Speak Your Mind

Speak Your Mind: Skeptical Guilty Pleasures

Since I joined the ranks of the roughly 14 million unemployed Americans, I’ve had a lot of time to reacquaint myself with the most American of art forms. No, not jazz. TELEVISION. Specifically, whatever TV shows Netflix will allow me to stream. One show I’ve been watching lately is the NBC sitcom My Name is Earl.

If your unfamiliar with the show, the plot revolves around a petty thief called Earl, his brother Randy, his ex-wife Joy and Joy’s new husband Darnell. Earl discovers karma (or at least a Westernized, co-opted version of karma) via Carson Daley, and decides to turn his life around. So Earl makes The List: a list of every bad thing he’s ever done, and is determined to make up for every single thing. If he can make up for the bad things, and do some good things, Earl believes his life will be better.

Earl has its fair share of criticism, but I kind of like it. It’s chock-full of woo, to be sure, and has even been accused of being light Scientologist propaganda. But I can’t help but be taken in by this show that encourages people to be good to one another and think about the consequences of their actions. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, though, given that nearly every episodes makes reference to how karma controls the universe. It’s definitely one of my skeptical guilty pleasure.

What are your skeptical guilty pleasures? Are there any books, TV shows, movies, etc. that you like despite yourself? How do you reconcile this with your more rational side?

Featured image credit: fra-NCIS 

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Mindy is an attorney and Managing Editor of Teen Skepchick. She hates the law and loves stars. You can follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


  1. September 29, 2011 at 1:18 am —

    I don’t even know why the show should be guilty pleasure. I mean if karma exists in the fictional world, in that fictional world, karma exists. That’s the point of a fictional world. Think of situations that wouldn’t be possible in real life and make it happen in the imaginary world.

    For me, a TV guilty pleasure, though, is reality TV contest Hell’s Kitchen. The show sometimes is really stupid, as they try to exaggerate every single situation and squeeze as much drama as they can. Yet, I can’t help but enjoy it.

    • September 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm —

      I sort of split TV into two categories: shows that exist in this universe, and shows that exist in its own universe. I can forgive Doctor Who because it’s so obviously in its own world. My Name is Earl, I think, lives in this universe, so it’s harder to dismiss the woo. But, clearly, I dismiss the woo anyway 🙂

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