There are several things in life that have prevented me from being an astrophysicist. One of them is me, but summer television is another. At the beginning of May, when all the highbrow, impressive shows that I watch are going off the air for their hiatus, I imagine the hours and hours of free time I’ll have now that I don’t have to keep up with … every week.
…and then comes summer programming. It slips into your life so casually — you turn on your TV for background noise one time when So You Think You Can Dance is on, and then there you are, three months later, still glued to the screen…sobbing as they select the winner. It doesn’t matter that there are no plot twists, that you don’t know these people, or that you’ve never watched the show before. It becomes a guilty pleasure in an instant, and then you’re addicted. Doomed to spend the whole summer salivating over it in secret, pretending to your friends that you’re painting your apartment or working on your novel…once a week at the same time.
But not this year. This year you embrace your fate. This year we’re here to tell you which ten shows are gonna be our guilty pleasures this summer, so you know you won’t have to be alone. And just to clarify, these aren’t going to be the most impressive shows on the roster. They’re not the ones your friends are going to be posting about on Facebook. If you want to watch that show, you gotta get started with Hatfields and McCoys. You’re free to go anytime. But if you stay, it’s because you want to be entertained without exerting any brain power. So let’s get started. Let’s get to admitting.
Around the World in 80 Plates, Wednesday 5/9, 10pm, BRAVO
Bravo has yet to do me wrong, and I’m a huge Top Chef fan, so this new competition show seems right up my alley. Plus it combines my three great loves: food, travel…and reality television. It’s already started, so you have some catching up to do, but we know you’re up to it.
Sister Wives, Sunday 5/13, 9pm, TLC
How do you not want to watch a show about a Mormon man with four wives and seventeen children as he tries to find a house that’s big enough for all of them?
The Bachelorette, Monday 5/14, 9:30pm, ABC
I think you and I both know this show is already on, and it’s a great one if you like to watch human beings be awkward and strange (which is my most favorite thing) from the comfort of your living room, where they can’t hurt you. Bachelorette Emily Maynard is down to thirteen guys, and I do a weekly re-cap, so now’s a perfect chance to join in and watch the crazy unfold.
So You Think You Can Dance, Wednesday 5/30, 8pm, FOX
I’m not a dancer, so I was never too interested in this show until I caught the first episode last year…and promptly DVRed every subsequent episode so I wouldn’t miss a single second. Basically a full hour or ninety minutes of people in their twenties being way way better at dance than you could possibly imagine. Like. If there was an Olympics of dance, these kids would be our American team.
The Catalina, Tuesday 5/29, 8pm, The CW
A new reality series about hot young people who work at the Catalina Hotel in South Beach, Miami. Because I will watch hot people do anything, even answer phones and complain about their lives.
Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, Sunday 6/3, 9pm, ABC
Extreme Makeover is the original tear-jerker. I mean, guys, there’s a reason that the Home Edition has won all those Emmys, and I can’t imagine that the Weight Loss Edition is any different. I love a good make-over, especially if it affects the person’s health, and there’s nothing like a good Sunday night cry to get you ready for going back to work Monday morning.
Hell’s Kitchen, Monday 6/4, 8pm and Tuesday 6/5, 8pm, FOX
Schadenfreude is the best kind of -freude, and nobody gets my personal schadenfreude rocks off like Gordon Ramsay yelling at some chef. I’m sure you have your opinions about this show, but turn it on in the background and watch yourself burn the onions while you’re trying to watch it from the kitchen. Don’t worry, we won’t tell Chef.
Love in the Wild, Thursday 6/7, 8pm, NBC
OMG, I’ve never heard of this show before, but I’m immediately hooked on the (totally cheesy) idea. The show is hosted by Jenny McCarthy and starts with ten single men and ten single women randomly divided into couples, and instructed to complete adventure-y tasks in the jungle. At the end of each task, you’re given the option to stick with your partner or choose a new one, who can either accept or reject you. The last man and last woman not picked every week, go home. And also they find love along the way! I’m embarrassingly excited to watch this show. This is exactly the mindless entertainment I’ve been looking for.
Snooki & JWoww, Thursday 6/21, 10pm, MTV
Don’t try to tell me you weren’t enthralled by Jersey Shore. And also don’t try to tell me that you’re not wondering what a pregnant Snooki is like. Do what you will, but I will be watching this monstrosity from start to finish, until the next season of the Shore comes into my life.
Wipeout, Thursday 6/28, 9pm, ABC
The classic laughing-at-people-when-they-fall-down show. It never gets old, and that obstacle course only gets weirder.
So there you have it. Our deepest darkest secrets. We trust that you’ll keep them to yourself, and maybe even find yourself on a couch some muggy June night with the air conditioner blasting, a bag of gummy bears, and nothing to lose…
We’ll see you there.