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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"You get the Watcher. You get the mom. You get the little Scooby gang. What do I get? Jack squat."
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March 04 2013

Why Netflix thinks Buffy is a "guilty pleasure" - and why it isn't. A response to Buffy's Netflix nomination as a "Guilty Pleasure".

Was the typo of the show getting "a single, solitary Golden Glob nom" intentional (on the glob, not the nom)? If not, it made me laugh anyway.

Golden Glob. Still chortling.

Also, I agree with the whole thing.
I get that it is in the wrong category. Not sure I understand why anyone cares.
We fight for our friends, IrrationaliTV. ...even if that friend happens to be an off-the-air television show.
Right you are, ManEnoughToAdmitIt. I just saw a lot about this on twitter over the last few days and wondered if the response wasn't a bit disproportionate to the error. :)
I agree with IrrationaliTV: who cares? It's a made up awards category for a made up award. It's Netflix, not the ATAS.
since when Whedon fans say "who cares?" ?
I just don't see this as a good reason to get all riled up. In the scheme of things, it really doesn't matter.
I think it's idiotic for Netflix to attach that negative connotation to the Buffy series. It doesn't hurt or anger me but I still flinch a little when that old perception of it being a dumb, shlocky teen series raises its old hoary head again. Words actually do matter so yeah, Netflix, a huge DVD rental corporation being so bone-headed could drive away potential viewers who might otherwise have discovered something great.
Well ... Buffy's nominated along with Michael Bay movies.

It would justify a big gory mass murder, just saying.

Just in case : I'm joking. But yeah, I understand why people get pissed. That's unfair. I live in France, a lot of people think of it as a guilty pleasure, except fans and clever critics. Luckily, there are a lot around.
Buffy isn't silly fluff, even if that's some people's perception. Nothing wrong with correcting them.
I get logically that this is meaningless but It just feels like Buffy is being called names behind her back by Netflix.

Obviously, I have many unresolved school yard issues.
I think the entire concept of a "guilty pleasure" in entertainment is crap. No one should be ashamed of anything they're into. I'm a 39 year old man with a wife and two kids and we all enjoy watching Buffy. It's just a great show.
If I was watching The Bachelor, or Real Housewives of Somewhere I Don't Care About, I might call it a guilty pleasure. Though how it would be a pleasure, I have no idea.
How do they compare a program that is well-written, well-acted, nominated for several real awards, launched several careers (actors as well as writers), has numerous scholarly books written about it and is used in college courses to the...thing that made Honey Boo-Boo a household name?

THAT's what really bothers me.

I'd say more, but I'm afraid I might insult someone who actually likes that drivel.
I do believe in the concept of a "Guilty Please". I have shows that I enjoy watching, but I'm not proud of it because of the intellectual that I claim to be. Buffy is not one of those. I wave my Buffy flag high.
I've enjoyed watching shows that weren't that great on occasion, but I see no reason to call them 'Guilty Pleasures'. What kind of show you watch at any given point is mainly based on what you want to get out of watching something at that point, and there's no reason you should always have to go for the high minded, deep and intelligent supershow. What's wrong with just relaxing to some mindless action movie for an hour or two?

It's just like food. I love a great lasagna, fresh out of the oven and perfectly seasoned, etc, etc. At the same time, I grew up on Chef Boyardee. I would never dream of comparing the two, because (despite sharing the same name) they are two completely different types of food which satisfy completely different needs. I like them both, so why should I have to declare one 'obviously superior' and the other 'guilty pleasure'?
Maybe watching the end of Smashed over and over again on a loop would count as a guilty pleasure.

Um.... Not that I would.
Calling something a 'guilty pleasure' just means that you really like it overall but are honest enough with yourself to admit that there are things about it which you also dislike (like something having a really-goofy sounding name.) That's why I can totally see and have no problem with a show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer being described as such. I think the problem here is that the other things grouped in with it are not, in fact, "guilty pleasures" at all, but excellent examples of the So Bad It's Good form of entertainment and should really be appearing in their own "Favorite Narm" category.

I just don't see this as a good reason to get all riled up. In the scheme of things, it really doesn't matter.

Welcome to a slow news week. :)
Brinderwalt, I LOVE The Pirates of Penzance! My children and I used to watch that version all the time. (Uh, oh, does that count as a guilty pleasure?)
Probably, since it's a satire (and - now that I think about it - I really can't see how something satirical could be described as being anything but a guilty pleasure.) And no - I definitely can't can't judge you there since I grew up with that film and a copy of the score as the family favorite after-dinner dishwashing distraction, and to this day am proud to still have almost the entire thing (all voice parts) memorized by heart.
It's about putting television, and by extension movies, in a box. That's what Netflix does with suggestions like Movies with a Strong Female Lead. Every single time I see that classification, I think of Joss' speech at Equality Now. I don't know what made them put the show in the 'Guilty Pleasure' category, but I chalk it up to typical Netflix categorization.

I watch Justified and Firefly. I don't see a category saying Shows with Male Characters in Tight Pants Carrying a Gun. Somebody get on that right away.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with people exercising their desires to categorize things in whatever ways they see fit (I forget to do it with my socks all the time.) I personally find it very rewarding since it helps me to look at and make comparisons between things in interesting ways that I probably would've never thought to do unaided. The problem comes when people (such as in this case) are either incapable or just too lazy to emply logic when making these kinds of distinctions.
I understand why it is in the "guilty pleasure" category (because it is.) What I don't understand is what those other things are doing in there too.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2013-03-05 15:41 ]
"...the other things grouped in with it are not, in fact, 'guilty pleasures' at all, but excellent examples of the So Bad It's Good form of entertainment..."

My understanding of the phrase 'guilty pleasure' has always been that it more-or-less does stand for entertainment that is 'so bad it's good.' At least, I feel like that's what it used to mean, but maybe the meaning has gotten muddled over time.

Or as TV Tropes says:

"'Guilty Pleasure' implies that a person feels guilty for enjoying a show or product that is actually not worthy of their appreciation—they believe that it is low-quality, but for some reason like it anyway."
Ok, lets do this little thought experiment, if you had a group of friends that had never heard of Buffy the Vampire Slayer you wouldn't feel the least bit apprehensive about mentioning the slightly goofy name? What would one who is hearing of this show for the first time think of it based solely on the name? "Buffy the Vampire slayer," it sounds like a bad 60's b-horror movie.

My guess is the person who picked it for that category liked the show and was slightly ashamed to mention it to their friends for what they would think of them. In the end it just comes down to one person's opinion about the nature of the show, no reason to get all riled up about, its a free country.

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