50 Thoughts: On the Importance of Guilty Pleasures

Originally published September 25, 2018

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest something that everyone believes but no one wants to admit.

“Urban Cowboy” is one of the best movies ever.

I’ve got more than a handful of guilty pleasures, and that John Travolta/Debra Winger masterpiece is one of them.

A guilty pleasure, as defined by Wikipedia, is “something, such as a film, a television program or a piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard, or is seen as unusual or weird. For example, a person may secretly like a movie knowing that the movie is poorly made and generally seen as “not good.”

I think it’s the window to your soul.

Sure, we can all appreciate, enjoy, even love things and places that are thought to be socially acceptable. You know — “Game of Thrones” and avocados and the Grand Canyon and The Beatles — things of that nature.

But it’s the favorites you keep close to the vest that tell more about you than your love for high-brow Netflix and HBO.

Think about it — let one slip in certain company, and the joy you experience when someone says “You too?” is like nothing else — an instant bond with another person that appreciates the same cheesey things you do. These kinds of admissions are not just ice breakers. It’s validation that it is in fact, OK to watch “Under Siege” every time it plays on TBS. Or to lecture your kids on the greatness of ’80s music and television. (I am still aghast at the “Magnum, PI” reboot. HOW.DARE.THEY.)

My guilty pleasures span the spectrum — if I could plan a day full of nothing but these, I’d start with Ding Dongs for breakfast, Wang Chung on the stereo, and “Knight Rider” on TV. I’d break out my VC Andrews collection and revel in the Dollanganger melodrama that is “Flowers in the Attic.”

Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about your “bad” choices — loving Boys 2 Men and Melrose Place is what makes you, you. And trust me — there’s more of “you” out there than you think. Let that freak flag fly!

Today’s recommendation: Lordy, I wish Amy Sohn would write something new. I adored “The Actress” in all its cheesetastic glory.

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