We turn our sights to the small screen for this week’s Roundtable topic. With all the great programming that airs on cable these days, we may be living in a TV renaissance. On the other hand, the broadcast schedule is still filled with countless hours of worthless garbage. What’s the worst TV show currently on the air?
I was dumb enough to attend a special theatrical screening for the pilot episode of NBC’s ‘Revolution‘, thinking that it must be good if the studio was willing to play it in theaters. I faithfully followed ‘Lost’ from beginning to end and loved it, but every other J.J. Abrams show that I’ve been duped into watching has been horrid. ‘Revolution’ is the worst. No non-premium channel series could ever have the budget to give a concept of this grandeur worthwhile production value. Not only does the show look cheap, the freshly-laundered Gap wardrobe definitely jars with the storyline, which is supposed to take place fifteen years after an apocalyptic event turned off all the electricity in the world.
I watched the first episode and found it strange that it ended with a huge reveal that would undermine the entire premise of the series. (Technology is dead, yet some energy still exists via a magic USB drive.) I tried watching the second episode, but passed out halfway through due to boredom. Since it didn’t pass the snooze test, I never made it beyond that.
‘Hollywood Game Night‘ on NBC – how is this show in existence in the year 2014? The only thing it looks more groundbreaking than is ‘The Marriage Ref’ (which also ran on NBC). This disaster airs right after ‘Parks and Rec’ on Thursday, and it’s just embarrassing. The guests are third tier. The challenges are lame. The jokes are witless. It’s painful to watch for even five minutes. Everything wrong with NBC is embodied in this dreadful show.
Perhaps as an inveterate geek, I’m just too close to it, but I hate ‘The Big Bang Theory‘. The pace of the show is painfully slow and the few episodes I’ve watched felt longer than the half-life of uranium. The characters are one-dimensional clichés and the plots are the retreaded fluff of ‘tween shows of the ’80s. I’m convinced that this trite crap is targeted at the same demographic of people who liked ‘Saved by the Bell’ and are still angling for a reunion. One other irk is the contrived laughter from the live studio audience. Unless you’re going to actually show the audience and interact with them, could you just leave the live studio audiences for sitcoms in the last century?
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
One of my oldest, closest friends takes a little too much pride in having seen every episode of MTV’s ‘The Real World‘. There’s no part of me that can relate, especially when the general formula has been aped more effectively by 80% of what’s on TV now. What few viewers remain aren’t old enough to remember when this series was some sort of social experiment. Instead, seven double-digit IQ, nails-on-chalkboard twentysomethings pretend to work, get drunk, scream and screw. Lather, rinse, repeat. I don’t have a lot of tolerance for useless people, and whatever the allure is of seeing the same formula rehashed in basically the same way for however many decades now completely escapes me. Oh well. Borderline-nobody’s tuning in at this point, so at least our long national nightmare will probably be over soon enough.
I watched the premiere of ‘Super Fun Night‘ and bits and pieces of the next few episodes, and I seriously can’t understand how this thing is still on TV. The show is totally unfunny and godawful. Half the time the actors look like they’re winging their lines in some kind of junior high school improv event, and the other half they look so uncomfortable that you almost start to feel sorry for them. I really just don’t get it.
CBS airs a lot of mindless crime procedurals. They’re the network’s bread and butter. Most of them suck, especially ‘NCIS‘. I’m told that this show is the #1 primetime drama on television right now. Can that possibly be true? Do people leave their TVs tuned to the network and walk out of the room? I have a hard time believing that anyone who’s actually watched an episode would voluntarily do so again. The writing and dialogue and characterization are insanely terrible. The show stars a 45-year-old woman playing a teen punk hacker chick, ferchrissakes.
For a (supposedly) popular series that’s been on the air for eleven seasons, it also has ridiculously poor production values. The show looks like it’s shot on 8mm film with Vaseline smeared over the camera lens.
And it regularly features scenes like this:
Someone had to write this scene. Someone had to direct this scene. The cast of actors had to read the script and agree to act it out. Did no one recognize how blitheringly idiotic it is, or did they all just not care?
My guess is that they just didn’t give a damn. Apparently, neither does the audience, which continues to lap this shit up week after week.
What’s your pick for the worst show currently airing on television? What inexplicably popular series has been on the air for years, yet you have no idea why anyone would ever watch it? Tell us in the Comments.