This is the time of year when we celebrate the achievements of mankind that have ennobled the arts. Which is so totally boring! Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate—fellow Tuned Inlanders, it is time to denigrate! After the jump, I hereby present my Bottom 10 TV Shows of 2009.
I limited myself to 10. You don’t have to; add your nominees in the comments. Now, open the crate of rotting vegetables!
Osbournes: Reloaded. Didn’t you people used to be the Osbournes? The heavy-metal royalty family began the decade with one of the most refreshingly funny celebreality shows on MTV—which only made this desperate collection of fart jokes and variety shock acts more depressing.
The Jeff Dunham Show. Put together a mediocre ventriloquist and some of the most flagrant stereotypes since the Amos and Andy era, and what do you get? Comedy Central’s most-watched debut ever! I weep for America.
I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. (1) No, you’re not, and (2) there’s the door.
Jersey Shore. This celebration of thongs and ripped abs was an ode to the camera-readiness of the American meathead, and to the willingness of self-proclaimed “guidos” and “guidettes” to exploit their own worst ethnic stereotypes for fame.
Secret Girlfriend. What could have been an interesting experiment in second-person storytelling (starring the camera as “you”) turned into, essentially, an extended beer commercial–but with less subtlety and more softcore porn.
Jon & Kate Plus Eight. Already a thinly veiled fame- and free-product-delivery device for Jon and Kate Gosselin, in 2009 the extreme-parenting reality show turned into a multimedia marital breakdown.
Hank. This sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer as a downsized mogul was a blatant attempt to grab the recession zeitgeist. And it succeeded. It gave us one more corporate CEO to hate.
The Jay Leno Show. Didn’t some idiot newsmagazine call this “the future of TV”? Well, yes, and it remains so, as a sign of the cost-cutting and product-placement-ization of the declining big-network medium. But we did not necessarily mean this as a compliment.
Michael Jackson overkill. The sudden death of one of the greatest entertainers ever was, rightfully, major news. But turning Jackson non-news into fodder for Larry King Live et al. for weeks was one last sad exploitation. (And yes, I am aware I write this for a website that still has “MICHAEL JACKSON” in its entertainment banner.)
HawthoRNe. It had competition from NBC’s Mercy in the bad-hospital-drama sweepstakes (with Three Rivers nipping close behind) but this clichéd sap-fest was the dubious winnER.
See the Top 10 TV Series of 2009 here.