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Do you have TV shows or movies that you know are really terrible, but you can’t help watching them anyway? I often leave the TV on in the background while I write or do homework because the house is eerily silent while the kids sleep, and that means I have to find shows that don’t bother me but that won’t draw too much of my attention away from my work.

As a result, Doomsday Preppers has become one of my guilty pleasures. This show is a little ridiculous on many levels, but sometimes I just can’t help but watch it. First of all, the writers seem to pick the most insane preppers possible, and even the ones who seem normal are portrayed in a really unfavorable light. In general, I don’t think that being prepared for unfortunate events is a bad thing. Growing up on the east coast, I’ve experienced hurricanes that caused power outages for up to 3 days, I was living in Brooklyn for 9/11, and I believe that life just happens whether or not you’re prepared for it. Also, as a member of the LDS church, we are encouraged to have a backup supply of food for our family in case of an unexpected crisis or even financial hardship. I tend to think that a large percentage of people who would be considered preppers are normal people who just like to have a little extra stored away just in case, not people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building underground bunkers. Of course, crazy people are what get you ratings, so I have yet to find an episode featuring normal people.

In addition, the episodes are filmed so that the series feels VERY repetitive. You can watch half an episode and pretty much know exactly what you missed. This begs the question, why in the world do I watch this show?? It’s hard to explain, but some of these people are so innovative it’s hard not to admire them. After watching someone turn a Diaper Genie into a post-apocalyptic toilet I just have to wonder what people will come up with next!

My other guilty pleasure TV show lately is Numbers. The concept behind this show is equally fascinating, but after a few episodes it just becomes unbelievable. The idea that the FBI can’t solve a single case without a mathematician figuring out everything for them is pretty insulting to law enforcement, and I find it hard to believe that all of the applications of math in this show would be able to accomplish even half of what they insinuate it could. I have no defense for why I watch this show. I often find myself yelling at the writers for the absolute implausibility of an episodes, like when an anti-terrorism task force at the FBI needs a mathematician to instruct them on the basics of terrorist cell structure — really?? And yet when the kids take their nap, I plop my computer into my lap and turn this show on in the background. What is wrong with me?

Do you have any mindless shows you find yourself watching? What about any guilty pleasure movies?