There are some shows that live in invisibility. The idea of telling your friends or co-workers that they occupy DVR space is impossible. These shows are known as “guilty pleasures”. Whether they’re watched on the go, on the couch, or while you’re sneaking at the office, they are all cloaked under the blanket of secrecy.
When the new MTV series “Faking It” began running it’s promos, it had all the build up of an intriguing teen comedy. It also had a perplexing proposition as its storyline. The premise is two very attractive young girls pretending to be lesbians to gain popularity in high school. Eye rolls commenced, eyes began to squint, and the most common television viewer questioned where this story could possibly be headed. The only reason to watch the first episode of a show like this is to tear it down to its roots, laugh at its failings, and then to tell anybody who will listen “that was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” However, sometimes a rare gem can emerge in the most peculiar places. A show that had no expectation but failure simply became intoxicating. At the core of the show are the two friends Amy and Karma, whose intimate connection and awareness of each other completely sells and supports the lie they perpetuate throughout the school. Their friendship is the heart of the show in more ways than one. Any viewer who watches the chaotic and topsy-turvy ways of the show’s depiction of Austin, Texas, can only hope that the stronghold that is their companionship survives. Karma was raised by her Bohemian and carefree parents. Amy lives in a standard southern, big haired, traditional Texas home. She has a Regina George impersonator named Lauren as a step-sister and a growing friendship with Shane, a sassy gay kid in her grade whose comebacks are as awesome as his hair. Shane is also best-friends with Liam Booker, the male protagonist of the show with whom Karma is obsessed with. This show illustrates the great yearning that many have in their teen years and beyond. There is an intense need for acceptance but also the desire to cultivate a personal identity. In the high school years, there’s strong pressure for conformity but that feeling doesn’t always coincide with trying to figure out what you want as an individual. This show tackles all these issues. It’s simply not a program based on two friends who pretend to be gay, kissed, which causes sexual confusion for one of them, and having to deal with the fallout. Ok it is about that. But also at its essence, it’s a show about growing up, personal acceptance, and most importantly friendships.
It’s ok to have guilty pleasure shows. They’re juicy. They’re fun and usually are more entertaining than skimming through the YouTube “top trending” videos. Maybe they won’t come up in the most intellectual conversations. Maybe you won’t tell anyone about them out of fear that if you do they’ll send you a text full of laughing and eye covering emojis. But, these guilty pleasures find their way into every good TV viewer’s hearts. They’re enriching, engrossing, and downright exciting. And these are the traits that every person is guilty of looking for in a new show.