You’ve probably hate-watched a TV show before. Sometimes a hate-watch will fall under “it’s so bad it’s good,” while other times it’s just a show you previously enjoyed before it soured but still can’t stop watching because you’re already in too deep. Either way, there’s a good chance you’ve found yourself sitting in front of the television complaining about how much this show sucks, yet still refusing to change the channel.
Some people are already talking about Season 2 of True Detective turning into a hate watch. While that seems a little hasty, it did lead to some of the Uproxx staff discussing shows that they couldn’t peel their eyes away from no matter how much it pissed them off.
Which brings us to this week’s Friday Conversation topic: Tell us about your favorite (or least favorite?) TV hate watches. Check out ours below, then share your own in the comment section.
Go ahead, let the hate flow through you.
I used to hate-watch a lot of shows before I stepped back and assessed the amount of time I was wasting. It’d be easy for me to say televangelist broadcasts or infomercials here, but they’re too damn entertaining.
I’d probably put The Walking Dead as my top hate watch that I still tune in to see. There are plenty of moments that I enjoy, much like I would do with LOST, but there is always so much that irritates me or throws me off. When I’m checking recaps before watching a show to see if anything cool or interesting happened that is worth watching, I know I’ve reached a point of disdain for a show. The difference with The Walking Dead is that I never stop watching.
I’m trying to use the word “hate” less these days because it sounds so mean, and we should be happier and nicer. That said, I’ve been hate-watching the hell out of old Married with Children episodes every morning on TBS. It’s strange because like a lot of people, I loved this show when I was younger, and today I just stare in disbelief like, “How the crap was this ever allowed to be on TV?” Forget that it was so insanely offensive to women and fat people. It was just so insanely dumb, especially toward the end. Like, there was an episode in which Bud created a portal that allowed his cooler self to come to this world and attempt to assume Bud’s body so he could finally get some. That was doubly dumb because it meant having to watch David Faustino act twice as much in one episode. And don’t even get me started on the trip to England. That jousting bit is still as brutal to watch today as it was in the ’90s.
This one’s painfully obscure, but the regional food show The Phantom Gourmet is appointment hate-watching for me. The hosts are dicks who will shill for the restaurants that buy ads no matter how soulless they are, they refuse to hire a food stylist, the restaurants they pick are either paying clients or painfully mediocre Italian joints and diners, and their idea of great food is finding a place that shoves cheese into places where cheese should not be. And yet, week in and week out, I dedicate three hours of my week to these guys. Maybe it’s the cheese-shoving.
Here’s the thing about Diners, Drive-ins & Dives: I can go weeks without watching. Months. But then one night, when there’s nothing else on, usually in June or early July between the standard and summer TV seasons, I’ll flick it on quick and whooooooooops there goes three hours. I don’t even know how it happens, and yet, there I am, watching Guy Fieri fist a bacon-wrapped bacon burger pizza into his mouth at 2 a.m. and declare it the Blue Ribbon Winner at the 74th annual Flavortown County Fair And Bovine Auction or whatever.
Which brings me to the other thing about Diners, Drive-ins & Dives: As much as Fieri’s schtick drives me up a wall, I do support the heck out of what the show is doing, highlighting locally owned mom-and-pop places around the country, and encouraging people to do the same in their towns. That’s good! Now if we could just replace Fieri with, like, oh I don’t know, Matthew McConaughey. Then we’d have a television show.
The Real Housewives of…anywhere. Yes, I watch these shows sometimes. Don’t care. I am addicted. I am addicted to all the babbling idiots who suck air on this show. They genuinely infuriate me. And hey, why not get a little pissed off at the end of the day while having a beer, right? It’s that car crash you can’t stop watching — the public meltdown you can’t get enough of and want to continue forever. It’s impossible not to watch and wonder what kind of different brain matter is sloshing away in these people’s heads. They are a different species that’s genetic code is made up of narcissism and botox. They bleed red wine and their powers are restored with plastic surgery. Why the hell can I not stop watching this? Help.
I will watch Ink Master marathons whenever they’re on, even though I can’t stand the concept or any of the contestants. What a bunch of whiny, inflated egos creating drama for themselves. It has to be the most negative show on television that I’m still willing to watch because as someone who has lost count of her tattoos, it’s fun to see what these brats come up with. Sometimes they come up with something beautiful, but because they’re on a time limit and basically have no artistic freedom whatsoever, sometimes they turn out crap. Permanent crap. On someone else’s body. Forever. On top of the obnoxious personalities and the slap in the face to tattoo culture as a whole, the crappy delivery on the part of the judges and the contestants is so annoying to listen to.
But still, I watch, and it always, without fail, makes me want to get something done. My tattoo artist has actually been invited to compete on this show every year since it’s been on the air, but she always refuses. You absolutely don’t have to be a “master” of every tattoo style thrown at you, and you definitely shouldn’t be limited by time to do a good piece for someone. As my artist says, “jack of all trades, master of nothing.” Ink Master is such bullsh*t, and I will watch that stupid bullsh*t every damn time. For hours.
Tattoo artists are generally delightful and naturally competitive, but something about Ink Master turns them into insufferable *ssholes.
NFL football. Every year I enjoy the NFL less and less and tell myself I’m not going to watch it anymore, especially considering I spend all of Saturday watching college football (and watch every other televised college football game). And yet, Sunday rolls around, my awful, terrible team is playing, I turn it on, waste three hours of my life to be sad and get angry about the time I’ve wasted, spend way too much money at the bar and then realize I could have been doing enriching things like playing with my dog, reading, picking up a hobby or working out. I hate the NFL, and I’ll never be able to stop watching the NFL.
For a while, I legitimately enjoyed watching Sons of Anarchy. I would probably go as far to say it was one of my favorite shows on TV. But when a certain someone took a pipe to the back of the head in prison, I feel like it all went downhill pretty quick. You knew what you were going to get every week…brutal violence, naked man butts, menacing stares and chase scenes set to terrible music. The final season was particularly insufferable, considering they spent about 10 episodes basically writing in circles and dancing around the inevitable. By the end, basically every character still breathing was left unlikable and, yet, there I was still tuning in every week. Damn you, Kurt Sutter.
Another infuriating one is House Hunters. I literally have to force myself to stop watching during HGTV’s 248-hour marathons because I find myself getting so damn angry at the people shopping for houses. Most of them spend the entire show complaining about the stupidest crap and then they never end up choosing the house that has the features that they said they were looking for.
At one point, a long, long, time ago, Supernatural was one of my favorite shows on TV. It was creepy and had a great series mythology and a bunch of intertwining story lines that nicely tied together and wrapped up at the end of Season 5. That was where series creator and former showrunner had intended for the series to end, and after that he peaced out. In the subsequent seasons — god, what are we, on 11 now? — the show has been an uneven mess. All of the expertly crafted mythology was tossed out the window, storylines have been hashed and rehashed to the point of absurdity, and what was once a fun, scary show is now a joyless mess.
But I keep watching. I have no idea why. I hate every character for every second they appear on screen. Each episode and season consistently never fails to lets me down. I wish the CW would cancel it so I could be freed from this burden, but being that it’s still a ratings juggernaut, that will never happen. I will watch this goddamn show until the boys are hunting like cyber ghosts in their walkers and I will hate every second of it.
Other than everything on the Food Network, my hate watch is The Newsroom. It’s the perfect “Oh my God, did you guys see this? It’s so bad!” show. I hate it because it’s so drenched in Aaron Sorkin smugness, with all his tics amped up to 11, but I find myself oddly mesmerized thinking what perfect, self-righteous *sshole he must be. He really did plan an entire show around depicting news events from six months ago so that he could lecture us about how he was right all along. And as my Frotcast colleague Bret says, the female character in the first draft of every Aaron Sorkin script is always named “MY EX WIFE.”