Here's a few of mine across various media.
TV – Mistresses, a BBC drama of such glittering glossy twaddle sprawling across 3 series it is hard to resist. Each of the women have multiple affairs, all while in perfect make-up, hair and clothes. There are plenty of 'told you so' and 'oh no you didn't' moments to shout at the TV and watch through fingers hiding the screen full of women bobbing about in a stew of their own anxiety and womanliness. The men are portrayed like sort of background moving wallpaper and are disposed of as and when they're no longer required. Yet, interestingly men forms the basis of most of the women's conversations, since they're all at one point or another cheating on their man, or being the other woman in a man's marriage. As you can imagine I lap up this over the top nonsense in spades.
A recent addition is The Royals – an alternate universe British Royal family where Liz Hurley plays the queen and Joan Collins plays the queen mum. It's like a cross between Made In Chelsea, Footballers Wives and Mistresses. 'Mesmerisingly dreadful' is what the BF proclaimed it after the first episode. So mesmerisingly dreadful we can't wait for the next episode. That's when you know it's so bad it's good. Just saying...
Music – am I going to pick Girls Aloud, no, because NME said they're cool which excludes them from this specific category. Instead, I'm plumping for Enrique Iglesias – Escape. Coming out, as it did, in 2002 at the height of the Ricky Martin, Spanish music influence on everything – see Gerry Haliwell's Mi Chico Latino, it was right on trend. It's over the top, crooning, romantic, and most importantly it is filled with great sing along, foot tapping songs. Of course they're all terrible, but they're so unashamedly terrible, overly earnest and cheesy. They. Are. Terrible. As you can imagine, I enjoy this *a lot*. This CD is often found spinning its merry way when I have the roof down on my convertible sports car. And also when I'm driving alone in the sensible car if I need a bit of a pick-me-up.
Music part 2. Aqua – Aquarius. This is their second album. Yes, there were two albums. This one hasn't got Barbie Girl on it. It's got a more 'grown up' sound to their music, if that's possible with this sort of unashamed manufactured pop music. But if you ignore the lyrics, and I would advise you do very much ignore the lyrics, the songs themselves provide plenty of foot tapping, sing along melody. Its unashamed nonsense and song topics such as Freaky Friday and An Apple A Day make this the epitome of so bad it's good music.
Film. I had to physically restrain myself for this section. I could have written a whole post about only films so bad their good, but that's not for now. Instead I will include a few choice terrible gems. Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2. Silly nonsensical romance with a girl who's more clever than you at first think. So many quotable lines. Bend and snap. That is all. I saw the musical stage play of this for a recent-ish birthday. It. Was. Amazing. Next in films is Mannequin. Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall. A shop mannequin that comes to life, a romance, and an amazing eighties sound track, throw in some slightly OTT gay stereotypes from Hollywood the window dresser colleague, and you have it all. It's so so terrible, such unbelievable nonsense it can only be brilliant.
Last but buy no means least, books. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susanne. It is trash of the highest order. It is so over the top and inescapably addictive in how it's written I could do nothing else but be consumed by its story and read it in a few days. The characters are all a bit broken and a bit wrong in more than a few ways. Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins. People get very sniffy about Jackie Collins novels. Say what you like but the woman can tell a story. The woman can create characters who are interesting, unusual and keep you turning the pages to see what the hell they do next. This was my first Jackie Collins and I enjoyed the OTT characters, situations and soapy multi character multi layered plot and had to keep reading to find out what happened. It was bad, but it managed to be just the right sort of compulsive, glittering nonsensical bad so it was wonderfully perfect escapist good. And that takes skill to pull off properly. Say what you will about Jackie Collins books but something happens on every page. There's no flicking past pages of description. Oh. No.
What things do you enjoy precisely because they're so bad they're good?
Liam Livings xx