Wise Words For Terrible Television


The term ‘guilty pleasure’ is really annoying. If you take pleasure in something, then that’s awesome – embrace the joy. Feeling bad because you like One Direction or Grease 2 is a complete waste of energy.

However, there’s people out there who’ll try and bring you down for what you like to watch on telly. They’re arseholes, but sometimes etiquette means you can’t say that to their face. What you need is a watertight excuse, something that’ll shut down these mouth-breathers so completely that you can watch all the Hollyoaks you want and they won’t say a peep. As always, OnTheBox is here to help.

“Err, it’s ironic.â€?
You may want to punch yourself in the face after you say this, but Hipsters have been using it for years, and the proof of its success is everywhere. Everyone and their Grandma rides a fixie now, bollock-constricting jeans are cool, and Topman is filled with shit t shirts with 80s TV show logos on the front.

By saying your religious devotion to Deal or No Deal is an experiment in irony not only excuses it, but it actually makes it cool. Keep saying this, and in three months, trendy East London bars will be showing Emmerdale on their big screens. Y’know, cos it’s like, ironic?

“It’s for a review.â€?
As an occasional reviewer, I’ll sometimes get sent stuff for review that I don’t really want to watch. So when a mate walks past and asks why I’m watching some shit ITV sitcom, I just say “it’s for a reviewâ€?, and no more questions are asked.

Thing is, you can just say this for anything. Get caught in the act during a Snog, Marry, Avoid marathon? Just say you’re writing about it, and you get let off, scot-free. As an added bonus, people now think you’re a writer, which carries with it a certain cool factor. People now think you’re some creative poet, wining and dining in media circles and typing long into the night during bouts of inspiration, even if you’re just some wanker student, like me!

“Because it’s so bad!â€?
We’ve all said this before, sometimes meaning it. There are a select few shows and films out there that are masterpieces by virtue of their awfulness (‘The Room’ comes to mind). Everyone loves car-crash TV – it’s fun to look at others’ mistakes and misfortunes. No-one’s going to question you if you’re watching Maury Povich for the cringe factor.

However, this one might hurt. Having to take the piss out of your favourite show with all your mates might make you feel all dirty. Your soul may die, but at least your secret Geordie Shore habit is still a secret.

“It’s cult”
To be fair, a lot of cult films, like The Big Lebowski, are rightly popular. However, there’s a lot of absolutely crap shows out there that have been labelled ‘cult’ just because a few nerds on the internet like them.

So, next time someone has a go because you like to watch Two and a Half Men in the evening, just say you’re part of a huge cult following. This one might require a bit of groundwork – a feigned past interest in pop culture would come in handy, and if you create evidence of the fandom (a creepily obsessive fan site/slash fiction forum), you’re home free.

“Because I like it.â€?
Sometimes, honesty is the best policy. If they continue taking the piss, you’re within your rights to punch them in the mouth. No court in the land would prosecute you, trust me.