Sunday, June 29, 2008

The worst national television series that come to mind:

This began as a comment on Bill Crider's blog, wherein low-budget Houston commercial station Channel 55 is hoping to run a block of Really Bad programming to draw fans of such. Such worthy contenders as MANIMAL and TJ HOOKER and HOMEBOYS FROM OUTER SPACE were mentioned by commenters on both Bill's post and the HOUSTON CHRONICLE posting of the story.

But these all came to me quickly...

THE REAL WORLD OF TAMMY FAYE (THE VIEW may not look less inane in comparison, but certainly less insane.)
THE RICHARD BEY SHOW (though only JENNY JONES among the tabloid talk shows actually got anyone killed, I think)
THE RAT PATROL (sorry, James and Bill...but this has been my high-water mark for mindless he-man drama since seeing it as an adolescent, and in this case, that's a bad thing.)
STRANGE PARADISE (the soap-opera Jamaican? zombies DARK SHADOWS ripoff)
ON THE AIR (the complete misfire historical comedy-drama project of Lynch and Snow after TWIN PEAKS--though the similar REMEMBER WENN was nearly as dire)
IN SEARCH OF, narrated by L. Nimoy
THE 700 CLUB (lies, damned lies, and begging for money to deliver more)
ALIAS, perhaps the most overrated terrible show thus far
SCAREDY CAT, just the worst Saturday Morning cartoon I've ever seen, though LAND OF THE LOST might just be the worst of the "live-action" Saturday morning dramas...or at least feature the worst acting I've seen just about anywhere.
THE CHAIR and THE CHAMBER, game shows involving actual torture

My father would want me to add MOTHERS IN LAW...I haven't had the pleasure of that one, nor DR. SIMON LOCKE, YOU'RE IN THE PICTURE, MY MOTHER THE CAR, or any one of a number of truly atrocious-sounding programs.


C. Margery Kempe said...

Oh, the Rat Patrol -- I don't have any tangible memory of it, but I do recall loving the show as a child, when I had once fallen asleep under the coffee table to Battle of the Bulge. Why is that I recall all the childhood memories of the Vietnam Wat being accompanied by heroic films of the Second World War? They were trying to convince people, eh? What's the Rock Hudson film with kids fighting (something with Bees?) and dying? That's the American way -- all kinds of violence, okay! Sex, though -- bad! God forbid pleasure and procreation be presented as enjoyable stuff. Oh no, can't have that -- sex is great ? Bad message for the kids. We have a screwed up country.

Ummm -- well that went a bit off topic. My b-i-l is a HUGE Hooker fan (um, TJ Hooker that is) so I should spread the word.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Wat = war, of course. Bloody typing, of course (TUI).

Todd Mason said...

I think THE RAT PATROL might be my most controversial choice among these. When it was the kind of show where a machine gun on top of a Jeep never needs to be reloaded, and the Jeep never needs to be gassed up, and the guys on the Jeep never needed to eat, much less eliminate (the latter wouldn't come up in a 1960s tv show). Nor would they ever kill their Wo Fat, Eric Braeden as a German squad commander as I remember it, despite endless opportunities to do so, and he returned the favor (although the two Jeeps of the Rat Patrol were capable of bringing down whole Panzer divisions by themselves, since they never have any needs, except when plot convenience demanded it. It really bit.

If anything, worse than any John Wayne film I remember, it implied that any real or possible troops were wimps. And so were their guns and Jeeps. Of course, the real Jeeps were nightmares.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Boy, most of these are new to me. I would add a ton of mid-sixties shows that were incredibly dumb. McHale's Navy, The Beverly Hillbillies, My Mother, the Car, all of those not funny comedies. Or not funny to me, maybe.
I would even add a very controversial choice-I Love Lucy, which I never found funny at all. There's a blog subject for today, what classic tv show or movie do you not "get".

Todd Mason said...

Oh, yes, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES is certainly the worst poupular sitcom of the 1960s, unless that's its cousin, GOMER PYLE, USMC. As I remember it, even MCHALE'S NAVY wasn't nearly as offensive, nor was it nor GILLIGAN'S ISLAND nearly as popular, even if they did get a lot of exposure as syndicated repeats in the early '70s.

Todd Mason said...

Apparently the syndicated-repeat success of GILLIGAN inspired an imitation first-run-in-syndication series that managed to be even worse, DUSTY'S TRAIL, which I've also been spared, at least in living memory.