Sit Back & Indulge In These Netflix Guilty Pleasures

Each afternoon in high school, I'd come home, plop into my La-Z-Boy, and watch whatever was on TLC at that hour — and I mean whatever. I watched 19 Kids and Counting back when the Duggars had 17 kids; I recorded hour-long specials about virgins getting married; I knew all the experts' preferences in Say Yes to the Dress. Watching TLC felt like wading into a pool of M&Ms. I knew it wasn't necessarily "good" for me, but I also knew it wouldn't hurt.
Were these shows, by definition, "guilty pleasures?" Maybe — but I propose we eliminate the word "guilty" altogether. Why should we feel bad for watching shows that are frothy, light, and inconsequential? Why not watch shows that don't necessarily "lead" anywhere, but make us savor the moment? They're dessert in TV and movie form. Instead of "guilty pleasures," let's just call them pleasures.
There's nothing wrong with enjoying your life, my friends. No one's monitoring your Netflix queue with a judgmental eye. Watch what you want. And these Netflix selections are the ultimate reset. They'll take your mind off of the world — which, given how things are going, might just be a necessity. Here are our favorite Netflix pleasures.
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That '70s Show (1998-2006)

That '70s Show is the ideal sitcom to escape into in the year 2018. First off, the show's characters are universally goofy and likable. More importantly, it's a nostalgia-fueled time capsule to the past. Take us with you.
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Charmed (1998-2006)

On the eve of the Charmed reboot, catch up with the WB original. At the show's start, Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), Prue (Shannen Doherty), and Piper Halliwell (Holly Marie Combs) discover that they're witches – of the good variety. Once united in their power, the sisters become the Charmed Ones, the most powerful force of good in the witching world.
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Gossip Girl (2007-2012)

Venture to the upper echelons of New York's high society, where the girls are mean and the boys, arguably, are meaner. Over the course of the show's many seasons, you'll track Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) and Serena Van Der Woodsen's (Blake Lively) contentious relationship, romances, and ambitions. Watch Gossip Girl before the identity of Gossip Girl herself is spoiled for you, if it hasn't been already.
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90210 (2008-2013)

TV is obsessed with the lives of rich teenagers in California. After watching The Hills, Laguna Beach, The O.C., and 90210, you might think all the youth in America were sandy haired and ridiculously attractive — and that conclusion would be understandable. 90210 is a reboot of the original '90s show Beverly Hills, 90210, but is just as soapy and compelling.
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Undercover Boss (2010-present)

Each episode of Undercover Boss is a capitalist fairy tale. Once upon a time, a man is kind to a random stranger. The stranger ends up being a person of influence, and rewards the man's kindness by paying off his student loans, buying him a plane ticket, or just simply showing him appreciation. The tearful "reveal" scenes in Undercover Boss are always immensely gratifying. The people kind to the undercover boss are rewarded; those who are nasty get exposed on TV.
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Escape to the Continent (2014-present)

Sit back and be soothed by the travails of British couples looking to relocate to various European countries. Each episode centers on a different European locale. You can plot your own escape while watching other couples plotting theirs.
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Young and Hungry (2014-present)

Netflix offers lots of wonderful food shows (David Chang's Ugly Delicious comes to mind), but Young and Hungry is undeniably the most compulsively watchable food-centric show of the bunch. The sitcom follows Gabi (Emily Osment), a food-lover who manages to impress tech millionaire Josh (Jonathan Sadowski) with her amateur culinary skills and get hired as his personal chef. Given the constant proximity, Gabi and Josh's relationship gets as hot as the oven.
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Age Gap Love (2014)

Love comes in all shapes and sizes — and ages. If you're an avid reader of the New York Times' Modern Love column and are generally fascinated by the contortions of the human heart, then you'll find Age Gap Love a voyeuristic delight.
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Terrace House (2015-present)

In this Japanese TV show, a group of strangers moves into a house together. This is a format you've seen before on American reality TV, like the Real World. But Terrace House is kind and sweet, lacking the sleazy quality that goes hand-in-hand with some of the reality shows we're familiar with. The show's six contestants — three men and three women — are free to come and go as they please. A set of commentators outside the house comment on the contestants' movements. While most seasons are filmed in Japan, one season of Terrace House takes place in Hawaii.
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Zumbo's Just Desserts (2016)

The creators of Zumbo's Just Desserts were clearly channeling their inner Willy Wonka when they created the show's whimsical, color-saturated set. This Australian show is the opposite of Nailed It. Each of the 12 amateur bakers competing for the prize are extremely skillful and adept at making increasingly complicated desserts.
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The Windsors (2016-present)

What if, beneath the prim exteriors, the British royal family was comprised of a rollicking and raunchy bunch of misfits? The Windsors, a satirical TV show, envisions that reality. In this riotous British series, Prince Charles has an evil identical twin, Prince Harry is illiterate, and Pippa Middleton is constantly trying to seduce the royal brothers. The Windsors keeps itself ridiculously up-to-date — Donald Trump has made an appearance.
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100% Hotter (2016)

If you're finished with Netflix's Queer Eye, then try 100% Hotter, a makeover show of a decidedly different tone. Technically, 100% Hotter is a "make-under" show. Three beauty experts — stylist Grace Woodward, hair designer Daniel Palmer, and make-up artist Melissa Sophia — work with individuals with extreme senses of style to find a new look. For example, in one episode, a self-described "demonic witch" who wears Halloween style makeup daily gets quite a make-under.
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A Christmas Prince (2017)

Odds are, you've already added A Christmas Prince to your official Christmas movie viewing schedule. In this Netflix spin on the Hallmark Christmas movie, a spunky young reporter travels to a fictional European country for a scoop, and ends up falling for the crown prince.
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The World's Most Extraordinary Homes (2018)

This show could very well be called The World's Most Eccentric Homes. Each episode displays architectural masterpieces, and consequently shows how eccentric wealthy people choose to spend their money. The show's two charming hosts are as constantly amazed as you'd be.
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Baby Ballroom (2018)

This outrageous (and entertaining) Netflix Original begins with two heavily made-up 10-year-olds arguing about which one is the more competitive ballroom dancer. Baby Ballroom strikes a tone between Toddlers and Tiaras and Best in Show, blending sheer talent with the glitz and pressures of show business. Also, though: These kids can dance.
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Nailed It (2018)

Don't even feel an ounce of guilt watching this rollicking, fantastic cooking competition show. In each episode, three amateur bakers attempt to recreate over-the-top desserts as Jacques Pepin and Nicole Byer look on with a degree of barely concealed amusement. On Nailed It, you'll hear lines like, "I don't suppose we have a kind of...cake stapler?" Nailed It is a show dedicated to celebrating the beginner's mind. There's beauty in failure!
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The Mortified Guide (2018)

Reading someone's diary is, objectively, wrong. That's what makes The Mortified Guide so appealing. With The Mortified Guide, you can sate your curiosity and not rack up any sins. In The Mortified Guide, people get up on stage and read verbatim from their childhood diaries. It's just as mortifying (and thrilling) as it sounds.

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