Love Clean House and Family Guy

Why do we love, love, love "bad" TV?

I was asked by the "Daily Delight" folks at "SheKnows" to discuss the truly gory self-indulgence of television treats. I was very daring and told the truth. You can find a link to "SheKnows" below, but I also decided to add some detail, and these answers appear further down..

Further down is, of course, exactly where they belong.

http://dailydelights.sheknows.com/articles/823805/10-tv-shows-that-are-our-guilty-pleasure

1. HOARDERS

Watching HOARDERS makes me feel good about myself. "I might be bad, but I'm not THAT bad," I mutter to myself as I watch somebody weep as they sort through books of coupons from 1992.

2. CLEAN HOUSE

Some of the same HOARDERS dynamics apply, but CLEAN HOUSE lets me recoil is horror, rather than embrace in sympathy, the people who appear in the show. "This guy thinks he can get $45 for a stuffed gorilla?" I think, as they get ready for the yard sale. "You couldn't PAY ME to bring that thing home." Once again, it's a self-esteem enhancing experience based on witnessing the misery of others, but CLEAN HOUSE permits me to feel no shame at my own gloating.

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3. ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

It's great when somebody makes a hundred thousand dollars on their grandma's custom-made teeth from 1787, but what I love is that every single episode includes at least one person who responds to the question "What do you think this is worth?" with a blank stare and the line "I have no idea." This happens without fail. You know they're thinking "I hope it's worth enough dough so that I can leave my husband and marry Roderick who cleans our sewers" but they don't dare say that in front of the twins from Christie's.

4. JERSEY SHORE

I'm Italian-American. I once had extremely big hair.

5. TEEN MOM

One day I will have to teach these kids THE SCARLET LETTER, TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES, and ADAM BEDE, which are books about young women who get pregnant out outside of wedlock, and I want to get some perspective on how to approach the issue. I also scream "DON'T TAKE HIM BACK!" at the screen a lot, which is good for the lungs and the soul.

6. OLD MOVIES ON TCM

I try to catch the ones where Bette Davis's eyes are actually larger than her head and where Cary Grant is still sexy and not merely old-man-attractive. In certain moods I will also watch any more that'll make me cry.

7. 30 ROCK

My friends all started watching it when the show first began but I'm just catching up. Of course I love it. Same goes for THE OFFICE; I am "behind" on my viewing and feel like a fifth-grader who is tempted to use Cliffs' Notes to find out about the plot.

8. RE-RUNS OF THAT '70s SHOW

It is not exactly a profound sitcom, but there are good characters and you've got that interestingly sexy as well as smart red-headed girl, plus the clothes are ones I remember from high school.

9.  FAMILY GUY

Some of the funniest writing on television. I love Stewie. I quote Stewie frequently, although often silently.

10. JUDGE JUDY

I grew up next door to Judy Sheindlin on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn and she was the first girl on the block to go to college or, for that matter, to graduate from high school in a timely fashion. She is still my hero.

Gina Barreca, Ph.D., is Professor of English at UConn, and author of It's Not That I'm Bitter: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World.

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