Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Sloppy Dog's Worst of 2011: TV

Our next End of Year countdown looks at the worst television 2011 has had to offer. There are some notable exceptions from the ten – let’s just assume that annual offenders Sky News, The Jeremy Kyle Show and Eastenders will forever be in every worst TV list ever compiled until the Google/Apple Coalition World Government deem lists of every kind illegal, sometime in the 2020s. That’s not to say that there wasn’t plenty of utter guff left to choose from...

10. Epic Win
An entire television format built around an internet catchphrase perhaps isn’t the strongest premise for a Saturday night gameshow, but when you consider it’s essentially a low-budget rehash of You Bet, it reveals itself to be even more of a trainwreck. A deserving dose of poetic justice, then, that Epic Win turned out to be a monumentally epic fail.

9. The X Factor
The gutter press blamed the departure of Cowell and Cole for a lacklustre series, but if anything, their absence improved proceedings. What let The X Factor down was the blatant transparency in not just the pimping of certain acts, but in offering others up for sacrifice. Meanwhile, Tulisa’s treatment of Misha B made for a new benchmark in malice, even by this show’s standards.

8. Waterloo Road
“Let’s have a high-budget impromptu fashion show in the school gym! Let’s rewrite the entire curriculum in an afternoon! Let’s introduce storylines tackled by Grange Hill with far more finesse two decades ago! Let’s write dialogue a million miles from how anyone ever talks in any walk of life!” Artistic license is one thing, but this shit is verging on accidental sci-fi.

7. Sing If You Can
It’s hard not to love Stacey Solomon, bless her, but the truly bizarre Sing If You Can was a low-rent mash-up of D-list celebrities, terrible karaoke and humiliating challenges. In short, it was the Channel 5 ‘classic’ Night Fever, with added baked-bean-baths and witchetty grub munching. When the most dignified thing on your CV from the last year is an Iceland ad, it’s time to get a new agent.

6. Primeval
What began as a promising action series for all the family soon morphed into an awkward, watered-down mess, riddled with plotholes. Granted, Primeval didn’t have an easy time of it, being given the chop then thrown a lifeline by a pan-global mix of broadcasters, but it seems to be a case of too many cooks. Are they really still planning a film version...?

5. Don't Scare The Hare
In fairness, Don’t Scare The Hare was the kind of misfire channels should be making. After the success of Total Wipeout, it’s clear to see why things went down this route, plus it was certainly offering something different. It’s just a shame it ended up on BBC One on Saturday nights rather than on Nickelodeon being played by six-year-olds.

4. Red or Black
An even more uninspired gameshow than the aforementioned Epic Win, this was a definite low point in 2011’s TV offerings. You can hang all the bells and whistles on it that the ITV1 budget will allow; it’s still, at the end of the day, an entire series centred on the concept of guessing either A or B. Gifting a million quid to an ex-con is the least of their troubles when the show itself is this lame.

3. So You Think You Can Dance
It’s difficult to think of another show of this ilk where so little effort or passion was put into it, let alone budget or publicity. In the US, it’s an explosive, fast-paced, attention-grabbing entertainment show; the horrific, half-arsed UK reboot had Cat Deeley reinventing the word ‘disingenuous’, the world’s dullest judging panel, contestants it was nigh on impossible to care about, and the all production values of a primary school nativity play.

2. Sunday AM
Granted, not a show that ordinarily makes for regular viewing round these parts, but the occasions where it’s popped up via a session of lazy Sunday channel-hopping has proved it to be truly painful television, all down to the unfathomable snobbery of Andrew Marr. His sniffing at popular culture is hilarious, a key moment being his pretence at not knowing what The X Factor is. You’re educated, we get it. Also: the opening music is what plays 24 hours a day in Hell.

1. The Tudors
And a once-entertaining, if always ridiculous, show takes the unenviable title of 2011’s worst television show. The Tudors was rarely anything more than a 15th Century take on The Red Shoe Diaries, playing it fast and loose with historical fact and relying on knockers ‘n’ gore. But Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ portrayal of Henry VIII was like a bad impression of Father Jack Hackett that got less and less funny. Arguably one of the worst pieces of acting ever witnessed, it ensured the series went out on an entirely new low.

1 comment:

Flo said...

I didn't watch any of these programmes (bar the odd bit of Andrew Marr who I find to be a towering hypocrite). Having read your review I'm not sorry I missed them! :-)

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