Some things are almost too easy to hate, so why not take a risk and hate something that’ll get people real hot n’ bothered? If you can’t think of something on your own (the internet has made it incredibly easy to find people who hate anything, even people of other races, which is very bad!) I have a few surprising things that basically no one hates that would stun people to find out you hated…
It’s both fairly common and very easy to take shots at more recent seasons of The Simpsons (although it seems to have swung back to people considering somewhere between «fine» and «good» in recent years) but seasons three until about 10 are about as beloved as a TV show can be. It was a defining influence on almost an entire generation of comedians, and some incredible talent has come out of the show’s writer’s room. I honestly don’t know that I could think of a show that would be more taboo to bad mouth, and I truly believe that people would get genuinely angry at you for doing it.
Great British Bake-Off
This is the most gentle show on television (though, I haven’t seen the most recent season that features a new judge and host) and I honestly couldn’t imagine how you could hate it. Maybe it’s not for you; fair enough, nothing is for everybody. But to actively hate a show that is still compelling despite no one being overly competitive or mean to each other… what kind of a monster are you?
Every single massively critically beloved HBO show has detractors; a lot of people think The Wire is boring, or that Deadwood is too crass and violent, or that Sex & the City hasn’t aged well. The exception to that rule, however, is The Sopranos, the show that kicked off our current golden age of television. Sure, lots of people haven’t seen it, and it’s not as talked about as it once was, but the show is maybe the most well-reviewed in TV history and was also a massive commercial success. It was the show that turned HBO from TV to HBO. Hating it would very much rile people up (hell, I’m getting annoyed just thinking about it) so you better come prepared with specifics, because it’s a show that a very pedantic type of TV watcher very much loves.
I bet a lot of you don’t watch Veep, which is fine; political farce is not for everybody, even if it is exceptionally well done. It has a central performance from Julia Louis-Dreyfus that has won six Emmys, and the show itself has won three. It’s one of those shows that someone either loves, or is not familiar with. And those people who are familiar with it would be… extremely pissed if someone talked trash about it.
Adults who love children’s shows are particularly protective of what they love, and I can’t think of a cartoon as beloved as Adventure Time by adults since SpongeBob SquarePants, which maybe attracted a different sort of demographic. Anyway, Adventure Time is a complicated show that sometimes portrays incredibly adult themes in a way kids wouldn’t mind, so it’s exactly the type of thing people would fly off the handle if they thought it was being insulted. People love TV with inter-generational appeal.
The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
Now, I can’t imagine anyone who’s reading this has seen more than maybe a few clips on YouTube of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. He didn’t create the thing, but he was the guy who revolutionized late night TV. And man, the way entertainment old timers talk about this show in reverential hushed tones about what a great interviewer Carson was and how naturally funny he could be, they’d become absolutely hysterical if some kid was bagging on it (especially since they’d be unable to figure out how you’d actually seen it).
Freaks & Geeks
Freaks & Geeks is probably the gold standard for single-season TV shows that become cult hits. You could maybe point to Firefly, but in recent years there’s been a definite backlash against Joss Whedon and some of his sensibilities. Paul Feig has experienced no such backlash — people like the guy a lot (his preference for women as the leads in his movies has certainly caused some positive feelings towards him) and, other than Ghostbusters, his movies have all been at least moderate successes. And honestly, Spy is one of the most underrated comedies I’ve ever seen. Freaks & Geeks is his sensibility distilled to its purest essence; tales of grade school humiliation that are often funny and never devolve into smarmy sentimentality. It’s a show I have never heard anyone dislike (it’s also probably the least-seen show on this list) but hey, you’re a creative person — give it a shot. As a bonus, since so many people can relate through their own childhoods to the show, it’s a little like you’re attacking them on a very personal level. That oughtta rile ’em up!
Wow, I sure do write about «hate» as a general concept a lot. I’m fine!
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