Guilty pleasures are those things that make you feel guilt and shame, and yet you can't stop yourself from indulging. But here's my problem: I don't have any pleasures that aren't guilty. I'd like to say I never miss a Frontline, or that I watch NewsHour with Jim Lehrer every single night, but the truth is I never miss Being Bobby Brown.
My guiltiest pleasure is probably Oprah, because she's gotten so high and mighty and has lost touch with regular people. You don't have to feel guilty on days when there's some wonderful woman on who's built a clinic in Africa and she's saving lives. But when Oprah's telling Hilary Swank that she's the most genuine person she's ever met, or clinking glasses with Jennifer Aniston and hoping she can somehow get over her terrible, terrible life those are automatically guilty pleasures.
Then there's Starting Over, one of those hidden gems! The premise is genius. You take six crazy women, put them all under one roof, and they start over in some way. But what makes it so special is that within the same house you'll have a woman recovering from chemotherapy, a woman who's lost everything, a woman whose husband abused her, and then... a woman who's afraid of elevators. And escalators. And she has a bigger panic attack than all of them combined, causing a scene like a hysterical 3-year-old. It is a house of crazy.
And don't start me on Cheaters, the reality show that exposes philanderers. I don't care if it's 4 in the morning, if I hear Cheaters, my ears prick up like a puppy. I mean, the host was once stabbed. This show is unbelievable. Where is its Emmy? Where is the Cheaters retrospective in some film festival?
As for what to eat while you're watching, it really depends on whom you're with. If you're by yourself, it's cookie dough, bags of chips, a box of Godivas that you bust open to see what's in them first. But if you're having friends over, the main event is pizza. And usually there are pastries, because there are absolutely no vegetables or roughage of any kind.
So embrace your guilty pleasures. It's like when you have a problem, and the first thing the self-help book says is, "Know you're not alone." Well, when you're watching Flavor of Love or America's Next Top Model, know that I'm right there with you. I support you, and I support your choice to make poor choices.
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