Saturday, December 25, 2010

Worst Ten in TV 2010

Stuff I dislike:

Any of those iCarly/Wizards of Waverly Place shows.

Dishonorable Mentions:

JIM GRAY on THE DECISION (ESPN) - I recognize LeBron James's ill-conceived talents-traveling announcement was itself bad TV. But I single out Gray because up until now, I was supposed to believe he was some kind of sports reporter. Consider that soul sold.

OUTSOURCED (NBC) - I've seen about seven episodes and it still never became funny. I wouldn't have given it a second look except I actually work with a call-center in India. My boss tells me how they portray India is pretty inaccurate.

GRAVITY (STARZ) - A "comedy" about suicide-attempters. Yeah, so there's that...

... and the worst ten are ...

10. MSNBC's MID-TERM ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE - I could easily put Fox News here for coddling presidential hopefuls Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich. I could easily put CNN here for their increased changes to ever-diminishing returns. But when it came to the big-news night of the year - election - both did a great job. Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier anchored on FNC and kept things flowing, CNN had endless talking-heads to give their spin on things but were never boring. MSNBC decided to let five liberals - Olbermann, Maddow, Matthews, O'Donnell and Olby's favorite bobble-head guest Eugene Robinson - anchor. (What? Did Schultz lose a bet?) They brought out the worst in each other. I felt sorry for poor Chuck Todd they went to every once in a while to give them numbers. Todd's a real journalist. The rest treated it like they were in a sports bar after the home-team lost.

9. HEROES (NBC) - I'm glad this show was put of its misery. The carn-evil could have developed into something, but week after week I just kept thinking how HBO's Carnivale was better, and that I cared less and less about these characters. I bailed on it after Adrian Pasdar left the show. Season 1 was great, and it went downhill from there. I don't know what happened in the last episode. As far as I know, they didn't save the cheerleader, didn't save the world, Sylar became President, and it was all Suresh's dream. Don't care.

8. NAONKA ON SURVIVOR: NICARAGUA (CBS) - There are dozens of reality shows that I don't watch, but of the ones I do, she was the worst contestant. Nothing worse than a bully, but that her victim was a one-legged girl made her a truly hissable villain. Top it off with her selfishly indulging in the reward hours before she quit, and you have one of those one-of-a-kind people who has a lot of growing up to do. There in the middle I put off watching for two or three episodes until I knew her position in the tribe was tenuous. And to think, she's a teacher!

7. THE SUPPORTING CAST OF $#*! MY DAD SAYS (CBS) - William Shatner demonstrates his talents by almost saving many episodes, but this deep into a show, it's clear the rest of the cast just isn't going to get there. The writing does them no favors, but MadTV vets Will Sasso and Nicole Sullivan are too cartoony, and Justin Sadowski looks like he's biting his tongue half the time to keep from cracking up.

6. SKATING WITH THE STARS (ABC) - Tries to copy Dancing with the Stars in every way and falls short to embarrassing degrees. Good thing it flopped; I shudder to think whatever ripoffs they would have attempted had it worked.

5. KELLI GIDDISH - First there was PAST LIFE (FOX), where reincarnation gets the procedural treatment, with no hint of fun that this premise should have. She played the generic blonde lead detective who flirted with the generic hunk lead detective while they were talking about who killed who in a previous life. This one only lasted a couple episodes. Then she got the lead in CHASE on NBC, where she showed no charisma as a butt-kicking US marshal who chases the fugitive-of-the-week.

4. FRED ARMISEN's OBAMA on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (NBC) - Hey, Lorne Michaels. Listen, you have Jay Pharaoh in your cast now, who has the potential to be your best Afr-Am cast member since Chris Rock. He has a killer Obama impression. Meanwhile Armisen's Obama is getting worse and worse. You took Dubya away from Will Forte to give to Jason Sudeikis with no problem; the least you could do is give Obama to Pharaoh. Please. Oh, and Armisen, for cheating on your bride Elisabeth Moss with cast member Abby Elliott, that makes you scummier than ... New Jersey!

3. BIG LAKE (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Painfully unfunny show about a former Wall Street broker who lost everything and moves back in with his parents. Not even Chris Parnell could save it.

2. JAY LENO (NBC) - It's not just Jay Leno; it's everything around him. The decision to force Jay to retire early was a mistake, and we know now Jay never intended to stick with that. The decision to put on The Jay Leno Show five nights a week was a mistake. The idea of bumping back The Tonight Show was a mistake. Essentially forcing Conan out to keep Jay was a mistake. And Jay's ratings are as low as Conan's now. But I'm looking forward to the inevitable HBO movie about it all.

1. COMEDY CENTRAL EXECUTIVES - This channel has no problem blasting everyone else, but they showed themselves as cowards and hypocrites when they censored South Park episode 201 to death over drawing the prophet Mohammed. I understand depicting him is offensive to Muslims, but Jesus taking a dump on the American flag is offensive to Christians and they had no problem showing that. Why no problem? They understand Timothy McVeigh and his ilk are the wackjob exceptions to Christians. So what does that say about how they view Muslims?

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