Guilty Pleasures

Do you ever go through book or television fads? Ones that you feel rather silly about but can’t stop reading/watching anyway? My latest is a British TV show called Doc Martin.

No, nothing to do with the iconic 90s footwear. It’s about a doctor in a small Cornish town. What I find fascinating about this show is that it can’t really decide what it wants to be when it grows up. It’s a little bit House (Doc Martin, grumpy, anti-social and brilliant, always solves a medical conundrum by the end of the show), a little bit Britcom (quirky side characters, snappy dialogue), and a little bit soap opera (will Doc Martin ever resolve his relationship with the perky schoolteacher? Will his receptionist break her gambling habit?). I’m not sure why it works, but it does. I’m hooked.

Of course, I’m also watching them completely out of order, based on the vagaries of tv scheduling (thank you, PBS!), so I know all sorts of plot points I’m not supposed to know yet.

What’s your latest guilty pleasure?


  1. Kat M on November 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Lauren, They are all on Hulu! (I think it is all of them). I love Doc Martin! I like him much better than House. I think they they push the envelope a little too far with House, and he is just unpleasant with no feeling that there is anything not unpleasant underneath.

  2. Saralee on November 30, 2011 at 10:54 am

    My guilty viewing pleasure is the BBC miniseries “North and South.” It’s based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s 1855 novel about the north and south of England (nothing to do with the U.S. Civil War).

    It’s unbelievably romantic, so well-acted, beautifully photographed, with haunting music — I love everything about it. Especially Richard Armitage, the hero. Good thing I’ve got it on DVD.

  3. Jen on November 30, 2011 at 11:09 am

    “Revenge”! I went into the fall season thinking there’s no way I’d keep watching this show past the pilot (about a girl who avenges the wrongs against her father by taking down enemies one by one), but I’m totally hooked now.

  4. Tracie on November 30, 2011 at 11:10 am

    My fave guilty pleasure at the moment is the CW show Hart of Dixie. It’s about a young female doctor from Manhattan who’s forced to do a year as a GP in a Southern backwater called “Bluebell.”

    The show is a real charmer and reminds me a lot of my dearly departed Gilmore Girls with all of its quirky characters and funny small town customs (Instead of Thanksgiving, Bluebell citizens celebrate Planksgiving, dressing up like pirates and having a fish fry instead of the traditional turkey because of town lore. FUN!) The heroine of the show is an adorable fish-out-of-water and she’s got several potential love interests (cute guys are always a plus!) I just smile every time I watch this show!

  5. Céline on November 30, 2011 at 11:11 am

    My guilty pleasures? Gosh, there are so many… The latest ones are watching films starring Gerard Butler, watching fairy tales movies (Disney animation films like Cinderella, Beauty and the beast, Sleeping etc. but also Ever after, and Enchanted, Brothers Grimm etc.) and reading loads and loads of romances (my comfort reading of all times – mostly fairy-tale related…)

    Oh, an idea for a “If you like…” Monday : fairy-tale inspired romances! 😀

    (see a pattern in here?? lol)

  6. Lauren on November 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Tracie, that sounds so good– I want to watch that NOW! But first I must finish writing this chapter…. I suppose it provides an incentive.

  7. Tracie on November 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Celine, I hope you’re watching the new fairy tale-inspired TV show Once Upon a Time (it’s another guilty pleasure of mine and it’s simply amazing!) Also, I highly recommend the movie Ella Enchanted with Hugh Dancy and Anne Hathaway. I’ve seen Ella more times than I can count!

  8. Vicki on November 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I watch almost no television since reality tv dominates these days, but I stumbled onto The Walking Dead and I am so hooked! It does not hurt that the show features two very different, but very hot guys as leads! Lauren, Amazon had the entire run of Doc Martin on sale last week. I bought it for hubby for his birthday since he is a huge fan. I like it as well, it’s wonderfully quirky!

  9. Catie on November 30, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Lately I’m hooked on “True Blood”… thank you netflix! Also I am also a huge fan of the Once Upon a Time series as well… really captivating while still having whimsical characters.

  10. Hannah on November 30, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I’m also catching up on “True Blood” among other shows. I started watching “Upstairs, Downstairs” on Netflix. Among current TV shows, I enjoy watching “Terra Nova” and “Pan Am.” It’s been years since DH and I watched this much TV. We finally got a large flat-screen tv set this summer, which makes a huge difference. Up until this summer we’d only had hand-me-down tvs.

  11. Gina on November 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I could probably watch Doctor Who all day every day, and I should feel more guilty about it than I do. This also sort of applies to anything else those actors are in, because I’ve become a bit obsessed.

  12. Meredith A on November 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I agree with Saralee…North and South is my guilty pleasure too. The movie (and the hero) is absolutely swoon-worthy. I adore the last scene of the movie, and the teacup scene, etc, etc, etc- enough said!

  13. Bekah on November 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” is my new fav – I’ve even got my hubby into it!! 🙂 I’m a sucker for a good twist on classic fairytales!

  14. Céline on November 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Tracie, unfortunately, the TV channel broadcasting Once Upon A Time isn’t among the few channels I receive at home, so sadly, no, I’m not watching the programm. Yet. (and it breaks my heart not to be able to watch it!!!)
    I guess I’ll just wait for the DVD release and hope it will be soon!!!

    But I recently bought Ella Enchanted and intend to watch it very very soon! 🙂

  15. Ashley on November 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    It’s not a TV watching guilty pleasure but when I need a bit of procrastination before I get on with my myriad paper assignments, group projects and accounting homework, I look up the latest news on Kate Middleton. I am obsessed with seeing her latest outfits and finding out what she has been up to!

  16. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on November 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I watch most of the shows people have said, but I openly admit to them, so no guilt there. It’s Gossip Girl everyone makes fun of me for watching. I say to them, it’s like Dallas, if Dallas where about teenagers and on the upper east side in NY!

  17. HeidiRay on November 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Oh my! I had a Doc Martin kick when we first got our instant netflix! My latest guilty pleasure watch has been ABC’s happy endings- I just love the characters and the what will happen next feeling. There is always at least one line an episode that puts me on the floor! Oh- and Once Upon A Time is also another current guilty pleasure!!

  18. Rebecca C on November 30, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    My sister and I have become addicted to Gossip Girl. You can stream the first four seasons on Netflix.

  19. Leslie on November 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    You can watch “Once Upon a Time” on I watch T.V. only online, commercials are quiet, short and inoffensive for the most part.
    I watched the first 4 episodes on Hulu until they cut me off for not subcribing.
    I bet many Libraries will have the complete seasons of Doc Martin, mine does.
    I love “Inspector Lewis”, murder and mayham in Oxfordshire.
    I love British T.V.! Downton Abbey2 starts early Jan. and the first season replays in 2 weeks (PBS online too).
    My true guilty pleasure is “thirtysomething” and “my so called life” my kids gave me the boxed sets last Christmas.

  20. Jessica C on December 1, 2011 at 6:13 am

    LOVE North and South! In fact, BBC mini-series are my TV addiction. When I finish each semester (and all the essays are handed in) I often go on a viewing spree. The current selection? Little Dorrit (which is fabulous).

    Last year’s guilty pleasure was the cheerleading show Hellcats. Pure fluff, but I was a bit disappointed when it was cancelled. Love The Walking Dead, and Ella Enchanted – Hugh Dancy is dreamy.

    Current tv guilty pleasure? Grimm. Think CSI crossed with Law and Order crossed with Brothers Grimm fairytales. The main conceit of the show is that the Grimms didn’t record fairytales, they recorded stories about creatures that actually existed, and that it was their job (and that of their descendents) to keep normal people safe from the supernaturals. The main character (a cop) discovers that he is a Grimm… and Portland is as full of weird creatures as Bon Temps

  21. Céline on December 1, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Thanx Leslie, I’ve just tried to watch the pilot of Once Upon A Time on and it appears people outside the US (I live in Canada) are not allowed to acces the series – any show, for that matter! 🙁
    So near and so far away at the same time! 🙂
    But thanx anyway!

  22. JoAnn on December 1, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Lauren, I agree…Doc Martin is just so great! Another favorite is the contemporary BBC Sherlock Holmes series shown on PBS(staring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman). I am also enjoying Hell On Wheels on AMC. Can’t wait for season two of Downton Abbey!!

  23. Tracie on December 1, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Celine, there are ways of watching TV shows like Once online, even if you’re in another country. *cough**cough*

    Lauren, I hope that you enjoy Hart of Dixie as much as I do!

    I love that we all have so many of the same guilty pleasures! Doctor Who, BBC mini-series, fairy tale-inspired shows. I’ll add another one to the list. I am totally addicted to watching Ringer with Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy!) and Ioan Gruffudd (Horatio Hornblower!) It’s this great campy mix of soap and noir and it moves at a breakneck speed with several shocks in every episode.

  24. Sheila on December 2, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Oh dear, mine is reeeally stupid: I am playing Ice breakers way to much….

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