Ugh. Last week, 6.1 million people tuned in for the series premiere of Work It. The only logical conclusion for how that happened is … at least 4 million of those people were kidding. Right? Not that it matters to ABC. Whether you’re watching or hate-watching, ABC still gets the ratings and the ad revenue. And while Work It was the lowest-rated show in its time slot, 6.1 million people is still a lot more than 3.6 million, the amount who watched a recent Parks and Recreation. My point: YOU DON’T NEED TO WATCH WORK IT AS A JOKE. I am doing that FOR YOU. The less you watch, the sooner this will all be over.
Jake Fogelnest has been hate-recapping Work It for Vulture and it’s fantastic. It’s always a good time when a funny writer cleverly takes down a deplorable show. He opens with a really good point, albeit one that I’m a total hypocrite for agreeing with considering approximately half of this website, and most of my life, revolves around terrible television. Of course, it’s easy to justify this because cable is expensive and therefore 99.9% of my television watching is done via the internet. Notable exceptions: Community and Parks & Recreation, though invading a friend’s living room every week hasn’t exactly doubled those ratings. But I did watch the premiere of Work It when it aired last week and I spent the entire time feeling like I was covered in a layer of grime. This wasn’t just because the show was absolutely vile (although it definitely was) but also because for thirty minutes, I was part of the problem; I was one of the millions of people choosing to watch an awful show — and I was doing it because I knew it would be awful. On the one hand, it’s fun to hate-watch shows! It’s curiosity, it’s boredom, it’s wanting to add to the vitriolic conversation happening in real time on the internet, and it’s reassurance that all of those shitty pilot scripts you secretly write are somehow better than something that’s actually on television. But on the other hand, networks don’t differentiate between hate-watching a show and sincerely watching a show. It’s weird to know that you’re essentially helping out the enemy — and there is no greater enemy than a television show centered around the term ”mancession” — but at the end of the day, it probably doesn’t matter because a) have you ever met anyone with a Nielsen box? and b) despite this, we’re still going to watch NBC’s Happy Hour block tonight. So really this is just about thinking too much about nothing and also a long way to reiterate that Work It is the worst show currently on television and I’m totally on board with leaving the hate-watching solely to Fogelnest.