POP5 List: Guilty Pleasures!


Mark Mackner

#1 Pro Wrestling. I know.  Go ahead.  Laugh at me.  I deserve it.  But I grew up watching wrestling, and I just can’t shake it.  I mean, it’s obvious to ME why I like it.  But convincing others… hasn’t been easy.  I’m just now at a point in my life where I’m hanging with people who I can talk to about it again.  Being a Master Filmmaker puts me in touch with many entertainers of many different stripes, and through my profession I’ve had the opportunity to meet some wrestlers.  I directed Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka in my film THE HALF-LIFE HORROR FROM HELL, which also features local wrestling stars Cory Castle, Roxie Cotton, and Hellter Skelter.  Cory, Roxie, and Hellter have become good friends to me, and will continue to star in my films for as long as they want to.  Yes, I know wrestling is cheesy.  Yes, I know it appeals to rednecks and other people I would normally have nothing to do with.  But, if you know me, you know I’m all about larger-than-life personas.  I dig the theatrical quality it has.  I like that it’s scripted.  I like that the wrestlers play characters.  I love comic books, and giant monster movies, and wrestling shares a lot with them.  You get colorful cartoon characters who grunt and snort and do battle.  I dunno.  It’s the white trash in my blood, I guess.  I’ve got blue collar roots, and I guess I just have to deal with that.

#2 80’s Metal. I could just cheat here and say “See Above”, but I’ll get a little more in-depth. Again, this is white-trashy of me, but I can’t help it.  If I’m flipping through the radio, and “Dr. Feelgood” or something comes on, I’m like “Aww, shit!”, and I crank that fucker UP!  It’s just FUN!  I don’t care what anyone says, Quiet Riot fucking ROCKS!  “Cum On Feel the Noize” is one of my favorite anthems ever.  And “Pour Some Sugar on Me”?  Please do.  I dunno, I just hear this shit and it’s just infused with so much energy and life that it really motivates me and gets me going.  Plus, back in the day, a lot of these bands were seen as evil and Satanic, and as a kid, that really inspired me and helped shape what I’ve become.  Iron Maiden’s “Head For the Hills”, Ozzy’s “Bark At the Moon”, Judas Preists “Livin’ After Midnight”… fuckin’ A, man.  It was all part of growing up, and now it’s all about feeling nostalgia for the evil seed that was planted in my brain that led to all the delightfully diseased ideas that I come up with in the present.

#3 Spongebob Squarepants. This isn’t a guilty pleasure for me EVERYWHERE I go.  Some people are cool with it.  But there are many people who look down on me for taking such a massive amount of pleasure in a non-comic book related cartoon that’s mostly made for children.  But, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Spongebob is the most consistently funny show on television.  I remember years ago, overhearing someone at a bar saying that “Spongebob rivals The Simpsons”.  At the time I was like, “Bah!  What does HE know?  What an ignoramus!”  Fast forward a number of years, and here I am with 2 kids, and Spongebob is an everyday thing for me.  And I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that new Spongebobs are funnier than new Simpsons.  Search your feelings, and you will know it to be true.  And, you know, it’s not totally for kids.  Listen to how Squidward summarizes the experience of working at the Krusty Krab to Spongebob… “The customer places the order.  I take the order.  You cook the order.  We do that for 40 years, and then we die!”  That fucking cracks me up every time I hear it.

#4 “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Jefferson Starship. This is another one.  Every time I come across it on the radio, I have to stop.  And turn it up.  And sing along.  Loudly.  It’s just one of those songs, like “Goonies R’ Good Enough” by Cyndi Lauper, or the Peanuts theme, that just makes everything better.  No matter what’s going on in my life, no matter how tough things might get sometimes, I hear this song, and everything’s all right for a few minutes.  And that’s not even taking into account the MANNEQUIN connection.  I loved MANNEQUIN.  You loved MANNEQUIN.  We all loved MANNEQUIN.  Now sing along with me… THEY SAY WE’RE CRAZY!  WHAT DO THEY KNOW?  PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND ME, BABY, DON’T EVER LET GO!!!!!  Feels good, doesn’t it?  Fuck you.  Don’t judge me!

#5 CLIFFHANGER. Someday, this movie will have the same following that POINT BREAK has.  It’s just dripping with testosterone, and it’s macho to the point of ridiculousness.  But damned if it isn’t entertaining!  It was the early 90’s, and the action movies were still very much like 80’s action movies.  THE MATRIX was years away from revolutionizing the genre.  Arnold, Stallone, and Bruce Willis were still the reigning box office action champs.  Actually, Sly had been in a bit of a slump, and this was a sort of comeback vehicle for him.  And it’s classic Sly all the way.  Plus, you’ve got John Lithgow firing on all cylinders as the villain, Eric Qualen.  Check out this exchange between he and Sly…

LITHGOW: I must admit, Walker.  You’re a real piece of work.

SLY: And I must admit, you’re a real piece of shit.

Wow.  Zing!  And don’t forget this witty bon mot that Sly fires at Lithgow while battling him atop an upside down helicopter, hanging precariously off the side of a cliff… “Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all TIMES!!!!!”  Pure action movie bliss, I say.  But it’s definitely not one to bring up around movie geeks.  “Really?  CLIFFHANGER?”  They say.  Eh, I like it.

Uncle Dunklenutz

It is troubling when I go over these Guilty Pleasures. Four out of the five points I think I should’ve been a girl.

#5 Tank Girl – Growing up I watched a lot of movies that would be considered “questionable” in the movie industry. Tank Girl is definitely in that group and I enjoy watching it. In fact I was flipping through the channels the other day and there it was, with 40 minutes left. I enjoyed every minute of it and don’t care what anyone thinks.

#4 Chick Flicks – I like them a lot. Whether it’s J Lo in “Wedding Planner” or the old people dancing in “The Notebook, these are fun to watch. By the time you read this I will have already seen “Letters to Juliet.”

#3 Mathew McConaughey – Speaking of chick flicks. There isn’t much to him except six-pack abs and a beautiful smile.  He probably has to buy a new shirt every day, because it seems as though they just explode off of him.  He’s so stupid, but I love his one-dimensional roles in every movie he plays in.

#2 Clothes Shopping – It’s always fun to find that one nice shirt that makes you feel good or a good comfortable pair of slacks.

#1 World of Warcraft – There is nothing better then killing some horde or drunken raiding with your “Guild mates.” Looking back at my 5 years in WOW I don’t regret it, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure.  With all of the negative press and the goofy spoofs of the game, it makes it tough being an outward gamer.  I have not played wow in about 5 months now, but I own a t-shirt, a class patch from Jinx.com and I still listen to the number 1 WOW Podcast, The Instance. So when it comes to guilty pleasures, WOW is the number one I have.

Slai Washko

# 5 Star Trek The Next Generation – I was a trekkie back in the day, mainly in my teens, I watched this show as often as it was on. And should I find stray episode on TV or season on DVD, I find myself compelled to watch it.

# 4 Elf Quest – I found this graphic novel around age 8 and forced my mom to buy the first trade for me and the following 5(hey, I got good grades I earned it).  I didn’t realize until I was much older that there’s some weird hippy shit in this series, a lot of free love and elf orgies that I should not have been viewing at that age.  I still have all the copies safely hidden in my grandparents attic.

# 3 Will & Grace – I have at various times in my life been a pseudo-Grace and although I think the humor is limited the show has nostalgia for me.  Also, I can’t help but support a show in which Deborah Messing co-starred, she was one of the nicest celebrities I met while in L.A.
# 2 Sex in the City – I’ve seen every episode, the 1st movie(though again, chaperoning the mentally ill) and will see the second.  Outside of being a hair stylist, I’m not especially girlie, but this in addition to being a guilty pleasure due to none of the characters having any especially redeeming qualities, is my main girlie pleasure.  It reminds me of many a good time at happy hours with my girls, many of whom are thousands of miles away.

# 1 Racial jokes – Mostly Asian and mostly self deprecating ones, though no stereotype is really safe with me.  I think it’s an adaptation to growing up a minority in a small town with the KKK still has a presence.  I like to see if I can make a Klan member blush just to give him some color.

Jet Becker

# 1 A Very Hot Bath with Magic Tea and Sky Doll
Recipe for Magic Tea (cures Migraine Headaches, Melancholy and Irritation)

Steep 1 bag of Tetley British Blend tea in a big mug for 5 minutes.  Add 2 teaspoons of sugar.  For an intense effect, add a 2 count of Half ‘n Half.

# 2  Labyrinth, Mirrormask, Annie Lennox and Assemblage 23 Select Escapist Fantasies

# 3 Pop Music Videos, Mahalia Jackson and Private Dance Parties –

# 4  Gallagher Pasta with White Grape Peach Juice
Recipe or Gallagher Pasta:
1 pound of Angel Hair Pasta or Bowtie Pasta
4 or so count of Olive Oil
4 heavy shakes of Garlic Powder
Sea Salt to taste (I like it a little on the salty side)
4 Turns of a Pepper Mill
More Parmesan/Shaker Cheese than you can imagine

Boil Pasta and Drain.  Pop back into warm pot.  Directly to Pasta, add Olive Oil, Garlic Salt, Sea Salt, Pepper and stir around to distribute evenly (tongs are great for this).  Grasp Parmesan Cheese/Shaker Cheese Container and shake, shake and shake a lot more.  Mix a bit more.  Put in a big bowl.  Enjoy.  Probably add more Parmesan on top for fun.  Beverage match: VERY Chilled White Grape Peach Juice with no ice and sipped slowly.

Star Trek
# 5  Star Trek – The Original Series (a.k.a I heart Spock and Kirk’s dramatic pauses make me happy)

Alana Stanziano

For those of you who know me, I usually poo-poo pop music on the radio. Every once in a while though a song like “Fergalicious” comes around and I can’t stop myself from playing it constantly! I even legitimately purchase the song! I’m also a GaGa fan….and yes Ke$ha’s “Blah blah” is so horrible, that I’m kinda liking it. *runs and hides from the onslaught of laughter*

Once again this is for people eho know me a little but…Ok, I like chick flicks! Not to see the pain the main woman goes though. No, I really enjoy them and get all weepy eyed when I see them. Steel Magnolias and Terms of Endearment are so up there. They will make you weep like..well…a girl. Will someone hand me a tissue? Though, to watch for amusement, Lifetime movies are where it’s at.

Oh my god. I can not go a single day without reading about what Lindsay Lohan or Megan Fox is doing. I love reading about the hot messes. I know I should feel bad, and not feed the gossip machine, but it’s just too good to put down. I swear the first thing I do when I go home is read gossip. It’s how I unwind. Good site:www.perezhilton.com
I will sit on my couch for an ENTIRE day and watch from bad to worse made for tv sci-fi movies. Serisouly, Stan Lee’s Harpies and others have kept me glued to the TV on a Sunday all friggin’ day. When I am done, I get annoyed that I have spent time I will never get back on the couch. watching something about a man who turns into a Mosquito.

I love it. If I didn’t do Jiu Jitsu, I would be huge! Ok, Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. I will eat the entire thing. I’m not kidding. Do I know how bad it is for me? Yeah, but I can not stop. Mayonaise and french fries is another. French fries in a Wendy’s chocolate frosty is the bomb!! Also, popcorn with a piece of American cheese over it. Soooo good. I don’t really do that anymore, but when I was younger I used to do that and wash it down with orange juice. Dear Lord! What was I thinking?!

Myke Hottenstein

# 5 Retro Games – No matter how hard I try, I can not help myself when it comes to playing classic games.  I will spend hours playing Pacman on an Xbox360, which is probably more powerful then any computer that exsisted when Pacman was created.  I’m not sure if it’s the feeling of youth that accompanies it, or if sometimes I just like to remember that there was a time when video games weren’t all car stealing and hooker killing.

# 4 Gundam Wing – A bunch of Justin Bieber look-a-likes piloting giant robots in a galactic war while learning how to love all set to operatic Japanese music.  I usually watch this one late at night when no one is awake, and on more then one occasion found myself diving for the remote when my cat would come bounding up the steps, fearing it was a roommate catching me in the act.  Knowing what a Justin Bieber is should probably be on the list too.

# 3 Animal Crossing – The amount of time I have wasted on this game could be used as evidence to prove me insane.  Hours of fishing, shaking down trees, digging up the neighbor’s yards and of course all the back ally dealings with a loan shark… er… raccoon, wrapped in one annoyingly cute package.

# 2 The Bloodhound Gang – If you were to go to the severe head ward center of a children’s hospital and ask them to write song lyrics, my guess is they would have more substance than anything The Bloodhound Gang has created.  Yet, still, I can not help but to bop along to their infectious songs.  I still laugh when I hear Pacman asking them to freebase.

# 1 Mean Girls – Without a doubt the most embarrassing thing on this list.  I know I’m not alone in my shame.  There’s something about this movie that makes it so addictive.  A surprisingly good cast, razor sharp wit, and a complete refusal to take itself seriously at all makes for a fine film.

Optimous Douche

# 5 Downloaded Entire Glee “Guilty Pleasures” Album — Someone once said I’m as close to a gay man as one can be while still liking pussy — and it’s true. Show tunes have always been a staple of my life. I make a once a year trip to Broadway and act or direct whenever I get the chance. I graduated from college with a theater degree and have always been attracted to the “theatrical.” This goes for rock tunes that are over-the-top and hackneyed. There was little doubt in my mind that I would one day be a Gleek, but I thought for sure when the kids were handed their weekly assignment to resurrect a song with a bad reputation there would be no way the songs would seep on to my iPod. Think again, ‘Run Joey Run” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart” have been spinning non-stop on my iPod since the day after they came out.

# 4 Kingpin – I don’t know why I love this movie. Is it because the only “sport” I ever played or wanted to was bowling? Is it because Randy Quaid as a 50 year old Amish kid with spunk and winning gumption is simply too hard to resist? Is it because I masturbated more to Vanessa Angel in the 90s than any other woman alive (or dead – don’t judge me)? Or perhaps it could because the first time I saw this movie I was tripping on more magic mushrooms than Gargamel and Azrael combined? Probably all of the above…

# 3 Owning Almost Anything with a Golden Retriever on it — Before my boy Fergus came into my life I used to unmercifully mock the dipshits that would wear animals on their sweaters or drive around with their “I love my (insert breed here)” bumper stickers. And while my metrosexual leanings still won’t allow me to ever don clothing with animals on it, I will say the rest of my life has been consumed by these 80 pounds of love. Owning a Goldie is like joining a furry cute cult.

#2 Mel Brooks – His shit performs like bad stand-up in the Poconos these days, but I will still stop my dial on any of the classic films that I feel helped to shape my twisted sense of humor. History of the World still stands as an all time favorite.

# 1 All Star Batman & Robin — While far from my favorite series of all time, I simply can’t understand the vehement hate people have for this title. I mean everyone knew Frank Miller was authoring it, right? And everyone knew that these books were out of canon, right? Frank also let slip that this was a continuation of his work on YEAR ONE, so I just can’t imagine what people were expecting. Was it ALL STAR SUPERMAN? Hell no, not even in the same league. However, I think Miller correctly portrayed a bat douche and it was some of Jim Lee’s finest work.  There’s a hell of a lot worse out there folks and were this written by some schmuck off the street I believe this book would have been praised rather than run out of town on a rail.


#5 Daredevil
Ok. Sooo there isn’t much that’s quality about this movie. It’s heavily flawed. The playground scene with the silly wirework,  Ben Affleck, Michael Clarke Duncan trying to act scary even though he’s clearly adorable, Ben Affleck, the voice-overs, Aen Baffleck. But for some reason, I must have seen it like 6 times in the theatre, and I own the regular and Director’s Cut on DVD. Maybe it’s the fact that it was made with a lot of love. The director Mark Steven Johnson and Affleck clearly had a TON of appreciation and respect for the character and the Frank Miller run on the series, and they obviously gave it everything they had. That makes all the difference for me, compared to ..say..Catwoman, which was a film just thrown together to make money. This one seemed genuine, if misguided. Seriously though, how does having heightened senses help you jump 10 stories and not shatter your kneecaps?

#4 Brittney Spears – Toxic

I have no excuse. I’m sorry.

# 3 Gilmore Girls

The theme song and credits sequence for this show is enough to make even the cheesiest cheese lover wanna slap a baby. But once you get past it, the writing is phenomenal. The dialogue was snappy and witty and no one comes close to Lauren Graham on my witometer. Until the last season or so, where it was just overdone and annoying at times. But at it’s peak, this show was one of my favorites to look forward to on a weekly basis.

# 2 Twilight
Seriously. WTF? Real quick run-down. There is nothing to like about Edward, other than he’s mysterious and dangerous. Jacob? At least he’s fun and charming, with a sense of humor, but is too overbearing and desperate. And speaking of desperate: Bella Swam? WORST. FEMALE. ROLE MODEL. EVER. Ever ever ever. She wraps her entire existence around one man, has no will of her own, or asperations other than being with this one man. Then he disappears and she wraps her existence around using another man to help her forget about the first man, until the first man comes back. She’s awful. I wouldn’t want my daughter to look up to her. But for some reason, I’ve read 3.5 of the 4 books so far and went to a midnight showing of it last night. So clearly there’s something about it that I enjoy. I just haven’t figured out what exactly it is yet.

# 1 Porn.


Posted in : Misc, Pop Culture, Pop5

8 Comments to “POP5 List: Guilty Pleasures!”

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  1. Slai says:

    Uncle D: Wow, Matthew McConaughey…I see you in a whole new light…or darkness.

    Alana: There is an Ice Cream Festival at Penn’s Landing this weekend :) :) :) $5 all you can eat and the proceeds go to leukemia research.

    Jet: Recipes..Awesome! I disagree that Labyrinth is a guilty pleasure because in my world it’s universally amazing.

    MFMM, MYKE, OD, & JD: You wear your guilt, but you wear it well 😉

  2. Nightpete says:

    I started this a while ago but got distracted by the steamy dump that life took on my face, so I missed my deadline. Sorry boss!

    Dancing with the Stars – It all started on a bad tv night 3 years ago. There was nothing on and the dial had stopped on abc. I’m not sure who put it on, but once it started, we just couldn’t look away. The costumes, the d-list celebs, the music! Give this show enough time and you’ll end up with favorite dancers, you’ll learn to tell the difference between a paso doble and an Argentine tango and you will develop an appreciation for the dramatic wordplay of Bruno Tonioli. The most interesting thing about this stupid show is watching the relationships develop between the professional dancers and their celeb partners. There is a high level of physical intimacy involved through all of the rehearsal time and performances and the dance partners end up basically all over each other for most of the time. Sometimes these people become friends, sometimes they hook up and sometimes they can’t stand each other.

    Final Fantasy – I’m the only person I know that is into FF. And to be fair I’ve only played IX, X, XII and XIII. And part of VIII. And I watched Trevor play VII on the PS1 in the Tyler dorms. Ok, that looks like a lot more than it sounded in my head. And I’ve never completely finished any of them. But I’ve come close. The stories in these games are kookoo bananas Japanese gobbledygook, but spend 25+ hours with them and the cadre of stock JRPG characters within, and you’ll stop caring. The artistic direction and background design in these games are hands down the cream of the sweet sweet crop and are ultimately what keep me coming back for more. Each game has a unique look and is packed to the gillyworks with quirky designs and weird architectural elements that serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever but to look cool. Pay no attention to the anime hairstyles and superfluous buckles and belts that permeate the character design and you’ll be a-ok.

    SW and LOTR soundtracks – These are the reasons that I can’t leave my mp3 player on shuffle when there are other people listening. At work, I’ll turn the volume way down whenever I leave my desk just in case Foundations of Stone or Binary Sunset should find its way to the speakers. I’m a little hesitant to let my professional contemporaries learn the true depth of my geekery. Although I’m sure they probably have some clue by now. But let’s be honest, the stirring orchestral scores of these 6 classic films (no, not 9; I just finished watching the epic 7-part reviews of SW Episodes I and II on youtube so I’m not feeling particularly charitable) gave these films the emotional heft that put them over the top from great to legendary.

    Hold On by Wilson Phillips – The first time I saw the scene in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle where the two heroes break out into this song I considered calling my lawyer. A summer or two before that movie even came out, my wife, my brother and I did the exact same thing while walking down the beach. It was the original epic singalong. It’s sweepingly uplifting, and once that that drum breakdown hits, you are powerless to its… power. My largest Wilson Phillips related complaint is that their follow up to Hold On was called Release Me. Those are some serious mixed signals, ladies. Make up your minds.

    Heart – Heart rocks. Deny it, I defy you. I can’t help but to crank the stereo when these other, more talented Wilson sisters come on (Sorry Carnie and Wendy, but you can’t disagree). These Dreams is an atmospheric 80’s cream-rock gem that gets me misty for my lonely misunderstood youth. Barracuda rocks so hard that Sarah ‘Barracuda’ Palin tried to usurp it for her own nefarious purposes but Heart said, fuck that, it’s ours. The Decemberists of all people covered Crazy on You at the Tower with the 2 female singers from the Hazards of Love record and it kicked my ass through my face.

  3. Mark Mackner says:

    Slai, Jet, and Alana… NOTHING to be ashamed of, really. MIRRORMASK rocks, LABYRINTH rocks, everyone likes a few pop songs here and there. OK, the Syfy original movies… THAT’s a guilty pleasure! Good call.

    Myke… I actually PREFER retro games to modern games, mostly. Side-scrollers rule! If you ask me, MEGAMAN 2 is still the pinnacle of video game artistry. And MEAN GIRLS is a great movie! Back when Lyndsay actually had curves! Too bad she lost ’em. And it introduced us to Amanda Seyfried. No shame there!

    JD… I love TOXIC! I have some nice memories associated with that one. I’ll never side with you on DAREDEVIL, though. I get why you like it, but i just feel like someone who really LOVED the material should’ve made a better movie. That makes it even worse to me. Bryan Singer had never read an X-Men comic when he was hired to make the first X-movie, and he did a far better job than Johnson, who claimed to adore comics and DD in particular. But look at my list… I’m not exactly cool, either.

    Dunklenutz… Wow, you sure are in tune with your feminine side! Good for you.

  4. Mark Mackner says:

    Oh, and Optimus… I too have found myself digging on GLEE. So, you’re not alone on that one.

  5. Jess says:

    I am in agreement here- Labyrinth is less of a “guilty pleasure” and more of a “requirement.” David Bowie was my first crush.

    Myke- I agree, retro games all the way. I know, I’m a girl, so that may not resonate much, but Super Mario was my life for a few years there.

    Optimus- I hear you on the Goldie front. I have stopped short of tshirts too.

    Jd- I TOTALLY agree with you about Twilight. I don’t know why I want to watch and read it. I agree Bella sucks as a role model. But, I can’t stay away and I kind of hate myself for it.

    Alana- GOOD CALL on the ScyFi movies, I agree 100%, they have eaten my Sundays whole as well!

    Slai- Elves huh?

    I am SO BUMMED I missed this one. I agree though. Life took a big steaming dump on us and I haven’t been able to write.

  6. Y says:

    Jess – I do not judge by gender, giving how many tymes i’ve had my ass handed to me in halo by female gamers, i’d have no leg to stand on. I was pretty much raised by Mario, which is why it saddens me to see the self polishing revolving door that Nintendo has become as of late.

    Mark – Megaman is awesome, can not wait to see what they have planned for Mega Man Universe. And whenever anyone mentions Mean Girls, i have a similar reaction as Paul Rudd’s character in I Love You Man did to The Devil Wears Prada

    Nightpete – you’re are not the lone FF fan. I’m one of the odd ones where FFVIII is my fav, even over VII

  7. Nightpete says:

    whatever jess, you just were hot for bowie’s bulge. his horrible, horrible bulge.

  8. Night Pete — an unabashed FF fan here as well….Plus the game sells millions so someone other than the two of us must like it…..even if those someones are 13 year old Japanese school girls…


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