We all have guilty pleasures. You know, those entertainments that you love dearly, but are a little embarrassed to talk about in public. My own embarrassment has waned over the years, as my pleasures have leaked out, over and over again, and I've gotten used to the ridicule. But I know what is SUPPOSED to embarrass me. I'll show you mine if you show me yours...
So here we go.
Movie: Starship Troopers. This one is actually less guilty than it seems...or, at least, it SHOULD be! Paul Verhoeven's 1997 actioner is about a weighty subject: humans and their to-the-death fight with interstellar space bugs. Starring the likes of Casper Van Dien, Neil Patrick Harris, Jake Busey, and (gasp) Denise Richards (it's complicated), Starship Troopers is big, dumb, and flashy. Or, is it? No less an august reviewer than Scott Tobias at the A.V. Club calls it "the most subversive major studio film in recent (or distant) memory"! An insightful (and hilarious) critique of fascism, Starship Troopers tackles its target in the mode of The Colbert Report, by pretending to be the thing at which it pokes fun.
Music: Hall and Oates. I have no excuse. They are the kings of cheese, but I love it. I could listen to "You Make My Dreams Come True" and "I Can't Go For That" over and over until the end of time. And those aren't even their biggest hits! "Private Eyes" or "Maneater" (both great tunes in their own right) take home that crown. But it's the catchy melodies and head-bopping rhythms that get me.
Books: Anything by David Sedaris. Now, Sedaris isn't a guilty pleasure for the "quality" of his work. He's a well-regarded and -reviewed writer, often appearing on Ira Glass' "This American Life." No, this pleasure is guilty in the traditional sense...there's lots of naughty words. So while I can officially (in my role as man-of-the-cloth) recommend Hall and Oates, I must caution you to beware of naughtiness in both Starship Troopers (R for language, human on bug and bug on human violence, and brief nudity) and the works of David Sedaris.
But you know? It's because we take pleasure in things that make us feel guilty that we need a savior! And, praise Jesus, we have one! In the comments, I'd love to hear about your guilty pleasures.