Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Sloppy Dog's Worst of 2008: TV

And so we come to the first negative assemblage in our End Of Year polls, and not before time either, as all that gushing about greatness really takes its toll.
As is often the case in telly world, there’s been no shortage of shockingly bad material splattered on our screens over the last 12 months, but we’ve painstakingly whittled it down to ten. Let the bile flow...

10. Britannia High
From the ashes of DanceX comes... an even bigger pile of ashes. Quite blatantly an attempt to pad the coffers of ITV rather than push inventive, original, entertaining programming, Britannia High was, in every way imaginable, a shameless imitation of High School Musical. Although whoever dreamt up the concept of a song-and-dance routine about dyslexia needs to get onto the creators of Avenue Q, in case they’re plotting a sequel...

9. Skins
Thankfully, our eyes were only briefly exposed to the carnage of Series Two. Even more of a relief was the considerable downsizing of pre-series publicity, although even the comparably modest coverage this year was like a passage from 1984 come to life. The few glimpses we were cursed with, however, were as empty and loathsome as anything the self-congratulatory, smug, contrived train-wreck of a show managed in Series One.

8. The Jeremy Kyle Show
Another repeat offender in our list, we barely saw enough minutes of The Jeremy Kyle Show throughout the year to count on one hand. And yet, those few experiences were enough to burn onto the brain that Jeremy Kyle, his guests, the entire production team, and anyone who gets any kind of pleasure from this malformed mutant of a programme, is a complete and utter cunt.

7. Never Mind The Buzzcocks
It’s boasted some killer guests (particular mention must go to Josh Groban – not a sentence we ever imagined being uttered on these hallowed pages), but overall, the execrable, cowardly, hateful Simon Amstell made a complete and utter pig’s ear of what was once an enormously entertaining show. If the sad little bully wants to have a passive-aggressive crywank, can’t he do it on his own time?

6. Lily Allen & Friends
Since Lily herself has openly slated this manurefest of a show, it doesn’t say much for the quality. A desperate attempt to jump onto every social networking bandwagon imaginable, albeit a good three years behind the rest of the developed world, the cobwebbed corners of the internet were dragged out and showcased by a presenter who seemed genuinely embarrassed to be part of it. At least the deplorable Charlotte Church Show makes an effort...

5. For One Night Only
So end-of-the-pier it’s practically on the ocean floor, For One Night Only was a return to ghastly variety sensibilities for ITV1 earlier this year. It must be said, the fact that they made an attempt to bring music and comedy into a prime-time setting is certainly noble, but the execution of it made for a watch-through-your-fingers bloodbath. Vernon Kay offering “old-fashioned razzle dazzle” – and no, we’re sadly not paraphrasing – surely must be a mark of the devil?

4. Kerry Katona: Whole Again
In fairness, it’s not necessarily Kerry herself that we find so objectionable (although, it must be said, the hopeless, naive, white-trash scumpig cements everything that’s wrong with the human race just by waking up in the morning), it’s more the way in which her pitiable life is showcased for entertainment purposes. Ray Cokes, you are cordially invited to nuke MTV UK and start it again from scratch.

3. The DFS ad
Without a shadow of a doubt the worst advertisement since the repugnant Frosties ad topped our Worst Of chart two years ago, DFS once again underline themselves as bastions of consistently cuntish commercials. The green screens, the oversized sofas, the jobbing actors air-guitaring their dignity to eternal damnation, and of course, fucking Rockstar by bastard Nickelback collectively create an amalgam of evil that could only a voiceover from Fearne Cotton could worsen.

2. The Hills
Another gargantuan stinker courtesy of MTV One – it would actually have been possible to compile this entire Top Ten solely from MTV programming, but we’ve actively chosen to avoid the shitpeddling station as much as possible (hence the absence of Living On The Edge). However, The Hills, in all its dead-eyed, vacuous, extraneous fakery , sadly slipped through our filters. How a show where precisely nothing happens each episode achieves such success is frightening.

1. Hole In The Wall
Come on, were you really expecting it to be anything else? Admittedly, Hole In The Wall is fully aware of its horrific, unforgivable out-and-out shitness, and in fact, revels in it. But its mere existence is what puzzles us so greatly. Somehow, a concept that perhaps would’ve functioned particularly well as a single round on a Takeshi’s Castle quarter-final has been tenuously stretched into a half-hour show, inexplicably commissioned by the BBC, and given a prime-time Saturday evening slot. Seriously, is this some sort of alternative nether-dimension where every minor detail is the same, except the Chuckle Brothers are heading up the Beeb?

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