Over the past couple of weeks, we've focused on the best TV had to offer in 2012: the funniest episodes, the greatest news bloopers, the most useful GIFs, the most quotable characters, the celebrities you were most likely to see naked, your biggest Internet crushes, etc. What we haven't talked about much, though, are the worst things to happen on TV this year. Spoiler alert: there was a lot.
As a sort-of companion piece to Film Drunk's Worst Films of 2012 feature, here are 10 TV shows and personalities from 2012 we loved to hate (watch). There's nothing fun about despising, say, Gossip Girl or Glee, two shows that were very easy to ignore, but we were endlessly fascinated by The Newsroom or The Killing, partially because their ambitions were too big for what their creators hoped to achieve. As for Girls, well, we're not including it because we've been there and back enough times already. Tell us your "favorites," too.
2012 should have been a great year for reality shows. The genre reached its apex with Killer Karaoke, after all, and yet all anyone could talk about was TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, starring pig-in-a-pageant dress Alana Thompson. It's not that the Boo Boos are bad people exactly; it's that they're utterly disgusting. I watched eight episodes for a post earlier this year, and the only thing I learned after spending four hours with Mama & Co. is that they're proud of their toilet paper stash and obesity, so we're left with stills like this:
TLC is brilliant for taking advantage of America's previously unknown fascination for Alabama Walmarts. If only the rest of the country was as equally intelligent, and didn't watch.
(From guest contributor Burnsy)
Love It or List It, in a nutshell, is a show about awful people who run their homes into the ground before designer Hilary and realtor David “come to their rescue” and both fixes their home and finds them a new one, respectively. I cannot emphasize the word “awful” enough in that description. Basically, these are people – usually in Canada or Chicago, for whatever reasons – who have a ton of money at their disposal, but do nothing to maintain their large homes, resulting in them bitching and moaning that they’ll need to move from one $700,000 house to another.
The thing that I hate most about this show, and therefore the reason why I watch it so much, is that Hilary always ALWAYS does a great job with the $50,000 to $60,000 budget that these horrible people give her, but they still complain and give her sh*t every time because they’re too stupid to realize that “renovate” means breaking stuff. Then they give David sh*t because they forget to tell him their “must haves” and then they complain about every little thing in the nice homes he shows them.
And then at the end of each episode, they decide to Love It (stay) or List It (move), and by that point you just want their house to explode.
It's not as if we want to hate NBC — they air three of our favorites shows, Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation; it's just that they make it so hard for anyone to defend them. The Olympics was a gigantic clusterf*ck, they canceled Best Friends Forever, Mockingbird Lane, and Bent before they even had a chance, there was that whole monkey hospital show which we will never speak of again (Justin Kirk, you deserve better), and they continue to allow Donald Trump and Jay Leno to spew their derpy venom and derpier bad jokes.
Considering The Office and 30 Rock are ending soon, I'm not against Community and Parks concluding in the spring, too, so that we, the non-New Normal viewers of the world, can break away from the Peacock once and for all, at least until the Kenan Thompson sitcom airs next season. That'll cure what ails them.
If we ever decide to build a Warming Glow Hall of Lame (Ball of Shame? Eh, we'll figure it out later), Guy Fieri would be our Bob Dylan/Babe Ruth. We've been making fun of the obese starfish for so long that our mockery occasionally borders on love — we even gave him props this year for his solid Bourdain burn. But when we read about his $100,000 appearance fee and cookbook with Smash Mouth and review his new Times Square restaurant, which Bobby Big Wheel called a "culinary abortion," we're once again reminded that Fieri is the bro you knew in college who reeked of magazine sample cologne, unironically cranked Bowling for Soup at 4 a.m., and took massive dumps but never flushed. Except this bro is worth millions, which, no.
This all could have been prevented. If creator Veena Sud had just planned a one-and-done season, and showed us who killed Rosie Larsen in the series finale, The Killing might have been regarded as one of the best single season shows in recent memory. Instead, Sud (and AMC) pissed off viewers by not revealing Rosie's murderer in season one and then proceeded to drag their feet through the mud for another 13 tedious episodes, before finally, and disappointingly, showing us...she did it. And now AMC is (allegedly) bringing the show back for another rain-soaked, tensionless-drenched season, the second worst decision the network made this year.
Aaron Sorkin is like a substitute teacher who's pompously reading from chapter two and saying things like, "Now, I know this might be too complicated for you to understand, but let me explain..." when his students are already in chapter four. It wasn't always this way (The West Wing and The Social Network are great, and even Studio 60 had its moments of brilliance), but The Newsroom was everything Sorkin had successfully skirted around before, but now totally failed at: it spoke down to viewers, created enough straw men to make a handbag, portrayed all women as either shrill little girls or idiots, distrusted technology, and preached like a minister raised on Mitch Albom columns. And it's only going to get worse in season two, when Sorkin tackles Obama vs. Romney. Did I say "worse"? I meant "better." There's no show as much fun to hate watch as The Newsroom...YA THINK.
I finally got around to reading Rolling Stone's cover story about T-Swift a few days ago, and one passage in particular caught my attention, like a circle of butterflies and fairy dust emanating from Taylor Swift's magical fingers full of magic and puppy dog tails:
As showtime approaches, Swift keeps her mind off the song, doing her extensive vocal warm-ups (which, at one point, involve actual meows) and discussing food options for tonight's plane back to Nashville. She's sprawled sideways in a director's chair; her flats have cartoon-cat heads by the toes. "Buffalo tenders? OK! And rigatoni with truffle meat sauce – can I get it with spaghetti, though? Rigatoni makes me feel weird. It's like a wheel, and what's it trying to do? It's like an unfinished ravioli." (Via)
Emphasis mine, though I imagine most of the things Taylor says are uttered in bold, with hearts dotting the I's. It's not so much her music that bugs people (I'd wager half of you reading this know the lyrics to "22" and have sung it in at least one shower this month); it's her penchant for always playing the victim and her personality, which is best described as a doe-eyed cat that's shocked and excited by its own reflection. Like so, via Kristen Wiig:
Cute when a kitten does it, not so much when an adult does the same. Because she's surprised by everything, it seems so disingenuous; Taylor's a movie critic who loves everything and hates nothing, except for haters themselves. Here's a recent tweet of hers: "Walked into my AMA dressing room and there was this little bowl of candy in there. Literally shrieked with excitement. Need to tone it down." Girl's head is gonna f*cking explode when she finds out about birthday cake ice cream.
(As for why Swift's included on this TV list, see here.)
Just in case the reasons to hate Nancy Grace aren't already self-evident:
Yup, she's a monster, in a gas station .99 store wig.
Work It aired for two glorious episodes on ABC less than a year ago, but it feels like the series happened a lifetime (or, like, 14 periods ago, in Work It terms) ago. Time flies when you can't believe a sitcom about two MANLY MEN NO LITE BEER FOR THIS RUGGED GUY'S GUY who pretend to be women to keep their jobs made it to air. The economy, y'know. FYI: 6.1 million people watched the pilot, then 4.9 for episode #2. Community's "Remedial Chaos Theory," one of the best episodes of any TV show in the past decade, brought in 3.78 viewers, proving that everything is terrible and that the nearly FIVE MILLION PEOPLE who watched the second episode of Work It (I get checking out the pilot out of curiosity, but I'd rather lick Ben Koldyke's pantyhoses than see another one) hate good TV, women, and America, in that order.
OK, obviously not Game of Thrones as a whole, but a certain character on Game of Thrones.
Forever the answer to, "If you could punch and/or throw cow crap at anyone in the world, who would it be?"