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The Question: What's Your TV Guilty Pleasure?

By James Guttman, James Bullock, and Dan Crocker Sep 28, 2016 - 4:23 PM print


It's time for another edition of "The Question" - We Want Insanity's weekly answer to something we all have our own opinion on. See what we have to say and then share your own. That's what questions like this are for...

What’s Your TV Guilty Pleasure?

James Guttman:

I watch all sorts of television. I like the one hour dramas. I like many documentaries and shows of that nature. Heck, I even dabble in some reality competitions and half hour sitcoms here and there. When it comes to pure insanity, though, nothing compares to 60 Days In.

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Basically, this is an entire program based around somewhat regular people agreeing to go undercover in a jail for 60 days. The idea is that the people in charge want to stomp out corruption and crime. They can’t trust the guards to snitch on each other and can’t expect the prisoners to do the same. So they grab these fish-out-of-water peeps to go into the cells and mix with the inmates. What follows is some of the most whacked out stuff I’ve seen on TV in a while.

The prison is equipped with a state-of-the-art security system and everyone is aware that there is a documentary film crew. So that explains all the clear footage. Sure, some of it seems a bit manufactured here and there. But there’s no manufacturing the beatings you watch play out in front of you or the way that Brian, a completely unprepared public defender, was sexually harassed like something out of Oz.

The best part about this guilty pleasure is that it comes to you without guilt. The participants all volunteered to be there and can leave at any moment. The inmates are there anyway and, in some ways, get to be humanized through the camera crew. There are really no victims on 60 days in. Well, maybe Mingus. He got stomped for not paying back Daffron for an e-cig. He had that coming though.

If you haven’t seen 60 Days In, go watch it now. It’s enough to scare anyone straight. Jail is hell whether you were sent there by a judge or the A&E Network.


James Bullock:

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Like so many people of my era who were around for the advent of reality television I’ve witnessed so much highly entertaining and absolute trash TV alike that I’ve posed the question to myself whether or not what was then-currently on my screen was actually beneficial to my mental health and perception of the world around me (no matter the lacking of “reality” in some of these obviously heavily scripted shows). Look no further to one of my proudest contributions to this site in my coverage of “The Bad Girls Club” since the franchise’s tenth season. In truth, BGC really is a great example as to what I love about reality television featuring heightened drama, insane arguments and literal fights between women who are given copious amounts of alcohol and the ability to turn up their personalities tenfold. So it shouldn’t be surprising that another show featuring a bunch of women arguing and fighting over stuff a lot of us wouldn’t understand even if we tried in “The Real Housewives” (specially “New Jersey” and “Atlanta”).

Unlike BGC, “The Real Housewives” series of shows don’t feature women at the beginning of potential financial success or “living it up”, but those who have “made it” yet can’t act like rational, responsible people (especially if you stereotype the societal structure from a financial perspective these individuals are associated with when the shows started and are a part of currently). While this latest season of “New Jersey” has been mostly a bore, it used to be absolute insanity thanks to everything from family squabbles, to accusations of certain cast members being retired prostitutes and strippers, to tables actually being turned over during dinner conversations hooked me and kept me a fan until this very day. The most recent season of “RHOATL” hit all the right notes with yours truly to keep me watching. There were petty arguments over inconsequential matters, relationship struggles, and physical fights that left women missing hair and bruised bodies. And I do trust a big booty that smiles – so “Atlanta” has that in its favor for me as well. These are the perfect type of shows that I can just turn my brain off and let the most primal of my instinctual viewing take hold as I watch women act like what every man believes they would become if we didn’t currently exist.


Dan Crocker:

I like a bad television show almost as much as I like a good one. Even though it jumped the shark after about the third episode, I still never miss The Big Bang Theory. For a bunch of geniuses they all seem to get into some real hijinks. They all seem to hate each other too, but that’s beside the point. I’m not writing about BBT (as it’s called the Crocker household. Or, sometimes, if there are several on DVR I need to catch up with, “Hey, I’m gonna watch some Bangs. The people who live with me stopped talking to me a long time ago).

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Dear God, I watched the first season of the rebooted Odd Couple. I never laughed once, but I kept watching. In my defense, I’m a tad OCD. I’m not really a fan of reality shows, but I was addicted to Flavor of Love. I would wager that we all love at least a few shows that we know aren’t really very good. For my pick, however, I’m going a slightly different direction. I can’t really describe this show as good or bad, but it’s a show that might surprise you.

I watch Antiques Roadshow every week on PBS. I can’t get enough of it, and I don’t even like antiques. I could care less about them. I can’t quite put my finger on why I love the show so much. Again, it’s not the antiques and it’s not even the stories about them. It might just be the pure human emotions of folks when they find out how much their junk is worth. For the most part, I find myself rooting for them. Hoping desperately that whatever crappy thing their grandmother gave them is worth some bucks. Occasionally, not often, I even find myself rooting against someone. Usually these are the d-bags who bring in something they’ve already paid thousands of dollars for. They are there to brag. Hey, look at the investment I made. Jesus, I love it when those smug bastards are put in their place.




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