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Eight Shows to Stream When You're Trying to Zone the Heck Out

"Woman straight zoning."
"Woman straight zoning."
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Television's best guilty pleasures aren't anything like your everyday life. It's not the entirety of The Bachelor, which makes you wonder, desperately, if you should download Tinder again. It's just The Bachelor's fantasy suit — it will delight and amaze your basest sensibilities with its crazy. Basically, a good guilty pleasure will provide enough conversation fodder to constitute another round of drinks with friends.

A secret guilty pleasure, on the other hand, is poorly acted, predictable, and skews boring. It's a trainwreck, but not in the fun Amy Schumer way. You tell no one that you've seen seasons of them. These terrible shows allow you to completely blank out. You won't lie awake at night wondering what happens to the characters (no Jon Snow lineage theories for the CW) because these shows are like that kind of yoga that's basically a nap with some light stretching, but for the brain: "restorative," or whatever.

Here are the secret guilty pleasures that are perfect for thoughtless binge-watching. I'm not talking a single episode. I mean watch at least an entire season of these catastrophes. (Side note: if you're looking for a show of actual value, Catastrophe is for you.)

Eye Candy

Embarrassment Level

I would tell a Tinder date about this show to make sure that he's not using a fake Australian accent to murder me.

Why You'll Hate-Love It

This teen TV show follows Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice as she uses an app that's basically Tinder. It's based on an R.L. Stine novel, only it's highly doubtful that his book involved an app called "Flirtual." It's unrealistic not only because every guy on Flirtual is gorgeous, but because her best friend, who looks about sixteen, owns her own nightclub, they live in an impossibly enormous NYC apartment, and main character Lindy is not very bright for a cyber supersleuth who dropped out of MIT.

In Eye Candy, Justice ends up swiping right on a murderer/stalker/the handsome sociopath of your wildest dreams. Eye Candy will make you more than a little nervous the next time you go on any kind of app date — not because they could be catfishing you, but because it could turn into a Law and Order: SVU episode at any moment. It wasn't renewed for a second season, but then there's always Pretty Little Liars if you're looking for a more extended good old fashioned murder mystery.

How to Watch

Stream season one on MTV.

Nashville

Embarrassment Level

I would tell my mother about this show because it's far better suited for an actual adult lady who has grown tired of Devious Maids.

Why You'll Hate-Love It

Nashville was supposed to be a guilty pleasure for Southern girls searching for country music drama, a la Blake and Miranda. Despite its desperate country housewives premise and the adorable nougats Lennon and Maisy, it's straight up boring — and that's the worst quality a guilty pleasure can have. There's a whole lot of emotional baggage, but watching them unpack it will just make you feel like you're at the baggage claim, endlessly waiting for something to happen that you haven't seen on every other dramedy. Put it on in the background while you clean your room or do leisurely face maintenance in the bathroom.

How to Watch

Stream on Hulu.

Life Unexpected

Embarrassment Level

I would tell my close personal friends about watching it and hope they don't confuse it with Chasing Life.

Why You'll Hate-Love It

Life Unexpected leads to an acute sense of deja vu. You won't know if you've watched the show before in its entirety or if it just used every cheesy, overplayed plot device from every other hate-watch show on TV. It's about a crazy gorgeous teen (of course, this is The CW) who finds her birth parents and escapes foster care. If you were a diehard WB fan growing up, you'll recognize lots of fun faces, like Kerr Smith from Dawson's Creek.

This show brings serious Lifetime movie of the week/7th Heaven/TLC pre-Jon & Kate Plus Eight vibes your way. The protagonist mostly wears low cut v-neck shirts from Urban Outfitters, just like you did back in the day. Unfortunately, even its early 2000s pop punk soundtrack can't save it from being far too preachy.

If you decide to truly binge, you'll want to fast forward through the theme song (it's the most painful Sarah McLachlan available, which is fitting because she makes a guest appearance in the second season), and the unbelievably uncomfortable romance between the teenage protagonist and her teacher. Life Unexpected ended far too soon, so be prepared for a second season finale that attempts to sum up hours of hijinks in under three minutes. Despite its flaws, it has an sweetness that makes it a great binge before bed.

How to Watch

Stream seasons one and two on Netflix.

Togetherness

Embarrassment Level

The show itself isn't completely mortifying, but it's ridiculously depressing. I'd tell my hairdresser, but add about a million caveats, so he doesn't think I'm actually recommending it.

Why You'll Hate-Love It

The newest trend in television seems to be shows about the drudgery of marriage. There's also Marriage, for example, if you want dying alone to look more romantic than a wedding. When it comes to guilty pleasure bingeing you want an escape and this just brings you deeper into someone else's depressive episodes. This doesn't have the drama of Girls or the intrigue of Game of Thrones, but it does have Mark Duplass looking haggard and complaining endlessly. Instead of wasting your time with TV, simply ask your most unhappy married friend about their evening over drinks.

How to Watch

Stream season one on your ex-boyfriend's HBOGo.

Finding Carter

Embarrassment Level

I barely want to admit to myself that I watched this monstrosity.

Why You'll Hate-Love It

Teen TV is an awesome escape. Once you've hit adulthood it's easy to forget about how actively horrible high school is. Ah, the angst — a new boy, drama with friends, teachers you hate. It all seems so inconsequential now that you have bills to pay. That's why MTV and The CW offer the ultimate alternatives to award winning television shows you can discuss with your friends without the risk of losing your credibility as a human being. Their shows are cheesy, dramatic, and interesting. Finding Carter is none of those things. It's a mix of The Fosters, The Face on the Milk Carton, and your parents preaching to you when you were a teen who sometimes stayed out too late.

How to Watch

Stream seasons one and two on Hulu.

Hart of Dixie

Embarrassment Level

This is one of my deepest, darkest secrets and regularly sends me into a shame spiral.

Why You'll Hate-Love It

If you're experiencing an incredibly brutal winter and find yourself looking for some heat, you might turn to this dramedy. Hart of Dixie stars Rachel Bilson, who plays a city slicker doctor who moves to Alabama to take over her long lost father's practice. While the painfully bad accents won't warm you up, former soap star Wilson Bethel, who's shirtless more often than not, might just do it for you. His chemistry with Bilson, along with a solid eight pack, are so good you can easily fast forward through the scenes where anyone else is on screen.

How to Watch

Stream seasons one through four on Hulu.

Ringer

Embarrassment Level

I'll spend twenty minutes after finishing a season trying to erase evidence of viewership from the Hulu account I share with my roommate and my roommate's cousin.

Why You'll Hate-Love It

Are you a longtime fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it's witty, feminist friendly, and endlessly charming? If so, avoid Ringer at all costs. In Ringer, Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a role that's the boot-leg Louis Vuitton equivalent of Emily Thorne in Revenge. The scenes from Jason Dohring of Veronica Mars and Sean Patrick Thomas of Save the Last Dance can't even save this show from its convoluted premise. Seriously, this show has more confusing characters than Game of Thrones, but it's better for zoning out because unlike Game of Thrones, you'll forget most of the plot points by the morning.

How to Watch

Stream seasons one through four on Hulu.

Witches of East End

Embarrassment Level

Even if I'm reborn as an immortal witch, I will still tell nobody.

Why You'll Hate-Love It

If you've ever wondered what Channing Tatum's wife is up to since Step Up, she's a character on the Lifetime Channel, and not in the fun UnREAL way. She's had a little bit of work done (think Heidi on The Hills), which makes her almost unrecognizable, so it's understandable if you watched the entire first season before realizing what you knew her from (her marriage to Magic Mike, obviously). Besides the face things, Witches is a more boring, grown up version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, without a talking cat or anyone who's funny.

If you hate-watched True Blood because you hoped that Alexander Skarsgard would show his bottom or that Soooooooookie and Bill would do it, this is exactly like that — only rated G, despite what the bloody/sex soaked previews might make you think.

How to Watch

Stream season one and two on Netflix. (But I promise you shouldn't. Really.)


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