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The 9 Best Shows To Hate Watch In 2013

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | January 9, 2013 | Comments ()


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You know what a hate watch is, right? It's 2013, of course you do. It differs from a guilty pleasure like, say, "The Vampire Diaries." That show never aspired to greatness. Never had the potential to be anything other than it is: frothy, soapy, stupid fun. You also shouldn't hate watch something you despise through and through. "Whitney," to me, is like the TV version of ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife to stab the rictus right off Cummings' face. Ahem, so as I was saying, a hate watch shouldn't stir your blood lust, it should just make you want to kick things a little. Soft, yielding things. And it should be fun. Your cries of "DAMNIT, TED," or "SHUT THE F*CK UP, SOOKIE" should give you a little thrill of joy. Not pain. And for those of you who say life's too short to hate watch don't understand that it makes everything else look so much better by comparison. So here are 9 shows that were once great, or aspired to greatness but never quite had greatness thrust upon them.

"Glee": We can all agree that most of Season 1 was pretty f*cking solid. The sharp and snarky high school satire was amply peppered with fun musical bits. But as the characters became more and more inconsistent and unbearable, as plot lines were picked up and abandoned and as the musical numbers were autotuned to hell and back, the whole thing became a hot mess. What's still enjoyable? Kate Hudson's Leotard Ke$ha, Sarah Jessica Parker's massively weird fashion editor and that kid Blaine (who sings like an angel).
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"How I Met Your Mother": Lo how the mighty have fallen. This show suffers from a premise stretched to the absolute breaking point and an enraging protagonist. Oh please, for the love of god, shut the f*ck up, Ted.
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"Newsroom": Your mileage may vary on Sorkin, but I love him and his bloviating, condescending ways. Can't turn a blind eye to the weakness of a lot of the female characters, though. So it's a love tinged with disgust. The best kind.
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"Once Upon A Time": There is so much sloppy, mawkish, wtf*ckery going on in this show. At the same time, it's where many of Pajiba's most beloved TV writers have chosen to focus their energy. Jane Espenson, you're better than this! Much of the frustration with "OUAT" comes from thinking about what could have been, if the focus had been more "Fables"-inspired and less terrible CGI and melodrama.
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"Grey's Anatomy": Why is anyone still watching this show as it lurches along into its 9th season? Two words: Sandra Oh. And also the vindictive pleasure of seeing characters meet a grisly end season finale after season finale. I mean, c'mon, look at that weeping chipmunk. How can you resist?
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"Smash": After a bizarre and terrible first season, this show is back with another polished singer, Jennifer Hudson. Why watch at all? The musical numbers are pretty good and there's a delicious satisfaction in watching Anjelica Huston toss a drink in someone's face. Rumor has it the whole show formula has been rejiggered for Season 2, but if they expect me to swallow the idea that McPhee is better than Hudson (let alone Hilty), they've got another think coming.
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"True Blood": What differentiates this from "The Vampire Diaries"? The showrunner, Alan Ball. Yeah it's soapy and slippery and has way too many characters and an obnoxious female lead and with an even more obnoxious male lead. But it also has Vampire Pam. And for that we are eternally grateful.
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"Nashville": This is verging on pure hate, but I'm still hanging on to watch the hemlines on Hayden Panettiere's dresses get ever shorter, to wait for the occasional pieces of music that don't blow and for Connie Britton and her shiny shiny hair.
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"Downton Abbey": Don't you even DARE yell at me for including this. Do I love "Downton"? I do. All praise Maggie Smith. Is it a melodramatic mess? It very much is. They character assassinated Bates, Elizabeth McGovern can't act her way out of a hat box, Lady Mary cured Matthew's broken penis with her TEARS. With her tears, people. I can't quit this show, but I also can't praise the writing staff. Come at me if you will, I'll have my most withering Lady Mary eye roll at the ready.
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  • babykangarootribbiani

    glee owes a huge debt of gratitude to darren criss. if it weren;t for him, glee would;ve been cancelled a year and a half ago

  • Once Upon A Time is my definition of hate watch. When it first started a coworker asked my opinion. I went on a five minute diatribe of all the terrible things about and how it seems overinflated to an hours and blah blah blah. She said "so you're breaking up with it?" Nope. But now I watch it from my DVR in several episode mini-marathons.

  • Now that Disqus comments are working for me, I have to add: Downton is a show that can't be matched. My mom and I watch this series every time it debuts in the UK because we don't want to wait for the US airing. We try to fill it with other shows -- Game of Thrones, which she thankfully enjoys because I'm still in love with it, despite its own hot messiness; Call the Midwife, which is decent, albeit underrated; and we're throwing around a couple other ideas (Homeland, Dexter, Breaking Bad) to fill the void until the next Downton season. It's always to get us to the next Downton season. I don't know why, but we enjoy that melodramatic mess, the multiple storylines, and everything in-between.

    As for anything else on this list, I may drop True Blood next season and just power through the books like I've been meaning to. That show is just insane to the point of sheer tackiness. I don't know if I can watch an entire season, just for a couple funny lines from Pam or Lafayette anymore.

  • Fred

    Downton Abbey is not worth watching anymore.

  • dizzylucy

    I realized I was hate watching Glee towards the end of Season 1, and quit it. I feel much better now. Ditto for Grey's but that one had me until the beginning of Season 3.

    Last season I hate watched Smash and True Blood - I'm actually optimistic about Smash's retooling because it sounds like everything on my list of grievances was addressed, and True Blood is probably about done, so I'll stick it out. Plus Pam, Lafayette, and Hot Eric make it kind of worth it.

    Downton Abbey isn't hate watching for me, I enjoy it and its melodramatic silliness, but it does piss me off when it clogs up award nominations and something worthy like Justified gets little to nothing.

  • kirbyjay

    Can I say this.....WTF COURTNEY COX????? I can barely watch the show because can't look away from her once beautiful, clown face. Why Courtney? Why?

    If Figgy gets to profess her dislike for Community, I get to say how much I hate HIMYM. All of them. I hate them. Talk about forced.
    And yeah, Happy Endings is kinda drowning in it's own hubris but I do love Jane and Brad. Get rid of the rest of them and make Jane and Brad president and first lady. Our first interracial presidential couple. President Jane would kick this country's ass into shape the way she did with the condo association.
    How about a sitcom with Brad, Jane and Maggie Smith

  • mairimba

    Exact same reason why I have not been able to watch Cougar Town. Every time I see a commercial for the show it makes me so sad to look at her face. She looks like Janice Dickinson.

  • Rooks

    "that kid Blaine" - Harry Potter. No number of ill-advised haircuts will ever change that.

  • CrystalW187

    I understood that reference. Upvote for you. A Very Potter Musical was genius.

  • Jean199999

    Thank God, Gossip Girl is finally over. So much hate

  • Uriah_Creep

    “Glee”: We can all agree that most of Season 1 was pretty f*cking solid.

    I most certainly will not. I hated it from the start. I guess I was ahead of my time, because everyone I know agrees with me now.

  • Joanna.

    Joanna.

    Joanna.

  • I still sort of hate watch The Walking Dead, but season three is actually pretty fun on its merits, too.

  • John G.

    You forgot to include American Horror Story. Is that because it's so bad, you've finally stopped watching it?

  • Smash is SO GOD-AWFUL BAD but I'ma watch the hell out of it.

  • wojtek

    I'm sorry, but for me that show is Happy Endings. I know everyone's crazy about it, but I couldn't get into it for the longest time. And then finally I got horribly sick before Christmas, and really needed some comfort TV, so I cracked and started watching it. I went through the whole season in 2 days, laughing my ass off, sending clips to people, just uber-happy about it.

    Then my fever broke, and I started watching season 2, and REALLY laughed... 2 times, throughout. Yes, that specific: the baby costume in the Halloween ep, and Eliza Coupe (who is admittedly spectacular) whispering "I need so much validation". All the things I had found funny suddenly seem forced and contrived and grating. So now I watch it angrily shaking my walker at the screen.

    Unless the whole thing's just a very elaborate experiment to see if you can keep giving that Dave guy instantly dated hair, bypassing the usual gestation period - in which case I'm totally on board.

  • soupd

    I still watch Greys and get angry at my sad, sad self when I cry during certain episodes. - not the ugly cry of the early ER days but real tears just the same. I was on hatewatch with Izzy and George but have come back around to hey its on my dvr watch.

  • "Girls" is my favorite hate watch. Absent on this list.

  • Will Roy

    my girlfriend has tried to get me into it about a dozen times and she finally gave up because all i would do is talk about how stupid and horrible all of the characters are. "but they're supposed to be realistic" "well then why should i care about stupid and horrible people enough to watch it?" "because shut up!"

  • Downton - the prettiest, most highbrow piece of soapy, melodramatic TV crack available. I only just binged my through the second series (see me being highbrow?), and have come to the conclusion that I now must edit the bad writing in real time. It's become that bad, unfortunately, even though the acting and direction is still solid in the Masterpiece way. I just want to get into the writing room and give those English a little USA gun violence (sorry, did I say that out loud?).

  • Kathleen Allen

    hells yes to the downton abbey anguish! just you wait for season 3 & the 2012 xmas special: the julian fellowes hate will roll over you like some giant rolly thing. i want to find him and break his lovely english knee caps.

  • Nessun

    Seconded, Thirded, and just keep going. I'll bring the baseball bats. (I've seen through the xmas special...good gawd.)

  • Kathleen Allen

    i seriously could not believe that xmas special. i had to watch the dvd extras to hear the ugly truth roll out of his mouth. and then he laughed. apparently no one is allowed to be happy for very long in mr fellowes's world. it made my mama say the 'gd' word. and my mama hates the cussin'.

  • It's because that person left the show, just like the other person left the show. I think it's admirable that Fellowes writes the end to their storylines rather than recasting or having them go live in God knows where with a "Oh, here's a letter from [character]!" randomly thrown into a breakfast scene.

  • poopnado

    Is Mad Men still decent? I don't even know. I watched seasons 1-3 and really started hating it towards the end. Actually, that's a lie. I kind of hated it since the middle of season one. It was a delightful hate-watch, and I kept watching because JOAN HOLLOWAY. Is it worth tuning back in?

  • BendinIntheWind

    Season 5 was kind of all over the place, for me, but 4 really is phenomenal.

  • apsutter

    I know a lot of people didn't care for season 5 but I really liked it. Can't wait for this summer for MM and BB

  • Tinkerville

    I freaking love OUAT and make no apologies for it. It's not even a hate watch. Oh, for sure, it's campy, melodramatic, and completely over the top, but it's genuinely fun and can have surprisingly great emotional moments every once in a while. That said, I do understand its place on the list. It's a crazy ass show.

  • badkittyuno

    Sons of Anarchy. Since Opie's death, we're pretty much still watching bc I have a deep, disturbing crush on Chibs, my husband wants Tara to be killed off in some creative way, and we're both a little in love with Jimmy Smits.

  • nosio

    I will hatewatch the SH*T out of Newsroom.

    I really hate that show.

    And yet.

  • Word. It needs a RiffTrax.

  • Slash

    And now I have a new band name: Lady Mary Eyeroll

  • Cree83

    Aw. I'll never understand the hate for Ted. Poor earnest Ted, love's fool. Sure, he can be pretty douchey and oblivious, but if I can look past Lilly's shrewishness, Robin's vanity, and Barney's sociopathic behavior, I can get over Ted's douchiness.

  • I may have been too late, but I find this show completely uninteresting, lacking any real reason to give it my time.

  • NateMan

    1. Lily is hot with bi-sexual leanings. Also, usually sweet.
    2. Robin's not that vain - at least not compared to Ted or Barney.

    3. Barney's sociopathy is why we love him. We'd hate him in real life, what with all the casual misogyny, but it's great on television.

    Ted, meanwhile, is just a douche. He doesn't believe in love. He believes in hair gel, red cowboy boots, and bitching about how he hasn't found the perfect girl when all he does is date chicks he meets at a bar and pretty much stalks his female 'friend'.

    Fuck Ted. Fuck Ted with a baseball bat coated in broken glass. Seriously, this dude banged Colbie Smulders, Rachel Bilson, Jennifer Morrison (Okay, in her blond phase and she was allowed to talk, both of which ruin it but still) and Sarah Chalke, and still whines about his love life?

    When a guy goes after: A woman who says she doesn't want to get married/have kids; a student at his college; a married woman; and a mother who CLEARLY hasn't dealt with her issues, it's clear that he's pretty much in it for the vagina. Also, that the writers hate us.

  • Cree83

    Lilly can be pretty bitchy. She tries to control every one else's lives, even going so far as to destroy other people's relationships, to ensure that her friends lives are meeting her standards. She thinks she knows better than everyone else despite the fact that she can't run her own life all that well - she'd be completely lost without Marshall.

    I guess this is a matter of opinion, but for me, Barney's misogyny wore out its welcome five seasons ago.

    Robin may not be as vain as Barney, but she's pretty vain. Life's dealt her a beating over the last few seasons though, so I can't feel to harshly about Robin.

    Ted's never complained that he can't meet women, he's just complained that he hasn't met the right one yet. Granted, that's because he's so oblivious that he keeps going after the wrong woman, but I don't think it's because he's just in it for sex. I think it's a combination of him being in love with Robin for years and not being able to admit it, and also him being terrified that when he finally finds what he wants after all this time, it won't be as great as he always hoped it would be. Ted needs to work out his issues, but I can't hate him for it.

  • NateMan

    See, I have less of a problem with Lily's narcissism than I do the writers' sheer laziness when it comes to Marshall and Lily's storyline, particularly since they had the kid. It's just cliche after cliche.

    I agree Barney's misogyny has gotten old - though, to be honest, I would have probably tried the same routines if I'd had any chance of pulling them off - but I think the writers agree with you, and that's one of the reasons he's significantly changed over the last season or two. He's literally the only character on the show to demonstrate any growth at all.

    Sorry, I just can't deal with Ted any more. Even ignoring the TERRIBLE life lessons he's teaching his kids, his inability to put the slightest effort into any relationship that wasn't with Robin annoys the crap out of me. One thing the writers get right is that love (and life) isn't grand gestures. It's one day after another, trudging along. The characters of Lily and Marshall seem to get that, television hijinks aside. Ted's doesn't, and it doesn't seem like he will any time soon.

  • Ley

    Regarding those terrible life lessons: I used to take HIMYM very seriously, until I realized what Ted may be teaching his kids. I remember sometimes, they play it for laughs. Overall, the oversharing thing is kind of a gag, for me, as I don't really care for Ted's kids anyways.

  • RilesSD

    More than anything, I'm getting tired of Marshall's sad/sentimental/mopey act. The way he talks and looks when he's sad or reconciling drives me fucking nuts.

    This season is so bad, even the laugh track doesn't laugh at some of the punch lines.

  • Cree83

    Ugh, I'm with you on the Marshall and Lilly baby plot lines. That'll get me to start hate-watching (instead of enjoy-watching) a lot faster than anything Ted does.

  • KatSings

    I genuinely enjoy Downton and OUAT, and not in a hatewatch capacity. I mostly like Newsroom, but I have hatewatchy moments in that, so I'll agree there. I hate watched season 2 of Glee, and season....um...maybe 4? of Grey's before dropping them both.

    But Smash...God, Smash is the pinnacle of my hatewatching. I want it to succeed because it's one of the best ways to get work in NYC at the moment - they cast a TON of background actors and bit parts. And I'd like to work on it. And I want it to be so much better than it is. But Godtopus save me, it sucks something fierce. This new retooling? Does not elicit hope in me.

  • Heh, I just realized the only thing I watch nowadays that I don't love is telenovelas. And I can't even hate those. They're like dumb animals that keep running into walls,and it's funny and sad. But more funny than anything.

    It helps (a lot) that I don't have cable and have to look up stuff on Netflix that I actually want to watch. The last time I tried to watch something I hated was when I tried Community for the third time. Then I realized I hated it and there was no reason to get so angry at the TV over something no one was forcing me to watch, so I just stopped. I felt free. Maybe you should try that.

  • upstate

    Just so you know, every time someone dislikes "Community", God kills a kitten.

  • Eh, there's enough kittens.

  • I still hate-watch movies, tho. They're over so much faster than TV shows. And you don't have to hate yourself over clicking play on yet another episode of something you loathe.

  • I was about to protest the inclusion of Downton, but I know in my heart of hearts that you're right. I wouldn't classify it is a hate-watch, but I am not going to pretend that it's something it's not either. Whatever. I still want the Dowager Countess to be Queen of Everything.

  • prairiegirl

    After the first episode of Season 3, I found myself hoping Bates turns evil (or has been all along). When he got all testy with his cellmate, it seemed plausible. Probably too much to wish for but it would add some interest. Definitely feeling flatter as it progresses, but I still do enjoy it most of the time.

  • BWeaves

    I just watch Downton for the house and the costume and tiara porn. I wish Bate's cellmate would just off him already, so that Anna and Daisy can have some tipping the velvet, and where was I? Maggie Smith should be in everything.

  • Leigh

    OMG I call it costume porn, too. When I say that to people they look at me weird.

  • I really, really, REALLY want Bates to be guilty. And Daisy does not deserve Anna.

  • Daisy doesn't deserve anyone. The writers see to that in every season.

  • BobbFrapples

    It is irrational, but True Blood is such a hot mess that I can't bring myself to watch Six Feet Under. I've been told that SFU is awesome, but I don't want the two to be associated in my head.

  • Zirza

    I see what you're getting at but apart from the death stuff there's not much to compare the two. SFU has its cheesy moments (helloooo stupid kidnapper) but the acting and the writing makes it one of the best shows ever.

  • SBrown

    Thank you FOR including Downton. With flaws acknowledged, it is much more fun to watch.

  • I <3 HIMYM. Only 'cause of the rest of the cast. HAET TED SO FUCKING MUCH.

  • Blake

    “How I Met Your Mother” - I think this has been said many times before but who watches HIMYM for Ted?

    "This show suffers from a premise stretched to the absolute breaking point" - You could say that about 99.9% of CBS programing... It's actually their mantra.

    See NCIS / NCIS; 2 / CSI / CSI: 2 / Two half Men / Hawaii Five O / etc.

  • e jerry powell

    CSI: 3. CSI: 2 was cancelled, remember?

  • Jezzer

    *scrolls down*

    *doesn't see "Girls"*

    *closes window, goes about day*

  • lowercase_ryan

    your day which consists of cruising for Girls fans to troll.

  • Jezzer

    Shush, you. >.>

  • I'm with Jezzer apparently.

  • KZoeT

    True Blood is so bad I can't even hate watch it anymore. It's a bloated mess that lost all of the charm, wit, and atmosphere that made me like the first season. Now it's just a silly, oh-so-preachy soap opera. Allan Ball isn't involved this season, is he? I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

  • persephone

    Worse than stupid, it's just boring now. I didn't get past episode 3 of season 5. I used to love the hell out of that show.

  • e jerry powell

    I knew there was something weird about calling Ball the True Blood showrunner. Mark Hudis is the new exec producer at TB now that Ball has moved on to Banshee for Showtime.

  • Alan Ball is still exec. producer of TB. He only left the showrunner chair not the whole show.

  • JoannaRobinson

    But Ball is still why the show had any shot at being other than it is in the first place.

  • e jerry powell

    Well, someone had to put in the effort to de-stupid Charlaine Harris, truly. She should be paying him.

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