Coming up with a list of the worst show’s of the year isn’t as easy as you might think. For one, we generally don’t enjoy watching bad TV, so it’s harder to ensure our list is completely accurate. In addition, we don’t particularly care for a lot of trashy reality TV, but to be fair, we limited ourselves to just three reality entries on our list.
The criterion for all our lists is highly subjective, but judging inferiority is even more so. Yes, shows like Two and a Half Men are painful to watch, but are they necessarily the worst? And some shows may have good or even great moments, but they can still be a massive letdown, which leaves an even more sour taste in our mouths.
There were quite a few shows we discussed which did not make the final list. There were plenty of truly awful new comedies like Carpoolers, Cavemen, and Back to You that nearly made it, and a handful of dramas like the poorly executed noir of Moonlight or the train wreck of Bionic Woman. After the end of The Sopranos, we were critical of HBO’s latest dramatic offerings, the incomprehensible John from Cincinnati and the sexually graphic Tell Me You Love Me. We also thought about the useless and largely forgotten National Bingo Night, or even the ever popular Heroes, simply for an incredibly disappointing second season.
While those were close, none were as universally loathed by our staff as the seven shows that actually did make the list. So we present to you our list of the seven worst shows of 2007.
Worst Show #7 – 24
The sixth season of 24 wasn’t all bad. In fact, the opening four hours were downright exhilarating, culminating in a nuclear bomb detonation and the death of Curtis Manning. But after that, he show very quickly fell off the rails and the result is what is correctly regarded as the show’s worst season ever.
There was the awkward way the show introduced Jack Bauer’s extended family, with his evil brother and even more evil father. The presidential subplot revisited storylines the show had already done. D.B. Woodside was highly unbelievable as a president. His sister Sandra was a completely wasted character, and what ever happened to her boyfriend, Walid? At CTU, Nadia and Milo became my least favorite couple ever, and instead of being dramatic, Milo’s sudden death was a moment worthy of applause.
Above all else, however, there are two principal reasons the sixth season of 24 was one of the worst shows of the year. The first is Charles Logan. I love the character, and I think Gregory Itzin was the find of the decade, but in his final episode, his wife stabbed him. Then…what? Sure, 24 has pulled this stuff before (see: Behrooz), but with such an important character, I figured we’d find out what happened to him in the next episode, and the one after that, and so on, to the point where the fate of Charles Logan became such a massive distraction that I couldn’t care about the rest of the season.
But the number one reason 24 was one of the worst shows of 2007: Brady Hauser. Jack Bauer has faced off against many formidable foes in his past: terrorists, heads of CTU, presidents. Yet nothing could prepare us for the arrival of computer whiz and mentally challenged Brady Hauser. Seeing Jack Bauer try to deal with the mentally handicapped was an embarrassing moment for fans and, I hope, for Kiefer Sutherland as well. It was a new low, one that rivals Kim and the cougar for the all-time worst moment in the history of the show.
Worst Show #6 – Keeping Up with the Kardashians
For eight episodes this year, E! put on one of the most useless reality shows of all-time. Kim Kardashian had not accomplished anything worthwhile. Her posterior is one to rival J. Lo, she once appeared engaging in carnal relations with R&B singer Ray-J, and her dad was a famous attorney. In any normal society, these things would not result in fame and fortune. Welcome to our world.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians chronicled the “wacky” misadventures of Kim, her equally flighty sisters Kourtney and Khloe, her mother/manager Kris, her second husband, Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, and Kim’s half-sisters, Kendall and Kylie. In eight episodes, Kim appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, posed for Playboy, and lamented the fact that she’s only famous for her sex tape.
Kourtney dodged a pregnancy scare, and also dodged a quickie marriage in Las Vegas. Kris posed nude in front of Kim. The girls took a homeless man into their house and gave him a shave and a haircut while scrubbing him with a loofah. Bruce Jenner sat back, being emasculated at every turn as he tried, fruitlessly, to be rational with the Kardashians.
Worst Show #5 – Big Shots
To be fair, no one on the BuddyTV writing staff made it past the pilot episode of this show. In light of that, Big Shots making our list is an impressive achievement, because while other shows had entire seasons worth of suckiness, Big Shots crammed it all into one episode.
The premise alone is instantly lame, a male version of Desperate Housewives or Sex and the City. Four successful businessmen who have a hard time with their significant others. One has a shrill wife, the other a shrill mistress, and one had a one-night stand at a truck stop with a transvestite hooker.
But the primary reason Big Shots was one of the worst shows of the year was the casting agent. We loved Michael Vartan in Alias, and Joshua Malina in Sports Night and The West Wing, and Dylan McDermott in The Practice, and Christopher Titus in his self-titled sitcom. These are four charismatic actors. Yet somehow, the four of them together is like a black hole. Any glimmer of talent or likability any of them had instantly vanishes. The lack of chemistry between these men is astounding, and it’s shocking that the show made it to air the way it is without drastic recasting.
Worst Show #4 – Viva Laughlin
Being original for the sake of being original is worthless. Oftentimes, people will confuse uniqueness with quality. I can only assume this is how Viva Laughlin made it to prime time. The drama/musical/murder mystery/all-around crapfest involved an up and coming casino owner who became entangled with a murder mystery. Fine, there’s potential there.
But the kicker is this – people would randomly start singing along to classic rock songs during elaborately staged musical numbers. The original song would play in the background, the actors would sing and dance along, and it was the most awful mess I’ve seen on television in years.
Worst Show #3 – Hidden Palms
I admit that I secretly adore trashy teen soaps. But my love for trashy teen soaps is grossly overshadowed by my hatred for Kevin Williamson. He, who gave us that misogynistic crime against humanity Dawson’s Creek, decided to try another hand at teen drama last summer with Hidden Palms. Williamson’s latest venture starred the smushed-faced Taylor Handley who gained notoriety as the mentally unstable Oliver Trask on The O.C. The only good thing about the show was that it didn’t make it past eight episodes.
Handley plays the part of Johnny Miller, a troubled teen who dives into drug and alcohol abuse after his father’s suicide and, after a stint in rehab, comes back to live with his mother and her new husband in Palm Springs, California. Unbeknownst to Johnny, the lush community of Palm Springs is haunted by the death of one of their own, a boy named Eddie who lived in Johnny’s very room before his untimely death.
Honestly, I didn’t make it to the end of the short-lived series, and I never found out who killed Eddie. Frankly, I don’t care and I think I’m better off not knowing. Williamson has a way of trying to be edgy and seductive and hip, but instead comes across exceedingly irritating and smug. I really couldn’t watch more than three episodes before wanting to take a gun to my own head.
Worst Show #2 – On the Lot
How did FOX’s On the Lot go so horribly wrong? I love the behind-the-scenes struggles inherent in the filmmaking process, and when you throw a bunch of crazy directors into a reality show produced by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett, you should have television gold. Instead we got this boring, uninspired, seemingly endless reality series that left me longing for the glory days of Project Greenlight.
Where do we start dissecting this ridiculous train wreck? Adrianna Costa made for a horrendously annoying host, and Carrie Fisher and Garry Marshall were certainly no Simon and Paula when it came to judging. No offense to those two, but in a directing competition I’d like to see judges who have actually crafted decent movies, not the guy who brought us Runaway Bride.
Another problem with On the Lot is that they made the single stupidest mistake you can make when crafting a reality series: they excised all the drama. Instead of showing us the behind-the-scenes tension and catfights that must occur whenever inexperienced filmmakers step behind the camera, they decided to show us nothing but the completed short films. That’d be like if Bravo’s Project Runway only showed us the final runway show, or if Top Chef just presented all the completed dishes. Whose stupid idea was this?
This show had such potential to be interesting, unique, and a whole lot of fun. The fact that it wasn’t any of those things easily makes it one of the worst shows of 2007.
Worst Show #1 – I Love New York
It wasn’t that hard coming up with the single worst TV show of 2007. When you have an emotionally crippled, mentally unbalanced, chain-smoking narcissist looking for “love,” and yet she’s still only the third or fourth most offensive person on the show, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.
I Love New York 2 returned with a vengeance as Tiffany “New York” Pollard began her second quest for love. Aided by her mom, Sister Patterson (who is constantly compared unfavorably to a transvestite), they weed through a group of 20 men whose decision to appear on this show is proof enough that they don’t make good choices.
There were many memorable characters.
-Midget Mac, the vertically challenged man who recently lost his wife, making his clownish buffoonery on the show even more offensive
-The Entertainer, who stuck New York’s foot in his mouth in what was easily the most nauseating thing on TV all year
–It, and incomprehensible man-child who is either mentally retarded or acting like a mentally retarded person
-Punk, a Harvard-educated lawyer who, by virtue of agreeing to appear on this show, should be permanently disbarred
-Tailor Made, the slime ball eventual winner who threw money and expensive gifts at New York until she accepted him, a man so vile that he spit on another man, then curled up into a ball to lessen the pain of the inevitable beatdown
I hope and pray that New York and Tailor Made last forever, simply so that we can avoid a third season of this show.