8 TV Shows You Can (and Should) Watch Without Guilt
Work + Life Balance

8 TV Shows You Can (and Should) Watch Without Guilt

by Jaclynn Knecht
Photos Joe Kathrina | August 28, 2015

EVEN THE MOST INTELLECTUAL OF CAREER WOMEN NEEDS A MINDLESS ESCAPE. LOSE YOURSELF IN THE FICTIONAL AND "REALISTIC" DRAMA OF THESE GUILTY PLEASURE SHOWS. YOU WON'T REGRET IT!

Television is a means by which we can all escape—at least a little—from the ongoing drama in our everyday life. Whether you’re going through a hard time in your personal life, or your professional one, watching a television show can relieve your worry or ease your mood, for even a small period of time. {Click to Tweet}

Television is a means by which we can all escape—at least a little—from the ongoing drama in our everyday life. 

Related: Four Ways to Maximize Your Day Off

But what about those shows that you feel guilty for spending your time on? Do you have a show (or shows) that you’d rather not have anyone know that you watch? Those are called your guilty pleasures, and I’m here to tell you that you can (and should) watch them, without guilt! So long as you’re not spending every second of the day, eyes glued to the screen from your couch, we encourage you to enjoy the escape.

Here are eight shows that I consider guilt-free pleasures to watch:

BIG BROTHER

Fourteen people locked in a house for over three months with cameras everywhere—what could go wrong? A LOT—which is what makes this show a great guilty pleasure. I would venture to say that if you’re in college, this show could be the basis of a great sociological study paper. {Click to Tweet} As horrifying as some of the behavior on this show can be, it really does cast a light on some of the crazy tactics people will employ—maybe even in the workplace.

As horrifying as some of the behavior on this show can be, it really does cast a light on some of the crazy tactics people will employ—maybe even in the workplace.

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PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

So, you’re a full-time career woman in her twenties (or even thirties), and you love watching a show that revolves around the cyber-bullying of a group of high school girls? That’s great! (You’re not alone.) Based on books of the same name, by Sara Shepard, the series follows Aria, Spencer, Emily, Hanna, and Ali, as well as their anonymous cyber-bully, known only as “A.” who seems to be omnipresent, with tabs on everything and everyone these characters know and love. Now in its sixth season, the show has only just begun to unravel the twists it has spent years creating. If you’re a mystery lover, this show is for you!

DANCE MOMS

I hate that I watch this show, but I cannot seem to stop. (Cue the “guilt” in “guilty pleasure”). Believe me, I’ve tried. The series follows the Abby Lee Dance Company, its owner (Abby Lee Miller), her Junior Elite Competition Team, and their mothers, as they prepare for and perform at weekly dance competitions. Every week, viewers are guaranteed at least one dance competition, with a side of snide, bickering, anger, sarcasm, and tears. Depending on how you feel about the show, it could be considered an example of: how not to treat children, how to be horrible parent, how to pit your children against each other, and/or how to stab your friends in the back. Either way, the show is a super guilty pleasure to watch.

 Every week, viewers are guaranteed at least one dance competition, with a side of snide, bickering, anger, sarcasm, and tears.

GREY’S ANATOMY/SCANDAL/HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

Shonda Rhimes rules Thursday nights on ABC. {Click to Tweet} If you’re anything like me, you watch these three shows and DVR anything else that might be on that night. Set in three completely different scenarios (a Seattle hospital, The White House, and a Philadelphia law school), these shows all encapsulate their characters ability to function in a crisis. Clever writing, exquisite wardrobes, and superb acting only add to these shows’ allure and their ability to keep you coming back for more!

THE BACHELOR/THE BACHELORETTE/BACHELOR IN PARADISE

This trio of awesomeness allows its viewers to see the search for love, from all televised angles. The Bachelor gives you twenty-five women vying for one man, all while living together. The Bachelorette does the same, but with a house full of men competing for the heart of one woman. Bachelor in Paradise is different, in that it brings past contestants from the other programs to a remote location, in paradise, with the notion that they will couple up. Any individual that is not part of a couple at the end of a week will be sent home. Now, what makes this trio a guilty pleasure is the fact that the moments that make it great television are usually those where someone has had their heartbroken or are feeling completely rejected—feelings we’ve likely all felt at some point in our lives.

NASHVILLE

This prime-time soap, highlighting the world of country music, will grab your attention. Set in the heart of Music City, the show follows main characters Rayna James, a legend, and Juliet Barnes, an up-and-coming superstar, as they maneuver their way through their public and private worlds. The secondary characters also do a phenomenal job of portraying the hustle and hard work it takes to make it in the industry. You’ll find that you can’t seem to pull yourself away from this glam, drama-filled world they’ve created.

You’ll find that you can’t seem to pull yourself away from this glam, drama-filled world they’ve created.

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THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF (ANYWHERE)

Whether you’re in the OC, New Jersey, Atlanta, Beverly Hills, or New York, there is a “Housewives” franchise for you! Granted, while a number of the women populating these shows are no longer married, the lack of camaraderie and continuous nature of their special events and alcohol intake makes for enjoyable television. If you were to watch these shows for anything other than entertainment I might be worried, but there are some career nuggets on these shows, as well. {Click to Tweet} For example, Bethenny Frankel built her Skinny Girl empire while appearing on a number of reality shows. Definitely enjoy these shows, but use discretion when implementing advice garnered from them!

KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS

This is the ultimate in guilty pleasure television—seriously, the upper echelon. But it can also be viewed a career guide, in some cases. Yes, they bring the drama. Yes, they bring the frivolity, and a bit of arrogance, given they have a lot of money. But one positive thing you can say about the women on this show? They work, and they work hard. They’re always traveling, and doing it on private jets, but they’re also always all over the place (and by “place,” I mean the world) actually making money. While, at this point, a number of us are probably Kardashian’d out, you’ve got to give credit where it’s due—and they’ve earned some credit, in spades, shoes, and dollars.

While, at this point, a number of us are probably Kardashian’d out, you’ve got to give credit where it’s due—and they’ve earned some credit, in spades, shoes, and dollars.

Related: 4 Inspiring Podcasts That Will Bring Out Your Inner Entrepreneur

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No matter what you watch, if you love it, keep watching! You shouldn’t let guilt deter you from the little bits of entertainment and escape in life. Happy viewing!

Do you have any “guilty” pleasures that I missed? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below with any shows that you love or that we should watch!

Photos: CBSABC, & E!Online