Sunday, December 29, 2013

Chris Colley's TV Blog*'s 10 Lumps of Scripted TV Coal I Received And Watched In 2013 (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 2013.  A lot of these shows were canceled, or are going to be canceled.  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.  Again, Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!

1. The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC)

How in the world do you make a show loosely based on Michael J. Fox's life (one of the most likable movie stars around back in the day) fail so miserably?  I have no idea, but this show proved it was possible, really really possible.  I gave up on the show after the Thanksgiving episode, and I can't imagine many people will make it to the surely bitter end this show is headed toward.  Good job, good effort, NBC, and whoever it was who couldn't figure out what they wanted to do with this show.

2. Low Winter Sun (AMC)

In a running theme, how do you make a show starring Lennie James suck?  I have no idea, but this pathetic joke of a show proved that it was possible.  It thought it was grit with no grit, stylistic with no style, telling a deliberate story while just being boring, and it ultimately was just too hard to get through.  This show was so bad that Breaking Bad fans had multiple aneurysms waiting for the promos for Breaking Bad that they would hold back until during Low Winter Sun.  This show was a complete and total disaster.  Sorry if my feelings about the show weren't clear enough.

3. Ironside (NBC)

Continuing on the theme, how do you make a show starring the lovable Blair Underwood not work?  Oh, they figured this one out, no doubt.  You make him unlikable.  You put a character as a cop who was one of the most despicable villains in Law & Order: SVU's history a cop.  WHAT THE WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, NBC?  Don't you see the episodes of your shows before they air?  Certainly you could have chopped that character right out of the show before beginning production of season 1 of Ironside, and done some re-shoots.  Or done something else, anything else.  A show with massive potential was ruined.  If it weren't for the terrible disappointments of the two shows above this, it easily could have been number 1.  Disasters like this really make me miss Law & Order: Los Angeles (the Skeet episodes), a show that seemed like a total disaster at the time.  Little did we know...

4. Red Widow (ABC)

Was a terrible show.

5. Zero Hour (ABC)

Through about 3 or 4 episodes, this was a terrible premise with excellent execution.  The execution ultimately caught up with the premise, and I have no effing idea how I made it to the end of this extremely dumb show.

6.  Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)

My breaking point was finally reached, and I gave up on the show.  I

7. The Goldbergs (ABC)

This was a show that should have resonated with me.  I was in high school in the 1980s, and this was supposed to be a show about that time.  Instead, it played the least resonating moments for me throughout the show, and had an absolutely butchered chronology.  I'm sure the intent was to make a The Wonder Years for my generation.  Instead, it just made me wonder what they were thinking, by jumping around all over the place.  It certainly has its moments, but it's definitely a disappointment, and deserving of being on this list.  That said, I'm still watching it, and will until the bitter end.

8. Revenge (ABC)

This show has been on a long ski jump ramp of suck since midway through season 1.  At the point that we found out Victoria had a son she abandoned (in addition to the daughter she abandoned), I decided to abandon the show myself.  I had no investment in the show or characters, at that point, and I had to say adios to this turdburger.

9. The Mindy Project (FOX)

Last year, this was a seriously funny show.  I felt it was EMMY caliber, especially in the writing.  Unfortunately, they kept tweaking past an advisable point, and now the show, while still watchable, is really disappointing in season 2.  It's not looking good for a renewal, and I will certainly stick around to the end.  Hopefully they'll fix some of the issues I have with the show, but it's probably way too late for that.

10. Homeland (Showtime)

Finally, this show lands on this list without being on the 10 favorites.  Why in the world did they focus like 5 episodes on the Dana character?  Who effing cares?  There were a few good episodes in the season, but if anyone was in doubt about the huge drop in quality of this show, they can't deny it anymore.  After the end of season 3, I think most people are rightly baffled in having no clue where this show is headed.  Good thing the writers have never seemed to have a clue where it's been headed since it began.  We'll see if they continue to brainstorm on the toilet in the writers' room next season, or whether this show ever reaches its full potential.  I'm going with the former.


  1. I cannot fathom that the same people who made Homeland season two and three are the same people that made season one.

    I can only wonder if Homeland suffered from its season one success and that the 'executives' did what executives do when there is a cash cow, kill it by milking it till it drops?

    It also followed the 24 script of that the next season (in this case season two) must escalate the threat far and above that of the the previous season, not just bigger, but BIGGER and of course this means you get more and more ridiculous.

    It was disheartening to see the respect that they showed the audience in season one get thrown out the window.


    Darth Teddy Bear

    1. I think the show really went downhill after episode 7. To me, they were always making it up as they went along. My eyes were opened wide when I realized that it was just best to take the show as straight drama, and not something that was trying to play with the audience. Knowing there were no real long cons, or anything like that, in season 1 made the show go down several notches for me. I think season 2 had some excellent episodes, despite everything being completely ludicrous in it, and I also thought season 3 had a couple of good episodes in it. Unfortunately, the good couldn't outweigh the bad this season. It just really fortified that they had no clue where they are taking the story.

      As for your comment about the differences from season 1 to now, that's just plain old hubris from the makers of the show. I read somewhere that they got the audience to trust them in season 1 (laughably), and they really wanted to exploit that trust in season 2. Since I stopped trusting them with the unpaid off storyline of Tom Walker in season 1, I just laughed as they blew the show into oblivion with stuff that never should have been written.

      Nice post, thanks for posting and reading.


There was an error in this gadget