I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to be writing this post, as it might destroy what little credibility I have as an entertainment writer. But you know, I’m only human and I think all of us have our guilty pleasures or things we’re not proud of when it comes to our media choices
These five things cover all manner of entertainment sins, as I know I’m supposed to be an elite snob as an entertainment writer and critic, but I really hate reading articles from professional “journalists” who pretend that everything is beneath them.
And it’s not just about liking the unpopular, as it’s the impact these things had on my life, for better or worse. I’ll probably write a sequel to this post with even more at some point, but here are five for now. Feel free to confess your own secrets at the end of this post, though you guys get to hide behind pseudonyms unlike me.
1. One of my favorite movies of all time is The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Come at me bro.
Everyone has their “bad” movies that they enjoy despite everyone’s objections, and I have to admit that Tokyo Drift is mine. I love the series in general, and I can quote the entirety of the first movie. I wasn’t a big fan of the second one as it was stupid without being funny about it, and the fourth one tried too hard to be a straight up action flick, with nary a quotable line to be heard.
To me, Tokyo Drift is a perfect blend of everything this series should be, despite the fact it’s the only installment that doesn’t feature any of the main cast members from the other movies. It’s just so perfect in its absurdity, I’ve seen it a dozen times and wouldn’t change a thing.
What do I mean? Take the intro to the film. A blue collar redneck kid is challenged to a race by a rich jock (played by Home Improvement‘s Zachary Ty Bryan nonetheless) driving his daddy’s Viper. The prize? His girlfriend. I’m serious. The two barrel through a subdivision under construction while Kid Rock’s “Bawitadaba” plays in the background. The race ends in a fiery crash that should have killed everyone, but they walk away with cuts and bruises.
The whole movie is like that. It’s just pure cheese from start to finish, but for what it is, and what it’s supposed to be, Tokyo Drift is an incredibly well-executed film. To me at least.
2. I lost essentially three months of my life to Diablo II addiction, and have been literally scared of MMOs ever since
This was so not worth 500 hours.
This is a far less amusing confession. During my sophomore year of college, I discovered Diablo II and all its grinding, looting and leveling glory. I used to be a big Starcraft player, so I knew Blizzard titles were good, but I was new to this genre.
Unfortunately, games like this prey on my OCD tendencies that cause me to want to be the best, even if it means grinding for endless amounts of hours if there’s a .00001% chance the boss will drop the item I want.
I spent maybe eight hours a day playing this in my dorm, shirking social and academic responsibilities in order to acquire meaningless crap that would give me the ability to acquire more meaningless crap faster. Surprisingly, my soul was actually saved by the intervention of a cheater in the game.
I had spent WEEKS seeking a very specific rune that was the final piece in a build I was trying to create. I had traded and traded and finally had it. But when I left the trade and checked my inventory, it was gone. It was a dupe rune, a bit of code forged by hackers that disappeared after you traded it, and now I was left with nothing.
In a rage, I created a game called “quitting” where I stripped off all my high level armor and weapons that had taken me months to acquire, hurled them on the ground for low level players to collect, and went on a tirade about how this game will ruin your life as they thanked my profusely.
I’ve never played another MMO-type game since. I’ve purposefully stayed away from World of Warcraft as I’ve heard tales of its ability to destroy the lives of people with more self control than I, and I dread the release of titles like The Old Republic and Diablo III, because I’m just not sure if I can resist getting sucked in.
3. Despite my gender and sexual orientation, I’m a huge fan of Project Runway
I also own a Michael Kors watch.
This is something I’m really not actually ashamed to admit, but I do get funny looks for saying it. I’ve seen every season of the Bravo-turned-Lifetime show Project Runway, and I stand by the fact that I think it’s one of the best reality shows on TV today.
Why? It’s one of the only shows on TV that really showcases creative potential in a form you can actually consume. I’ve never understood the appeal of cooking shows, as the most important senses to the profession, taste and smell, are completely absent from the experience.
Not so with Project Runway. All you need to judge the designs showcase is your eyes, and despite no knowledge of fashion, and no desire to ever make clothes myself, I have been fascinated to see each and every year what the new batch of creative contestants come up with in an incredibly short span of time.
I’ve had many skeptical roommates and guy friends be converted, as after the initial “You know how I know you’re gay” jokes, they sit down and watch, and by the runway show, they’re commenting on what’s tacky and what’s overworked. Success.
4. I’m currently a quarter of the way through watching all 10 seasons of Smallville
And she’s what keeps me going.
I usually pride myself in having exceptional taste in television. My favorite shows include Arrested Development, The Wire, Deadwood, Lost, Dexter, Freaks and Geeks, Firefly and more. But there’s something about Smallville I just can’t seem to shake.
In its early days, the show was rather brilliant. The early years of Superman was a fine idea for a show, and it didn’t hurt that it premiered about a month after 9/11 where we all needed a hero.
But soon the show struggled after people gaining meteor rock X-Men-like abilities got old after awhile, and things started to feel stale.
I managed to get to about season five or six before I really gave up. Lex and Lana were leaving the show, and every other episodes was full of BS DC universe cameos and I’ve been told even the Wonder Twins showed up at one point.
Years later however, I couldn’t shake the fact that I did used to love this show back in high school, and now with it promising its tenth season would be its last, I felt like I had to restart from the beginning, and ride this thing through until the end.
I usually watch shows all at once after they’ve aired, which is how I got through all the other titles I mentioned. Sometimes it’s exhausting, like when you have to watch six seasons of a show like The Sopranos or Oz, or sometimes it’s a breeze, like knocking out season one of Archer in a day.
Smallville will most definitely be my greatest challenge to get through, but I’m bound and determined to do so.
And now, my darkest secret…
5. I’ve seen every single episode of Jersey Shore
No excuse for this one.
This is something that only a few select people know, as it’s a fact I never really wanted broadcasted for obvious reasons. But somehow, someway, I’ve seen every episode of this show which I’ve publically referred to as being everything that’s wrong with society today.
Each and every week it’s like watching a train collide with a jet engine. It’s so spectacularly disastrous you just can’t look away. The problems are always the same. Someone’s talking shit. Someone’s flirting with another girl at the bar. There are zero skanks in your hot tub. But even though the show by definition can never evolve, it’s just captivating to watch this little microcosm of society function.
It’s like you’re watching one of those nature shows that used to air on The Discovery Channel before they switched all their programming to aliens and ghosts. These people live in their own little society where the concepts of male and female are exaggerated to such extremes, they barely seem like human beings. The guys are all massively jacked and speak using as few syllables as possible. The girls look like blow up dolls spray painted orange and dipped in a vat of alcohol until their speech is rendered incoherent. Insane, but often amusing to behold
You can sit back and diagnose major psychological and personality disorders with every member of the house, but you have to admit that they’re geniuses in a way that they’ve leveraged million dollar paychecks with no discernible skills. Why has Jersey Shore not been recast with different guidos every year like what happened with the Real World? Because the cast has leveraged themselves into a brand getting book deals and product endorsements, and that’s something you can’t readily replace without upsetting the surprising amount of fans they’ve amassed..
That’s not justification, as I freely admit this show has no redeeming qualities to it, but I just find the whole phenomenon fascinating to behold, and I want to see how long it can last.
Alright, now it’s your turn to spill a few secrets.