At a time when most of the United (?) Kingdom is getting all excited about the announcement of a General Election in June, I was instead jumping for joy at the start of the last series of Pretty Little Liars.
If some of you don't know what Pretty Little Liars is, and I am sure that there will be a handful of you, it's a U.S teen drama that nobody really understands but a lot of people love --it helps that there are a lot of attractive people running around looking scared and a huge wallop of sassy attitude from the five, arguable six leading ladies --nobody puts Mona in the corner.
However, with my love of this series --and countless others-- there comes a side of shame, and there I guess the term 'Guilty Pleasure' was born. My partner knows I watch it and doesn't judge me for it. Rather the shame, guilt, embarrassment - whatever you want to call the feeling comes from myself. This is because at the back of my mind I feel like by my age I should be watching something a bit more grown up like House of Cards or The Wire (the original was great the Kevin Spacey one dull, didn't get past the first episode although have plans to revisit...one day). So instead of sitting there with pride and popcorn I strategically wait until I know he is going to be working late, or out on an evening, and watch it furtively behind his back. Basically he cannot be in the house, I watch it alone and it is awesome.
When I started telling some friends I watched it I was met with mixed reviews. The relief that some women would grab my hands and be like OH MY GOD YES HALEB FOREVER or others would be like nope don't watch it but have you tried the Vampier Diaries or Gossip Girl? These conversations would then usually descend into a greedy exchange of incredibly serious opinions on the lead characters and their friendships and relationships a bit like we were talking about real people with whom we were actually acquainted. The other side of the coin would be a roll of the eyes and a gosh how tedious or 'REALLY WHY WOULD YOU WATCH THAT? At which point I would laugh it off and change the subject, or apologise for not watching a documentary on some tropical disease.
I have come to a conclusion of sorts that my love for these type of series, because I am going to be honest I've watched most of them --Gossip Girl finale was terrible and Vampire Diaries should have ended but I heart Caroline forever-- simply boils down to the fact that since leaving university life gets pretty damn serious. And yes you'd be correct in thinking I came quite late to this TV series. You have pressures to move out of your parents home and get a good job to make the student loan somehow worth it, then in your late 20's you start thinking CRAP I need to get my life together what is a mortgage how can I get that? And did someone say pension? Not to mention the outside world of your own bubble where there's a ginger septuagenarian saying and doing stupid things and someone with arguably great shoes trying to get us out of Europe the list goes on...
So amongst the deluge of news, politics and societal pressures and the load of bollocks you put on yourself I think it's completely acceptable, nay encouraged, that we take time for ourselves to watch a some lighthearted TV --although saying that Pretty Little Liars is pretty intense-- and switch our brains off without feeling any of the guilt, just the pleasure.