We have all sorts of positive entries to share in our Best of 2012 Series starting on Monday, including the top actors and shows of the year. (You can read the breakdown for the categories here.) Before we get to that, though, there is one final order of business that needs to be taken care of: pointing out the dreck of our beloved medium.
In the midst of a year that brought us such gems as “Game of Thrones” season 2, the return of “Dexter” as the show we used to love, and the return of NBC to network prominence, we also had shows that most of us would want to forget. Some of these shows are still on the air; some of these, meanwhile, are so bad they should have never been put on the air to begin with. Our nominees are mostly from broadcast TV (which seems to be the master of greenlighting bad ideas), and they include two summer reality shows, three comedies (one of which is reality been canceled), a former ratings sensation for MTV, and The CW’s biggest mistake of the 2012-13 season.
Without further ado, let’s get to this: the Worst Shows of 2012.
“Beauty and the Beast” (The CW) – This seemed like a good idea in theory: revive a classic CBS soap, and put it on after “The Vampire Diaries” given the that the two match up thematically. Unfortunately, the difference here is that “Beauty and the Beast” lacks any of the punch of its lead-in, and it also lacks all of the talent. The biggest culprits here are the writers, who have given the cast little to work with at all. “Emily Owens MD” may be canceled, but this is going to go down as the network’s biggest blunder. Why cancel a better show with higher ratings in “The Secret Circle” for this? In addition, why did you not put “Cult” in this timeslot, given that it has a perfect tie-in with “The Vampire Diaries” in Matt Davis?
“Duets” (ABC) – “The X Factor” is not a good singing competition, but it looks like Shakespeare compared to this. (Ironically, though, we’d take host Quddus over either Mario Lopez or Khloe Kardashian.) The voting system on this show was bizarre, overly strategic, and also at times unfair through the first few rounds of the competition; in addition to that, the idea of pairing a singer up with a star to sing was just terrible from the get-go. We don’t want to watch everyone sound decent all the time, and the judges were unable to really bash a performance too much since they would also be bashing Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, or the other two stars that were on board here. We don’t need another singing competition … we could still do with getting rid of a couple.
“The Choice” (Fox) – The name and the concept were a rip-off of a good show in “The Voice,” and the rest of the show was just a shameful excuse for dating on television. You had “celebrities” who didn’t take the idea of dating seriously, and then the whole premise of these stars not being able to see their prospective dates was wasted by them introducing themselves by talking about how “amazing” their body is. Cat Deeley needs to keep this off her resume and pretend it never happened.
“Guys with Kids” (NBC) – It’s never good when you can sum up a show with the title, and literally have nothing else to say. It’s about guys the kids. All of the humor is about guys having kids. The guys with kids spend time with the kids’ mothers, and all of them are either awful, generic, or too controlling. Jimmy Fallon should just stick to what he is good at rather than producing this mess: coming out on stage in funny costumes and having Lindsay Lohan mess up somebody’s hair. His late-night show is brilliant! We would have rather he made “Jersey Floor” into a show. Speaking of which…
“Jersey Shore” (MTV) – It was in our Most Disappointing category, and it’s also here. Why? Season 6 is just that terrible. We cannot think of an example of such an entertaining show falling apart since possibly “Heroes,” since this is now just a predictable, boring mess of a reality franchise. There is a reason that three-quarters of the viewers have jumped ship: the cast has grown up too much for the Seaside Heights shtick to be believable.
“Two and a Half Men” (CBS) – Angus T. Jones used the wrong argument in his now-infamous show: “Two and a Half Men” is not “filth” controlled by the devil. It’s just bottom-of-the-barrel TV that only really got away with it when Charlie Sheen was around. Even when you have a comedy about crazy characters, you still need someone to root for; Alan is the constant here, and yet Jon Cryer’s character continues to do things that are so icky that it is impossible to like him. The fact that he won an Emmy for this part while Joel McHale was not nominated is even more appalling. We’re really just beating a dead horse here at this point, aren’t we? Ten seasons for any show is really long enough … and eight was plenty here.
“Work It” (ABC) – If you get canceled after two episodes, you are terrible. Really terrible. We watched the pilot early this year, mostly because we were curious how bad a show could really be. The whole premise of guys dressing up like women to find work was sexist to begin with, and then they made it worse by stereotyping women, men, and everything between every two seconds. Not even someone who loves the modern-day “Two and a Half Men” could have found this garbage funny. It’s got the inside track on winning this, since this is the sort of idea you think about for a second before bed, and then never tell a soul about.
Be sure to vote for your favorite (or least favorite, that is) in the poll below, and you can check out all of our categories for the year here. The full results will be unveiled on Friday, December 21 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern.