Shows you are ashamed to admit you love

When it comes to violent TV shows, most people are not embarrassed to admit they love The Walking Dead, Bloodlines or American Horror Story. The same can be written for sexy shows like The Girlfriend Experience. Most people have a favorite sitcom. Maybe even repeats of a show they liked in their youth will bring about a nostalgic smile. Then there is what some call trash TV, usually encompassing reality shows. These can be chalked up as guilty pleasures.

Even when faced with a potentially damaged person who says, “I don’t watch television,” most people are not ashamed to admit most of their favorites.

However, I think every old school TV watcher or modern streamer has at least one program, which they are less likely to admit, and if they do, they fess up to with a modicum of shame.

While I frequent the History Channel, PBS and the news, I geek out to Game of Thrones in an abnormal way.  I like many popular shows like Outlander, Law and Order: SVU, and will mourn the loss of The Good Wife. I accept ribbing for admitting to liking The O’Reilly Factor. I am on season one of watching The West Wing for my third time (at least).  I see occasional reruns of How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. I love comedy specials.  My current favorites are Brad Williams, Chris Rock, Rita Rudner, Penn & Teller, Jeff Dunham and Kathy Griffin. I will forever miss Joan, George, Sam, Bernie (no, not the living one) and Robin, but their memories will forever live on. I have no problem screaming, “Go, Giants!” when I am in a Yankee, or better yet, a Dodger bar.

Not all of my favorite shows are lofty nor popular.

I accept being mocked for having a fondness for sweet-natured family shows.  I still watch reruns of Family Ties and Little House on the Prairie and it is possible to catch me watching The Smurfs without rushing to change the channel or blame it on my non-existent child.

Most people enjoy a good train wreck. I can see why people enjoy the antics of the Kardashians, the Housewives shows, Love and Hip Hop and other reality shows. A friend of mine, a lifelong Democrat, said that she is embarrassed to admit it, but was glued to coverage of the Republican National Convention.

The show that I am most ashamed to admit my addiction to is Big Brother.  I was late to the party and haven’t watched all 18 seasons, but I have watched enough that I cannot look away.  I used to sound like a Playboy fan who said they only read it for the articles. Yes, and I only watch it for the competitions.  Okay I'm lying. I love the drama!

I actually feel my IQ going down when watching this, but the house guests and Julie Chen make me smile. I want James to win, but I think he is far too likable to achieve that goal.

If someone catches me watching it, I will turn the channel or say it was just on in the background.  Again, liar!

I was less embarrassed having my uncle walk in on me watching a very graphic episode of Sex and the City years ago, the one where Samantha was having fun in a swing, than I was when my neighbor came by last week and Big Brother was paused on screen and a big bowl of popcorn was next to me.

Why do we care what people think, especially when it comes to something as trivial as TV preferences? I think it is because when someone questions one’s choice in entertainment, it feels like a personal attack and that the taste and level of culture of the person is being criticized rather than the program itself.

Some people care less than others, but I don’t mind dealing with judgmental family, friends and strangers in regards to my favorite shows, but Big Brother is the one that is usually left off my list.

So, when I am asked on a Sunday, Wednesday or Thursday, “What are you doing when you get home tonight?” I may respond with an “Oh, I don’t know.  A little work.  Maybe some TV.” Liar.  I am really going to watch Big Brother with wild abandon and hope that the DVR didn’t fail.

Is there a show that you have been embarrassed to admit that you liked and watch? Let us know.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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