What Separates a Guilty Pleasure From a Great Show? A Study in Sherlock

Short version: Sherlock – best show ever 🙂

The Fake Fangirl

I recently had a conversation with a friend about what kind of television show constitutes a “guilty pleasure.” At first glance, the concept seems paradoxical; if you’re the kind of person who views the consumption of television as a complete waste of time—that is, as an activity that is partly responsible for the intellectual degradation of our entire species—then you would feel guilty watching any TV show at all, and this feeling of guilt would necessarily cancel out any accompanying feelings of pleasure. How, then, can we categorize a show that constitutes a guilty pleasure?

I’d like to offer a suggestion: A guilty pleasure is a short-lived obsession, or a TV relationship of the one-night stand variety. It is a show that  piques your interest enough so that you rationalize away all of the elements of the show that would otherwise give you pause. In other words, a guilty…

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