Saturday, May 1, 2010

Worst garbage ever seen on Network TV

There are those of you who would argue that EVERYTHING seen on network television (ABC, CBS and NBC) these days is garbage, and of course your argument has validity. But there's always the worst of the worst, as some garbage seen on TV is just so awful, it rates mention: 10. ALL DAY TIME PROGRAMMING. Call them your 'stories,' or more popularly these days 'soaps,' this is the stuff that is simply unwatchable by even those of us with poor taste in what we call entertainment. They all follow the same plot and are filmed in only three locations: in the living room of an opulent mansion (all soap opera characters are filthy rich, you see), in a hospital room or in a jail cell. No other set is needed for filming a soap opera. And we won't go into how awful the writing and production are on the run of the mill soap, nor what God awful actors populate the soap stages these days. 9. CAVEMAN. This poorly conceived ABC drek was a take off on the mildly amusing GEICO ads depicting modern day Neanderthals taking offense at advertising which suggests they are dumb. 13 episodes were filmed, and thankfully the series was cancelled after only 6 were aired. One can only view so many caveman gags before wanting to barf. What were the producers thinking when they cobbled this terrible idea together?
8. THE BACHELOR. I just can't believe this horrible program is going into its 14th season since debuting in 2002. Just how dumb do viewers have to be to watch this garbage? That was a rhetorical question, BTW.
7. MY MOTHER THE CAR. On the whole, Jerry Van Dyke is a pretty funny guy, and his character 'Luther Van Dam' on 'Coach' was memorable. His role in this dreadful show (which lasted an entire season) stank to high heaven, as the premise of the show featured the voice of Ann Southern as his reincarnated mother who came back as an antique car. Just what in God's name were the producers thinking when they hatched this dog? Again, a rhetorical question. The answer: there was no thinking go on in that room.
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6. COP ROCK. Imagine, New York's finest busting down a door, cuffing the perps, and then things just seemed perfect in the writer's mind to insert a Broadway style show tune while dragging away the dirt bags to the hoosegow. With luck, whoever came up with this idea was run out of show biz. Nope, Steven Bochco went on after this to produce LA Law and NYPD Blue, and most of us forgot this pig of a show (except me).
5. PETTICOAT JUNCTION. Rural folks acting stupid in Hooterville, and let the laughs begin. Or more accurately, the laugh track was dubbed in. Really bad writing for a sit com, and for whatever reason it lasted 7 long, horrible years.
4. GREEN ACRES. A 'Petticoat Junction' spin-off. What a nightmare this show was, starring Eddie Arnold and Eva Gabor as fish out of water urbanites who buy a farm and let the laughs begin. Since these two shows were virtually joined at the hip since they were concocted by the same Hollywood idiot, I figure I could reuse a phrase or two and get away with it.
3. THREE'S COMPANY. John Ritter pretends to be gay while rooming with two babes, thus fooling the dimwit landlord. It just doesn't get any better, huh? And this one lasted 7 years as well, and nobody in Hollywood could figure out why.
2. B.J. AND THE BEAR. Lovable truck driver hangs out with a chimpanzee, and let the laughs begin. OK, I'll use another line next time. But this one stinks, and it's not just the chimp.
1. JOANIE LOVES CHACHI. Spin off from 'Happy Days,' but was short lived for good cause: the spin off came right after Henry Winkler's 'Fonzie' jumped the shark in the waning weeks of 'Happy Days', and most folks were pretty darn sick of Joanie by then, not to mention Chachi. This one was put to death quickly, but they could have done it sooner if you ask me.

31 comments:

Christopher said...

Good list Fredd. There are so many candidates you may have to go to a 'Top 1000' list!!!

Since you gave me heads-up as to the content of this post I must admit that the show that came immediately to my mind was the dreadful 'TJ Hooker'.

Fredd said...

Christopher: yeah, there's only so much room at the top. TJ Hooker didn't make the list, namely because I must ashamedly admit that I watched it fairly regularly. I was in my early teens when Star Trek aired, and appreciated the Capt Kirk character.

When TJ Hooker came out, since Shatner was looking for a gig after Trek got the boot, I still watched it because I liked William Shatner's acting, and I had a crush on Heather Locklear.

Of course, none of that explains away the badness of this show overall, but hey, only so much room at the top (or bottom, as it were).

Christopher said...

Oh I tuned in on occasion as well but for the reason of Heather alone!

Another might be Charlies Angels. But there again the draw for me was both Farrah and Jacklyn.

Fredd said...

Charlie's Angels: really, REALLY bad TV show. You did not mention Kate Jackson, wasn't she supposed to be the 'smart' angel?

So much air time, so much bad TV. Where do you stop? The Beverely Hillbillys? I Dream of Jeanie? Bewitched? Kojack? Matlock? And don't even get me started on Gilligan's Island...

TKZ said...

Great list!! I might add (at the risk of being lambasted) American Idol, America's Best Dance Crew, etc. I really can't stand competition shows!

Christopher said...

Fredd, I must stop you at 'Bewichted', well not stop but differ.

That show had it all, morals, humor, beauty, work ethic, teaching others to mind their own business and on and on.

There are those that may say it was evil due to the nature of the premise, but again I differ as it always led to the 'right' outcome and that being deferential to how humans should behave..

Fredd said...

TKZ: no lambasting of your excellent observations, as they have merit.

These unscripted shows (a.k.a. 'reality TV') are incredibly bad, but the badness is just in the actual visible content. Truly, really, SINCERELY bad TV is the stuff that people actually write bad scripts for, and the poor actors memorize the terrible lines, none of which anyone sees (thank God).

But I see your point: Watching 'Dancing with The Stars' can cause just as many brain cells to die as 'Gilligan's Island.'

Christopher said...

Oh and Matlock,,,GREAT SHOW!

You love your Robocop and this is fine by me, but when discussing defense lawyers they usually get a bad name (and usually rightfully so) but in Matlock and Ironside to, you had defense lawyers working for the good against an over-bearing, over-reaching prosecuter and in the end proving their case and , repeat and, finding the real bad guy/gal.

Fredd said...

Christopher:

Bewitched: OK, I'll let you have 'Bewitched.' Since it never made the list anyway, other than a passing snarky comment about it in my previous comments, we'll agree to diverge on its merits.

I was fine with it as a kid, but once I watched a few episodes in syndication decades later, I couldn't really say I appreciated Dirwood (Endora's favorite bungle of Darren's name)always being the butt of every joke, and coming off as a moron most of the time.

This format soon became the norm, as nowadays you NEVER see a husband, father, brother, uncle or other male character in a positive light on network TV. Darren Stevens started the ball rolling in this regard. Well, maybe Dick Van Dyke got a head start on Darren as the fumbling, stumbling idiot typical man, but that was a smidge before my time.

Matlock: bumbling, stumbling southern hick hayseed attorney saves the day and tells truth to power. I could have written for this series, I certainly missed my calling.

Silverfiddle said...

Oh come on, Fredd! Green Acres? That's one of the classics!

How can such a wise man be so misguided when it comes to good comedy?

I'm outraged!

The_Kid said...

Great list Fredd. Personally I liked some of Green Acres.

I'd take Green Acres off and put C-span on. Though you did say all of daytime TV.

Fredd said...

Silver: Ah, the hard choices. Green Acres is your downfall, much as Robocop is mine.

Green Acres sucked, admit it. There are 12 step programs to help your through it.

Let me know if I can do anything to help.

Fredd said...

Kid:

You and Silverfiddle, clinging to Green Acres like Baghdad Bob did to Saddam Hussein's ultimate victory: ain't ever gonna happen.

The_Kid said...

Fredd, I know, like me, you Loved Mr Kimball and the Ziffels !

I triple guarantee it !

hahahaha

Christopher said...

LMAO!!!!!!!!!

Greeeeen Acres Is The Place To be,,,,,,,,

You hit a nerve and a home-run on this one Fredd.

Christopher said...

In light of it being 'May Day' and all the 'protests' AGAINST law I thought I might bring up the show 'CHIPS',,lol

Was Estrada the actor legal and if being he played a CHIP officer on TV, did he play it as legal?

The Conservative Lady said...

Fredd, you listed and commented on a lot of good old comedy shows I used to watch as a kid. It was a simpler time then and the comedy was clean, even if it was a little corny. The only TV shows I look forward to now are "24" and "Damages" because most of the shows on TV, as you said, are garbage.
Fun post, thanks.

Christopher said...

Hey Fredd,

The next time I get to IL I would love to buy to a beer and have a chat! Of course while there would need to meet up with AmazingBunni as well. What a conversation!

I once visited a spot in IL in or around Rockford?, gorgeous I may add, that featured a huge statue of I believe the Virgin Mary.

I have searched for the spot to go back to no avail? Can you help? It was on a business trip and as such no time to stop.

The statue sat high on a river bank in the middle of thick forest, again just gorgeous, and wish for my wife and daughter to see it, along with our conversation and the beer of course.

Fredd said...

Christopher: sounds good, Rockford is about an hour away for me, and likely 2 hours or more for Bunni.

I don't know of any statue around Rockford as you describe, but there are a few state parks that have eagles, rock outcroppings, etc. that are pleasant enough.

CHIPS: also garbage. And who knows about Estrada, if he ain't legal, boot him. Him, and the other 30 Million of his illegal buddies.

Fredd said...

Conservative Lady:

Yes, the corny stuff was all the rage back then, but some of the late night programs, like Johnny Carson's stuff, in addtion to Don Rickels, Joey Bishop, Dean Martin, you know, the Rat Packers, could get pretty racy on occasion.

I know El Rushbo loves '24,' but I haven't seen a single episode. I have to limit my TV time to one show, and "Lost" is my favorite (MahaRushie likes Lost as well). Four more episodes, and I have to find another show to obsess over. "V" ain't it, however.

Maybe I'll just sit and watch Beverly Hillbilly reruns.

Joe said...

In my humble, but correct, opinion, most of TV does not rise to the level of "wasteland."

The other day I was watching an episode of the ONLY TV show I actually enjoy, NCIS, when my wife sat next to me and said, "Fill me in on what's happening." I answered, "Someone got killed and NCIS is going to figure out who did it."

"Green Acres?" I loved the first ten minutes of the first show. Then it started getting redundant, over and over again.

Citizen68 said...

Bring back Frasier! Kelsie Grammar is one of my alltime favorites. I watched Green Acres as a kid too but now i think i only liked it cuz the bluegrass theme song was so easy to come up with "alternate parentally incorrect lyrics" to. But Fredd, how can you make a "worst Of.." list that doesn't include baywatch? Great bouncy female bikini photography, but AWFUL tv!

aynzan said...

And how long is Bold & The Beautiful running? My head spins when I have to recall whose married to whom in this soap.

Fredd said...

Joe: essentially, you could say 'someone got killed and (fill in the blank) is going to figure out who did it' for the following tripe on TV:

NYPD Blue
CSI Miami
CSI New York
Law & Order (in all their forms)
Kojak
Cannon
Streets of San Francisco
Miami Vice
Criminal Minds
Ironsides
Murder She Wrote
Matlock
...and I could go on, but I won't. Doesn't anybody ever get tired of these exact same plots after 5 or 6decades?

Fredd said...

Citizen;

You got me there, Citizen. Yes, Baywatch was truly awful, and in retrospect perhaps should have been in the Bottom 10. 'Charlie's Angels' was the format that started the whole 'jiggle TV' schedule. Put enough pretty girls on the screen running after bad guys, or running up and down beaches, and presto chango: ratings! The plot, production, acting be damned...

Fredd said...

Aynzan:

The Bold and the Beautiful has been on since the Paleozoic era, or so it seems. Based on the depth of the wrinkles in the older characters, perhaps at least the Mesozoic era.

My wife prefers two 'stories' starting at 12 Central on ABC: All My Children, and "One Life to LIve (OLTL). I can't stand any of them, but simply through absorbing the white noise of these shows much like osmosis, I can tell you that Beau Buchanon was once married to Nora, that they are back together again, and that Greenley came back after a year or two, and that Todd and Blaire's daughter, Star, has been on that show since she was a little kid. And I can't tell you one show from the other, as they blur together in Lanview, Pennsylvania...arrrgghhh!

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

CHiPS! Hahahahahaha!!! I always rooted for the perps and lawbreakers, but of course they never came out on top. The height of cheesy was at the end of the episodes when they would "freeze" the characters laughing; usually several freezes, actually, going from one zany character to another.

My granddad (now deceased) was a carpenter in the L.A. area and once worked on Erik Estrada's house. It was around the time of Estrada's marriage to Joyce Miller, which didn't last long. My grandfather saw a photo of Estrada and his new bride on the cover of a magazine at my aunt's house, and quipped, "She sure don't look like that first thing in the morning."

Dan said...

It would have taken less time and effort and bites for that matter, and less time on my part and pretty much less of everything one could think of to simply have listed the best shows.

Krystal said...

Can we add Glee? I've never seen it, but the premise is just incredibly stupid!

Fredd said...

Krystal:

Haven't seen it, or heard anything about it, other than a mention or two of the title here and there.

I will remain blissfully ignorant of Glee. Maybe it will just go away on its own.

William said...

You're truly a saint, Fredd! You watch this kind of crap so I don't have to.
Thanks!