There’s No Guilt In Guilty Pleasures

by | Apr 20, 2020

We here at ProPath Screenwriting always aim high.  High with our notes.  High with our enthusiasm for our writers.  High with how we get the word out about our desire to help all writers take their work to the next  level.

With that in mind, at the beginning of the Covid – 19 shelter in place orders, we immediately posted to our social media channels the following message: “Shakespeare wrote King Lear when he was quarantined because of the plague….”

Obviously we were looking to inspire and lift up our writers.  Push them to excel and use their possibly newfound extra time wisely.  What we didn’t want to do was shame writers into feeling guilty for the other possible outcome of all that newfound time during a pandemic:  the outcome of not being able to focus or write anything at all.

As writers, producers and consultants, we here at ProPath have a hard time turning off our brains and just enjoying films and TV simply for the sake of enjoyment.  We are constantly paying attention to and studying creative choices in the entertainment we consume.  As much as we wish we could just shut off our brains, it’s always more difficult than one might imagine.  

Enter Reality Television.

During the Covid – 19 shelter in place orders, we here at ProPath have found a new guilty pleasure.  And we haven’t at once felt guilty about it.

American Idol.  The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart.  90 Day Fiance.  Marrying Millions.  The Masked Singer.  These are all shows that allow the viewer to just sit back, relax, and live vicariously through the trials and tribulations of others looking for love, hook ups, or success in the music biz.

Two reality shows that have stood out for us are both new entries from Netflix:  TOO HOT TO HANDLE and LOVE IS BLIND.  Both these shows feature all the things we’d expect from good reality TV: physically attractive people with a desire to meet their mate in as short amount of time as possible in ways that are both enlightening, and humiliating.  What’s not to love about good looking people hooking up with good looking people and the train wreck that always ensues?!

But what sets these two shows apart is that, even though they’re populated with a wide variety of attractive humans with varying levels of maturity, their approach to love and forced TV matchmaking focuses not on the physical, but rather the emotional.  In other words, FEELINGS, and the human connection that comes with them.

TOO HOT TO HANDLE forces it’s attractive participants to get hooked by looks; but thrive and survive by how they ultimately come to CONNECT on a higher level with the other participants.  How?  By penalizing the participants for getting physical.  Instead, everyone on the show has to rely on a human, emotional connection rather than a visceral carnal attraction.  Victory comes to those who emotionally connect.  

The same could be said for LOVE IS BLIND.  In this Netflix reality show entry, attractive contestants search for the love of their life not by flaunting their impressive physical attributes, but rather by being accessible, emotionally open human beings.  How do they do this?  By not being allowed to actually see the people they’re falling in love with.  Instead of relying on pecs and Botox, contestants have to rely on what’s below the surface to woo their potential mates.

The last month has been extremely difficult for all of us.  While we deal with the day to day, you may be feeling pressure from yourself, and others, to be “productive.”  To write your King Lear.  Some times the best way to be productive is to sit back, relax and enjoy some trashy, engaging, reality TV.

ProPath Screenwriting