The Year In Hate-Watching: 10 TV Shows/Movies Buzzfeed Hate-Watched

There was a time when we watched TV shows and movies because we liked them. But round about the dawn of Twitter, we wanted something else from our entertainment — namely, fodder to complain about all day and night. 2012 was the year hate-watching became our national pastime. Across the airwaves and in our multiplexes, it often seemed like people were tuning in just to find something to throw rotten eggs at. Across the landscape, we were out in force complaining about the sequels that let us down, about the cop shows that never turned over the bad guy, and the cable shows that railed away on soapboxes. America felt entertainment let them down this year, and they took to their Twitter accounts to let entertainment know it.

Here are the shows and films that inspired the highest volume of griping in 2012 and our thoughts about whether the complaints were deserved — or whether we were getting all worked up about nothing.

1. "The Newsroom"

The Aaron Sorkin HBO drama was blasted by critics for being preachy, speechy, sexist, racist, anti-technology, implausible, and just flat-out annoying. Though I consider myself to be a Sorkin fan (West Wing, A Few Good Men, Sports Night, The Social Network — love them all), I felt those things too. Yet I couldn’t stop watching The Newsroom, and I looked forward to every episode. It entertained me. I grew to genuinely love Olivia Munn’s character, Sloan Sabbith, the brilliant business anchor who seems to be on the autism spectrum (as so many TV characters do these days). The rest of it — I have no real explanation for why I watched. I just wanted to see what would happen with the relentless plotting, and I liked hearing the actors talk even if I recoiled from what they were saying. I cried a few times too; I won’t tell you when, but one instance rhymes with “wosama kin plodden.” I think a lot of HBO viewers plain old liked it, cleaving from critics and hate-watchers; it drew an average of 7.1 million per week, according to HBO. The arguments around it, and the show itself, made 2012 more interesting. And I can’t wait for season two! —K.A.

2. "Prometheus"

Bearing the burden of impossibly high expectations, Ridley Scott’s 30 years in the thinking follow-up to Alien was bound to disappoint. But whereas The Phantom Menace was such an obvious, glaring disaster that even its supporters went scrambling for cover, Prometheus dazzled them with just enough fancy effect work and just enough smoldering acting, and managed to keep the plot just barely this side of plausible that people left feeling like they had seen something. It was only later, upon examination, it began to dawn that the intricate plot contortions added up to more spinning wheels than coherent movement in any direction. And while Scott was busy crafting a world with the newest toolkit full of glossy effects wizardry, he forgot to add the things that made the original film work: suspense, tension, and thrills. For all its glitz, Prometheus is shockingly, stunningly boring — and that's something no one would have thought possible of an Alien film. Even Alien vs. Predator managed to be fun. The world waited 31 years for a new Ridley Scott Alien film. Six months after it arrived, it's like we’ve all forgotten it ever happened. —R.R.

3. NBC Olympic Coverage

I have almost nothing to say about this topic because I was so bothered by the time-difference delays and trying to avoid “spoilers” for events I consider news that I stopped watching the Olympics after one day of attempted immersion. I’ve loved the Olympics my whole life. What’s most depressing is that the network has no incentive to change its approach, because the ratings were huge. Oh, and I also found the NBC Web options to suck. #NBCFail! Fail! —K.A.

4. "The Master"

I’d like to advance the theory that anyone who says they enjoyed The Master — and there are plenty of them — is lying for his or her own nefarious agenda. I don’t know what those agendas are; someone give me a grant to study the possibilities! What a tonnage of boringness and poo this movie was. And don’t tell me the performances were good — because I don’t care! And only one of them was genuinely good, anyway (Philip Seymour Hoffman, that is: Joaquin Phoenix was a twitchy, mannered mess). For me to feel this way about anything having to do with Scientology — I love everything about Scientology. I would watch cats getting their E-meters read. (Actually, that sounds wonderful: Make it happen, Internet!) The Master. Grrr. —K.A.

5. "Smash"

There was a time when NBC’s musical drama about the making of a stage musical seemed like it might actually be good. But then it became something much better than good — it became wonderfully, deliciously bad. Smash was bad in ways that no television show had ever dared. It was bad in scenes that seemed like something ripped out of a misguided high school production. The stereotypes went so large they broke through the roof and climbed up the side of the Empire State Building. There were delinquent teenagers yearning for the orphan sisters they would never know. Scheming assistants who poison stars’ smoothies. Farm girls with straw in their hair who dream in Bollywood production numbers. Out-of-control rock gods blowing their cash on Broadway musicals. The show had it all! And every few minutes, they break into song. While the fans watched, mouths agape, Smash quickly ceased being a mere hate-watch victim. To the amazed legions who stood behind it, there was no better spectacle on the air, and in the end, the fear wasn’t that NBC would ruin the show, but that they might make it better. —R.R.

Buzzfeed's 10 TV Shows/Movies that they Hate-Watched
1. The Newsroom
2. Prometheus
3. NBC Olympic Coverage
4. The Master
5. Smash
6. The Killing
7. The Avengers vs. Dark Knight
8. The Good Wife
9. Mad Men
10. Twilight