Friday, December 23, 2011

Chris Colley's TV Blog*'s 10 Lumps of Scripted TV Coal I Received And Watched In 2011 (Euphemism For 10 Worst, Because Worst Is Too Strong)

I gave you my 10 favorite shows, now it's time for me to tell you about 10 shows I was extremely disappointed in during 2011.  A lot of these shows were canceled, or are going to be canceled.  One will end up on the list just because of how the season ended.  Shame on them for that, and I hope this list doesn't bring back too many terrible flashbacks to those who have tried to forget them.  Being ranked number 1 on this list means I thought you were the worst of the worst.  Being ranked on this list doesn't mean I didn't watch every episode (or even that it was overtly terrible), it's just that I thought the shows could have been done a lot better.  However, some of these shows were overtly terrible, and yet I still couldn't avert my eyes.

1.
Whitney (NBC)

Congratulations, Whitney Cummings, you are the weakest link, goodbye!  This was a show that had some good potential.  Unfortunately for it, it was taken over by Whitney and her gross boyfriend.  Seeing these two pretty unattractive people partake in role playing sex games for the first four episodes was enough to make me tune out forever.  I'm not sure I laughed even once at this show.  I think shows like this are what happens when egos get out of control.  I am sincerely hoping it has terrible ratings in its new time slot, so no one else has to be subjected to what I feel might possibly be the worst sitcom I have ever seen in my life.  Even The Ben Stiller Show (FOX) was better than this.

 2.
Charlie's Angels (ABC)

Seriously, what the hell was that?  If you make a show that is completely devoid of substance, no matter how cool it looks, it has no chance.  This show took a popular bubble gum TV show, with a series of successful movies that followed, and turned it into one of the most unwatchable pieces of crap I have seen in a long time.  ABC seems to be completely clueless when it comes to casting.  With even one compelling cast member, maybe it could have been saved.  Good riddance.

3.
Prime Suspect (NBC)

For a solid month, I kept asking, "Why is this show still on TV?"  When looking at bad TV shows, this is a prime example of how you botch a show.  I think Peter Berg will ultimately lose a few of his golden boy points over at Universal, with this one.  If he had watched the ITV Prime Suspect, and forced the cast to watch that series, maybe it wouldn't have been such a colossal joke.  If they did watch it, then I am even more embarrassed with how this series turned out.  It got it wrong just about everywhere, with procedure being one of the most glaringly common problems.  The casting was brutal on this show, and shows how easy it is to make characters completely unlikable, just by how they're played.  Shame on the people behind this show, for not getting what they were doing wrong, and shame on NBC for not getting rid of it sooner.  This is an easy genre to get right, and these people did it so wrong.  The fact that I turned off a show that I was interested in, from the get go, before it was canceled, shows how wrong it really went.

4.
The Event (NBC)

You didn't think this would get left off the list, did you?  This show was the most must see piece of crap I have ever seen.  Ask anyone who's seen it, and they will tell you they watched it to the end.  If you actually liked the show, however, I feel really really sorry for you.  They also have doctors that can treat the many issues you are likely to have.

5.
State of Georgia (ABC Family) 

It pains me so much to have to write this, because I love me some Raven.  The main characters were cast very well, and even some of the side characters.  However, the vast majority of storylines and writing, in this show, were complete crap.  When Raven can't make your writing leap off the page, your show has no chance to be successful.  The true bright spot of the series was Loretta Devine's brilliant and sick portrayal of Aunt Honey.  The show was worth watching just to see what ridiculous things she would say.

6. 
Law & Order:  Los Angeles (LOLa, NBC)

Congratulations, Dick Wolf!  You managed to destroy the entire Law & Order franchise over the period of less than one year.  This show did such a great disservice to the franchise, and made me long for Criminal Intent to come back on NBC.  I was hoping we would get more of those episodes, but it died a painful death, as well.  NBC re-cast LOLa when it wasn't necessary, and then we were forced to see what could have been, when Skeet Ulrich's character rose from the dead during last summer's burn off.  Had NBC not made bad decisions with this show, in addition to many of the other laughable things about it, this show likely would have seen a second season.  I love watching shows that are shot in L.A., but they never figured out what they wanted the series to be. :(

7.
Hawthorne (TNT)

I was asked by friend Magalie N. to write something up about this show.  My wife was already watching it, and I was pretty aware of what was going on.  Needless to say, this show was Hyperdrama on the fake.  Everything was just so over the top, and overwrought.  However, they had a mastery of how to make you want to watch the next episode, at the end of each previous episode.  For that, it was special.  You couldn't avert your eyes, no matter how much you wanted to.

8.
Body of Proof (ABC)

This show is ending up on the list because it is never going to live up to the potential I saw in it, in the first season.  From teasing us with necessary casting changes, to having to watch all the women in this show wearing the tightest most unprofessional clothes they can find, to seeing goofy love interest type storylines, this show just has never gotten anything right.  If they had made the threatened changes, the show would have been able to move on into something better.  Instead, it's just the same old turd it always was.  For that, its reward, at the end of the season, will be cancellation.

9.
The Big C (Showtime)

I didn't think it was possible to screw up such a great show.  However, it happened.  Season 1 was almost a masterpiece, for this series (minus the Jenny Bicks episodes), but season 2 was nearly an unmitigated disaster.  Everyone began to focus on nothing they should have, and the whole show just spiraled into total mediocrity.  Now that poor a-hole kid of Cathy's will have to deal with losing both parents next year.  I don't understand how they can feel good about where they've taken the show.  Season 1 frequently had me in tears, but season 2 only got me at the end, because of how much they bombarded us with in the final episode of the season.  It was predictable, but the final episode was handled in a touching way (only thanks to Darlene Hunt's amazing character writing skills), that gives me hope that next season will be worth watching.

10.
Homeland (Showtime)

I also put this show on my 10 favorite shows of 2011.  You will see my rage vented over the next couple of weeks about this series.  The season had one of the most underwhelming endings I've ever seen for a TV show.  There were so many better directions they could have gone, but they took the easiest.  With the real death of Tom Walker, now we probably won't ever know what ticks behind our resident terrorists on the show.  It's rare something makes me as angry as this, but this did it.  I was happier with how Hawthorne ended, and it was equally ridiculous.  The makers of this show will never get the benefit of my doubt, again. They can't be trusted, but that doesn't mean I won't continue watching the show.  Even though I know this series will be nominated for numerous awards, I hope it doesn't win a single one of them.  In all honesty, it doesn't deserve to win anything, now that the writers completely sold out where the show could have gone.  Shame on the writers, and shame on Showtime.

There you have the "other" list of 10 shows, the one you don't really want to be on.  I hope it was enjoyable.  Thanks for reading.

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