Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
50 worst tv shows of all time
Recently the TV Guide published a completely bogus list of what their humorless and snobbish editors considered the worst TV shows ever. They included many shows that were quiet watchable and even hits for many years. Here are some of the ones they included which I take issue with:
Still the Beaver
The Flying Nun
Barney & Friends
As I wrote on the main page, "Hogan's Heroes" was a funny show. Only knee jerk extremists of the Alec Baldwin genre would not find it amusing. "AfterMASH" was a bad show, and a weak imitation of its predessessor, but hardly bad enough to make the 50 worst list. "Baywatch" featured Pam Anderson! Donna D'errico! Ericka Eleniak! In bathing suits!!!!
"Still the Beaver" wasn't great, but it still had Tony Dow and Ken Osmond. There are worse shows. "The Flying Nun" was a silly idea, but it was done well and endeared us all to Sally Field. And as much as we all despise Barney, he has distracted many small children and kept them from bothering me.
I won't take the TV Guide to task on their other poor choices, but rather have composed my own list of the 50 worst shows. The TV Guide's list follows for comparison.
Senor Sock's 50 Worst TV Shows Ever
1. "The Wilton North Report" --the most amateur, unfunny embarrassing late night mess EVER.
2. "The Michael Richards Show"--an embarrassing sitcom that cast Michael Richards as a private detective.
3. "News Weasles"--E! had the use of all the footage they wanted for free off the NBC feed. Instead of making a hip new "Not Necessaarily the News" for the 1990's, they did this lame show that starred two annoying hosts.
4. "Mrs. Columbo" -- When Peter Falk left the Columbo series, NBC and Universal tried to carry on without him by hiring Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) as Mrs. Columbo. She solved crimes, but got no ratings.
5. "The Bradys"--the awful weekly drama that followed the lives of the all grown up Bradys and exposed their weaknesses as actors.
6. "The Alan Thicke Show"--remember those ads: "Look out Johnny!" as Thicke tried to dethrone Carson with a late night show full of unfunny zanies.
7. "The Jason Alexander Show"--another pathetic and unwatchable sitcom that misfired at every level imaginable, beginning with the one joke premis of Alexander as a self-help guru.
8. "Cop Rock"--I can't argue with this choice. A cop drama where cops and robbers burst into song and dance. I shudder thinking about it.
9. "The Hat Squad"--A special team of elite cops who were well known because they all wore hats. Really.
10. "Adventures of Mark & Brian"--take a couple of deejays put them in a prime time show, toss a lot of money at the project, and what do you get? A huge bomb.
11. "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer"--can't srgue with this choice either. Tasteless comedy about a former slave in the Lincoln White House who's always saving the President's bacon.
12. "Nutt House" --As Mel Brooks' movie career began to fade, he returned to TV with this hotel sitcom that starred Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman and Mark Blankfield.
13. "Ponderosa"--Ponderous is right. One of the many attempts to recreate the magic that was "Bonanza".
14. "Doogie Howser, MD"--Would you let a 16 year old operate on you? Neil Patrick Harris was an awful actor as a teen, but he's proven to be worse as an adult.
15. "Manimal"--A cop who could turn himself into animals to solve crimes. Uh-huh.
16. "The Chevy Chase Show"--Fascinating to watch, like a train wreck in slow motion.
17. "Casablanca"--Trying to do this is an impossible. Replacing Humphrey Bogart requires an actor of depth, subtlety, and great emotional range. NBC got David Soul.
18. "You Bet Your Life"--No, not the one with Groucho. This half hearted attempt by Bill Cosby was a huge inept bore, cost a fortune and a ratings black hole.
19. "The Dom DeLuise Show" --Dom took a sketch from the old "Dean Martin Show" and tried to turn it into a sitcom/variety meld.
20. "The New Show" --Loren Michaels, Buck Henry, John Candy, Dave Thomas and a lot of real smart people tried to make a prime time "Saturday Night Live" that was just a big, smelly, unwatchable turd.
21. "Pacific Blue"--Baywatch was well made t&a. This syndicated ripoff was an atrocious ripoff that had worse writing, worse acting and no Pam Anderson.
22. "Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories"--The network agreed to give this show a two year commitment before a single episode aired. This snorefest otherwise would've been cancelled in two weeks.
23. "Sammy and Company"--This show got off to a great start when due to prior commitments, Sammy had to be replaced by guest hosts for the first two weeks of the show. This is the program "SCTV" parodied with the hilarious "Sammy Maudelin Show".
24. "One of the Boys"--I'm leaving this on the list, even though I never saw it because of the show's cast of regulars: Mickey Rooney, Dana Carvey, Nathan Lane, Scatman Crothers and Meg Ryan. Wow. I would love to see this 1982 college comedy.
25. "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?"--Once I turned down the gig, they should've just 86'd the idea.
26. "Under the Hood"--Just as everyone who left "Seinfeld" wound up with a crappy new sitcom, so did the cast of "Cheers". George Wendt's bad show, "Pearl" with Rhea Pearlman and Shelley Long's "Good Advice" make this a three way tie.
27. "Turn-On"--George Schlatter's variety show follow up to "Laugh In" in 1969 lasted all of one episode before being cancelled for bad taste.
28. "The New Monkees"--a new group of four young men who could do neither comedy nor music. It showed how really exceptional the original Monkees were.
29." Route 66"--the awful new version with Dan Cortese, not the classic series with Martin Milner. It was done by a guy who had never bothered to watch the original series.
30. "Muppets Tonight"--This ABC show hosted by Clifford, the "black" muppet, showed how much the muppets missed their creator, Jim Henson and how really untalented his son Brian turned out to be.
31. "Homeboys in Outer Space"--The only redeeming feature this god-awful sitcom had was James Doohan as the ship's engineer. No, I take that back. It was embarrassing to see him on this show.
32. "Co-Ed Fever"--One of TV's many attempts to cash in on the popularity of the movie "Animal House". The others included "Delta House" and "Brothers and Sisters". Consider this another three way tie.
33. "Holmes & Yoyo"--One's a cop, one's a robot. Though the way John Schuck and Richard Shull acted, it was hard to tell which was the more robotic.
34. "My Talk Show" --An incredibly lame show starring the evil princess of anti-comedy, Cynthia Stevenson who proportedly hosted the show from the living room of her home.
35. "Pink Lady...and Jeff"--No argument here. Fred Silverman combined the talents of comedian Jeff Altman with a couple of Japanese singers (they did not speak english) who called themselves Pink Lady and tried to turn it into a variety show.
36. "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo"--Dumb cop comedy written for audiences that found the "Dukes of Hazard" too highbrow.
37. "Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell"--This SNL premiered the same season as NBC's late night show. Oddly enough, it featured Bill Murray as a regular.
38. "The Stephanie Miller Show"--You want to talk bad talk shows, begin here. The worst unfunny lesbian host until the self-important Rosie O'Donnell showed up.
39. "Ball Four" --I wish TV Guide could tell me how they managed to forget this awful sitcom based on Jim Bouton's bestseller? I've been trying to for years. It starred Bouton himself. Ugh.
40. "Sonny & Cher Show" (1977 version)--After they split up, Sonny did his own comedy show, "The Sonny Comedy Review" and Cher did "Cher". Neither worked, so CBS reteamed the two, despite being divorced. The show was incredibly uncomfortable to watch, similar to "Chico and the Man" after Freddie Prinze's suicide. The producers said Chico moved away and replaced him with a kid.
41. "The Tom Green Show"--This dope had Drew Barrymoore and lost her. Moron.
42. "Mary" (1978/1985)--Either of the unwatchably bad shows named "Mary" that Mary Tyler Moore did after she left her incredibly great Mary Tyler Moore Show.
43. "The Family Guy"--Fox made a big commitment to this show, hoping it would be another "Simpsons". Instead it was another "Fish Police"--an expensive, bad, low rated disaster.
44. "The San Pedro Beach Bums" --Terrible sitcom that introduced the world to Stuart Pankin, later of "Not Necessarily the News".
45. "A.K.A. Pablo"--The show that launched Paul Rodriguez' career. This is back when people thought he was the new Freddie Prinze.
46. "Cutter to Houston"--Can't have a 50 worst list without including Alec Baldwin somewhere. He played a doctor in this short lived series.
47. "The Red Foxx Show"--Red was lured by ABC to leave "Sanford and Son" for big bucks to do this variety show. It was a colossal failure.
48. "Sanford Arms"--Not to be outdone, NBC tried to continue "Sanford and Son" without either, Sanford or son. The supporting players were left to convert the Sanford junkyard into a boarding house.
49. "Sanford"--Three years later, NBC brought Red Foxx and the junkyard back without his son and unwisely gave him a rich Beverly Hills girlfriend.
50. "Blanskies Beauties"--Ted Knight played the owner of an escort service after he left the safety of being a supporting lead on The Mary Tyler Moore. I hope he at least got laid a lot auditioning actresses.
TV Guide's Bogus List:
1. The Jerry Springer Show (syndicated, 1991-present)
2. My Mother The Car (NBC, 1965-66)
3. XFL (NBC, UPN and TNN, 2001)
4. The Brady Bunch Hour (ABC, 1977)
5. Hogan's Heroes (CBS, 1965-71)
6. Celebrity Boxing (Fox, 2002-present)
7. AfterMASH (CBS, 1983-84)
8. Cop Rock (ABC, 1990)
9. You're in the Picture (CBS, 1961)
10. Hee Haw Honeys (syndicated, 1978-79)
11. The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer (UPN, 1998)
12. Hello Larry (NBC, 1979-80)
13. Twenty-One (NBC, 1956-58)
14. Baby Bob (CBS, 2002-present)
15. Manimal (NBC, 1983)
16. The Chevy Chase Show (Fox, 1993)
17. Casablanca (NBC, 1983)
18. The Ugliest Girl in Town (ABC, 1968-69)
19. The P.T.L. Club (syndicated, 1976-87)
20. The Pruitts of Southampton (ABC, 1966-67)
21. Baywatch (NBC and syndicated, 1989-2001)
22. The Powers of Matthew Star (NBC, 1982-83)
23. Sammy and Company (syndicated, 1975-77)
24. One of the Boys (NBC, 1982)
25. Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? (Fox, 2000)
26. Life with Lucy (ABC, 1986)
27. Turn-On (ABC, 1969)
28. Supertrain (NBC, 1979)
29. Howard Stern (E!, 1994-present)
30. Unhappily Ever After (WB, 1995-99)
31. Homeboys in Outer Space (UPN, 1996-97)
32. Co-Ed Fever (CBS, 1979)
33. Holmes & Yoyo (ABC, 1976)
34. Alexander the Great (ABC, 1968)
35. Pink Lady...and Jeff (NBC, 1980)
36. The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo (NBC, 1979-81)
37. Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell (ABC, 1975-76)
38. Hell Town (NBC, 1985)
39. Still the Beaver (Disney Channel, 1985-86)
40. Makin' It (ABC, 1979)
41. The Tom Green Show (MTV, 1999-2000)
42. The Flying Nun (ABC, 1967-70)
43. Woops! (Fox, 1992)
44. She's the Sheriff (syndicated, 1987-89)
45. A.K.A. Pablo (ABC, 1984)
46. Me and the Chimp (CBS, 1972)
47. Rango (ABC, 1967)
48. Bless this House (CBS, 1995-96)
49. The Ropers (ABC, 1979-80)
50. Barney & Friends (PBS, 1992-present)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008