Revisting the Collective: Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel: The Most Rotten Current TV Shows

(CS: Here is an article that I'd never write today. I actually have no memory of writing this piece, but it was published originally for Collective Publishing on January 23, 2013. I have a lot of issues with this piece, but at the time, I was desperate to help out the site by crafting articles on topics that would draw in readers. These type of pieces were super popular at the time just like they are now. Negativity sells. It is why The Breakdown of the Worst of (insert year) is one of the most downloaded and listened to episodes of The Movie Breakdown each year. But considering where the world is heading and the growing toxicity of social media, I've become less and less interested in endorsing that type of pop culture writing.)

As a pop culture writer, I feel it is my duty to defend television. I’ve heard people complain that TV shows have lost the magic and don’t compare to shows from past decades. (CS: This is during what was known as 'Peak TV' with critics arguing TV has surpassed movies for storytelling. Then it led to the current period where there is so many shows that even a professional critic can't keep up with the best of it.)  These people clearly don’t know how to use their remote properly and have been on the wrong channels. (CS: Like the History Channel or TLC.)

The last few years have delivered several innovative and engaging series. You have twisty and suspenseful shows like Once Upon a Time (CS: Speaking of peak, it lost lots of momentum after the first season) and Homeland; there is delicious soapy programming like Revenge; entertaining train wrecks such as American Horror Story; hilarious but still heartfelt sitcoms like Modern Family and Suburgatory (CS: Such a great underrated series.). If you have a craving then there is likely some type of programming out there that can satisfy it. Television is doing just fine. 

But today I am not here to defend television. Instead I am here to wave the white flag, and admit the landscape is also littered with a lot of garbage. Here is the putrid side of TV entertainment. (CS: I admit my stance on this style of writing changed over the years, especially as someone who is just trying to be more positive. and while a negative review is fine, it is just not that fun to keep kicking the dirt on something I didn't like. But I really have no clue what inspired me to do a piece like this other than hopes it would drive an audience, because even then, this wouldn't have been a piece I would be passionate to write.) 

Double Divas: This isn’t a series about Madonna accidentally cloning herself and then teaming up to fight crime. It should be, but it isn’t. (CS: Now that is Peak TV.)  This is about some store that makes brassieres for gigantic breasted women, because apparently, “change your bra, change your life.” I admit that if I changed to a bra, then it would likely change my life. Since all 14 year old boys know how to use Google search, I’m clueless about the demographic for a PG rated show about women wrestling to squeeze into a piece of clothing. I also dread the male spin off, Muffin Top Jeans. (CS: It lasted two seasons for a total of 25 episodes, and I have no memory of this show's existence or how I knew about it then.)  

All Auction Shows: Okay, this isn’t one series, but there is an empire of shows about auctioning off crap. There are TV shows about lost luggage auctions, items from abandoned storage auctions, auctions set in various states, and auctions about auctioning auction buildings (I’d assume, I don’t watch these shows). The most irritating thing is that they all have titles with words like “war” and “battle”, which means the producers need to go to an auction to buy a dictionary. (CS: I do remember the Storage Wars era where there were like 50 versions of what I could assume was the exact same thing. I feel like this fad is long gone, right? Though Storage Wars is still on the air according to my quick Wiki search.) 

Here Come Honey Boo Boo: Also known as the “one reason I kind of wish the Mayan Calendar predictions were correct.” I’m not going to jump on the “evil child exploitation” bandwagon, because there is no way this is actually reality. Right? It is just an hour of televisions for sad people to say, “Well, my life is better than that. But hey, why don’t I have a pet pig?” (CS: I assume the main family had a pet pig? Wanted a pet pig? Competed for the right to get a pet pig? I remember being really opposed to this show in 2013, but I literally remember nothing about it. It has been squeezed out my mind to be replaced with all the Pokemons Everett has told me about. Charizard!)

The Neighbors: Most of my regular readers by now have heard me whine about this show several times. I admit that I haven’t watched anything past the trailer that ABC provided. That thing is more painful than rolling in fish guts, then leaping into the arms of a starved, wild bear. How does the rest of the country not know there is an entire community of aliens? Why didn’t they just remake ALF? How is it possible this show is not cancelled? (CS: Despite my hate for a show that I had only ever seen the trailer, it latest two seasons of 22 episodes each, and as it went on, it grew from initial negative critical response to garnering some praise.) 

Keeping Up with the Kardashians: No thanks, they can go ahead. Way ahead. I’ll stay back here and hide under the bed until they’re gone. (CS: There is a new The Kardashian series on Disney Plus in Canada and Hulu in the States, and I plan to watch just as many episodes of that series.) 

Beauty and the Beast: In the ‘80s original series, the Beast actually, you know, looked like a beast. Now, a small scratch on the cheek apparently makes you a hideous looking beast. Actually, the hideous part is the acting, which includes a narrator describing the murder of her mother with a little less emotion than I have when reading off a grocery list full of vegetables. (CS: Hey! Vegetables are a healthy compliment to a well-balanced dish.)   I’m pretty sure there would be much better performances if they replaced this show with pre-schoolers acting out scenes from Disney’s version. (CS: I completely blanked out that they made a remake of the 1980s series, which should totally be streaming somewhere but does not seem to be here in Canada.) 

I must admit I’ve never watched any of these shows. But if you can actually get to the end of the trailers of each of these shows then you’re a much stronger than I'll ever be. (CS: This piece stayed relatively lighthearted, but my biggest issue with it today is that I passed verdict on a bunch of shows that I had never even watched. You can't judge entertainment based off their ads, and I think this was a misguided article that I would never write now. If I want to trash The Kardashian, then I need to watch an episode to have a real opinion.)