The Most Hate-Watchable Programs of 2014
If pop culture were a person, 2014’s television was its taint. With greats like Breaking Bad and The Colbert Report ending their storied runs and few new programs providing anything of value,1 there was plenty to hate in TV during 2014. However, all of this shit brought a wonderful opportunity: more hate-watching. Though many of the worst programs were leftovers from years before, some newcomers marked their territory as partners-in-trash.2 Here are the most hate-watch-worthy programs of 2014:
A to Z:
Over the last few years, many have speculated that NBC has cancelled niche comedy favorites like 30 Rock and Community because the network wants to reach a broader audience. Eager to prove everyone wrong, NBC produced A to Z, showing the world they don’t like high-quality or successful comedies. A to Z, a series-length rom-com3, lasted all of five episodes before it was cancelled. However, what makes A to Z a truly incredible hate watch is the fact that NBC is continuing to air the remaining episodes in its 13-episode order. Watching A to Z is like watching that person who thinks they’re better than everyone pee their pants and then walk a mile home in their soaked khakis; sure, you feel a little bad – but you know they deserve it and can’t help but watch each squishy step.
American Horror Story: Freakshow
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are the cocky amateur jugglers of the television world: they throw as many objects into the air as they possibly can, then celebrate themselves without worrying about how they’re going to catch them (SPOILER ALERT: They don’t.). At the end of AHS: Coven, it became infuriating to watch Murphy and Falchuk sacrifice writing, character development, and about every other important part of the show to focus on nonsensical twists and turns. Now, my weekly routine doesn’t feel complete without watching Freakshow just to be able to complain about the shit Murphy and Co. have decided to add without any regard for the rest of the story. I honestly can’t wait for the midseason finale of the upcoming American Crime Story, when Nicole Brown Simpson will come back to life before Johnny Cochran realizes it was all a dream… OR WAS IT?!?! DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN.
Chrisley Knows Best:
Chrisley Knows Best is the definition of a hate-watch show. The show is a cavalcade of insufferable twatstains that knows no bounds. There is no “person”4 on the show that adds even a modicum of worth to society. Honestly, the only good thing about Chrisley Knows Best is that the people unfortunate enough to catch a moment of it while waiting for Psych reruns on USA (who had the fucking nerve to renew Chrisley for a THIRD SEASON) are reminded why the frosted tips trend is dead and never coming back.
ESPN’s First Take
The ESPN early afternoon talk show First Take is an incredible testament to what happens when a network decides ratings are more important than human decency. Under the guise of “open debate,” First Take’s Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless have used their given platform this year to discuss why women should prevent themselves from getting beaten, how rape can increase shoe sales, and why it’s totally cool to keep gay athletes out of professional sports – among other stupid claims. Yeah. That all happened. First Take is the perfect program for any person who fears they have grown emotionally numb. After five minutes of the vomit-covered shit ESPN calls “television,” even the most jaded person will be ready to throw their television out of a window.
“Peter Pan Live”
Before the airing of NBC’s “Peter Pan Live” special, star Allison Williams pleaded with the Internet to not “hate-watch” the program. Unfortunately for Williams, she failed to understand telling the Internet not to be mean is like telling a drunk person they can’t dance or sing – it’s a challenge, not a request. Between stage lighting struggles, general weirdness, and Allison William’s uncanny resemblance to her father (THE Brian Williams), it was almost too easy to find something to mock in what surely had to one of the most profitable programs ever watched purely out of spite.
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) December 5, 2014