It’s a pretty common notion that people who enjoy watching ‘trashy’ movies are considered to be less intelligent - but a study published in Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts has actually found the opposite. So you can stop feeling so guilty about those ‘guilty pleasures’ now.
What counts as ‘trashy’ tends to be a pretty personal opinion, but for the sake of the study, ‘trashy’ films were defined as low budget films that are considered to have been poorly made and featured explicit content.
Using an online survey to collect data on people who regularly watched ‘trash’ movies and TV, the study actually found that many viewers were of high intelligence.
One of the reasons the films appealed to more intelligent audiences, according to the study, was the ironic value of some of the poorly produced films. Not that this makes a difference to the film makers because sales are sales, whether you think you’re watching ironically or not.
Intelligent viewers also watch ‘trash’ movies because their low budget can mean the plot and execution is less predictable. Straying from mainstream formulas means that intelligent audiences aren’t able to predict the plot direction or recognise unoriginal ideas in so-called ‘trashy’ films as easily, making for a more enjoyable watch.
Of course there’s always the comedy factor - we’ve all definitely enjoyed a movie or show at some point because it’s ‘so bad it’s good’. The outrageous plots and over-the-top acting of some films can make them become accidental comedies.
Whatever the reason though, we don’t think any type of movie should be reserved for people of higher or lower intelligence - everyone has their own tastes, and sometimes you just feel like watching something mindless. There’s nothing wrong with that. Say it with us: there’s no such thing as ‘guilty’ pleasures.