Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Worst TV of 2011

Jason Gann and Elijah Wood in "Wilfred"

So, after last night's "Best of TV" post, it's time for my "Worst of TV" post. And this was actually a much harder list for Uncle P to compile. Sadly, there was simply a plethora of terrible shows last fall. A few years back, there was a writers' strike and many shows were hurt. The ones that weren't managed to retain whatever uniqueness they had to carry them through the worst. The others all fell by the wayside and the networks have been scrambling to find the next "Lost" or "Madmen." The glut of terrible which ensued resulted in this year having an Eleven Worst List (cue dramatic music)!* So, lets get started, shall we?

11. "Free Agents" (NBC). Mega-talented Hank Azaria ("The Simpsons;" The Bird Cage) and the always interesting Kathryn Hahn (Anchorman; Our Idiot Brother) starred as co-workers who "accidentally" sleep together. I think they were copywriters or something. I don't know. It didn't last long enough for me to actually figure it out. I was sad, because it's excellent cast deserved a much better show. Worst adaptation of a British comedy since "Coupling."

10."Whitney" (NBC) Comedian and "Chelsea Lately" panelist Whitney Cummings may be funny on stage at a comedy club, but she's just annoying in her own sitcom. It took half of one episode for me to decide I hated everything about it.

9. "Wilfred" (FX). Another adaptation of a Brit-com Oz-Com (I hope I just coined a phrase), this time starring the original Wilfred. Elijah Wood is a depressed schmoe who makes lame attempts at suicide until a neighbor asks him to watch her dog, Wilfred. To everyone else, Wilfred is an adorable and irresistible dog. To Elijah, he's a pot-smoking; wise-cracking; leg-humping booze-hound (all puns intended) in a dog suit. OK. Funny premise? Check. Hit show abroad? Check. Original star? Check. All systems are go? No. What a shame. The writing on "Wilfred" is beyond sophomoric (and not in a good way). Wilfred is just a d*ck, rather than the Harvey/Jiminy/Donkey that would make him likeable. Bad show! Bad, bad show!

8. "Two Broke Girls" (CBS). Whitney Cummings strikes out again as creator of yet another show with a fun premise that fails on almost every level. Lame jokes about hipsters; a sadly miscast Kat Dennings and racial stereotypes do nothing to help this show. Still, there are two things that may make it worth a look. First, Garrett Morris is back on TV! (Don't you dare ask me who Garrett Morris is!) Sadly, he probably won't be for long. And then there's breakout star Beth Behrs. This is how to play quirky, smart and funny, Zooey Deschanel! I hope this isn't her one and only. I think she's going to be one to watch.

7. "Last Man Standing" (ABC). Tim Allen, tired of making family movies, returns to TV in a sexist, homophobic and unfunny version of his old show, with daughters instead of sons. Hahahahahahahaha... NOT!

6. "Once Upon a Time" (ABC). Quite possibly even dumber than "Dark Shadows" (though infinitely less entertaining), "Once Upon a Time" is just silly. Mostly using the Disney versions of fairy tale characters (Disney owns ABC) without employing a hint of irony, "Once Upon a Time" is a soap opera for kids, which makes me sad. It makes me sadder that the talented Lana Parilla is stuck in this ridiculous show. I guess a paycheck's a paycheck.

5. "Terra Nova" (FOX). Delayed by a year for re-tooling, this Spielberg produced Sci-Fi Actioner should be a billion times better than it is. I slogged through the slow-moving pilot and knew a dog when I saw one. Yawn... I don't imagine we'll see a second season of this expensive stinker.

4. "Pan Am" (ABC). The meeting went something like this: "Madmen is hot!" "We need a show set in the sixties!" "What was sexy in the sixties?" "Stewardesses!" "Yes! Now what airline is out of business and can't sue us?" Lord knows they tried, even adding a spy subplot (how James Bond of them!). Even the talented Christina Ricci couldn't make this show watchable. We won't talk about how in the decade when everyone smoked, Disney won't allow smoking in its "historical" drama.

3. "Charlie's Angels" (ABC). Really?

2. "New Girl" (FOX). Okay, I don't know a single gay man who would put up with Zooey Deschanel's 'Jess' on "New Girl," let alone three straight guys. I don't get it. I have loved her in many things, Elf and The Hitchhiker's Guide... among them. I just want to smack the hell out of every person involved with this show. This is what happens when terrible movies like Juno and Lost in Translation are inexplicable hits.

1. "Two and a Half Men" (CBS). I won't even get into the whole "Winning" nonsense. This show has never been and will never be funny, no matter who it stars. The only show on this list that isn't new, "2.5M" has always been a comedy about d*ck jokes; boobs; booze; drugs; hookers; excess and stupidity. None of that changed this season with the addition of Ashton Kutcher. I always feel like I need a shower after watching this show. Yuck.

There were so many bad shows this season.  Dishonorable Mentions to: The Jersey Shore; Mike and Molly; Prime Suspect; Unforgettable; Any So-Called ‘Reality’ Show; Everything Kardashian; Allen Gregory; How to Be a Gentleman; I Hate My Teenage Daughter and almost countless others.

I'm already jonesing for "The Closer!"

*Yes, I know it's actaully a prairie dog!

More, anon.

1 comment:

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Eep Terra Nova. I liked that show. Maybe I just liked the men and the dinosaurs. I could give a shit about the plot at that point.