There has been a lot of talk on the internets lately about people who watch the show Smash even though they loathe it. It's called "hate-watching" and it means you derive a perverse pleasure from subjecting yourself to a show that you find overrated or of low quality or both. I used to hate-watch Glee just so I could be fully informed when bashing it to fans of the show. Then I woke up and thought about what I was doing with my life, spending an hour a week watching a show from which I derived no pleasure whatsoever, and I quit cold turkey.
I still hate-watch things, though. I love going to awful rom-coms and lady movies just to bitch about them. I'm planning on spending an afternoon seeing What To Expect this weekend for that very reason.
I hate-watch many things on The Food Network, like The Next Food Network Star, which is a horrible, horrible show. But my guiltiest hate-watching pleasure on that network is Cupcake Wars, which I think is perhaps the worst show on television. Here's why:
- The host is one cheesy mo-fo, of whom I've secretly grown fond because I think he's kind of in on the joke about how bad Cupcake Wars is and he once replied to me on Twitter and seems like less of an asshat than I'd originally thought.
- Candace Nelson of Sprinkles Cupcakes fame speaks only in pun.
- The show is devoid of suspense. The final round is worthless because there is never any drama (a la Food Network's cake challenges where someone's project could topple over at any time), and I always fast forward to the very end.
- Someone always makes a red velvet cupcake and feels proud of herself for doing so, like she possesses singular knowledge because she saw Steel Magnolias when she was ten.
I kind of hate-watch news programs. I actually like This Week with George Steph...George "S," but what I like even more is watching the show and then complaining about the pundits and politicians with whom I disagree and who stick only to their talking points (Dear Republicans, if your only talking point is the economy, you need more talking points). This is also the same reason I reach for the Commentary section of the Tribune first thing every morning. It gets my ire up.
You can also hate-read books. I have a sample of 50 Shades of Grey sitting in my Kindle for this very reason.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Maybe it's a need to be informed about the things we dislike or disagree with, which I think is kind of healthy. Maybe it's because don't get enough excitement in our daily lives and we need to manufacture conflict. Maybe we're all just secret masochists.
Which show do you hate-watch?