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TWOP 10: Worst TV Shows of the New Millennium

by Angel Cohn June 20, 2008 8:00 am
TWOP 10: Worst TV Shows of the New Millennium

Since VH1 has apparently decided that that 2009 doesn't really count as part of this millennium, we decided we'd jump on the bandwagon and announce our picks for the worst shows that the past nine years have foisted upon us. Now, we're talking about the scripted shows that are out there, since the reality show list was just too long and had way too many easy targets, from someone licking New York's toes, to a dating show that featured guys with masks, to having Jonny Fairplay take a dump on someone's bed. So Nick Carter, Amy Grant and Britney and Kevin, you are safe from our wrath...at least until we get around to doing the TWoP 10 worst reality shows of all time. Here's our list of the crappiest shows that someone actually tried to write and some network executive was crazy enough to greenlight.

1. Baby Bob (CBS, 2002)
Long before Cavemen tried to turn a commercial into a series, there was Baby Bob, a terrifying show about a toddler who could talk, was smart and had the voice of a middle-aged man. It was just plain old creepy and massively misguided, and the "adult" mind in the baby body made moments with mom uncomfortable, and not in that whole Stewie Family Guy funny way.

2. Life on a Stick (Fox, 2005)
Looking past the unappetizing title, this series is set in the food court of a mall and deals with teenagers. Gross. Especially when they're nerdy, immature youths who work at a fast food joint and have nothing better to do than take their bosses office and deep-fry every thing in it while he's away. Real mature. Top that off with some recycled plots, some bad acting and you've got one of the most tasteless shows to hit the airwaves.

3. Tarzan (2003, The WB)
Welcome to the jungle... the concrete jungle, that is. Taking Tarzan out of his loincloth and putting him in hip-modern clothes and setting him down in New York was probably the first mistake that the creators made. Casting the pretty boy Travis Fimmel and then covering up his washboard abs for long periods of time is a sin that cannot be forgiven. Saddling him with a super soapy storyline about his family history was probably the second error. Having the shell-shocked innocent help solve crimes with his love interest was probably the third. There were probably more poor choices, but we had to stop watching.

4. Viva Laughlin (CBS, 2007)
Remarkably similar to the popular British series Viva Blackpool, we'll chalk this failure up to the fact that something got lost in translation, or maybe those Brits have some good drugs. Though the original was bizarre, this overly serious take on a goofy premise -- a casino owner who runs into trouble with the law, money and competitors and randomly breaks out into song (with the original tune playing loudly karaoke style in the background) -- didn't help matters. Although in its brief, brief stint on TV it featured some cheesily fabulous "singing" performances by Hugh Jackman and Melanie Griffith that may eventually end up as cult faves, the rest of the show was not worth taking a gamble on.

5. Unhitched (Fox, 2008)
The first episode of this show featured a guy getting sexually assaulted by a monkey. And it made it to air. In fact, baffling enough, several episodes aired. Offensive and downright disgusting, this show aimed at the lowest common denominator and went about two steps below that for its stories.

6. The Mullets (UPN, 2003)
Mullets are funny. People who wear mullets are funny-looking. This show however, was not funny. The "business in the front, party in the back" mantra is just not enough to sustain a whole series. Even Loni Anderson (who didn't sport a mullet... thankfully) couldn't make this show any more appealing.

7. LAX (NBC, 2004)
Heather Locklear may be heralded as the savior of many an Aaron Spelling show, but her magic touch didn't extend to launching her own failed series about the bustling lives of two airport executives. This one barely got off the ground before it crashed and burned.

8. Emeril (NBC, 2001)
Bam! That's the entire sitcom in a nutshell. Emeril Lagasse "played" a chef in this behind-the-scenes look at making a cooking show. Real original. Considering that people were already overdosing on Emeril's schtick by the time this aired, this really hit an extra-sour note.

9. The Michael Richards Show (NBC, 2000)/Bob Patterson (ABC, 2001)/Watching Ellie (NBC, 2002)
This trifecta of awfulness was what caused speculation about a Seinfeld curse to begin. The trio of sassy sidekicks who hammed it up on the legendary sitcom apparently took the first roles they were offered. Richards was the first out of the gate with his dull, self-titled series about a bumbling private investigator. It lasted all of nine episodes. Then Jason Alexander tried his hand as an abrasive motivational speaker; however, he couldn't motivate people to watch his blandness, and it was axed after only five episodes. Finally, Julia Louis-Dreyfus's slightly more ambitious real-time sitcom fared the best, and by "best" we mean "lasted the longest by abandoning the only thing that made it unique at all in order to return for a second season." They were all equally filled with issues and mercifully put off the air.

10. Big Shots (ABC, 2007)
Do you like Sex and the City? How about Desperate Housewives? Do you like hot guys like Alias' Michael Vartan and The Practice's Dylan McDermott? Then boy, do we have a horror show for you. Some genius took a group of talented and attractive actors, cast them in a show about high-powered executives and gave them touchy-feely storylines about their problems in the phony "let's get together and share our feelings" sort of way. Only tolerable in small doses with the sound and closed captioning off.

Bonus: Worst Week (CBS, 2008)
This one hasn't even premiered yet, but if the pilot that's been sent out is anything like the final version that makes it to air, this will definitely earn its spot on the list. Besides, when you take a mediocre British series and try to make a funny American series out of it, that's just a recipe for disaster.

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