What’s your guilty pleasure? You know, cheap shoe shopping, listening to ABBA, watching hours of anything with “Housewives” in the title—hey, no judgment here. This week, no matter what activity brings you an embarrassing amount of joy, I’m giving you full permission to indulge.
On Your Kindle
Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, by Jennifer L. Pozner
I’m currently obsessed with Jennifer L. Pozner’s work on reality television, which reveals the hidden tricks and techniques used to make shows like The Bachelor even more sensational. Pozner wryly focuses on the creation of stereotypical characters within reality narratives, like the “desperate bachelorette” and “douchey dude,” who have shaped our cultural landscape whether we realize it or not. Read and prepare to see your favorite shows in a whole new light.
On Your Smartphone
Want juicy gossip about musicians, TV stars, models, and film icons? Head over to dishy LaineyGossip for the details on everything from J. Lo’s love life to Justin Bieber’s shirtless escapades (again, no judgment). Founded by Lainey Lui, a Canadian journalist known for her blind items, the site will have you talking about your own “Freebie Five” and Brangelina’s brood obsessively.
On a Podcast
PBS’ Downton Abbey is a huge cultural phenomenon, even outside the show’s native Britain. Love the drawn-out Mary and Matthew love triangles? Sad for poor Edith? Get great critical analysis of Downton Abbey (and other shows), with NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast.
Headline Hollywood: A Century of Film Scandal, edited by Adrienne L. McLean and David A. Cook
For Hollywood gossip of a more classic variety, try Headline Hollywood, a series of essays about the great scandals of movie history, like Ingrid Bergman’s affair with Roberto Rossellini and Jane Fonda’s anti-war activism. From divorces to infamous murders, this collection covers early film scandals, many of which bear striking resemblances to today’s biggest media stories.