Weekend Roundtable: Worst Current TV Show [Spring 2014]

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?

Luke Hickman

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.

Mike Attebery

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.

Junie Ray

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.

Tom Landy

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.

Josh Zyber

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.


  1. Chris B

    Hahahahahaha!!! That NCIS clip is fucking priceless! I’ve never seen an episode of the show but holy shit! People actually buy into that?!

    I totally agree with Junie on TBBT, I’ve seen about 15 minutes and that was enough. As a guy who was a huge comic fan in my former years I’m appalled at the one-note depiction of “comic nerds”. It’s like they figure all they have to do is slap a Green Lantern shirt on a character in every scene and everyone will accept it.

  2. Paul A

    I have to go with Sleepy Hollow. I had some high hopes and stuck with it for 5 episodes, but once I relalized that Ichobad Crane was never, ever gonna change his outfit I couldn’t handle it anymore. Seriously?! Did the guy pack a suitcase full of the same, outdated, 200+ year old outfits that he wears or does he wash that particular one every night? I’m sorry, but that is just stupid. Where does he sleep every night? How does he pay for food? Maybe they explained it after the 5th episode, but they should have tackled that basic information after the 1st!!

    Love the NCIS clip! What a craptastic show! The major networks really can’t compete anymore. The cable networks can be edgier and get away with far more. The fact that NBC actually airs Hannibal does give me a glimmer of hope. That show is exceptional! Castle is another. It is more of a throwback to an era gone by, which is why I like it. Keep the serialized drama to a minimum and focus on episodes that stand on their own week in and week out. Plus, Nathan Fillion is as underrated actor as it gets.

    • /if you had stuck it out you would see that the joke about it frequently. And he has gotten new clothes from a revolutionary war reenactment, except for his coat which he refused to get rid of. And if that was why you stopped watching the show, it’s a pretty shallow reason to stop. Considering the entire premise is that he is a fish out of water, if they acclimate the character over night then what was the point?

  3. Ryan M

    Never understood all the love for How I Met Your Mother and can say that I will not miss it. I’ve never seen a full episode, primarily because it’s not funny. Ditto for Big Bang Theory and (worst of all) Two and a Half Men. Come to think of it, any sitcom with a “live studio audience” or a laugh track nowadays is pretty much shit. I don’t need to be queued when to laugh. If I do, chances are the program is not funny to begin with. Leave the laugh track dead and buried with Married with Children, Seinfeld, and Friends (all great shows). There is no room for such foolishness in the 2010s.

  4. I can definitely agree with those choices that I’ve seen for myself (Revolution, Big Bang Theory, NCIS). I’m guilty of occasionally watching the odd TBBT episode anyway. I guess I’m sort of part of its target audience – computer scientist, researcher, nerd… – but I hate all of the characters, and the jokes are spread out incredibly thinly. Worst of all, a lot, maybe most of my colleagues actually like the show very much. I can only assume that they don’t usually watch TV shows, and that they deem the three or four inside jokes (which are sometimes actually funny) for geeks per episode worth sitting through the entire half hour for.

    The CSI franchise belongs in the same pot as NCIS. Here’s a drinking game for you: one shot every time a clue, or the way the clue is discovered, or the conclusions drawn from the clue don’t make any sense at all. Can you last until the first commercial break?

    I’m not sure if the show is actually still on, but my personal nomination would be Under the Dome. While the premise sounded mildly interesting, they almost immediately forgot about the promising (and promised) possibilities for social thought experiment – a community isolated, resources dwindling, law and order losing their meaning – and switched over to some supernatural alien mumbo jumbo that only King could get away with. Also, they killed off the only passable actor in the pilot. And the writing! They have teenagers talk about “rewinding” a video they shot with their mobile phone. Enough said.

  5. Mr Apollo

    I can’t stand non premium shows and continue to feel the same. The following is one of the worst piece of shit shows I’ve ever seen in my life. My Wife LOVES Kevin Bacon so I watched the whole 1st season. I’d rather watch the bachelor for a whole season then watch another minute of the following. I can’t even describe how bad I think that show is. The worst use of time I’ve ever spent in my life. I’m so glad we didn’t watch season 2.

  6. Gotta agree on Big Bang Theory. Their version of “nerds” takes every stereotype and cliche on the subject to its uninspired end without adding any kind of wrinkle or twist to it. As terrible as the character of Sheldon is, all the idiot friends are even worse. I can’t stand a single character on this show.

    • At least their Nerd references are correct, half the time when other shows try to do it they get something wrong or their corporate sponsors (hello Microsoft, So sick of seeing the Metro interface on the CW) make it painfully obvious their characters don’t live in the real world.

  7. Douglas

    Spot on regarding NCIS! The dullest of the dull! Adding to this misadventure is Abby, easily one of the most annoying characters to ever grace your small screen. I’m assuming she is what passes for an oh-so edgy and ultra-cool goth chick for the studio who dish out this pablum for mass consumption. A fall-down funny cliché that is fobbed off on a gullible audience who, in reality, would prefer their characters safe and sanitized for their enjoyment.In reality the Abby character is just as white bread as the always vanilla, and equally dull and lifeless, Mark Harmon. Bowls of oatmeal have more personality.

    The continued popularity of this show makes me question the future of civilization as a whole.

  8. William Henley

    Got to agree with NCIS and Big Bang Theory. I don’t get why people like these shows.

    To me, the worst show on television right now is Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I’ve tried to watch it, because I keep saying that there has to be SOME reason why people like it, but I cannot stand to leave it on over three minutes. Its exploitation of the child and family, and idolizes being a complete idiot, and does nothing but amplifies the stereotype of the South. The show is garbage, and is no where near reality.

    Speaking of fake reality shows… And let me start with a disclaimor that I LOVE this show, but Dance Moms. The show it self doesn’t bother me – I find it entertaining. What annoys me about the show is that people believe that it is real. If I had any thought that this show was real, I wouldn’t be able to stand it myself. I actually saw this question on a fan page the other day: “What do you think, will Chloe be back or is she off the team for good?” I responded “Of course she will be back, she is under contract with the show’s producers”. The stars (ie the Moms and Abby) have even come out and said the show is scripted and fake. In fact, the show is so scripted, many dance compititions have banned the show. In season three, there are episodes where you can clearly tell the other kids at the competition (ie those not in the show) are completely star-struck (OMG Dance Moms is here!) and fights that break out in front of crowds have people pulling out their cell phones and laughing. The show is fake, there is no question about that! I just find it entertaining.

    Now I got to poke at a couple of really popular shows. Two and a Half Men. I enjoyed some of the early seasons of this show, but then the show got really repetative. Then Charlie Sheen was kicked off. I’m sorry, but Charlie Sheen was the show. The show is garbage now

    Game of Thrones. Yep, I went there. I went off on this show in a Blu-Ray highlights a few weeks ago, so I won’t go into all of that again, but these two clips pretty much describe how I feel:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGN3d3OlO_c (you will be singing this for weeks)

    I iHATE medical shows. It looks like House if off the air. Man was that bad. But what happens when you mix a medical show with a crime show? You get the garbage that is Bones.

    American Idol. How is this show still on the air? Does anyone still watch it? The only reason to watch it was to see Simon be mean to people. Then a couple of years ago, we had an entire audition season where the show seemed to focus on the bad people. Waste of time. Then Simon left. Then Paula. Now even Randy has gone. The show just isn’t fun any more. I don’t think I have watched the show in about three years, and the only reason I watched it that year is that the guy who lived across the street from me made it into the top three. They blocked off our street for about 4 hours to get the film crew in. It was funny, though – many of the neighbors thought there was a major drug bust going on with all the cameras and police.

    Agents of Shield – Man, that show had so much potential. What we ended up with was a hybrid of X-files and Heros, but not as well written.

    Under The Dome Huh, looks like its still on the air. The show is horrible. I gave it four episodes, and gave up on it.

    Days of our Lives – Okay, I know soap operas are bad, but this is one of the worst. During the Olympics, there are a couple of times I just left the television on between the Today show and the daytime Olympic broadcasts. Yeah, that only lasted twice, because leaving the television on means I was subjected to this crap. The plot is horrible, the script sounds like it was written by perverted grade-schoolers, and it is like the actors and crew don’t even care.

    I think that is enough for now

  9. Bill

    I don’t know if Revolution is the worst but it certainly has the least likeable cast. They all just have one expression and it isn’t pleasant. It looks like they’re all asking how they got tricked into acting in the series.

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