50 Thoughts: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain?

Originally published August 20, 2018

It’s Monday night, I’ve got a great book at my side, and I am sitting here hemorrhaging brain cells watching Bachelor in Paradise. (Awww, Bibi! Damnit, girl! Also, note to self: Salt spray.)

I pride myself on my pop culture skills — come trivia night, if there’s a question about CBS primetime soap operas in the 80s, I have got.you.covered. (Jane Wyman was a goddamn QUEEN.) Give me time and I can probably name 80 percent of the Not Ready for Primetime Players. I know the cast of Friends AND MASH. And don’t even try to beat me when it comes to 80s music.

But television and tunes today? I gotta wonder, are we circling the drain?

No, my kids would say. You are just getting old.

Here’s the thing — pop culture is my guilty pleasure. I love books. If you read this, you know this. It’s the reason I blog. And my sense of humor runs the gamut from Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell to the crews behind “Best in Show” and “Spinal Tap.” But I feel as if there’s this notion that as we age, we’re supposed to shed the really, really shallow stuff for the respectable silly. Monty Python? Good. Monty Hall? Bad.

But damn, Chris Harrison and Simon Cowell. I just can’t quit you.

It may be wrong to root for Corinne to show up and unite with Jordan to become the universe’s most powerful shallow couple ever, but I just don’t want to be right. (You know that would be “the most amazing rose ceremony ever” and it would be true for once.) If I am supposed to be embarrassed about my love for trashy TV and the new Backstreet Boys single, I am giving myself permission to live and let live. After all, my dad is in his 70s and still laughs his ass off at Mike Myers’ bag pipers in “So I Married an Axe Murderer.” (Sooooo underrated, that one.) You shouldn’t have to give it up to grow up.

Plus, in the age of Trump, we all need a vice. And if I didn’t cave to the temptation of reality TV, I’d probably be fall down drunk instead. Not a good look at parent-teacher conferences.

Moving forward, never underestimate the joy that come from a guilty pleasure. Life’s too short not to laugh.

A gift from me to you:

Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books

Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There?

Book 1: The Bitch is Back

Book 2: A Place for Us

Book 3: Live from New York, the most comprehensive read you’ll ever find on SNL. Bonus! A pop culture fanatic must: As You Wish, the making of “The Princess Bride as told by Westley himself, Cary Elwes

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