A new article posted by Entertainment Weekly focuses on the concept of "hate-watching," which it describes as the "practice of watching a TV show that you know is bad, for the specific purpose of enjoying that badness."
If you think about it, it is a pretty amazing thing. We live in an age where we are bombarded by different channels and shows. Cable subscribers have access to hundreds of channels and the rising home media market, as well as digital distribution and video-sharing sites make it possible to watch whatever you want, whenever you want. Yet, so many people persist in watching bad TV. Why?
Two shows were specifically highlighted by the piece as prime for hate-watching: Smash and the Newsroom. Here's an excerpt:
"Smash was the big NBC debut of the midseason, with a pilot that promised “West Wing on Broadway” and a cast of big names. The show quickly descended into self-parody, then descended into self-parody-parody, then had a Bollywood number. Smash was followed, this summer, by The Newsroom — a series with an impeccable pedigree, a great cast, a beloved TV auteur, and so so many themes! Newsroom belly-flopped, but watching it weekly and luxuriating in its particular badness has become a kind of Twitter parlour game (How many pratfalls? How many speeches? How silly can the female characters be?)."
This concept amazes me. Why would someone spend time on something they know they are going to hate? I have a tremendous backlog of shows that I want to watch but haven't gotten around to yet. I'm still on the second season of Chuck and I haven't watched more than a handful of episodes of Community, although I'd like to. If I can't find time for shows I want to see, I'm certainly not going to waste it on those I don't care about.
Am I alone in this? Do you hate-watch anything? Why? What makes you keep watching?