It is evident that nowadays, everyone loves to voice their opinions on certain media they either like or dislike. I know that is rich coming from someone like myself, who’s practically made it their job to let everyone know what they thought of the latest movies to hit streaming, but my point still stands. Criticism is nothing new; the internet has allowed everyone to voice their feelings toward something they are passionate about. However, I want to focus on a particular part of those who watch the media with a passion of pure anger. Why do people love to “hate watch”?
It is essential first to explain what exactly is “hate-watching.” The way I see it, those who partake in this practice can be divided into two categories: those who watch something knowing it’s terrible but find joy in it and those who care about it more out of bitterness.
Now you’re thinking, “Well, you can-
not just watch things that you like all the time.” That is true. It is important to step outside your comfort zone and try new shows and movies, or else you close your- self off from ever finding your new thing to enjoy. Reviews are subjective, after all. I enjoyed the movie “Moonfall” (Rotten Tomatoes score of 36%) but hated the recent film “M3GAN” (Rotten Tomatoes score of 95%). While reviews can indicate quality, a review should not decide whether you should intake art.
While movies are familiar sources for “hate-watching,” television is the natural home to angrily sitting through hours of content. The most prominent example of this phenomenon is the new HBO Max series “Velma.” The series has been panned across the board by critics and fans, with many calling it one of the worst shows they’ve ever seen. Naturally, you have a vocal minority hating on the series for being “too woke,” but it’s clear that looking past these individuals, the response has been overwhelmingly nega- tive. Despite these criticisms, though, the
show has broken records and currently sits as the most-watched animated series of all time on the platform, so clearly, people are watching it. I will admit that I heard how bad the reviews were and wanted to see for myself if it was as awful as everyone said, and to be honest, I’m enjoying it. It is not great, but I’m finding some enjoyment from it.
While I disagree with people who watch stuff just so they can talk about how much they hated it, I think there is value in “hate-watching.” Everyone has that guilty pleasure show or movie that they know is terrible, but they watch it because it gives them the joy to do so. Do you think I watched seven seasons of “Riverdale” because I believe it is a well- made show? Of course not. I watch it be- cause it’s a train wreck we can all laugh at it together. Negative reviews can be just as important as positive ones because in a sea of people ranting about how much they despise some new series, there could be one individual in all of it who truly finds something of value.