Admit it. There's at least one show you find yourself watching, week after week, even though everything about it makes your skin crawl. When said program is brought up in conversation, you immediately quip, "I hate that show!" which you genuinely do — but you still set your DVR to record it every Tuesday at 9/8c on Bravo. (Sorry, Real Housewives).
It's a pastime that many refer to as "hate-watching" — a form of cruel and unusual television punishment that occurs when "you watch a show you wouldn't choose to watch for any reason other than to mock it for its awfulness — say, by sharing snide Twitter exchanges with like-minded hate-watchers when the program airs," according to The Associated Press.
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In a sense, social outlets like Twitter create a virtual community where people broadcast their masochistic TV habits and sympathize with other hate-watchers. Here's an example: "The feminist in me cringes when #TheBachelorette opens her mouth 'I want someone to be the boss and take control' BARF #hatewatching," wrote Twitter user @KatarinaSamora.
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The Bachelorette isn't the only popular target. NBC's musical drama Smash also seems to be garnering significant hate-watching attention. In a New Yorker article, Emily Nussbaum writes of the series, "Why would I go out of my way to watch a show that makes me so mad?"
Unfortunately, we can't answer that question. Because we do it too.
Do you feel the same way about Smash? Glee? Keeping Up with the Kardashians? What shows do you hate-watch? Let us know in the comments!