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Shocking fact: I do actually know my own feelings about TV shows August 15, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fandom.

This blog post makes the claim that “hate-watching” is not a real thing, just a term people use because they’re embarrassed about watching and enjoying something that isn’t considered Good.

The comment policy on that same blog notes that one ban-worthy offense is “hate-reading”, defined as “you only visit the site to start fights or specifically to disagree with us whenever we publish a post involving our core themes and for no other reason” or “you feel the site has changed in a drastic way and no longer appreciate or respect our content but stick around to tell us that every day.”

Are we supposed to believe this happens on the website you write for, but does not ever happen with television and movies?

Has the OP really never encountered the joy of snarky recaps? Do they think every writer and reader is just putting on a too-cool-to-like-this front, that nobody is getting genuine cathartic relief out of them?

IME, here’s how you get to the point of hatewatching a series: The show opens by offering wonderful things. Maybe it has a lot of promise; maybe it actually delivers. Then it starts getting bad. Not mediocre, not like you lose interest or zone out while watching, bad in ways that make you genuinely angry or upset. However! It’s not quite bad enough to boot you away altogether — or the badness is interwoven with appealing parts, even if it’s only in flickers, that make you cling to the hope it’ll get better — so you stick around, you’re just mad about it.

This was me with Glee for a while. In a way it’s a blessing that Shooting Star happened, because it was awful in such a dramatic way that I found the strength to kick the habit and never look back.

It was also me with The Newsroom. Couldn’t kick that one because it never stopped having Olivia Munn on it…although it helped that it only lasted two-and-a-half seasons. Aside from Olivia, the most appealing thing about the experience was getting to read the Television Without Pity recaps afterward. (For that matter, the Autostraddle recaps of Glee were a balm to the soul.)

Honestly, I’m kinda offended by the idea that I can say “I’m hatewatching this show” and be told “no, you cannot be trusted to describe your own feelings, you actually secretly enjoy it.”


1. Nathan - August 16, 2015

There are levels, I think. There are shows that you know are bad but you enjoy them anyway, in which I wouldn’t say that’s hate-watching. Then there are shows you actively dislike but watch them to see how bad they can get. This can also be used as a way of remaining aware of pop culture you don’t personally enjoy. I do have to wonder what it could be other than hate-watching when my wife puts on Fox News. And some shows are too terrible to even hate-watch.

Erin Ptah - August 16, 2015

Oh, sure. I would call the first thing a guilty pleasure, and the second one…schadenfreude, maybe? Hate-watching is a step up from that. And Glee went into “I can’t even bear to hatewatch this” territory for me.

2. Phammy - August 17, 2015
3. JustMeMike - September 2, 2015

The failed NBC Series about Broadway – Smash. I had high hopes even did lengthy lengthy recaps. in Season One. But by the end of the two season run _ I was glad to see it end.

From another angle _ it was horrible to watch what NBC did to it. Spacing out the episodes, then scheduling them on nights when they knew that no one would watch. It was excruciating watching how they handled the show.

Since they had already paid for the season – and it was going to result in large losses to the NBC coffers, they should have done the more merciful thing – which was to simply apply the ax mid season.

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