If you’re watching TV as much as I am these days, there’s no chance you’re only viewing dramas about plucky women in post-World War II Great Britain and documentaries about endangered sea mammals. You’re watching things that are bad for you. But, repeat after me, “That’s OK. I have nothing to feel guilty about. Nobody cares if I watch 14 straight hours of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.” These are a few of my current guilty pleasures.
Let’s face it. Friday nights aren’t what they used to be. That’s why I couldn’t resist watching Eurovision Song Contest; the Legend of Fire Saga when it premiered on Netflix this past Friday. The movie stars Will Ferrell, who also co-wrote the screenplay, and Rachel McAdams as Lars and Sigrit, who form the Icelandic pop duo Fire Saga and dream of performing in the international song contest of the title. While not nearly as funny as Ferrell’s takes on racing (Talladega Nights) or ice skating (Blades of Glory), the movie is fun and the musical numbers are above average. Ferrell and McAdams are all in, and Dan Stevens sheds his stodgy Downton Abbey image in a very entertaining turn as a leonine Russian pop star. Pierce Brosnan isn’t quite as successful as Ferrell’s Nordic dad and clocking in at over two hours, the movie is about 20 minutes too long, but since it was delivered free to my home and showed me something new,
I would definitely recommend it.
With Top Chef and Amy Schumer Learns to Cook, finished for the season, I am a woman without a food show. While Diners, Drive-ins and Dives is definitely a guilty pleasure, I try to avoid it as I’m already having an “I want to eat everything in the house” problem and watching Guy Fieri indulge in lobster mac and cheese and chicken and waffles isn’t helping.
I recently discovered Supermarket Stakeout on the Food Network. In this show, four chefs hang out in a supermarket where they buy the groceries straight from shoppers’ bags sight-unseen and then prepare dishes right there in a pop-up kitchen in the parking lot. A panel of judges decides the winner. It’s amazing what they can create, but I still feel bad for the chef who spent his money on a bag of dog food and birthday balloons.
Do not ask me how I started watching Holey Moley (ABC), an extreme mini-golf competition. And definitely don’t ask me how I got my boyfriend Vinnie to watch with me. But, here we are, every Thursday night parked in front of the TV hoping that our favorite contestant doesn’t fall off the inflatable shark, get knocked over by a giant windmill or get burned by the fire-breathing dragon. What makes the shenanigans even better are announcers Rob Riggle and Joe Tessitore who take the action very seriously. You can catch season one on demand.
There’s nothing quite as distracting as watching a couple of couches worth of celebrities and two “civilians” play offbeat party games while throwing back adult beverages. Unlike other game show reboots where the celebrities don’t seem to be having that good a time, the panelists on Hollywood Game Night seem genuinely committed to winning Clue Boom, Dance in Your Pants and Scary Poppins. Host Jane Lynch is funny and keeps things moving. The show is currently in its sixth season on NBC.
There is no guiltier pleasure than whatever happens to be the latest incarnation of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show has been around on a variety of networks since 2009 and is a reality competition to crown “America’s next drag superstar.” But if you want to join the ranks of Yvie Oddly, Jinkx Monsoon, or my favorite, Bob the Drag Queen, you have to work that runway and impress Ru and the judges before you “lip sync for your life”. Even when the skits fall flat, the costumes always make up for it. The current season of “All-Stars” airs at 8 pm Fridays on VH1.
Fireworks fizzled? Picnic postponed? Who cares? This weekend I’m watching Hamilton. I’m not lucky enough to have won the ticket lottery or rich enough to be able to afford tickets to the most popular musical of modern times. But I sure can afford $6.99 for a month of Disney Plus. Filmed in 2016 at the Richard Rodgers theater, with the original cast, including show creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, what better way to celebrate Independence Day? Just sign up at Disneyplus.com and you will also have access to PIXAR, Star Wars and Marvel movies.