We all have those shows that we hate and love to complain about which leads the uninitiated to ask: so, why are you watching it?
Hate-watching: when you watch a show that you strongly dislike just so you can criticise it and maybe even because you can’t stop yourself.
Shows that fall into this category for me include: Pretty Little Liars, Shadowhunters, and Gotham to name a few but people hate all sorts of different shows for all kinds of reasons. Looking at the shows that I just mentioned, I clearly have a problem with the Freeform network but there doesn’t even need to be that clear of a link.
The three main reasons behind my hate-watching any show are:
You were pulled in because somebody that you love was acting in it. The only reason that I watched The Flash (and subsequently, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl) was because it was announced that Grant Gustin would be playing the Scarlet Speedster. Fortunately, I genuinely enjoy all of those shows but you’re not always that lucky.
It’s very easy to follow your favourite actors to absolute train-wrecks but once you’re there you just bear with it until they get some screen time and it all starts sucks a little bit less.
The Good First Season
They sucked you in with a good first season: you became invested in the characters and the outcome of the story and then they went ahead and ruined it. Unfortunately you can’t stop watching because you need to know how it works out. Sure, the plot has turned to crap and maybe some of your favourite characters have left but you tune in every week to find out what’s happening whilst hoping that the show gets cancelled so you can finally be free of this hell.
Just There To Criticise…
You walked into this with your eyes wide open: you knew the show was trash and you chose to watch it just so that you were able to say that it was trash. It is the least noble of all of the reasons but it’s also the most fun.
As somebody who occasionally writes reviews, I can say that it is way more fun to write a scathing review than a good one. A great show leaves me at a loss for words and I just want to shove it in people’s faces and make them watch it. A bad show provides me with so many words: I almost want to write essays detailing everything wrong.
With all of that said, hate-watching doesn’t need a valid origin. The biggest question is whether or not it is healthy. My answer would be yes. It’s like that Doctor Who quote:
“What’s the point in them being happy now if they’re going to be sad later. The answer is, of course, because they’re going to be sad later.”
Well, I’m an over-achiever: I like to get ahead of it and be sad now by watching awful TV but then when I see a good show I appreciate it even more because I know what’s at the bottom of the barrel.
What are you hate-watching at the moment? Why do you hate-watch? Let me know in the comments.