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Hate-watching is the activity of watching a television show while simultaneously hating its content or subject.

The New Yorker described the short-lived Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip as a show people loved to hate-watch, as "it was bad in a truly spectacular way—you could learn something from it, about self-righteous TV speechifying and failed satire and the dangers of letting a brilliant showrunner like [Aaron] Sorkin run loose to settle all his grudges in fictional form".[1]

Entertainment Weekly noted the difference between hate-watching and watching as a guilty pleasure. "You wouldn't tune in every week to hate-watch a really "bad" reality show — that’s a guilty pleasure. Generally speaking, hate-watching requires a TV series with high ambitions and features a certain amount of aesthetic perfection".[2]

In a Los Angeles Times article describing the complexity of effects of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's appearance on Saturday Night Live as host, writer Mary McNamara references the hate-watching phenomenon as a reason that ratings alone are not an indication of support.[3]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Emily. "Hate-Watching "Smash"". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  2. ^ The Rise of Hate-Watching: Which TV shows do you love to despise? | PopWatch | EW.com
  3. ^ McNamara, Mary (November 27, 2015). "Why huge 'SNL' ratings won't help Donald Trump become president". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 27, 2018.