Revisiting things from the 90's is enjoyable. I've loved The Nanny for years, and it's still fun to go back and rewatch the seasons, laugh at the contrived plots, and admire all of Fran's outfits. You've Got Mail is a classic 90's romance, and it's especially enjoyable to look back on the early internet era now when things are so different.
I also really enjoy "so bad they're good" things. It's a little late to recommend a Christmas mini-movie, but I have to include A Recipe for Seduction anyway because it's so ridiculous. You can tell Lifetime knew they were making one of the dumbest things ever and they leaned into it. I consider The Room the classic terrible movie (and it's local!). In the years since its release, it has spawned, among other things, a video game that fully recreates the movie (and adds to it a bit).
It was 1965 and I was 8 years old when I first encountered Kaiju at a children’s matinee at the local movie theater in Sumter, South Carolina. Popcorn and SweeTARTS in hand, I watched in awe as Mothra took on Godzilla.
I really love watching the vintage Japanese monster movies known as Kaiju. Toho studios cranked out dozens of them over the years and each featured people in big rubber monster suits and meticulously detailed model cityscapes created with the sole purpose of being trampled underfoot and destroyed by Godzilla, Mothra, Ghidorah, Rodan, Mechagodzilla and so many more.
The first Godzilla movie came out in 1954 and featured antinuclear and environmental themes, but what really grabbed me as a kid (and continues to draw me in) were the pre-CGI special effects, pyrotechnics and soundtracks of roaring, bellowing and screeching monsters paired with swelling symphonic scores. Today I watch with amusement and nostalgia and realize my problems are small compared to the struggles of these elemental behemoths.
While it would be easy to think that Children's Music would be my guilty pleasure, my genuine enjoyment of the genre is sanctioned by the fact that it's also part of my job. I count myself lucky that I get to explore all the great new stuff coming out for children and their families, in considering whether we can add it to our music collection.
I do, however, listen to lots of other stuff that isn't for the younger set and there are a few things that might be considered guilty pleasures. One "song" that I love to come back to over time, when I need a laugh and want to pack in a ton of popular songs at once, is 4 Chords by The Axis of Awesome, an Australian comedy rock band (anything Australian is also a guilty pleasure). Over the years that they performed this routine, there were various iterations, incorporating more and more songs that fit the format. The last official version, with a music video, was produced in 2011. You can also check out the original songs that made it into that mix, available for hold through our online catalog. I hope that you enjoy the Awesome!
I admit I'm a pretty big fan of direct Paul Verhoeven. His work is a bit polarizing; it seems people either love him or hate him. Of all his films, the guiltiest of all guilty pleasure has to be, without a doubt, his 1995 film Showgirls. Yes, it was panned by critics. Yes, it is utterly campy and over-the-top. But Elizabeth Berkley was fearless to take on the role and the character of Nomi is nuanced and absolutely real. The music and the dancing are fabulous as well. So yes, while Showgirls is every bad thing you've heard about it, it's also so bad it's good.
Two of my musical guilty pleasures:
- Boy Bands: It all started with New Kids on the Block, followed by ‘N Sync, and then One Direction. The discographies of all three groups are also available on Freegal.
- Disco: Disco is dead? I think not! Check out this Pure Disco compilation that will have you feeling no “Shame” about this timelessly fun genre of music.
The infectious disco-inspired track “Dynamite” by K-pop group BTS combines these two guilty pleasures and just might convince you that they are your guilty pleasures as well. You can stream/download “Dynamite” and their latest album BE on Freegal. All of the sounds, colors, and disco vibes of the BTS Tiny Desk (Home) Concert is also a joy to watch.
My GUILTY PLEASURES Movie Confessional
I confess, sometimes I just need happy endings and Hallmark movies. So romcoms with an unlikely premise often fit the bill for that little guilty-pleasure-escape; movies like THE WEDDING DATE,
or SECOND ACT,
or THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY FARM.
(I bet you can guess which one of those three is a Hallmark movie!)
I also stumbled upon a couple of Hallmark murder mystery series that feature strong intelligent female characters with a penchant for annoying local detectives, but inevitably help them solve unlikely murder cases. AURORA TEAGARDEN is a crime-solving librarian, yes librarian! In another series, Hanna is a small-town bakery store owner with similar who-dunnit-solving skills in the MURDER, SHE BAKED series.
Forgive me these sugar-coated movie treats!
When I'm commuting, I don't listen to opera or classical music. And some of the pop music I like is great music, but there are some songs that I feel a little guilty or stupid about liking so much. Here are my guilty pleasures in pop music:
Super Freak by Rick James
Why do I like it so much? Well, I love the bass line, and his style of singing, and the lyrics just make me laugh. I first heard this song in the movie Little Miss Sunshine, a wonderful movie that I'm not at all guilty about loving. Available on Freegal and cd.
Toxic and Baby One More Time by Britney Spears.
Ok,so Toxic is actually a great song, but I'm a little embarrassed for liking a Britney Spears song. Baby One More Time is a true guilty pleasure because her voice is so bizarre and when I first heard it I didn't think she sounded human. It also has a controversial "bad" lyric. But it's such a great tune! I can sing along but also be laughing at her ridiculous voice.
Potential Breakup Song by Aly and AJ
I have no idea who Aly and AJ are, but I love their clearly autotuned voices (with obvious splicing) in this song, and again, some of the lyrics are just too funny. There's a new mix from 2020, and it's not so good, but you can hear the old one on this cd.
Simply Irresistible by Robert Palmer
This song is fun, but it's really the video that I like. I know I shouldn't enjoy those women dancing (gyrating?) behind him - they all look alike and have dead eyes. I have no idea what the point is but the combination of their incredibly sensuous movements and inhuman creepiness fascinates me. They're just simply irresistible! You can hear it on this cd or stream it on Freegal.
I love almost every song on Astro Lounge by Smashmouth, but I recently found out that people make fun of Smashmouth and the people who like them, so now it's my guilty pleasure.
It's hard to believe but there are whole television series dedicated to bad movies. My favorite is Mystery Science Theater 3000, the series where the host is forced to watch bad movies as part of an experiment to break his will and responds with humor and robot sidekicks.
Some fun episodes to get in to:
I Accuse My Parents - It seems every kid blames their parents for something, this son blames his parents for his ties to the mob. Creator and original host Joel is at his best skewering this parental morality tale.
Pumaman - A man with all the abilities of the puma, including the ability to fly!! Mike Nelson's riffs are legendary on this ridiculous superhero film.
Avalanche - Mystery Science Theater 3000's reboot brought new host Jonah in who showed he had the skills to take on this cheesy disaster film from the seventies.
I have a lot of musical guilty pleasures and here's two that are available to stream or download from Freegal.
Before he wrote the songs for the animated Mulan, Matthew Wilder had a big hit in the song "Break My Stride". The optimism of this song always makes me smile but my real guilty pleasure is seeing this video of Mr. Wilder singing his song on Solid Gold in 1983. There is so much that is mortifying about that time period, that I feel guilty enjoying watching it.
Movies & Music - Questions of the Week
Who of the following was NOT a competitor on Season 4 of the reality TV show The Masked Singer?
Last Week's Trivia Answer: The White Album