The Phenomenon of Hate-Watching

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.

Image result for pretty little liars

The three main reasons behind my hate-watching any show are:

“That Actor”

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.

Image result for gotham

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.

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One thought on “The Phenomenon of Hate-Watching

  1. I love this post! People can never seem to understand that someone actually may have liked a show that they’re hate watching. I hate watch Supernatural (hence the blog name!) and despite the fact that I’m on a long, long hiatus, I still get people popping up to say, ‘OMG, SO RUDE, HOW ABOUT YOU STOP WATCHING THE SHOW!’ and that only makes me a. hate the show even more and b. want to hate-watch it more.

    As somebody who occasionally writes reviews, I can say that it is way more fun to write a scathing review than a good one

    Yes! I think that’s often because we are more clear on what we really don’t like as opposed to what we do. I used to have a long running argument with someone about why I posted about things I didn’t like. My answer was always, ‘uh, because if I like something, I have less to say about it?’. That might be rare though, lol.

    Oh, god. GOTHAM. It was so good during season 1 and…I had to give up on season 2. I will go back to it but damn. I knew it was wrong for anyone to trust Bruno Heller after what he did to The Mentalist but still. I had high hopes for Gotham. Ah, well!

    Liked by 1 person

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