'Pretty Little Liars,' 'Nashville' and All Our Other TV Guilty Pleasures
Everybody has a guilty pleasure. The odd thing about a television show, though, is that they need big audiences to justify increased air time. So, when The Bachelor enters its 18th season, even the guiltiest among us know we're not alone.
Our generation was supposed to be comfortable in our own skin by now. But maybe some things are still taboo. Here are the seven shows we all watch and then lie about watching:
1. 'The Bachelor'
How many more seasons will it take for a nation of guilty watchers to confess their love for this reality show? We're already at 18, and the premiere of the latest installment just hit a three-year high. Be honest, it wasn't just your grandmother taking shots every time Juan Pablo took off his shirt or name-dropped his daughter, Camilla.
Tami Taylor stars in this musical drama alongside Hayden Panettiere, and that's pretty much all you need to know. This is a show created specifically for the subset of people who have outgrown Glee, but still feel uncomfortable when called out for singing in the shower.
3. 'Pretty Little Liars'
4. 'First Take'
The format is simple. Take two talking heads, give them a sports topic, and let them have at it until one of those heads explodes. More often than not, it's the viewer who ends up wanting to put a foot through the television. We tell ourselves that we're too old to let manufactured sports debate bother us. But, resistance is futile.
5. 'Dawson's Creek'
You came for "the Beek" and stayed for Pacey and Joey, but you'll never hear anyone say that in public. Nostalgia is acceptable once in a while (or all the time online), but people usually don't look kindly on 20-somethings who still suffer from Peter Pan Syndrome.
6. 'American Idol'
It might be easy to dismiss the poor singing competition as stale and outdated. But we came of age during this show's golden years and we stand by it. We watch even though we know that, when American Idol executive producers promise a fresher product, they're really just acknowledging that The Voice and The X-Factor are cooler shows.
7. 'Grey's Anatomy'
While it's far less popular right now than Rhimes' other hit, Scandal, the decade-old Grey's Anatomy still rivals most programs with the shame it conjures. It probably has to do with the 10-year relationship you have with the show being longer than any relationship you've had with anything else. I'm just guessing.