Students rank best guilty pleasures

Photo by Danilo Lewis

By Mel DeCandia

This university has its fair share of “Breaking Bad,”House of Cards” and “Girls”fans. These TV shows are undeniable hits, winning praise from critics and the considerable masses alike; they have earned several Emmy and Golden Globe awards and nominations among them.

But not all entertainment garners widespread approval.So every once in awhile, that rare alone time comes around, and true television desires come out. That’s right, watching some good, old, guilty pleasure television.

Sophomore biology major Taylor Ingber said she loves television that depicts lives drastically different from her own, and especially enjoys watching Lifetime movies and “Teen Mom 2.”

“They’re always so dramatic, and make me feel like my life is great in comparison,” Ingber said.

Ingber genuinely enjoys the shows, despite their less-than-favorable public opinion.In fact, she admitted she only thinks of the television she watches as “guilty pleasures” because other people mock them.

“I consider them guilty pleasures because other people say they’re bad, but I think they’re quality TV,” Ingber said.

At other times, guilty pleasures are considered “guilty” because the show or film isn’t considered to cater to its target audience. An entire subculture of teenage boys has even developed around “My Little Pony,” earning them the nickname “bronies.”Children’s entertainment is enjoyable both for its own merit and also for nostalgic purposes.

Sophomore Spanish and journalism major Mike Siegelsaid his guilty pleasure is watching old episodes of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” since he liked it so much as a kid.

“SpongeBob makes me laugh,” Siegel said. “My sister used to make fun of me for watching it when I was 11 years old, but now, at almost 20, I still have no regrets.”

Reminiscing doesn’t necessarily mean a guilty pleasure had to be a decade old, though.

Perhaps the most recent guilty pleasure stems from the rabid fan base Disney’s “Frozen”has found, not only in children but also delighted parents and shameless college students. The film’s viral song parodies of “Let It Go” have dominated the Internet and are largely performed by 20-something-year-olds.

“I think college kids love the movie so much because it helps us reconnect to our childhoods,” said Geena Gao, sophomore economics major of the phenomenon among millennials. “Most of the time we’re expected to act like adults, so it’s nice to just drop the act and belt ‘Let It Go’ at the top of our lungs.”

“Frozen” is proof so-called guilty pleasures don’t need to be stereotypically awful. The film won two Oscars—for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for “Let It Go”—at the 2014 Academy Awards, and received an 89 percent “certified fresh” rating from critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Whether it’s critically acclaimed or publicly mocked, TV shows and movies are meant for pleasure—so enjoy them guilt-free.


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