Friday, October 4, 2013

2013-2014 Network Sitcoms: The Worst

There are 24 sitcoms airing on network television this fall (and then streaming on Hulu and for the rest of us).  I watched the first episode of each series and ranked them from worst to best.  Here is the eight worst shows of the season.

24. Dads (Season 1, Fox)
This show is so bad that it made me miss Whitney.  Yeah, that bad.  Just a waste of talent, air space and my time.  It is indeed racist.  No matter how edgy the producers claim they are being it is just old men shouting out stereotypes for no reason.  It is not like they can use the excuse that they are from "a different generation," they are men in their early to mid-sixties.  The show is sexist two.  Making a female employee dress up like a school girl to close a business deal is not funny.  There is nothing going on, no real jokes or characters.  It is unlikable, boring and just bad.  Lower than the bottom of the barrel, hurry up and cancel this.

23. 2 Broke Girls (Season 3, CBS)
I did not even finish the first episode of this season it was so bad.  I am ranking it higher than Dads because it actually attempts to make jokes.  In fact the whole series appears to be stereotypical characters spouting out poorly delivered punchlines that somehow get a laugh from the studio audience.  There are no real characters or stories here, just broadness.  Essentially a Disney Channel sitcom that makes cheap jokes about sex.

22. Two and a Half Men (Season 11, CBS)
I have never held much hostility towards Two and a Half Men.  Of course it is not great, but for most of its run it was entertaining.  The kind of show you could watch just because it was on and enjoy keeping up with the likable characters.  Well the sitcom somehow made to 11 seasons (an almost impossible feat in this day and age).  The characters are painful to watch and it is recycling jokes.  This season adds Amber Tamblyn as Charlie's illegitimate lesbian daughter.  Which gives the characters an opportunity to mention how much they miss a character that died several years ago.  This series has no legs left and needs to die.

21. Back in the Game (Season 1, ABC)
There are things that should work, but this is one of the more forgettable premieres of the season (and there were a lot of them).  Maggie Lawson is good lead, but there is not much for her to do.  The cast of kids have little personality outside of their basic stereotypes.  James Caan plays his grumpy old man role well but it is completely out of place in a comedy.  It is just not enjoyable, Ben Koldyke is the only actor who provides some sort of joy and energy.  This show should have a very short run.

20. We Are Men (Season 1, CBS)
One of many new series to waste a talented cast.  Kal Penn is the only one who manages to be somewhat entertaining although Shalhoub occasionally comes close.  Chris Smith, the lead point of view character, is bland and almost unlikable.  There is nothing new here.  Tony Shalhoub dates younger women, Jerry O'Connell always takes his shirt off, the dynamics of the men has all been seen before.  It is unentertaining and based in misogyny.

19. The Millers (Season 1, CBS)
More wasted talent.  This is very poorly written and directed.  Will Arnett adds nothing and Jayma Mays seems out of place.  If this series survives it will be due to the supporting cast's ability to rise above the insultingly immature material.  Beau Bridges makes an enteraining TV dad, Nelson Franklin and J.B. Smoove understand how to make a small role work on a sitcom.  The stand-out and only saving grace of the unfunny show is Margo Martindale.  She adds class and commitment to this role.  Even if her character's only purpose seems to be to fart that does not stop her from entertaining the audience.  But she deserves better and so does the audience.

18. The Crazy Ones (Season 1, CBS)
We have seen Robin Williams on auto-pilot so many times, why do we need an entire series for the legendary entertainer to not try?  There are no jokes in the script, it seems as if David E. Kelley planned this as a drama but some executive through an improvising Williams into it.  And while Williams can make up a lot on the spot there is no context for it and it honestly isn't funny.  The amount of product placement in the pilot is astounding.  There is nothing for the audience to relate to or be interested by.  It is pleasant at times and has some potential.  Hamish Linklater and Amanda Setton make good supporting players.  But it isn't funny and the father-daughter dynamic is non-existent.

17. The Goldbergs (Season 1, ABC)
Not as offensively horrible as the rest of these, but it did not grab me either.  I am sure that many will enjoy the eighties nostalgia, but I was born in 1991.  I need a reason to care about these characters and all they really do is yell.  The kids seem like a copy of the cast of The Middle with the older son seeming like an expy of Charlie McDermott.  It isn't sweet enough to make up for its lack of laughs.  I can see this getting a following or improving, but not for me.

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