Hating on shows? Hate- watch them instead!

psychology of hate watching (1) (1)

The immense allure of the binges might never be lost on this world, whether that be in eating or in watching and of course essentially also in reading. On the other end of the same spectrum though lurks also the offsetting prospect of binge working that drains out all the fun otherwise associated with the bingeing luxury in all commonplace reference to it. But what do you make of a phenomenon encompassing any of these particularly popular activities not categorising as work that you indulge in still not so much out of love, but in and despite all hatred for it? That sounds like some sort of a paradox revealing itself in all its confounding contradiction, but that need not really have you taken aback with surprise. For, as the many a wildly popular plunges into the peculiar thrill pertaining to the ‘love to hate’ philosophy proves, this almost wicked pleasure in pursuing something one indeed hates by such conflicting measures of its liking that instead has us hooked to them is a rather intriguing phenomenon, that far surpasses the ‘mere’ genial pleasure derived out of bingeing on anything and everything as long as it falls outside the purview of work.

This very tendency of loving to hate upon a certain something, particularly corresponding to such traditional bingeing explorations as watching or reading is what shapes up the very prevalent exercise of hate watching something, in the most common reiteration of this pursuit of the love antonym. Hate reading though is as much as a ‘thing’ as well while as to hate eating, we aren’t quite sure if such diversely diametric deductions would be ever possible in a world scoffing at every possible mention of the entire weird food combination conundrum. Leaving it at that though as being outside the scope of what concerns us at the moment in our downward spiralling into a perplexing vortex of sorts and concentrating on what is more real an assertion of something almost unreal in its oxymoronic connotations, we are left to ponder over this nothing new naysaying of the bête noire. Definitely older than bingeing and perhaps even ancient than the emergence of TV itself, for indeed the pleasures of hating are not lost on anyone as well, is this assertion that as a term though is a far, far recent manifestation.

watching something you hate
Source: Andertoons

A new millennium thing that has been making the rounds in such definite allusion to it in letters and alphabets only sometime since the last few years of the current century’s first decade, hate watching is simply watching something- most commonly a TV show or even a film if you so will- that you hate indeed, in that you are reallycritical of it, whether that be of a commonsensical stemming or more rooted a feeling you harbour as a connoisseur of the visual arts is not something that matters as much as it does in your absolute loathing of it. It’s nothing very phenomenally remarkable as well, for all one essentially does in hate watching something is pursuing indeed their dislike for it, with the intention of critiquing it afterwards or laughing at it or ending up ridiculing its premise there and then, or just about whatever validates your immense disapproval of the same. The point though being the intensity of your hatred, which you assert indeed empathically as you go about your almost dedicated routine in its viewing- indeed as religiously and ardently as you would binge on something obsessive instead. And what is it that drives this ‘ruthless’ enough decimation of something that classify still as an art, at least in the very nature of its making and identity if not in its display of character? An amusing indeed proclivity of human kind that somehow fetishes the very prospect of absolutely annihilating something not suited to their own very individual fancies even when they might be of utterly flimsy basis.

Hate watching might likely be interpreted as being almost synonymous with an act out of which one derives a certain guilty pleasure, like in such encounters almost always associated with trash reality shows for instance. But hate watching can be more ‘superficial’ instead, as being a genre of art or more appropriately of entertainment that has come to be deliberately sought out as an agenda in marketing. Evoking emotions as extreme as rage in those who despise these shows and yet not wanting to do away with them either, hate watching might even be an almost antonym for such viewings of shows one takes to in the sheer fun that guilty pleasure entails, the latter being bingeing on something largely hated by the world in exaggerated nature of its working while hate watching being bingeing on something even in the face of our own hatred for it. No wonder, hate watching is not as ‘personal’ as one would be inclined to think it is, as it is an effective indeed ploy of business that can deliver hits in as much probability as such productions fawned over by an almost all inclusive global number of fans. And hate watching works as well along this line of thought supposedly in contradictory assumption of it because behind the psychology that guides this impulsive almost urge to remain glued to some scene one can only harbour thoughts of bashing is a certain strange pleasure accruing out of the very idea of hating upon something.

Despite all its holding of such substance that earns it indeed its essence in the hate heavy rendition of the human emotions, hate watching is also not exclusively conforming to the premise of such shows that offer more than ample scope for furthering our displeasure with them. In fact, this not at all surreptitious show of hate might entail also from such expectations that we harbour of a show being tasteless but discover instead much to our surprise to be rather good at what it does. As being partially steeped in the ‘so bad it’s good’ doctrine while finding itself limited in its pursuit of perfection on the other, shows that end up commanding a greater degree of the hate even in their massive viewership present indeed a unique blend of such entertainment that appeases our senses, even when in a remarkably roundabout way. In eliciting such extreme, intense responses out of people that are so exacerbating of their substantially notorious fame, hate watching drives the numbers more effectively than what we would have wanted our own ‘exploits’ of it to do in conformity with our personally held ‘grudges’ against such shows. And when we come to think of it, hate watching as a phenomenon is not very diversive than the addictive watching of something in all our immense fancying of it, working as they do on similar such grounds of ‘loyalty’- only that the basis of this loyalty tends to be a shared hate in one case and a mutual love in the other.

Hate watching can be as ‘rewarding’ in other ways as well, or perhaps even more so. As for instance in providing fodder for memes to have a viral run all over the internet, the intense experience of the hate feels is but just another way of fostering creativity and even solidarity. It also is surprisingly gratifying- this tendency of loving to hate on something steeps us more in a belief of us personally harbouring of worthier or better still ideas, that what presents itself as an experience in more than satisfying bittersweetness than anything else. Tearing apart into something therefore is also more affording an activity in greater validation, something that universally drives humans to the most ultimate form of pleasure they can ever experience. For while love might be enriching and liberating, it is hate still that is more persuasive an emotion when it comes to aligning ourselves in sync with the hedonistic pursuits that universally drives the human life.