by Crikey intern Elizabeth Redman

Grab a packet of M&Ms and settle back on the couch. Turns out it’s not just Crikey readers who watch some embarrasing television. This week we’re delving into the Crikey team’s guilty pleasures, and boy they’re guilty.  Don’t change that channel now.


What’s your secret TV shame?

Sophie Black, editor: Shameful, excrutiatingly embarassing confession: The Bold and The Beautiful.

Second confession: I’m watching it right now.

I’m sick, ok?

Revelation: Ridge is rejecting Brooke for Taylor AGAIN. Seriously, this has been going on for 20 YEARS. Only difference: Ridge has dyed hair and Taylor can’t move her face.

It’s a kind of art, really…

Jason Whittaker, deputy editor: I used to love Hey Hey it’s Saturday back in the days when its name wasn’t a misnomer. That may be the most shameful confession one can make in retrospect.

Now, my shameful TV favourites — Lateline, Media Watch, Insiders, parliament question time — can be justified as ‘work’. And my expensive, plush, special-edition full-series box set of The West Wing, imported from the home of the brave, sits proudly atop the DVD rack. As for the Gilmore Girls — smart and sassy as a whip, and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees — there can really be no excuse.

Leigh Josey, production manager: Is it not cool to like Rivers with Griff Rhys Jones?

Ruth Brown, web editor: My secret shame is that I have no shame when it comes to TV: I watch a lot of shit, and make no excuses for it. But if I had to identify one, it’s my masochistic addiction to shows that make me so angry I jump off the couch and yell at the screen.

I am totally obsessed by a show on the Lifestyle Food channel called 4 Ingredients. It’s hosted by two bogan mothers from Queensland (Is that a tautology? Anyway, one has a son called “Jaxson”, so they’re bogans), who apparently wrote a cookbook consisting entirely of recipes that only have four ingredients in them, which was a huge seller with lazy/incompetent people around the country.

And because that’s all it takes to qualify as a celebrity chef these days, Foxtel gave these two ladies their own cooking show.

Except there’s very little actual “cooking”, and the meals they prepare can only in the very loosest, vaguest, Microsoft-Word-thesaurus-synonym-choice way be called “recipes”.

One episode, they made “strawberries in sour cream”. That was it: take a strawberry, dip it in sour cream, eat it.

In another, they made a “caramel tart”: Buy a pre-made pie crust, fill it with canned caramel (yes, you can buy caramel in a can. I know), cover with cheap supermarket cream, serve.

They have an equally tenuous understanding of the word “ingredient”, too. “Mixed veggies” isn’t ONE ingredient. Nor is “a packet of cake mix”.

ARGH. It makes me so angry. Yet I can’t stop watching.

Bernard Keane, Canberra correspondent: When I was in the UK researching my PhD I watched Neighbours because I was homesick. There.

First Dog on the Moon, cartoonist: I wouldn’t know, I never watch television.

Guy Rundle, correspondent at large: Pretending I don’t watch television.

Andrew Crook, senior journalist: The Wonder Years. There’s something about Daniel Stern’s saccharine narration that makes me yearn for that golden era of suburban Fordism. I hear Paul is hot shot New York lawyer these days and Winnie is a best-selling maths coach. I’m still stuck on the couch.

Amber Jamieson, journalist: I am not ashamed about any of the TV that I watch! If anything, since I never actually watch TV these days — apart from DVD box sets of Six Feet Under — my shame is more about the TV shows I don’t watch (here’s looking at you Q&A, 4 corners, The 7:30 Report, the news, etc). But if I had to pick something trashy that I enjoy indulging on, it would be anything under the crappy teen American genre (see: The OC, Gossip Girl etc).

Mick the sub: Watching it. Can’t feel much more guilty about something than actually admitting to that.

Glenn Dyer, business correspondent: Inspector Rex on SBS woof woof woof, translation and all. It’s Division Four out of RSCPA Animal Rescue, from Homicide. The grim Underbelly of Vienna, with a dash of La Dolce Vita Roma thrown in. My hero. If only Rex was a poodle (them Standards are big Doggies). Rex is a German Shepherd. JS Bach wrote a fabulous cantata Sheep May Safely Graze. Thanks to Rex, that’s the big secret.

Richard Farmer, long-time contributor: Deal or No Deal. Every night I abandon the Ten Network News half way through its hour to get my daily fix. I spend my time crossing my arms with the no deal sign, daring contestants to go on. The one big question I want an answer to is whether the person making the money offers knows what is in the contestant’s case. I never cease to be amazed that no one ever seems to calculate the odds before making a decision about taking the money or going again.

Elizabeth Redman, intern: Gossip Girl. I never got into teen dramas when I was a teenager, so I’m making up for lost time now. The characters are awful, their Upper East Side lifestyle is obscene, and the storylines are not much more than an endless game of will-they-or-won’t-they. But I can’t stop watching.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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