From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hate-watching is the activity of watching a television show or film with the intention of acquiring amusement from the mockery of its content or subject.[1] Closely related to anti-fan behaviours, viewers who partake in hate-watching derive pleasure and entertainment from a show's absurdities or failures.[2] The act of hate-watching is premised on the audience engaging with media through a satirical lens.[2]

Relationship with anti-fan culture[edit]

Contrary to typical fan behaviour where audience members consume a piece of media with the intent to acquire pleasure from its contents, the pleasure anti-fans derive from a piece of media is rooted in its perceived shortcomings.[2]

In a study conducted in 2005 on Television Without Pity, a since-defunct website that hosted discussions about television shows, Gray points out the patterns of anti-fan behaviours exhibited by its users. Unlike individuals who participate in fandom culture out of love for a particular piece of media, anti-fans engage with a piece of media out of dislike for it. The forums hosted on Television Without Pity expressed anti-fan sentiments where users would watch a television show, often critiquing and pointing out its perceived shortcomings.[3]


A 2012 article from 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".[4]

Entertainment Weekly and other publications noted the difference between hate-watching and watching as a guilty pleasure.[5] "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".[6]

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.[7] An article from The New York Times also pointed out the successful ratings for Trump's presidency.[8]

In a February 2020 article, Spanish television reviewer Borja Terán described the concept of hate-watching as "enjoying watching shows to be able to criticize them", citing it as part of the reason behind the success of Telecinco and its reality show-based lineup (specifically mentioning Supervivientes, the nineteenth season of which had premiered the night prior to the post): "the viewer feels superior to the guinea pigs taking part in the televised competition. They feel better with themselves and evade from personal problems by spending energy torpedoing a mere entertainment they follow through a screen."[9]

As the term gained popularity, many anti-fans have asked others to not hate-watch, as they believe doing so will have the unintended effect of making the media they dislike seem more popular than if they had not hate-watched.[10] Velma is one such example of this phenomenon, where hate-watching is supposedly the lead cause of the show being renewed for a second season.[11]

Examples of hate-watching shows[edit]

Examples of hate-watching films[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 'Hate Watching' Is Mostly Just Being Embarrassed by Your Own Tastes|Jezebel
  2. ^ a b c "APA PsycNet". psycnet.apa.org. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  3. ^ Gray, Jonathan (March 2005). "Antifandom and the Moral Text". American Behavioral Scientist. 48 (7): 840–858. doi:10.1177/0002764204273171. ISSN 0002-7642. S2CID 144416338.
  4. ^ Nussbaum, Emily. "Hate-Watching "Smash"". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  5. ^ Are You Hurting Your Brain By "Hate-Watching" Bad Television? Gizmodo.
  6. ^ Franich, Darren (August 16, 2012). "The Rise of Hate-Watching: Which TV shows do you love to despise?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  7. ^ McNamara, Mary (November 27, 2015). "Why huge 'SNL' ratings won't help Donald Trump become president". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  8. ^ The futility of hate-watching Trump's coronavirus briefings The Boston Globe.
  9. ^ Terán, Borja (February 21, 2020). "'Hate-watching', el odio que ayuda a perpetuar éxitos televisivos". lainformacion.com (in Spanish). Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  10. ^ Cramer, Jude (January 17, 2023). "Velma's Hate-Watchers Have Propelled The Show to Massive Success". INTO. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  11. ^ "'Velma' May Get a Second Season Despite Online Backlash". Them. January 17, 2023. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  12. ^ a b c Hogan, Michael (October 8, 2020). "Why hate-watching the awful Emily In Paris is killing the Netflix shows you love". The Daily Telegraph.
  13. ^ a b FOMO? Rage? Pleasure? How and why we hate-watch|Connecticut Public
  14. ^ Barrett, Gena-mour (August 23, 2018). "Big Bang Theory: America's most-loved and hated TV show". BBC News.
  15. ^ Hyde, Gregory (March 27, 2022). "Why So Many People Hate The Big Bang Theory (But Love Young Sheldon)". ScreenRant. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g 10 TV Shows You Love To Hate Watch, If You're Anything Like Us HuffPost.
  17. ^ "Embarrassing": Netflix' 'Emily in Paris' Blasted by French Critics The Hollywood Reporter.
  18. ^ Emily in Paris: Darren Star's Netflix series is the hate watch we can't stop watching Slate.
  19. ^ "Essay: There Is No Such Thing as Hate-Watching". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved December 13, 2023.
  20. ^ a b c "Hate-watching is fun, but could Rebecca and Emily in Paris spark a race to the bottom?". The Independent.
  21. ^ a b c d e 20 Netflix shows and movies that critics hated, from Emily in Paris to Secret Obsession|The Independent
  22. ^ The Psychology Behind Why We Hate-Watch Huffpost.
  23. ^ How did Euphoria become the most loved and hated show on TV? The Guardian.
  24. ^ a b Viral Video of the Day: ‘The Simpsons’ Meet ‘Family Guy’ The Daily Beast.
  25. ^ Fernandez, Maisy (August 5, 2008). "I Love/Hate New York". MTV. Retrieved December 15, 2023.
  26. ^ Lavoipierre, Ange (July 27, 2022). "Is hate-watching TV shows something you love? Here are 10 of our faves to binge on". Retrieved December 13, 2023.
  27. ^ Tufekci, Zeynep. "The Real Reason Fans Hate the Last Season of Game of Thrones". Scientific American. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  28. ^ a b c It's Official: Everyone Loves to Hate-Watch TV Dramas - PRIMETIMER
  29. ^ Borrelli, Christopher (February 24, 2013). "What does hate-watching mean?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  30. ^ Five Reasons We Hate Glee: Sing on That Drama Nerds! Miami New Times.
  31. ^ Cowan, Jill (June 25, 2019). "California Today: Revisiting 'The Hills' in 2019". The New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2023.
  32. ^ HGTV House Hunters Hate-Watching Studies Apartment Therapy.
  33. ^ Despite everyone being warned against hate-watching ‘The Idol,’ it’s getting watched and hated anyway|We Got This Covered.
  34. ^ 8938061.html Love Island: Why it's time to stop hate-watching the ITV2 show The Independent.
  35. ^ Is hate-watching TV shows something you love? Here are 10 of our faves to binge on - 07-22-2023
  36. ^ ‘Soooo trashy,’ say the many hate-watching Netflix’s ‘Singapore Social’
  37. ^ Goodman, Tim (February 5, 2013). "Tim Goodman on TV's Newest Trend: 'Hate Watching'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  38. ^ Nussbaum, Emily (April 27, 2012). "Hate-Watching "Smash"". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  39. ^ What does hate-watching mean? Chicago Tribune.
  40. ^ Spangler, Todd (June 29, 2016). "Data Science Proves We Love to Hate-Watch TV". Variety. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  41. ^ Haglund, David (December 28, 2012). "Why the Word of the Year Is Hate-Watching". Slate. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  42. ^ How to Hate Watch True Blood Esquire.
  43. ^ King, Jade (January 16, 2023). "Please Stop Hate Watching Velma". TheGamer. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  44. ^ Most Hated HBO Show Gets Season 2 Greenlight, “Hate-Watching” Named Culprit Inside the Magic.
  45. ^ The joy of hate-watching BBC Culture.

External links[edit]