Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Sloppy Dog's Worst of 2009: TV

Having celebrated the best albums of the year, it's now time to get into full-on Scrooge mode and put the worst television shows of 2009 on the stand.

In the hope of coming across perhaps slightly less negative than usual, we've consciously tried to avoid shows we already know are shit, hence the absence of The Jeremy Kyle Show, GMTV and I'm A Celebrity amongst others. There may even be a few shows you'll be surprised to see listed here, so read on and let the venom flow...

10. The X Factor
Yes, we watched religiously, spent at least ten hours solidly liveblogging, and God knows how much more time arguing the toss outside of that. There’s no doubt it was entertaining, and in spite of such a weak winner, there was definitely some true talent on display. But much of the show’s key pleasures were bloodily sacrified in the name of column inches, hence a nation of viewers largely left with a very bad taste in their mouths.

9. Watchdog
Watchdog rightfully has a place on prime-time BBC One, given what it’s setting out to achieve and its impressive track record. However, its clumsy relaunch evidently lost the plot whilst desperately attempting to emulate Top Gear, to the point Matt ‘No Concept of Personal Space’ Allwright rounded up a selection of consumers to pen a comedy song to Virgin Media about the treatment of their dead relatives. Classy.

8. Deal Or No Deal
Look, it was fun for a while. Nothing wrong with a bit of a gimmick here or there, is there? But come on. Four years on, and not only is Deal Or No Deal still going strong, it’s achieving new levels of self-congratulatory bullshit. Noel: there is no technique, there is no strategy, there is no form of gameplay, and there is no amount of ‘positive thinking’ that will alter the outcome. It’s four years of SAYING NUMBERS OUT LOUD. End of.

7. Harper's Island
We all love a good whodunnit now and again, but if it’s going to be the lone premise for an entire series, there perhaps ought to be something resembling depth to the plot. Harper’s Island was effectively a big-budget reimagining of Sunset Beach’s marvellous Terror Island storyline, except severely lacking in the ‘marvellous’ part.

6. Paris Hilton's British Best Friend
A chance for Paris Hilton to add to her screentime count (which we imagine is to her what plasma is for vampires), and a chance for a horde of insipid wannabes to desperately whore themselves for her pleasure whilst garnering a smidgen of fame for themselves – so it’s win/win in VacuousLand, but ultimately, a slow-motion train wreck for anyone with half a brain cell.

5. The Restaurant
Even a ropey series of The Restaurant is leagues above most other things on television, but the crushing disappointment that came attached to this series was unforgivable. The noticeable drop in budget was heavily felt, and the format itself was rejigged into a horribly rushed, clumsy affair; but the farcical end result – namely a chef with NO COOKING SKILLS winning – was the cherry atop a depressingly shambolic series.

4. 4 Ingredients
It’s safe to say few of you will have heard of this, but trust us when we say it’s dire. Two women, who we swear blind must’ve been the inspiration for Trude & Prue, vomit out a speedy torrent of inferior recipes consisting of just four ingredients – ‘ingredients’ which often include jars of pasta sauce, ready-cooked roast chickens, and probably, entire ready meals. Truly the anti-Nigellas.

3. Fearne And...
It’s bad enough hearing Fearne bookend each track she plays on Radio 1 with how much she’s LOVING THAT RIGHT NOW, but witnessing the wretched sack of irrelevance gush directly in the face of a celebrity for a whole hour is excruciating. And bearing in mind these celebrities included Peaches Geldof and Paris Hilton, Fearne And... was like the televised funeral of popular culture.

2. Pants Off Dance Off
Is there really any question as to why this show is sat here? The clue is right there in the title. It’s people stripping. Old people, young people, fat people, skinny people. Stripping. Perhaps the least titillating television programme since the heyday of Fanny Craddock, Pants Off Dance Off is yet another dirty great black mark slapped squarely on the face MTV UK.

1. Demons
It started out so promising. By which we mean, the trailers were brilliant. However, it was approximately five minutes into the first episode that Demons showed its true colours – a low-budget Buffy redux with some of the most cringe-inducing dialogue of the 21st Century, and the world’s worst American accent courtesy of Philip Glenister. It’s since felt the sharp end of the axeman’s blade, unsurprisingly.

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