A few weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly published their annual “Guilty Pleasures” issue, featuring the stars of Fast and Furious 6 on the cover. That movie went on to pull in $120 million over Memorial Day weekend, more than double the box office of that other much-anticipated new release, The Hangover Part III.
When guilty pleasures become certified blockbusters, we know that summer is upon us. There’s just something about warmer weather that gives us permission to indulge in entertainment choices that are so bad they’re good.
Personally, I’m not ashamed to indulge in my pop culture guilty pleasures on a year round basis, but the lazy days of summer definitely find me feasting on an inordinate amount of entertainment cheese. It’s not even June yet, and I’m already making pop culture choices that border on shameful.
The scariest part? No genre is safe from the onslaught of guilt and pleasure. To wit…
After reading a number of critically acclaimed books over the winter and spring, I now find myself halfway through Dan Brown’s latest Robert Langdon thriller: Inferno. As with his other books, it’s a total page turner and the prose is almost unbearable. I embarrassingly devoured The Da Vinci Code when it was published in 2003, then went back to gobble up Angels & Demons (originally released in 2000.) And I’m only slightly ashamed to say that I also saw the Tom Hanks movie versions of both. In the theater. I whipped through The Lost Symbol four years ago and am now engrossed in yet another wonderfully formulaic Dan Brown delight. To me, he is the ultimate literary guilty pleasure author. Perhaps I’ll tackle Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed next just to ensure that my brain doesn’t turn to mush, but for now I’m going to keep curling up with Inferno.
When it comes to music, my guilty pleasures are all over the map. Let’s just say that if Wilson Philips’ “Hold On” comes on the radio, I don’t change the station. In fact, I pump up the volume. (And I was behaving thusly even before Bridesmaids made the song ironically cool again.) Is it wrong that I secretly love “Da’ Dip” by Freak Nasty? Should I apologize for the fact that I’m obsessed with anything by Bob Seger? Would you think less of me if I admitted that I bought the CD single of Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5” in France before it was released over here? (Okay, maybe I went too far with that one.)
Earlier this week a friend of mine sent me a link to a trailer for East Los High, a new teen drama series on Hulu. It’s basically 9-0-2-1-Latino. And I’m sold. It’s been well-documented that I’ll watch just about anything that features ridiculously attractive teenagers experiencing all forms of teenage angst. I stuck with The Carrie Diaries all season, even after one episode’s major subplot literally centered around the solving of a Rubik’s Cube. I loyally watched Bunheads on ABC Family even though NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. And I’m so excited for the Pretty Little Liars spin-off — Ravenswood — that I might soil myself in anticipation.
I went with a couple of friends to see Peeples on Wednesday night. I still haven’t seen Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, or Before Midnight, and yet I happily plopped down $14 to see Peeples. Guilty as charged. At the screening I was treated to trailers for Baggage Claim (Paula Patton, Taye Diggs) and The Best Man Holiday (Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs again). Sign me up! Any rom com that features the aforementioned actors and/or Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long or Vivica A. Fox is a must-see in my book.
Those are just a few examples of my guilty pleasures. What are yours? Let your freak flag fly in the comments below. And don’t forget to give Dan Brown some love by voting in today’s featured poll.
Angels & Demons
The Da Vinci Code
The Lost Symbol