"Hate-Watching": Why Do We Binge-Watch Shows That We Actually Hate?

Riverdale, The Hook Up Plan, Elite, Cable Girls... You hate them with a passion but feel compelled to watch them. Entirely. Until the last episode. This trend, which was dubbed "hate-watching" in the United States is, believe it or not, actually beneficial...

"Hate-Watching": Why Do We Binge-Watch Shows That We Actually Hate?
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"Hate-Watching": Why Do We Binge-Watch Shows That We Actually Hate?

"I don't know why I'm still watching this show when it's awful most of the time," "Netflix's 'Hook Up Plan' is...interesting. It sucks, and I'm ashamed to say I enjoyed it," Internet users tweeted. But that doesn't stop them from tuning in and watching these shows from start to finish.

How many times have you done this? Telling yourself, every time you hear the theme song, "this sucks, I'm never watching it again?" You've probably done it many times. The HuffPost calls it "hate-watching." A trend that started in the United States seven years ago.

It was introduced by a New Yorker reporter in 2012, as a way to describe her uncontrollable and incomprehensible urge to watch Smash. Americans hated it because "it was bad in a truly spectacular way."

According to a HuffPost reporter, Season 2 of Netflix's Hook Up Plan"crystallized the movement." On Twitter, Internet users shamelessly attacked it: a "bad" sequel, a "huge flop,""cringy," and yet they admit to having watched every single episode...

The Hook Up Plan is bad but it's good at the same time
I ran out of shows to watch on Netflix, so I started watching The Hook Up Plan. It's so bad it's funny. I can't remember the last time I saw such a stupid, unfunny main character
Netflix's "Hook Up Plan" is...interesting. It sucks, and I'm ashamed to say I enjoyed it.

And The Hook Up Plan isn't the only show people hate-watch. Shows like Elite, 100, Marseille and Riverdale have also been criticized for their awful plots, not so talented actors and poor dialogue...

I just finished Elite (spoiler alert) and I'm annoyed that they want to drag it out for another season. Put Polo in jail, damn it! And Catayana, or whatever her name is, is so annoying. They're all annoying in this season, anyway. Rebecca and Omar are the only characters I like.
Every time I watch a new season of Riverdale, I tell myself it sucks and I'm going to stop watching it, then keep watching anyway and just repeat the cycle.
It goes: You tell yourself that Riverdale sucks. You stop watching. You start watching again. (Yeah, this is not healthy)

Releasing our aggressive impulses

All this visual torture is not so great... But so useful! Well, in small doses. According to Stephen Dehoul, a psychologist and addiction therapist, hate-watching allows us to release our impulses, guilt-free. "Finding pleasure in watching a movie or a show for which you only feel hatred, disgust or contempt, allows your unconscious to release aggressive impulses without anyone getting hurt," he explained to HuffPost.

A kind of catharsis that can, however, easily become addictive. "It's a kind of anaesthetic addiction, devoid of any reflex or intuition, it's a form of enjoyment," says Stephen Dehoul. Yum... What are you watching tonight?