Friday, December 19, 2008

My Worst of TV 2008

1. MOMMA'S BOYS (NBC) - I'm not sure who deserves more blame on a show like this. The producer? The casting director? The first six minutes - six minutes! - was a preview of what we'll be seeing this season, and it featured a ton of bad behavior. This is the Bachelor, Meet My Folks, and Rock of Love rolled into one. It had the usual catfighty stuff the first night, where one mean girl made another girl cry. What killed it for me was when it revealed the Michigan mom is a total racist. ("No blacks, no Asians, and no Jewish girls!") The fountain of ugliness gushed out, and what reason would I have to tune in for Episode 2 that didn't involve a degree of morbidity?

2. KATH & KIM (NBC) - Selma Blair, staring blankly at someone is not funny. Molly Shannon, this is not an SNL sketch; it's a character we're supposed to want to see week after week. Supposedly there was this funny Australian show on which this was based but it got lost in translation.

3. HOLE IN THE WALL (FOX) - Picture taking one game from the array of MXC, and focussing an entire show around just that, week after week. What next, a show solely dedicated to the Pyramid challange from American Gladiators?

4. DO NOT DISTURB (FOX) - Jerry O'Connell, show-killer. I can't say it's all his fault. The writing was bad enough, the cast of Cheers couldn't have saved it.

5. LIVING LOHAN (E!) - So that's why Lindsay's so screwed up. Actually the majority of the episode I saw seemed to focus on how much grief Dina Lohan's kids get for being Lindsay's siblings. These kids need some privacy, not a reality show.

6. THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (FOX) - I watched three or four episodes. One problem with this show is that the polygraph is wrong sometimes. Clearly most of the time it said someone had lied on their test, the contestant had told the truth. The main problem is that the questions are so probing and personal that it destroys lives. Literally. One couple got divorced after the episode aired where she admitted she'd had an affair.

7. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER (HBO) - I watched him on and off for years, but he's become meaner and angrier to the point there's no point seeing what he thinks of this weeks' issues. He loves strip clubs and pot; he hates religion and Sarah Palin. Got it.

8. TRUE BLOOD (HBO) - I'm sorry, but if most of an episode revolves around a guy with an erection that makes his unit swell up like "an eggplant", I'm done with you. Cool opening-credits sequence though.

9. FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA (NBC) - I never would have guessed a football show anchored by Bob Costas would be the lamest one on TV, but his supporting cast doesn't offer much help. CBS, FOX, ESPN, and the NFL Network all do it better.

10. THE WRITERS' STRIKE - It hurt the industry, killed viewership, eroded support of enough shows that they got cancelled, and when the dust settled it was clear that the concessions the WGA was not worth the money lost to their guild members, let alone the entire television industry. Besides, Saturday Night Live was dark during the GOP primary race. I hear Bill Hader has a dead-on Mitt Romney we'll likely never see.

Dishonorable Mentions:

DEAL OR NO DEAL (NBC) - I'm not bitter that I stood in line for seven hours for a 10-second audition, where I went first in my group then saw how the other nine in my group used their 10 seconds and wished like mad I had gone last instead of first so I could have done it better. Not at all. I mention this show because the episode where someone finally won the $1 million, they promo'd it with every commerical break that it was going to happen. That's like Survivor saying at every commercial break: "And tune in to watch Randy get voted out." Not to mention the winner was from Utah and so likely among the 10,000 that were there that day. I think she was the one dressed up like a fairy.

HEROES (NBC) - I loved Volume 1. I was iffy on Volume 2. Volume 3 committed some egregious sins continuity-wise, but I'll be back for Volume 4 to see if they learned their lessons. But the quality drop from Volume 1 to Volume 3 is glaring.

JOSHUA on BIG BROTHER 9 (CBS) - Somehow he beat out Mike Boogie and Evel Dick for being the biggest jerk ever on that show. How? By making fun of a houseguest's father's suicide.

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