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Two guys watching 'Gilmore Girls' teach us all how to watch TV without shame.

These men adore a TV show that basically screams "teenage girl in 2003." And we are all better for it.

Two guys watching 'Gilmore Girls' teach us all how to watch TV without shame.

Guilty-pleasure TV. You already know what it is. And you, yes you, probably watch some.

It's OK. Don't be afraid to admit it. You know those shows we don't tell other people that we actually really enjoy watching? Or when we do, we say it in that fake ironic way so they know we know how uncool it is, all the while screaming on the inside "OMG, I love that show in a completely unironic way."


My heart cannot lie.

What makes us feel guilty about guilty-pleasure TV?

Sure, sometimes it's because the show has come to symbolize all that is wrong with the world and we really don't want to be caught eating popcorn and getting emotionally invested in whether Kim K finds her earring, all while the very fabric of society rips into a million pieces.

Kim lost her earring and it was a very big deal. GIF from "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

Oops. There I go being all judgy again.

But seriously, not all guilty-pleasure television is bad. If nothing else, it's clearly entertaining. And isn't that what entertainment is for? So what's the deal?

Well, let's just call a spade a spade:

People feel guilty about guilty-pleasure TV because of [insert dun dun duuuuuuun sound] stereotypes.

Stereotypes about the type of shows certain people are supposed to watch: "Only geeks/old people/silly teenagers/women watch that!" Or stereotypes about the types of shows certain groups of people are never supposed to watch: "Smart people/black people/socially aware people/guys don't watch that!" Even if no one ever says those words out loud, it's definitely implied. But go ahead, take a sec and say them out loud right now.

Seems silly, right?

Kevin Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe could not agree more.

These two guys love "Gilmore Girls."

Yes, "Gilmore Girls." The early 2000s love letter to white teenage girls and the moms who love them. A show about Lorelai Gilmore, the quick-witted, independent single mother who is the daughter of rich upper-crust parents, Rory, her wise-beyond-her-years, studious daughter who is also kind of her best friend, and their quirky little make-believe New England town. It's a show that launched a thousand (still thriving) chat rooms, fan fiction sites, quotes, catchphrases, and 10-year-long debates over which guy should have gotten the girl.

The amazing Rory and Lorelai looking oh so Gilmore Girl-ish. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)

There are a lot of "Gilmore Girls" fans out there. And rightfully so. The show was a critical fave for its sharp dialogue, progressive depiction of gender and family norms, and all around lovable (if prickly) characters.

But it's not a show that anyone would expect two men to fanboy out over. Simply put, it's always been considered kind of ... well ... a teenage girl thing. Until the "Gilmore Guys."

Kevin and Demi love the show so much that they created a podcast just to talk about it.

In this video, they explain how the podcast came to be and how amazing the response to it has been:

They are determined to forever kill the joke "A guy watches what??" There's no punchline or schtick here. Only love. And that experience has taught them so much — not just about "Gilmore Girls" (which they dutifully discuss, episode by episode) but about identity, gender norms, and, yes, stereotypes.

"We're just operating from our perspective as two heterosexual males. It can be an earnest and sincere examination or appreciation of this or that and we don't have to get locked into these ideas of like 'Well if it's got girls in the title, I'm out! No "Gossip Girl" for me, no "Golden Girls," no "New Girl."'"

Having an audience that's mostly women has also taught them a thing or two about feminism.

"When we say we're feminists, we very much acknowledge that we're learning feminists. I think having a listenership that's mostly female is very helpful in people going like, 'Oh, hey, you got this wrong' or 'Hey, it's pretty offensive when you say something like that' or 'Oh hey you should know this.' And we go, 'OK, that's very good to know. Thank you, thank you!'"

Not only have they upped their feminism game, but they've given countless hours of enjoyment to "Gilmore Girls" fans.

Their podcast is a great reminder that it's OK to like what you like, even if it's not what's expected of you.

In the process, you might even end up inspiring others and learning a thing or two that could make you a better human.

Lorelai and Rory totally get it. GIF via "Gilmore Girls."

So thank you, "Gilmore Girls," for giving us the "Gilmore Guys." You have inspired me to confess to the world that I, an adult black woman, also binge-watched "Gilmore Girls" this year. I did so after completing the full "Dawson's Creek" series and — this is a hard one to admit — re-watching the pre-divorce seasons of "Jon & Kate Plus 8." And I would do it all again.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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