Hate-Watching Shows

What kind of shows do you watch? Reality? Drama? Comedy? With the popularity and ease of streaming, there are too many options to watch. In addition, most of us need more time to watch everything available. Therefore, wasting time on irksome shows can be frustrating for many viewers. Did you ever stop watching a show because the characters were too annoying? Or do you enjoy watching characters that we love to hate?

The final season of Succession premieres on March 26, 2023, and the fourth season of Love is Blind begins on March 24. I could not get through the first season of Succession because I was not too fond of the characters and their behavior, but I did watch all of season one and two of Love is Blind which had some very annoying contestants. The release of new episodes of these shows got me thinking about the shows I choose to watch. Why can I watch some shows with “no redeemable characters” (a quote from my brother about White Lotus) but skip another with a different set of nasty characters? 

I must clarify that you can watch a show with awful characters and enjoy it as a guilty pleasure. And you can hate-watch a show. From Wikipedia, “Hate-watching is the activity of watching a television show (or film)[1] with the intention of acquiring amusement from the mockery of its content or subject.” From Entertainment Weekly, “‘Hate-Watching’ is NOT the same as a guilty pleasure. You wouldn’t tune in every week to hate-watch a really “bad” reality show — that’s a guilty pleasure.”

From Vice, Why Being a Hater Feels So Good. A psychologist explains why we like to follow shows, movies, or people we can’t stand.

Some of these shows are fun to watch with family and friends to mock the characters together or discuss the juicy drama. In addition, many of these shows have a huge social media presence, and you can enjoy commenting or reading about trending shows. If people still worked full-time in offices and gathered around the water cooler, these shows would be hot topics.

If you love to hate-watch and listen to conversations about the ups and downs of popular series, there are Podcasts available covering the many controversial topics. Fans of Succession can listen to HBO’s Succession Podcast. Vanity Fair’s Still Watching covers White Lotus Season 2 and the final season of Succession.

I’m writing this as a judgment-free post. You shouldn’t feel bad about your viewing choices. Watch shows that work for you and that you enjoy watching for whatever reason. Whether you like crime documentaries, shows that make you laugh out loud, reality television, guilty pleasures, or dramas that make you cry. I enjoy a variety of shows; what I watch depends on my mood. I also like discussing popular series with friends and family. It’s fun to share your entertainment interests.

Scripted Series Hate-Watching or Guilty Pleasure

Emily in Paris (Netflix)


I binged all three seasons of this show “for the fashion,” even though Emily was sometimes quite annoying. My niece and I criticized some of her decisions while watching season three. However, not all characters on this show are annoying, and some are fun to watch. Plus, it takes place in Paris; an American girl in Paris is a fun story.

White Lotus (HBO)

This show has won several awards. Primetime Emmy Wins: Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, Outstanding Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie: Mike White, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie: Jennifer Coolidge, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie: Murray Bartlett, Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie: Mike White. Screen Actors Guild wins Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series-Jennifer Coolidge. Golden Globe wins Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television-Jennifer Coolidge, Best Television Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

When you see the number of award wins and nominations, you might think it is a must-watch series. But, unfortunately, you might not enjoy the award-winning performances. When I started watching season one of White Lotus, I wouldn’t say I liked most of the characters, but I watched the whole season to see who was killed. The first season took place in a beautiful tropical setting. I watched the second season because it takes place in Italy and I love the fashion in both seasons.

Screenrant did a good job summing up each character in season one, The White Lotus: One Quote That Perfectly Sums Up Each Main Character. Some of their behavior was hard to watch.

Succession (HBO)

Brian Cox as the Roy family patriarch in the final season of “Succession.”Credit…David Russell/HBO

Succession is another popular, award-winning series. Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Drama Series in 2020 and 2022, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series-Matthew Macfadyen, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series-Jesse Armstrong (2019, 2020, and 2022). In 2020 awards went to Jeremy Strong for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Andrij Parekh for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and Cherry Jones for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2022.

From IMDb, “The Roy family is known for controlling the biggest media and entertainment company in the world. However, their world changes when their father steps down from the company.

Every year this show wins awards. I think I will try again to watch it. Maybe after this final season airs. Unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid spoilers online.

From The New York Times, “It’s like a chess match, if the chess pieces flew private jets and made off-color jokes. Who will win? Well, if the previous seasons are any indication, no one. Expect to be furiously entertained and possibly pushed toward a Marxist worldview.

Reality Hate-Watching or Guilty Pleasure

Finding love on reality television.

Do you love a good love story? Or do you love to watch failed attempts of reality tv love? In these shows, real people let themselves be filmed while trying to make a love connection. Speaking of, do you remember the show called Love Connection? Viewers watched as the audience helped select a date for a bachelor or bachelorette. Then, after the date, the couple would return to discuss everything. One of the original reality dating shows along with The Dating Game.

I have yet to watch enough of this genre to rate these shows, but BuzzFeed did that work for me in January. 15 Popular Dating Shows Ranked From “Turn This Garbage Off” To “I Can’t Look Away” I will highlight a few shows I’ve watched at some point. 

Love is Blind (Netflix)

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

I watched all of the first two seasons of this show, including the reunions. The first season started right before the 2020 lockdown. I got hooked after reading about it online. I think one of my friends convinced me to watch season 2 so we could discuss the drama.

Need more dirt on season 4, read Marie Claire, ‘Love Is Blind’ Season 4: Everything We Know. “In its first three seasons, Love Is Blind introduced us to fan-favorite couples, toxic f-boys, an absolute treasure of a woman (shout out to SK’s mom), and a trademark opaque gold wineglass.”

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (ABC)

Rick Rowell/ABC

The Bachelor season 27 is currently airing on ABC. You can stream it on Hulu. The Bachelorette season 20 will be airing this summer.

I watched some of the early seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. My roommate and I often joked about “the most dramatic” things that happened in our lives. But I started to get bored with all the drama and tears and stopped watching.

Fans of The Bachelor can listen to Bachelor Happy Hour. You can also read PureWow’s rating of past Bachelorettes, A Complete List of All the Past Bachelorettes, Ranked.

Married at First Sight (Lifetime)

Married at First Sight couple Woody and Amani from Season 11.

This series features three to five couples paired up by relationship experts who agree to marry when they first meet. There have been 16 seasons. The current season with couples from Nashville is airing on Lifetime. I started watching this guilty pleasure when season 6 aired because it was filmed in Boston. The format has changed over the years, and the couples interact more with each other than in the earlier seasons. The show also puts them in a furnished apartment when they return from their honeymoon. 

Bravo Reality

The Real Housewives of New York City Season 12 – Pictured: (l-r) Tinsley Mortimer, Dorinda Medley, Luann de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer, and Leah McSweeney. (Sophy Holland—Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images)

Bravo has too many dramatic reality shows to name in this post. However, you should be familiar with The Real Housewives franchise, which started in 2006, and the popular Vanderpump Rules spin-off. I have watched some of The Real Housewives, but the drama does get old after the first few seasons. Of course, it helps to have friends that watch the same series, to discuss the nonsense. 

This Time Magazine article from 2021 can help you with The Real Housewives series, The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Watching The Real Housewives.

These series produce the most drama and headlines for online news. From Bustle, The Best Reality TV Drama Is Actually Happening on Podcasts. Podcasts from stars of Vanderpump Rules and Real Housewives are gaining listeners — and the power to shape the drama on screen.

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