PopWatch Confessional: Have you ever inexplicably enjoyed something you should hate?

Whitney-show-premiere_320.jpg

Image Credit: Jordin Althaus/NBC

I can’t tell you how much I wanted to dislike Whitney. Despise, even. Between the cornball teasers for the series and the infuriating posters that assaulted my eyes at every turn in New York City (they might as well have just read: “Women: Aren’t those shrews the worst?!”), I figured I was poised to hate the premiere. Based on the marketing, it seemed like the series would be dated, desperate, and insulting to every fiber of my female being.

And what do you know? It was dated, desperate, and insulting to every fiber of my female being. As my colleague Stephan Lee noted, there was a joke about Kegels, which would have been risqué if it was 1998 and the show was called Will & Grace; a long, extended scene in which Cummings wore nothing but a naughty nurse outfit seemingly in an effort to scream at viewers, funny can be sexy! Right? Right?!; and the notion that there are women out there who are actually like wedding-obsessed lucky-in-love Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones) and sad, bitter, lonely, hates-lipstick-more-than-men Roxanne (Rhea Sheehorn). And yet… I laughed.

I can’t explain it, PopWatchers. Perhaps it was Chris D’Elia’s contagious charm, or maybe my own concussion a few weeks back (oh, booze — why can’t you keep me standing up?) has jiggled things around in my brain, but I laughed. I just couldn’t help it: As soon as Whitney, knee socks-deep in role play, told boyfriend Alex that he needed to actually fill out medical forms during her naughty doctor act, I found myself giggling as hard as the contrived live studio audience. Sure, Whitney might not be a well-developed main character, and most of the gags only invite eye rolls, but is it possible the show was… actually funny? No, probably not, but I’m really hoping the series improves — if only to help justify my own behavior watching the show last night.

Which leads me to my question for you guys, PopWatchers: Have you ever found yourself inexplicably enjoying something you should hate? I’m about to admit something extremely embarrassing: When I went to watch From Justin to Kelly… in theaters… with my mom, I walked out of the theaters giddy with how much I took delight in something so patently awful. And just so you don’t judge me, let me say here that my favorite movie is All About Eve.

Now, head to the comments — I can already tell I should buckle my seat belt for a bumpy ride.

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

Read more:
‘Whitney’ premiere: Jokes are tired, but there may be potential

Comments (230 total) Add your comment
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  • Taylor

    Yes, I really want to hate Glee but I watch it every week, I just can’t turn it off. Yes, I know its a shame. I also try to hate Lea Michele but I click on almost (I said almost people) any article with her headlined and I don’t bother turning my television chanel when is she is talked. .which is
    95% of the time. Ugh, I hate these confessions. Trust me.

    • Kathy

      Lea Michele is really lovely, that’s probably why you (and I) click on all of her articles. She’s beautiful to look at. As for being annoying, it’s the show that made her that way – she’s given way too many songs and she sings the same every time.

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      • Erin

        “Lea Michele is really lovely, that’s probably why you (and I) click on all of her articles.”
        How do you know she is really lovely know her personally? All That l’ve read and seen screams that she’s very Rachel Berry in real life i.e. annoying and attention seeking.

        But I digress, I don’t particularly hate her, I hate myself for still tuning into Glee when it’s on. Dont seek it out – but I still watch that mess. Same with House though I can somewhat forgive myself for that as it used to be my favorite show and it used to be good. And Vampire Diaries… I rooted against it in the beginning. The premise was bad, the pilot was bad and the Twilight hype had me barfing in anticipation. But then it actually got good, and I came to love my once hated nemesis.

      • Lance

        @Eric, you’re contradicting yourself. You base your opinion on someone who YOU don’t know and base it on things you have “read”. You don’t know Lea Michele from Adam. Tabloids and gossip are always 95% false. It’s funny because all I’ve ever heard and read is that she is the exact opposite of the neurotic mess she portrays on television. Who knows? And at the end of the day, who cares? She dosen”t owe us anything. But I 120% agree with you about House and VD.

      • Angela

        It’s so hard to separate a lot of the actors from their onscreen characters, which is too bad because I think a lot of them have genuine talent and would be able to show it if they got even a decent script to work with.

    • Will

      I actually really dislike glee. But yes, I watch it. But like I really dislike it…I mean I “Jersey Shore” dislike it

    • Pierce Hawthorne

      ok I should hate “The View” I despise Sherri Sheppard, and mildly sislike Joy and Elizabeth, and yet I DVR it every day, and watch!

      • Chocobox

        Ha, you and me both Pierce.

    • Person

      I have a reverse from what Kate ward said:
      I tried so hard to like inception. I really wanted to see it and love it and went opening day. When it was over, I tried to convince myself I liked it but I couldn’t. I REALLY wanted to love it.

  • Blitz

    I don’t care for Meryl Streep. I wanted to hate Bridges of Madison County, and I did. I wanted to hate Mama Mia, and I did [while still loving Abba]. I wanted to hate The Devil Wears Prada, but I loved it. Go figure.

    • samantha

      OMG I LOVE YOU! I can’t stand her either yet everyone is obsessed!

    • jules

      Me too…and much as I love “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” her voice/character work (Mrs. Fox) makes me want to puke. “THEY’LL KILL THE CHILDREN’ is the line in particular that puts me over the edge.

    • Gen of Montreal

      You’re not alone in your dislike of Meryl Streep. I have said this before on EW. Everything she does screams: “look at me, I’m Meryl Streep and I’m playing this woman with an accent which makes it, by definition, totally awesome. Now, give me an Award”

  • Merry Bear

    Okay, here goes: anything with Jason Statham. The movies are generally not-so-good, he is not a great actor, the plots are often little more than Audi ads, yet I really can’t stop watching when one of his movies is on (and one is very often on).

    • Jolene

      I even dvr his fight sequences & replay them … it’s like a beautifully choreographed dance & so improbable but oddly satisfying. Don’t know what it is … I usually only watch movies with really good characters & stories. But Statham is licorice&lollipops on acid.

  • OK

    I despise reality shows. Have zero tolerance for Amazing Race, Project Runway, Jersey Shore etc. But, I’m absolutely devoted to American idol.

    • Snsetblaze

      I have to agree with this one but I’d add The Voice and Survivor to that. The rest I don’t bother with.

    • Little comment

      Jersey Shore & America’s Next Top Model

      • Jento

        ANTM for me too. Why, why, why, why? I don’t really enjoy it anymore. It takes up room on my DVR. And I can’t stop…

    • greg

      İ hate with a passion american idol. Yet i watch and like real housewives and jersey shore.

    • Angela

      I’m in the exact same boat. It’s such a terribly made show, so why can’t I officially stop watching it (I attempted to go Idol-less last season, but somehow, I got suckered in and I don’t regret that one bit)? But I can’t stand other reality TV shows; I don’t even like the other singing/talent competition shows, not even The Voice (watched the pilot and was barely able to force myself to finish it).

  • Elena

    I completely love the show H2O: Just Add Water. I know its lack of quality should give me headaches, but I just love it.

  • Sara

    Lord of the Rings. Those movies are SO not me… mythical characters and a fantasy land and such.. but I got hooked during the 2nd movie. The third movie is now in my top 10 movies of all time.

    • Mattskywalker

      Thanks Sara for saying it out loud! I hated TLOFTR because everytime Frodo showed up, i was like: Get over yourself! Get a life!
      Yet, i was hooked. Guilty pleasure…

    • Angela

      So, you feel guilty about liking something that’s acclaimed by both critics and audiences?

  • Melissa in CA

    I hate myself every summer when Big Brother starts. And I watch it.

    • SaraInSeattle

      Big Brother is just an awesome TV show with a fascinating premise. Don’t blame yourself too much :)

    • Keke

      Hahaha. So true

    • JL

      Me too. I sometimes hate everyone on the show but I still watch every episode.

  • JackieB

    Um. Whitney was a horrible pilot. Not funny at all.

    • Cameron J

      That was kind of the whole point of the article. Bad show, yet in a twisted cosmic way somehow funny.

      As for me… ugh. Does Like a G6 count? I mean, I freely like some pop music even though that apparently makes me the lowest of society to bigots. But this song is terrible, and I know that, and I listen to it. A lot. I feel dirty putting it near Hans Zimmer, the National and OneRepublic.

    • Daisy Steiner

      I agree. Not only did I not laugh, I didn’t even crack a smile. She is a terrible actor, and it’s just so cliche.

  • MJ

    Two shows I want to hate and say I don’t like in public but secretly still find myself watching them: Glee and Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t want to like them, but I do.

    • Aura Lee

      It’s Grey’s Anatomy for me. I hated it, despised it in college when all of my friends were obsessed. Then I started dating my girlfriend and she loves Grey’s so we watch it every week, somehow I have found myself both loving and hating it. I feel the shame.

      • Squishmar

        It’s not *that* shameful. The acting is great and most of the writing is good.

  • Bink

    “Celebrity Rehab.” I feel dirty for having watched it, and I loathe myself for watching it, but I guess I’m fascinated in a car-wreck kind of way. I can’t stop looking at those poor self-absorbed sick people. Maybe it makes me feel better about myself? I don’t know, but I wish I could stop looking at the TV schedule to see whether there are new episodes yet. (sigh)

  • Kaiulani

    Anything Kardashian. I just can’t help myself. I know that they are only famous for being famous (and for a sex tape) and have no talent at all, but I will watch all of their shows and can not wait to see Kim’s wedding (even though I only give the marriage 2 years) I need help!!!

    • Kathy

      I agree with this. I also detest their fake storylines – everything is so pre-planned and they are the worst actors on the planet.
      But I think I have it figured out – I watch because I’m pulled into their beauty. The way they do their makeup and hair, and the fashion. If they weren’t as attractive, no one would watch this show (see Paris’ reality TV shelf life). I have no interest whatsoever in their parents, their sisters, or their boyfriends. They just look pretty when they talk. And yes, I hate myself for watching as well.

      • etm

        Kathy, I’m with you! I never sit through a whole Kardashian episode, but I get sucked in until a commercial. One day I thought about why I was watching it and it is Kim’s beauty. I think she’s just stunning. I know it sounds ridiculous and I’d never admit this in real life :)

      • Ms. Chanandler Bong

        Sheesh me too. I get sucked in every time. Kim is my least favorite but there is something relatable about Khloe and Kourtney even though they are just as fake just better at faking?

      • mike

        there’s nothing wrong with being a lesbian.

    • maica

      I can’t even look at that chick without remembering that tape where she got it up the pooper from the rapper guy. So she can sell all the cheesy made in china clothing to trailer park trash all she wants, she’ll always be a skank with skid stains.

  • RB

    Gossip Girl, 90210 and most teen soaps. As a male I know I’m technically supposed to hate said shows but ever since The O.C came on I’ve been a devoted follower.

    • SS

      Love it!

  • Johnification

    God help me, there were jokes I laughed at in the Ashton Kutcher premiere of Two and a Half Men.

    • Pierce Hawthorne

      I laughed at the “Dharma and Greg” bit!

      • Johnification

        I am not like you, Pierce!!!

  • Confidential

    Anything Britney Spears. She has the weakest vocal range but the beats are pretty good. And Katy Perry, she an idiot but her vocal range is bananas. Keisha, another idiotwitha great voice.

    • Tisk tisk

      I’m a singing major and I love Britney Spears’ music. What does that say about me!?
      However I can’t get on the Katy Perry train.. her voice is so nasal and annoying. Also I think those notes only come out in recording (with auto tune).

    • asher

      Every time I think I am over Britney for good, she pulls me back in a little. I really want to detest her, but she’s so darn cute it’s just hard! Plus, she does have some great producers producing some great tracks.

    • soz

      Katy Perry for sure. She’s just so damn catchy! I can’t help it.

    • shebang!

      Arghhh, Katy Perry! Everything about her is so vomit inducing. You can’t even auto-tune her voice into something pleasant sounding. And yet . . . Teenage Dream! That song just takes me back to those sexy teen years. I love Brit too. The other day in the car her latest song came on and my 9 year old asked “Is this a robot singing?” LOL:) I’m all about the indie scene but I secretly love over-the-top pop divas, though I will never purchase anything by any of them.

  • Josh

    You’re awful for liking Whitney. But I like Party Rock and Katy Perry. I also loved the Drew Carey Show and Boston Legal despite the Internet hating them both. But Whitney was truly, truly horrendous.

    • jane

      i liked whitney too…. i mean, i knew it was lame, but – i laughed.

      • Josh

        How could you laugh with that laugh track ruining every joke? It laughed at every set up for a joke. Not only at the punchlines, but there were small laughs at the set up to let us know the punchline was coming. Come on!

      • marlinda

        Same. I found the boyfriend fun and liked how the characters weren’t conventionally “attractive”. And I loved that he had to fill out all the forms.

      • Stef

        I laughed at Whitney a few times too – I didn’t think it was good, but I didn’t think it was the worst thing on tv ever like everyone has seemed to believe.
        She said at the beginning “Whitney was filmed in front of a live studio audience” so no laugh track!

      • June

        I saw Whitney on KathieLee&Hoda and she was so funny. I started understanding her comedy pov … I mean, the nurse role-playing — who knows how to do that? I would probably put my BF in a hospital gown, then give him another in case he wanted to use it as a robe.

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