Television has a strange way or bringing people together. The shows people enjoy are like exclusive clubs with fans of one show or another exchanging secret handshakes and quotes. Put any ten people in one room and any two of them probably share some show’s fandom and consequently become instant friends. Never fear, however, for there is another way to connect with your fellow man that doesn’t involve having to make deep- cut quotes from "Better Off Ted."
For whatever reason, while liking a show is an insider’s club, hating a show is open to everybody. Nothing quite brings a room together like bad television. You can make more friends hating "Rock of Love" than giving out free cookies. Try it.
So, our gift to you for this new social experiment is a list of the ten TV series that suck the hardest. These are the shows too bad to even be a trivia punchline in 10 years. Read on, Cravers, then go outside, complain loudly, and make some new friends!
This is another show that might be unfairly on this list, not because it didn’t suck… which it DID, but because we are holding it to the standard of previous seasons. This season was so bad in comparison to what came before (How bad was it?) that its almost criminal (Get it? Murder. Crime. We’re geniuses here at Crave Online, I tells ya!) .
It even managed to stink with the addition of guests like Julia Stiles and Peter Weller who normally bring a show well into the “good” range; or at least into the “not stink” range. The folks behind "Dexter," which was America’s darling just a short time ago, might do well to go through their writing staff with the ferocity of their serial killer protagonist and start fresh.
"Dexter’s" positive momentum will drive in an audience for another season despite the missteps we saw this year, but if we see more of the same then it’s time put an end to the charming, murderous family man.
9: SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Nobody is surprised that this good old TV stand-by has good and bad seasons, but considering how wonderfully it seemed to have found its legs in the past few years, the current season of "SNL" has been a huge disappointment. Sketch shows really only have to do one thing well to hold an audience and that’s seem like there might be better next sketch if you just keep watching.
You’ll sit through the worst sketch you’ve ever seen if something good might be around the corner. (It kind of reminds me of the early days of MTV.) This year that idea is starting to fade away with punches pulled and characters brought back again and again that weren’t funny when we first met them. If someone would cut the show down into the music acts, Weekend update, and the digital short… well it would blow its longer form parent out of the water.
Kick it into gear SNL! Or expect to have one of your “let us never speak of it again” years in 2011. If it gets any worse, I hear they’ll consider bringing Mary Gross and Denny Dillon back to recapture the audience they lost in those early 1980‘s years.
8: REALITY TV… All of It.
If you think back you can remember the stink caused by early reality television. It doesn’t exactly paint humanity in the best light and it was worse in its portrayal of Americans. Now we’ve gone from what, in retrospect, seems harmless in "Road Rules" (and all its spin-offs) to things like "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" and about 10 shows about people being fat.
If you get a second watch any of a dozen sci-fi shows about aliens learning everything they know of humanity by watching out TV shows. Then consider "Jersey Shore." Try to hold it together. Unfortunately, networks will crank this video-crap out as long as people watch it and talk about it. If you care about the art of entertainment, join me in my quest to do neither in 2011!
This show must have seemed like a sure thing to the higher ups at the SyFy channel. Its not dissimilar from their flagship shows like "Eureka" or "Warehouse 13" and it’s based on a Stephen King story. Plus it takes a lot of its concept from classic television heavy hitters like "The X-Files."
Sadly, "Haven" SUCKS. The show has failed to break out of it’s inherently formulaic nature. Worse, the show strains the willing suspension of disbelief each and every episode. How does this small town not notice all the supernatural effects?! This is made worse by the ongoing conspiracy that suggests every character is involved in the over arching plot. But if this is the case then why does everybody seem surprised by every turn of events in every episode?!
The amount of holes in the writing of this show are so staggering that you can’t help but wait for the characters to just look into camera and give you the “I don’t know either!” gesture. Still, with another season coming and the continuing legitimizing factor of a Stephen King related script, there is a chance that "Haven" will pull itself together. That King connection is tenuous however, with the plot of the source story “The Colorado Kid” being so far from what we’ve seen on screen that it’s barely the work of the master!
In the end, "Haven" will probably continue to suck, as the poorly sewn plot threads continue to unravel. One of the characters is already her own mother after all. Oh and SyFy canceled "Stargate Universe" and "Caprica" in favor of shows like this. Life is GREAT.
This show has got to have been on the drawing board for a long time. The simple idea of a guy forced to follow his office to a foreign country has been making network executives salivate from the moment the concept of outsourcing came into being. Add to that the rise of Bollywood movies after "Slumdog Millionaire" and, boom, instant hit, right?!
This show just shoots far too low to be worth watching. Racist and overwrought, it’s a wonder this show has made it this far. What’s even more amazing is that it’s in such good company. That this show is in the same comedy block as titans like "30 Rock," "The Office" and "Community" is a slap in the face to the viewer.
Rumor has it that "Outsourced" owes its longevity to being a big diversity card for NBC, which may or may not be true. But look for "Outsourced" to be shipped off as soon as a worthy diverse show pops up on the network. In other news, CBS is bringing back "Amos & Andy" to show their diversity.
5: NO ORDINARY FAMILY
While the cast never seemed to be a good fit, this show about a normal family that develops superpowers seemed like a possible "Incredibles"- like success. Sadly though, it seems clear that the writers couldn’t get it out of park. Each episode of this show seems just like the one before it. All the characters ended up being one note, with the worst being dear old Dad, (the guy who gave us "The Shield," Ben Grimm, Curly Howard and John Belushi!) who apparently is the glue that holds his family together” but wants nothing more than to risk his life fighting supervillains instead of spending another day at home.
The writing also shows a real lack of understanding of super-powered characters with constant mishandling of the daughter’s mind reading (How can a MIND READER get so many things wrong?) and nearly every villain they cobble together. While this show has more episodes coming, its unlikely it will get better as every episode is the same every time out.
They could pay me the money they used to promote this piece of crap at Comic Con and I could hire a group of kids from Kinder Care to come up with better plots.
The CW’s entire lineup was considered for this list, and the worst of the worst has to be "Nikita." There are very few shows who give their audience less credit than this leggy action drama-whatever. Hot people and guns will only get you so far… is a sentence the CW has apparently near heard.
They need to learn the early 90‘s are over! ("Thunder in Paradise," anyone?) The sad part about this show is that a lot of talent is attached, and they’re all underused. While the other CW vehicles can shrug off the network’s predictable plots, this show, a SPY show, needs to keep the audience guessing and it doesn’t. We look forward to following the cast in other projects once this 9th or so retelling of "La Femme Nikita" goes the way of its predecessors.
3: $#*! MY DAY SAYS
This show was based on a twitter feed. ‘Nuff said.
2: THE CLEVELAND SHOW
The only reason this show hasn’t been canceled yet is because everything Seth MacFarlane touches seems to turn to gold. Defenders of this show (mainly 4th grade boys with too much access to Internet message boards) remind us that "American Dad" took a long time to find its legs, too.
I think that’s a little short sighted. "Family Guy" was a knockoff (knock = rip) of "The Simpsons," but the contemporary animated prime-time sitcom genre was still young. "American Dad", too, was in a world that hadn’t reached a glut of family based animated comedy. Now, "The Cleveland Show" is trying to re-walk the well worn path, but 4th on the scene is not the same as 3rd.
In addition to being very formulaic, this show is also racist, and sophomoric. 5 years ago we might have embraced this show, but in a world with "Archer," "The Venture Bros." and the new incarnation of "Futurama" there is no place for this show on television. Furthermore, it’s just not funny.
1: THE EVENT
Much like the crown of a very obscure country, now that "Lost" is off the air, first in a line of pretenders is after its title is this crazy show nobody understands. Sadly, keeping secrets from the viewer is not good writing and this flashback happy show just isn’t working.
But so elusive (and profitable) is the "Lost" viewership that I fear this stinker will be on the air until it’s clear it just can’t cut it. But use "Flashforward" as an example of the difficulty of capturing whatever magic "Lost" had. I fear the executives who are keeping this show on the air will flash back to that decision more than once. The advertising campaign for this show kept saying whatever was happening on the show was “Not the Event.”
Well, "The Event" is NOT LOST. But the viewers are!
Like this list? Well, thank you! (I’m presuming you did.) But if you’d prefer some positivity in your TV coverage, then check out Crave Online’s television reviewing podcast, The Idiot Box featuring Crave Online Television Editor Blair Marnell and me, with new episodes posted every Monday here and on iTunes!
Sax Carr is a writer/producer/podcaster for various web outlets including Geekscape.net and Podpocalypse.com. Born in Maine and escaping to LA at the young age of 28, Sax is also a comedian, comic book historian, and cat fancier. Each article comes with the Sax Carr Promise that he won’t hold back his opinions even after American declares him a loose cannon and forces him into whatever hole they have prepared for Perez Hilton.