Guilty Pleasures

This first one isn’t a guilty pleasure, but I thought I’d say a few things about Prometheus before I get started. So yeah, the sci-fi horror movie: it’s pretty good. It’s exciting, visually pleasing, and has just the right amount of creatures making sudden, unexpected movements that cause you to flinch in your seat. Because I knew it’s a prequel of the Alien franchise, I expected to see the critters make their appearance in some fashion, and I was not disappointed. Face-grabber/sucker thingies: check. Acidic blood death: check. Alien bursting out of someone’s chest: well…yes. The scene with Shaw in the self-surgery-capsule/pod thing? Easily the creepiest and most tense scene in the film.

But besides the armrest-gripping action, the themes of creation that lie beneath the story’s surface were also rather intriguing. If humans were created by something else, then who created them? So you get a very brief glimpse of a science vs faith in story, which is somewhat thought-provoking.

Now, the real guilty pleasure…

I recently finished reading the 50 Shades trilogy, which encompasses the titles 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker, 50 Shades Freed. It’s…a romance series. And uh. Oh, hell, if I’m gonna talk about it, I might as well be unashamed about the whole thing.

I started hearing about the first book, 50 Shades of Grey, through very brief mentionings in other friends’ conversations, and jokes on the internet made at the book’s expense. People were comparing it to the Twilight books,  clearly not a favorable match. But, intrigued, I wanted to know what the fuss was about. So I started reading the first book, and then I was hopelessly hooked; I barreled through the entire trilogy in maybe 4 days. It’s your  usual situation of awkward, bookish girl (who is deceptively pretty but isn’t aware of it) meets rich, powerful, and extremely handsome/attractive guy  (but who is also cold and harbors some terrible secret about his past) and they ultimately fall in love with each other (of course). In this case, Anastasia/Ana Steele (the girl) falls head over heels for Christian Grey (the guy). She’s still a virgin, has never had a boyfriend before, but goshdarnit, she just knows this man is the one for her. And him, well, he’s been through his fair share of women, but gollygee, there’s just something different about this girl! So they’re drawn to each other and she’s slowly exposed to his power, his wealth, and his lifestyle…his rather kinky, sexual lifestyle. Yeah, he’s into BDSM, big time, but the reasons why are connected to his tormented past, duh.

Honestly, the setting and context of the story and its characters are extremely shallow and horrendously naive. The pace at which these characters fall in love and progress in their relationship is just so damn fast, that I nearly threw my kindle against the wall in frustration. You fools, this isn’t love; it’s lust and infatuation. That’s my biggest gripe about the story. My second issue is that I can definitely see the appeal/trap the story poses to most female readers. The story presents the scenario that your seemingly plain-Jane gal has the power to change this monster of a man, to be “the one” who finally warms his heart and reveals the compassionate human being behind it. And it’s just so damn unrealistic, not to mention nearly all of their affectionate I’ll-always-love-you dialogues, or the gist of them, is so cheesy and something you’d probably experience in your early teens. Yes, that’s exactly what reading this book is like for the most part, like reading the diary of a very young, teenage girl in the throes of her first, hormone-fueled romance.

That being said, with half the story being about the conflict of these characters’ love, the other half is about all the sex they have. And they have a lot of sex. Like I swear, once they get into it, they really get into it, and it seems like they have sex at least twice in every chapter. And being an erotic fiction series, of course the scenes are written with intimate detail. Although…I’m not exactly complaining about this. It’s actually kinda hot. Okay, it’s really hot. And so damn kinky. Hmmmm…I’m interested to hear my friends’ opinions on the stories’ sex scenes and see what they think, haha.

…Ahem! But still, even the sex seems just a touch unrealistic. I mean, how many times can this guy come in a day before he starts firing blanks?! And same with her. I get that the book is just as much about the girl’s sexual awakening, but damn girl…looks like you’ve discovered you have one hell of a sex drive. These characters are practically insatiable, and they’re constantly bumpin’ uglies for half of the story. But like I said, I’m not completely against the sex…but it does come across as rather unrealistic as well.

So why did I get sucked into this series then? Well what can I say, disgusted as a I am with myself, I am ultimately a sucker for romance…apparently the trashy, vacuous, type of romance as well. But that’s why I got hooked. If I’m being honest with myself, I started reading for the kinky sex. There I said it. Haters gonna hate.

Like the title says…guilty pleasures.

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