In the middle of a busy semester, I have recently found myself wanting to sit down, turn my brain off and watch a show that doesn’t require intellectual engagement, constant creative critique or even much of my already divided attention. In that spirit, I compiled a list of three of my favorite guilty pleasure shows:
Basically “Ocean’s Eleven: The Show,” this quirky, light-hearted drama brings all the fun of a heist movie to TV. The show follows a crew of stereotypical thieves and drifters lead by ex-insurance investigator Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton) who all follow a Robin Hood-type mantra of stealing from greedy corporations that have wronged hard-working citizens. The characters are stereotypical and fairly static, the plotlines are filled with every cliché known to man and most jokes and twists can be seen from a mile away. That being said, it’s bound to make you laugh a few times each episode and, like watching “Ocean’s Eleven” for the second or third time, it’s always enjoyable to feel part of a heist, regardless of how cheesy or predictable it is.
“Storage Wars” (A&E)
The show follows a group of California-based thrift store owners and “entrepreneurs” that roam the state, bidding on storage unit auctions and trying to score the steal of a lifetime while mainly acquiring other people’s unwanted junk. The format is incredibly rote and predictable, with a commercial break always coming after some sort of “Oh my god, what is this?” discovery from one of the bidders, and the talking head interviews clearly filmed after the fact, giving a 20-20 hindsight stupidity to most of their statements. On top of that, the show’s characters are so seemingly scripted they even deliver personal catchphrases. However, relaxing in your dorm room and watching a few episodes after a long day of classes is always a good time.
Originally a Canadian TV show, Hulu recently purchased the American “broadcast” rights to it and now provides streaming as part of their “Hulu exclusive” lineup. The show follows an agoraphobic chess master who, by a series of strange events in the pilot, ends up solving crimes throughout the city without leaving the comfort of his hotel. Along with its unbelievable premise, the show is fairly ingrained within the clichés of the detective genre and doesn’t strive to break any new ground as far as plot, but the main protagonist is entertaining enough to carry each hour after enjoyable hour of the show. Comparable to episodes of “House” in its golden years (replace hotel with hospital and the shows are remarkably similar), the episodes are a treat and, with only one season produced, watching it in its entirety isn’t much of a time commitment.