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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Guilty pleasures

I'm not really a TV watcher though I do love Criminal Minds. I started watching it because of Mandy Patinkin who I've loved ever since The Princess Bride. But I don't think of Criminal Minds as a guilty pleasure. The writing is terrific, the characterization is top-notch, as is the acting. So, in my world view, that's not guilty at all.

I also watch Glee. But I don't think of that as a guilty pleasure, either. For the same reasons as above - plus this one. Glee captures the agony of high school (or at least the agony I felt in high school) perfectly. Yes, I love the music - I'm a huge fan of musicals of all kinds. Yes, I love the costumes. Yes, I love Jane Lynch - who wouldn't? But it's the great writing, the way we feel the pain of those kids when they're walking down the hallway. The fact that they often express that pain in song is just a bonus for me.

Guilty pleasures are those that you don't like to admit to anybody - the ones you watch at home, in the dark with the door closed and the volume down so no one can see or hear what you're doing. They're the shameful truth of TV watching.

For me, the most shameful of all is Wipeout. Yep, I admit it. I'm a closet Wipeout fan. I'll temper that a bit by saying I only like the first 2/3rds of the show. Once they get to the Wipeout zone, I'm bored. But I love the fight to get to the zone, I love the crashes and smashes and the entertainment value of it. I'm not too keen on the announcers but I can live with them for the laughter that comes along with the show.

Second shame? Something along the same lines - or maybe it's for the same reason. I don't watch any other reality shows other than this show and Wipeout, but I absolutely LOVE America's Got Talent. And, like Wipeout, I really only love the original auditions. I'll watch the first half a dozen episodes, but once they're into elimination rounds, I'm gone.

And I guess, having written that, I've just figured out why I only like the beginning of these shows. I can't bear to watch people lose. I love to watch them win - which in the beginning is what really happens. But in the end of both of these shows, it's about losing rather than winning.

So I guess the reality is that I'm a fan of winning and not a fan of losing. Even when I'm cheering my favourite football team (Go, Saints!), I manage to feel sorry for the losing team - and that means I can't watch the post-mortem. Once the clock has ticked down the final seconds, I'm gone. Because, no matter how happy I am for the winner, I'm just as sad for the loser.

What are your guilty pleasures?


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