I hate the word ‘guilty-pleasures’. Nothing that gives you pleasure should make you guilty (unless of course it falls outside moral and legal parameters): not chocolate, not lying in a bath with a glass of wine, not stalking people on social media, not reading what you want to read and definitely not watching what you want to watch. So the below are four of my TV indulgences:
1. Four in a Bed
Four B&Bs compete to see whose is the best value for money, by staying at one another’s places and rating them on things like cleanliness (the contestants can spot a rogue pube at 10 feet), facilities and their breakfast. These people are wonderfully cutting. They search for dust to complain about, bitch over poached eggs, drink too much wine at the meals, and viciously underpay each other so that they can win. It’s wonderful.
2. Teen Mom
Does Teen Mom need any explanation? It’s become a bit of a pop culture mainstay. There’s different versions out there but my favourites are Teen Mom OG (original girls) and Teen Mom 2, and I’m currently catching up with Teen Mom 2 (I have such a soft spot for Leah, and Jennelle and her mother’s relationship is exhausting to watch never mind to actually live). These young women are my age (ok…a few years younger) and live totally different lives. They have kids, they’re dealing with failed marriages, custody hearings, having their lives recorded for a TV show, new relationships, even more kids…
There’s drama, screaming, yelling, domestics, house pigs (what is it with Americans having pigs as house pets?) and time spent in rehab. But after all these years, these girls oddly feel like old high school friends that I Facebook stalk occasionally to keep up with.
3. Don’t Tell the Bride
This show never fails to amaze me. If you haven’t seen it, the grooms voiceover will basically go like this: “my fiancée likes flowers, unicorns and rainbows, that’s exactly what she’d want for her wedding. But I like motocross and mud and so we are going to have a MudxMotocross themed wedding where she arrives on the back of a muddy motorbike in a crash helmet. Oh, and her mother has to sit in the sidecar.”
That is essentially Don’t Tell the Bride, and that is what makes it so glorious.
4. Police documentaries
999 What’s Your Emergency, Traffic Coppers, Traffic Cops, Motorway Cops…you name it, I love. And I don’t really know why. Perhaps it’s the chase, perhaps it’s the detective work, perhaps it’s the blue flashing lights, maybe it’s the sight of a copper wearing a protective vest bigger than himself trying to outrun a kid in joggers and failing miserably. As comedic as some elements are, it’s also lovely to see the touching moments when emergency services make a real difference. Ambulance crews ensuring that patients get to the hospital alive, coppers going above and beyond to help someone and firefighters rescuing kittens. When the world outside is so shockingly grim, it’s nice to see humanity at work.