We're getting down to the end of the year, with only three blog posts remaining until On the Box goes on a holiday season hiatus. Today we're looking at the Worst Television Shows of 2012.
There is one key wrinkle though: rather than just listed 10 terrible shows, I've made this more of a "when I think back, what shows will I remember as being the worst in 2012" list. There are some pretty bad shows on television, sure. But these are the 10 that were so bad they made an impression on me this year.
Before we get to the main list, a few Dis-Honorable Mentions: GCB (TV2) was doomed from the moment they compromised on the name (it was originally titled Good Christian B**ches); Ashley Judd actioner Missing (One) was silly; and horse-racing drama Luck (SoHo) was so boring that the horses started killing themselves. At least, I assume that's what happened.
Here are my Top Ten Worst Television Shows of 2012, in reverse order ...
10: Touch, Season 1 (TV3)
It's on this list because: It was just so damn disappointing. After a decent start, each episode got worse and worse, leading to a messy finale that doesn't have me excited for next year. Also, Kiefer was wrong for the lead role.
The worst part is: The producers and networks built it up so much, with a world tour, synchronised air dates and live, streamed press conferences. Maybe it was doomed to fail all along.
Chances of improvement in 2013: Slim. Creator Tim Kring only has to fix a handful of problems to get Touch back to its best. Sadly, his track record on Heroes tells us he probably won't bother.
09: Two & A Half Men, Season 9 (TV2)
It's on this list because: Do I really need to explain? It suffers from lazy writing, an over-dependence on sitcom cliché, a massive overuse of sexual innuendo, and it might be cursed. At least, Charlie Sheen thinks so. Even giving the show a relative overhaul by hiring Ashton Kutcher didn't help.
The worst part is: It's still on TV after nearly a decade.
Chances of improvement in 2013: None. Two & A Half Men is what it is at this point.
08: Smash, Season 1 (TV3)
It's on this list because: Though it got off to a decent start, it has turned into a chore to watch. The story is okay, but it keeps making these frustrating stops to have Karen make friends with Rebecca or have Leo smoke some pot. Plus, some of the musical performances are just terrible. Case in point: Karen and Ivy singing in Times Square. Ugh.
The worst part is: I can't stop watching it now! Will Bombshell get to Broadway? I HAVE TO KNOW!
Chances of improvement in 2013: It's possible. Ditch Julia's annoying husband and son, and just keep the focus on the production of Bombshell, and I could see the show improving.
07: Unforgettable, Season 1 (One)
It's on this list because: Despite the name, it was totally forgettable. They should have kept the name The Rememberer.
The worst part is: How can we take a character whose special skill is remembering important details seriously? Uhh, newsflash: I can do that too - it's called a reminder and there's an app for it installed on my phone. By default. I didn't even have to do that. It was just there.
Chances of improvement in 2013: None. The show actually got cancelled, then picked up for a second, shortened season. Would you do your best work if you got fired then the boss said "oh, we need you to work for six more weeks"?
06: NZ's Got Talent, Season 1 (One)
It's on this list because: It was week after week after week of talentless hacks trying their best to impress a live audience - and that was just the judges! *boom boom* Seriously though, folks, it was really bad. I called it the worst talent show of the year and I stand by that statement.
The worst part is: We'll probably have to put up with drench-marketed songs from most of the Top 12 for most of the summer. Get used to the sickly-sweet sound of Clara Van Wel's Where Do You Find Love, folks.
Chances of improvement in 2013: Actually, good. Aside from in the UK, the Got Talent franchise has been stamped out by The X Factor and The Voice. It's in TV One's best interest to improve.
05: Mrs Brown's Boys, Season 1 & 2 (One)
It's on this list because: Brendan O'Carroll dressed up as an old woman and doing stupid things like putting an anal thermometer into his/her father's butt then having the poor old codger sit down is just not funny. I'm sorry, but if you think that sort of thing is the pinnacle of comedy then I have about 40 other shows you need to watch immediately.
The worst part is: I'm half-Irish and I was embarrassed by this.
Chances of improvement in 2013: None. It's a one-note show, the televisual equivalent of a piano with only one key. What other note could it possibly go to? Is it suddenly going to start doing smart, Community-style comedy? No.
04: The GC, Season 1 (TV3)
It's on this list because: I really didn't like it, obviously. I'll admit, it improved in the last few episodes, when the focus shifted from partying and having awkward conversations beside a pool to actually exploring the cast members' careers and personal lives. But it didn't do enough to make me forget those terrible early episodes.
The worst part is: The cast keep showing up all over the place. I feel they should all be wearing T-shirts that read "don't forget about us". Also, Rosie has a calendar. I don't really mind that too much.
Chances of improvement in 2013: Decent. Word is that the producers are pushing for a second season, and if they keep the focus on the real in reality - career prospects, adjustment to living on the Gold Coast, keeping hold of their Maori identity in a foreign country - it could, theoretically, be a much better show. I'm cautiously optimistic.
03: Whitney, Season 1 (Four);
02: 2 Broke Girls, Season 1 (TV2)
They're on this list because: They're an unfunny hot mess of racial stereotypes, bad sex-related jokes, misguided anti-romantic clichés and/or feminist ramblings, and more of Whitney Cummings' humour than anyone should be subjected too. Sure, 2 Broke Girls has Kat Dennings, but even she can't overcome material this bad.
The worst part is: 2BG can objectively be called a hit, and Whitney is at least holding its own in the US, if not here. Even worse, Cummings is working on a talk show. She'll probably have her own channel before long. WhitTV. God help us all.
Chances of improvement in 2013: None. They're both rating fine, which means the networks probably don't see any reason to change a thing. If anything, they might actually get worse.
01: The Ridges, Season 1 (TV3)
It's on this list because: Its two main stars were outperformed by a mouse. True.
The worst part is: Sally Ridge probably thinks her show is at the top of this list because I hate her. I don't. I couldn't give a stuff about anything she does. And that's the point: as far as I can tell, there is no sane reason for this show to exist, beyond the stated aim of television businesses to attract viewers and grab some ratings. But come on, TV3. You can do better than this crud. I've seen you do it.
Chances of improvement in 2013: If it comes back, none. Unless Sally & Jaime decide to start a detective agency and investigate the paranormal, in which case ... no, that would still be bloody terrible.
What were your most hated shows in 2012? And do you agree with my list?