Let’s face it: The majority of shows on TV can be considered “guilty pleasures” at best. Just based on the sheer ratio of churned-out, crappy television to quality programming, the Kardashians and gypsies far outnumber the Drapers and Game of Thrones. But there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, right?
While I follow some pretty stellar shows, I have my share of guilty pleasure watches. Some are included in this week’s listings, but if you really want a lineup of awesomely racy television, tune into Showtime on Thursday nights. The fun kicks off at 10 p.m. with The Real L Word, which pretty much is exactly how it sounds: Cameras follow young, hip lesbians around New York and Los Angeles. All the silly drama of The Real Housewives minus the annoying husbands, plus the fight might end with a steamy make-up sesh.
Many of the women chronicled are hard-partying, tattooed vegetarian hotties constantly hooking up with one another, which debatably paints a stereotypical portrait of all lesbians. There are some real storylines, however, that push Real L a bit out of “guilty” territory, for me at least. Two of the women just got married; a longtime couple struggles with conceiving; the New Yorkers are in a band, Hunter Valentine, which played MidPoint last year; and the show makes a point about bisexuals and “femme” lesbians (often discriminated against for not being “gay enough”).
If a little girl-on-girl doesn’t fog your glasses, stick around for Gigolos at 11 p.m. to follow real male escorts who knock boots for big bucks in Las Vegas. This third season premiere welcomes back Vin, Nick and the crown jewel of male hookers, Brace (Brace!), while introducing a new fella, Ash. This week, Brace explores the world of spray tanning.
The dialogue ranges from comical to slimy, but who could change the channel? Yes, you see pretty much everything.
Here are this week’s shows, with Guilty Pleasures (GP) noted:
WEDNESDAY AUG. 29
GP: The Real World: St. Thomas (10 p.m., MTV) -– I completely realize that once you’ve passed the age limit to be on the show, you need to stop watching it. But this season features an all-American guy whose ex-girl back home is secretly knocked up and a dude with gauges who would rather “hang around a tattoo shop.”
THURSDAY AUG. 30
Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – Terri returns to strike her revenge on Ven? (I wish.) The designers create looks to be considered for a capsule collection at Lord and Taylor.
Wilfred (10 p.m., FX) – Ryan turns to mind-altering drugs in an attempt to uncover some answers about Wilfred.
Louie (10:30 p.m., FX) – Louie hopes to catch a break on a late night show, but a more famous guest might boot him off.
FRIDAY AUG. 31
GP: America’s Next Top Model: College Edition (8 p.m., CW) – The fact that we’re 19 cycles in and the title hasn’t changed to Tyra’s Next Top Tyra is truly amazing. Thanks to Ms. Banks’ model reality show, we now have terms like “I didn’t come here to make friends” and “Smile with your eyes (smize)” in everyday vernacular. But it’s always about Ty Ty Baby. This week: 90210’s Shenae Grimes photographs the girls as taxidermy.
SUNDAY SEPT. 2
Breaking Bad (Midseries Finale, 10 p.m., AMC) – Walter ties up loose ends with Mike’s men. Anyone else predict a Jesse-Skyler team-up? Kiss the Whites goodbye until next summer, when this final season will wrap up.
Weeds (10 p.m., Showtime) – Andy gets to know his 22-year-old bride while Nancy goes to dinner with the rabbi and friends. Silas seeks start-up cash to work with the tobacco company.
GP: Taboo (10 p.m., National Geographic) – As the title suggests, this show looks at people who live outside the norm, from real 40-year-old virgins to people living with Tourette’s. Just in time for Labor Day, this week’s episode looks at boozing culture in America.
GP: Small Town Security (Season Finale, 11 p.m., AMC) – What am I going to do without my ragtag crew from Ringgold, Ga.? From Joan Koplan’s over-the-top antics to Lt. Croft’s intriguing lifestyle, I’m going to miss these lovable weirdoes. Here’s hoping for a second season.
MONDAY SEPT. 2
GP: Gallery Girls (10 p.m., Bravo) – Young women making/justifying/financing/wearing “their art” plus a healthy dose of rivalry between the hoity-toity Manhattanites and the red-lipped hip Brooklyn girls.
CONTACT JAC KERN: email@example.com