Why Do We Watch Shows We Don't Like?
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Why Do We Watch Shows We Don't Like?

If you must indulge, indulge in guilty pleasures, right?

Why Do We Watch Shows We Don't Like?
The Conversation

Admit it. You love drama when you’re not in it. Especially when it’s happening to people whose lives you know all about. That’s right – you know you’re guilty of indulging in other people’s lives on television.

In light of the approaching school year, let’s talk about one thing that a lot of us college students invest our time in: Netflix. One of the worst things I can do, as I’ve learned, is to start a new series at the beginning of the year and tell myself that I’ll just “space out the episodes and watch in my free time. Wrong, wrong, absolutely wrong – you know the feeling of getting into a series and just watching episode after episode. Netflix makes this especially easy with its user friendly streaming and auto-play after an episode is finished. It’s so great to be able to watch the shows you love! … Or in other cases, you don’t love.

Sounds weird, right? Why use your precious time to watch something you don’t actually like? What I’m thinking of are the shows that we just love to hate – those shows that are absolute trash but somehow, we just can’t stay away from them. I’m thinking of the Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Bachelorette type shows. The types where you roll your eyes every second of the show, but you still can’t look away. Somehow, we’re still drawn to them. What is it that keeps our attention?

I have all of these thoughts because recently, the Pretty Little Liars Season 7 finale was released. If you are familiar with the show, you may be rolling your eyes or gasping at the fact that I am still committed to this show, still waiting to find out who the evil “A” is. And if you aren’t familiar with the show, a simple summary would be: a group of girls have been blackmailed by someone for a long, long time and still don’t know who it is –- this person has come so close to killing them so many times and has a large network of people who are out to make these girls’ lives miserable.

This television show has become so farfetched, and after being on-air for so long (it has been running since 2009 – SEVEN years of this and still, no answer as to who is blackmailing this girl), I’ve learned to just not keep my expectations high for each episode because there’s no telling what might happen. Seven whole seasons of these girls trying to find out who is blackmailing them – season and seasons of episodes where the girls get closer to a solution, but then get backtracked five steps. The show drives me crazy, but I cannot stop watching!

I suppose some of the allure for me comes from the fact that these girls’ lives are so outrageous and farfetched compared to my uneventful daily routine that it’s interesting to watch. Isn’t that the appeal of Keeping Up with the Kardashians? I guess I find it hilarious to watch people in situations that I would never find myself in, and see how they deal. Another part of the appeal, then, is to take a break from your own life for a bit and just see how other people live. At least it isn’t real life.

Whether or not you may indulge in those guilty pleasure shows, it is understandable that they allow us to escape from reality for just a little bit. Maybe some series are too heavy or hit too close to home, too close to reality, so we turn to the ones where the characters have nothing in common with us so we can humor ourselves. What are some of your guilty pleasure shows, and what are your reasons for watching them?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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