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“Universally” Beloved Shows You Dislike

December 1, 2010

Entertainment Weekly is running a follow-up story to previous one, which asked folks to name shows they loved that nobody else seemed to like. Unfortunately, EW commenters were not interested in having that conversation and instead unleashed their flaming bags of fury onto shows they hate that others think are all that and hot apple pie.

The results were unsurprising – The Big Bang Theory, Glee, The Office and 30 Rock – all received thorough and well deserved (in my opinion) beatdowns. Once again someone asked who actually watches 2 1/2 Men and once again not one of millions of dedicated fans stepped up to receive their flogging. So instead of leaving your comments there, sandwiched between link spam and flame wars between various disgruntled political factions, tell Fry Butt what shows you can’t stand that other people won’t stop blathering about!

Mine include:

The Big Bang Theory – laugh track and a joke “punchline” involving a big, black dude in a hot pink dress. Yeah, I’ll be taking multiple hot bags of “no thanks” on that mess.

30 Rock – a minstrel show in 2010. How sad for 2010 and how embarrassing for the legion of fans who apparently long for a more quaint and shuck-jiving time.

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67 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2010 1:09 pm

    I know you hate 30 Rock with a fervor, but I think such an absolute assessment isn’t fair to every creator and character behind the show, including Tracy Morgan. It’s definitely no liberal godsend of entertainment that people once hoped/thought, but still, I could watch Alec Baldwin play Jack for hours on end.

    I’ve never gotten into Glee (my disappointment began with the first episode) and still sometimes feel taken aback at how intensely popular it’s gotten.

    I used to be absolutely flummoxed by both The Bachelor/ette series and DWTS, which have been high-ranking shows for awhile, but some switch flipped for me last year, or perhaps I just was beaten down enough?

    I find Jersey Shore very, very unpleasant to watch.

  2. evmaroon permalink
    December 1, 2010 1:13 pm

    I admit I liked the first couple seasons of 30 Rock, and I’m okay with agreeing to disagree on that one, Snarky. But I can’t say I spend any time watching it anymore. Alec Baldwin just isn’t enough to carry me through post-shark jump, which this series has done.

    I’m going to throw into the ring the following:
    How I Met Your Mother—it’s clear that Alyson Hannigan has one acting note. NPH has tiny mouths to feed, I know, but he deserves better than this
    Desperate Housewives—this shit drew me in with a murder mystery, damn it, and then disappointed the hell out of me. What show is egotistical enough to jump forward 5 years just so it can get in plot arcs before it gets canceled? I don’t understand why a single person is watching this anymore.
    Cougars—oooh, insulting and unfunny! A losing combination.

  3. December 1, 2010 1:15 pm

    oh! I don’t get Modern Family either. and I’m with you on HIMYM, Ev.

  4. December 1, 2010 1:16 pm

    I know you hate 30 Rock with a fervor, but I think such an absolute assessment isn’t fair to every creator and character behind the show, including Tracy Morgan. It’s definitely no liberal godsend of entertainment that people once hoped/thought, but still, I could watch Alec Baldwin play Jack for hours on end.

    I love Baldwin on the show, which is why I started watching, but Tracey Morgan’s character – which based on his interview with Terry Gross doesn’t seem like much of a character at all – grated, though he did have some really funny moments. But to love 30 you have to sign on to love Fey, which we’ve established I can’t do! Also the show seems so smug and satisfied with itself, which based on its relatively low ratings seems a bit much.

    Glee, yeah don’t get it at all. Jersey Shore just made me feel sad and embarrassed for its cast. That’s no way to enjoy television.

    I also don’t care for Buffy, beyond the first four episodes, the US version of The Office or 99% of the eps of L&O: SVU.

  5. December 1, 2010 1:19 pm

    Also don’t get Conan at all! I liked him three times, two times involved music/dancing, particularly the time he disco danced with Rosie Perez! Hopefully, that disco dancing wasn’t a dream!

  6. December 1, 2010 1:31 pm

    Loath Glee, obviously; it’s trying to be something its not, doing it really badly, and pissing me off all the while. In all fairness, shows of that genre generally don’t interest me because I have absolutely NO nostalgia for my high school days.

    I generally don’t like comedies as a general rule, so things like 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, etc. just leave me kind of cold. Usually the ‘humour’ isn’t that funny and they feel like an unfocused hot mess.

    True Blood, while strong initially, really fell apart in the last season and left me less than impressed. Yet, the breathless fervour for that show continues unabated…

  7. December 1, 2010 1:32 pm

    One thing I’m appreciating this season of 30 Rock (and then I’ll stop talking about it, I promise) is that more episodes are showing how terrible Liz Lemon is, which pleases the side of me that was getting annoyed by her.

    Oooh, Conan, yes. Don’t get him. Don’t hate him either, but was taken aback at the fervor around his firing from NBC and how fiercely people reacted to it, like whoa.

  8. evmaroon permalink
    December 1, 2010 1:42 pm

    I don’t generally laugh at Conan’s antics, either, but I totally and completely got why people were so upset. If I’d spent my whole life working toward one goal and being a nice guy the whole time, putting off things for myself (just give us another 5 years) as that carrot dangled in front of me, helping mentor younger folks the entire time and finally, when I can reach my pinnacle some bean counter says yeah, actually, we’re going to cancel the entire 20-year agreement we’ve had?

    Oh man, how does one even begin to deal with that? Sure, he’s richer than he would have been, but I honestly believe him when he says this really, it’s not about the money, it’s about wanting to continue the tradition of a show he grew up adoring. There are not many people out there who could get me past my cynicism, but O’Brien is one of them. What NBC did was stupid and awful, and I’m glad that prick of an executive is gone, because he ruined not only the Tonight Show, but an entire network. I knew several folks who worked for NBC and one by one, they left, saying that he created a toxic culture over there. I think I may loathe Zucker more than Rupert Murdoch, because at least he’s nice to the staff.

    And Modern Family is just plain funny to me. I’ve been several of those characters, and I think my own life is hilarious!

    As for Glee…I don’t even watch it anymore. If the writers can’t generate an actual script, why should I give them my 44 minutes?

  9. December 1, 2010 1:43 pm

    I still TiVo “30 Rock” but I watch it while I do other things, when I don’t have enough time to watch something an hour long. That’s exactly how “into” it I am, which is to say, I’m not, it’s a space-filler.

    I really never understood “Survivor” or “Big Brother” and still don’t. Both seem to be predicated mainly on the worst aspects of human nature, deceit, guile, double-dealing and selfishness. It’s not surprising that people lap that up, but it saddens me.

    And I utterly reject “Community” on a whole lot of levels, not the least of which is the fact that the creator insulted me on Twitter.

  10. December 1, 2010 1:45 pm

    @Amadi: please say more about Community!!!

    @Ev: I just mean, I didn’t expect to see so many people on facebook changing their profile pic to “Save Coco”.

  11. metermouse permalink
    December 1, 2010 2:24 pm

    hmmm

    Weeds for sure, I watched the first season or two, and then I just could not watch anymore!
    Jersey Shore for sure
    @Amadi YES to Survivor
    don’t hurt me but…. Lost!! I couldn’t get through one episode…
    @evmaroon How I Met Your Mother totally, it just seems like a rehash of Friends (which I also hated)
    2 1/2 men, though I actually don’t know anybody who admits to liking it… but it’s still on the air?!
    I liked True Blood, but even by season 2 I’m starting to lose it…
    the Bachelor! and that other one… More to Love! such a disservice to fatties…

    almost any “reality” tv show

    I’m sure there are more, but that’s it for now!

  12. December 1, 2010 2:29 pm

    @evmaroon How I Met Your Mother totally, it just seems like a rehash of Friends (which I also hated)

    Ha. That one too!

    @raymond – you’ve laid out the most reasonable pro-30 Rock argument ever. Most often when I mention I do not like the show I get told that I don’t “get it” or don’t have a sharp enough sense of pop culture to understand its humor.

    ha.

  13. December 1, 2010 2:45 pm

    those people also probably think Tina Fey is ragingly progressive. I don’t think Tina Fey thinks about herself actually. 30 Rock = NPR workplace sitcom

  14. December 1, 2010 3:08 pm

    Also, while I definitely don’t hate Lost, I am not dazzled by it either. This actually bums me out because I was looking for a series to become incredibly well, lost in and Lost didn’t do it for me.

    Neither did 24. Again, I liked it well enough and will put an episode on in the background while I’m doing other things cause Kiefer’s got that voice, but ultimately 24 is not a background show, so therefore I have failed it as a viewer and it’s failed me as pop culture candy.

  15. Lani permalink
    December 1, 2010 3:09 pm

    I HATE Big Bang Theory with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Granted, I only watched like 2 episodes ever, and not the first two, but it immediately established itself as trading on all the tired old tropes and stereotypes of “scientists” versus “normal people” as well as rampant real -ism fail and ugh, it just makes me want to barf. Cancel that shit already, PLEASE.

    Never was interested in any of the Survivor, Jersery Shore, Bachelor/ette type stuff either, it also gives me the “embarrassed for all involved” feeling and I agree, that’s no way to watch TV.

  16. December 1, 2010 3:14 pm

    Loath Glee, obviously; it’s trying to be something its not, doing it really badly, and pissing me off all the while. In all fairness, shows of that genre generally don’t interest me because I have absolutely NO nostalgia for my high school days.

    I think that’s probably why Freaks and Geeks never made an impression on me. Plus doesn’t it have that omnipresent James Franco???

  17. unscrambled permalink
    December 1, 2010 4:40 pm

    Is this limited to currently running shows? Because Seinfeld, Friends, and Sex In the City. F that S, all of it. Also, Glee is boring. And I too enjoyed 30 Rock when I could ignore the minstrel show (and the conventionally attractive/you’re so ugly and fat/harharhar/you eat all the time because you are an insecure eating lady) in favor of Alec Baldwin, but now, no. No not at all.

  18. December 1, 2010 4:45 pm

    @Unscrambled – definitely not limited to current shows. I think there are lot of show to be mined! I see you, NYPD Blue.

  19. metermouse permalink
    December 1, 2010 4:52 pm

    @Unscrambled thanks for bringing that up about 30 Rock. I used to love that show (the first season) then gradually it became more problematic and annoying. I really dislike how everybody is always putting Liz down for… being human-like as if “you enjoy food = you are fat and lonely and you will never find a husband, because at your age you really should be concentrating on getting a man in your life otherwise you can’t be happy” annnd most of the characters are annoying stereotypes, lately the laughs are a few small twinkling gems that are only getting smaller… I guess it can’t ALL be Alec Baldwin…

  20. Lani permalink
    December 1, 2010 4:56 pm

    @Unscrambled Thanks for reminding me about Seinfeld and Friends, because I hate those shows too. Not funny, not interesting, not watching! Though ever since I found out Lisa Kudrow was studying to be a biochemist before she got into acting she’s held a special place in my heart. (Still not watching Friends, though.)

  21. December 1, 2010 5:02 pm

    @Lani, when I need a Kudrow fix I watch Romy and Michelle or her short lived show The Comeback. I’ve always like Kudrow and wish she worked more often.

  22. Lani permalink
    December 1, 2010 5:06 pm

    @Snarky, yay, another Romy and Michelle fan! I love that movie so much, and so does my family, it’s one of our favorite films to watch together. I rented it with some friends once for a movie night and it was an utter flop. I was the only one laughing. Embarrassing! I was subsequently banned from choosing the movies at friend movie nights, but nothing will make me stop enjoying Romy and Michelle.

  23. IrishUp permalink
    December 1, 2010 5:44 pm

    It might be just that I’m hitting that “kids getoffa my lawn” age, I feel like I don’t get why anyone watches ANY network TV anymore. Back in MY DAY, shit was funny – uphill, in the snow, both ways. Yes, even SNL.

    @ Lani, I agree, I have no use for reality TV in general. I like DWTS, but in the same way I like ice-skating and strongest-men competitioins during February – it’s Doritos for the mind, when nothing serious is wanted but you need a little noshie. Importantly getting hurt is a bug on DWTS, whereas it’s the killer app on other reality TV at all.

    And I think that’s why sitcoms now are so unfunny. Why is everyone so goddam MEAN? It’s what made “Everybody Loves Raymond” unwatchable, despite Peter Boyle. I sat there wondering why the hell don’t these people get away from each other? But this is the funny formula EVERY family/marriage show seems to use. It’s better on Modern Family, I grant you, from the little I’ve seen of it.

  24. Val permalink
    December 1, 2010 5:45 pm

    I can’t do CSI, not the original, not the alternative versions. The characters don’t engage me, and the gimmicky plots and pseudo-science fail to make up for it. I have spent whole days watching L & O episodes. I want to like CSI. I do. They are booooring. You know it’s bad when you can.not sit through an ep in a hotel room, in a strange city, late at night when you are unable to sleep because of jet leg…on several occasions.

    I enjoy Dexter, but I am starting to not like the fact that the serial murdery stuff is a distraction. Dexter is about a smart, well-educated guy with a loving, stay-at-home wife, and healthy children who can’t balance his workaholic tendencies/hobby with his family responsibilities. The End. I find it interesting that we are just supposed to like Dexter, wonder about his humanity and fret about his victim choices. Don Draper of Mad Men does not get this kind of slack! I especially love how 2 of Dexter’s 3 kids were conveniently removed after his wife died. Being a parent with a full-time job and fulfilling life is…hard. And way too complicated to plot, apparently.

    All reality shows: ugh
    Either version of The Office: oh no…I used to have embarassment/anxiety spells during some Mary Tyler Moore episodes, so this stuff is right out.

  25. December 1, 2010 6:24 pm

    I’m also with a lot of people on this thread on just not getting reality shows, at all. It’s a genre that just completely baffles me.

  26. December 1, 2010 7:20 pm

    So much loathing of shows I mostly find innocuous. I still watch 30 Rock but the humor is wearing a little thin. However, I always thought the whole, “you eat too much fatty get a husband” stuff was parodying the way women are treated in general, and especially in the show business. It has troublesome moments but generally makes me laugh. It makes me laugh a little less now, but I still watch it. Glee, I don’t know why I’m still watching it. I think it sucks pretty hard but I like the singing. And every now and then they do something that makes me grin real hard so I keep watching. I’ve only just started watching How I Met Your Mother on the recommendation of a friend and…well, I don’t know why I like it. It’s fairly dumb and at least once an episode my brain goes, “uh, that’s not cool” but it amuses me enough to keep getting the discs from Netflix. I think I just want to find out who the dude marries, dang it.

    Reality shows are pretty much pure torture to me, and I don’t understand their existence. The Biggest Loser? Anything related to dating or marriage or children? Toddlers and Tiaras? Jersey Shore? All of it awful and painful to my soul. I tried to watch DWTS but there’s way too much dumb chit chat and repetitiveness and not enough dancing, which is supposed to be the point. I want the dancing! Most reality television involves watching people behave in ways that are upsetting to me, and I don’t like to subject myself to that.

    Um, one show that I am loving but will likely be canceled after this, its second season, is Cougar Town. Yes, it too has problematic moments because, well, it is broadcast tv, but it’s goofy and quirky and it makes me want to drink red wine and act silly. And I like that.

  27. evmaroon permalink
    December 1, 2010 7:29 pm

    I’ll give a shout out to a few reality shows: season one of real housewives of orange county, top chef, project runway, and the amazing race. Actually, maybe a small homage deserves it’s own post.

  28. December 1, 2010 7:39 pm

    I guess I always find that even in the “good” competitive reality shows like Top Chef (which I’ve occasionally enjoyed, I’ll admit) there is still way too much of a focus on people acting like asses. And I hate the way these shows tend to repeat everything multiple times, as filler before and after commercial breaks. I feel like they think I’m an idiot who can’t possibly remember details after a two minute commercial break.

    I’ve only seen snatches here and there of various Real Housewives shows, so I can’t really comment, I guess. But shows about annoying rich people make me feel disgruntled.

    Geez, I sound like an angry old man.

    I actually never watched tv until the last year or so, when I moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere. Now I’m intimately familiar with way too much of what the networks are offering. Sigh. Why did I buy a tv again? Oh, yeah, I was bored.

  29. hsofia permalink
    December 1, 2010 8:33 pm

    I’m trying to think … I don’t watch much tv as we don’t have reception, so if I watch something it’s because it was recommended to me by someone and I thought it might be good.

    I’ve seen How I Met Your Mother twice and didn’t get the humor in it. I don’t understand how some people are huge fans of it, but agree it’s probably just a Friends Redux. I liked the four episodes of Big Bang that I saw, mainly because I like Johnny Galecki (sp?) and hubster understood the physics jokes and could explain them to me. But it wasn’t non stop laughs. Most sitcoms strike me as appallingly ridiculous. Watching grown ass adults overreact to ridiculous predicaments they wouldn’t be in if they’d a) communicated, and b) pulled their heads out of their asses just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. There’s got to be more to a sitcom than just missing each other in the hallway and getting stuck in crawlspaces trying to retrieve your wallet from that dude’s office you weren’t supposed to be in.

    I can’t think of too much stuff I hated, except Alf. I hated Alf. And The Waltons – thought that was boring as hell. And M*A*S*H*. Granted, I was just a wee one when watching MASH, but I can’t even listen to the theme song to this day. The lead character freaked me out with his buggy eyes, too. (Jamie Farr?)

  30. December 1, 2010 9:24 pm

    People act like the jokes are complicated on TBBT; they’re not. there’s nothing to “explain” it’s just not funny, plain and simple. if you have to explain jokes to a large swath of people then it’s the jokes that have failed not the audience. And given they’ve got the most obnoxious laugh track still in use…ha. that joke writes itself.

  31. December 1, 2010 9:27 pm

    I also tend to shun comedies that are lauded by critics. It’s probably at lot easier to stomach the “charms” of Glee and other unfunny sitcoms when you’re being paid to do so.

  32. December 1, 2010 9:28 pm

    I’ve given up watching anything that doesn’t already come pre-approved by my favorite pop culturalist, so I have nothing to add to this post. I caught a few new shows that clearly fell short of the beloved category (Undercovers and Outlaw to name a couple). I confess to occasionally enjoying Big Bang Theory — the in-jokes exert too much of an attractive force for me to resist.

  33. evmaroon permalink
    December 1, 2010 9:45 pm

    Redlami just made me groan. That was two thirds of a pun— P. U.!

  34. hsofia permalink
    December 2, 2010 2:16 am

    I don’t think the physics jokes on TBBT are really played for laughs; I think they are intended for the science nerds watching the show, not the science nerds’ friends watching the show. I think I was supposed to laugh at that Shelton guy’s oblivious arrogance, and the horny guy who lives with his shrill mom. And the exasperation of the Indian guy, and the reluctance and neurosis (neuroses?) of the “main” character. I am still puzzled as to how old Johnny Galecki is. I mean, he’s got to be older than I am, but he still looks like he did on Rosanne</i. I digress.

  35. hsofia permalink
    December 2, 2010 2:20 am

    Oh, Law and Order: Criminal Intent – could not get into that show at all. And I even like D’Onofrio in films, but of all the Law & Orders that’s the one I’ve never been able to get through an entire episode. And I don’t like Bones. I watched the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy when it first aired a million years ago and I didn’t like it so never watched it again. Hated Meredith. But I will have to give that one another try as people talk about it on FB feed almost as much as they talk about Glee.

  36. evmaroon permalink
    December 2, 2010 3:57 am

    @Lani… You invented Post-Its?

  37. December 2, 2010 8:56 am

    I don’t think the physics jokes on TBBT are really played for laughs; I think they are intended for the science nerds watching the show, not the science nerds’ friends watching the show. I think I was supposed to laugh at that Shelton guy’s oblivious arrogance

    I think you give the show too much credit. Knowing several folks who work on the show, I can assure you nobody’s wearing their hard hats to generate the scripts for this show. Friend who interned on the show said, “Wow, they just copy science-y stuff from wikipedia and geeks fall for it. I love my job.”

  38. December 2, 2010 10:41 am

    @hsofia I am totally with you that most sitcoms fail because they are “grown ass adults overreact[ing] to ridiculous predicaments.” Most of the time I’m sitting there thinking, really? Why don’t you just talk to each other and sort this out from the beginning? The sitcoms I do like tend to be more character-based. I have a weakness for goofy, quirky characters and snappy dialogue. Hence, I was a HUGE fan of Gilmore Girls. That’s why I love Cougar Town, and I think that’s why I’m still watching How I Met Your Mother. HIMYM doesn’t seem to feature so many of the miscommunication based plots; the conflicts tend to revolve around one or two characters who do off-the-wall things and everyone else trying to stay sane around them.

    Oh, television. How did I live without you for so long? Oh, right, I read books.

  39. metermouse permalink
    December 2, 2010 11:56 am

    @evmaroon ahh yes, I’ll have to retract my “all reality shows” a bit, I do enjoy Top Chef and Project Runway quite a bit. It does annoy me when they try and blow up some drama, because I’m thinking: you put me in a room for 12 hours working my ass off with 10 people I don’t know, I’m eventually gonna say 1 snappy thing, and of course that’s the only thing they’re gonna show me saying this episode.

    @hsofia I also agree with the absurdness of the sit-com. I think its funnier when its something I could possibly see myself doing, and then circumstances cause it to just go to hell. Also the number 1 thing I hate about sitcoms is the whole ‘its something Different?? well we’ve got to make fun of it, cause its so UN-normal’ bugs the shit out of me.

  40. hsofia permalink
    December 2, 2010 12:14 pm

    I like reality shows. It’s all about the premise, though. The best reality shows to me are kind of like National Geographic program – you get a bit of insight into an occupation, industry, or culture that you either don’t have access to or simply won’t ever experience. Top Chef taught me some things about food and wine, Project Runway about clothing design. But yeah, the human drama is definitely added. I liked the first two (maybe three) Real World seasons because they were about young people trying to make it at their different chosen professions in big cities. It was interesting! Once they just had the people sitting up on each other all day doing faux challenges, it became a train wreck of addiction, debauchery, and bedhopping.

  41. December 2, 2010 12:57 pm

    I keep waiting for a reality show that doesn’t traffic in hateful stereotypes and tropes, but alas they don’t happen. Most reality shows have about as much to say about the human condition as an episode of Love Connection, though Love Connection was a lot more hilarious.

  42. December 2, 2010 1:14 pm

    Love Connection!!! It’s true, most people forget The Bachelor/ette is a reboot.

  43. Lani permalink
    December 2, 2010 8:09 pm

    @evmaroon…no, but in my dream I knew the formula for glue!

    I am not a big sitcom fan, either, most of the humor seems so forced and I agree with hsofia that a lot of it is derived from ridiculous situations that are entirely avoidable and a consequence of the characters acting stupid. I don’t want to watch TV about that!

    I never really managed to get into ER, either, but I didn’t *hate* it, I just found it uninteresting. Oh, and I ate Charmed up with a spoon when I was living in France and it was dubbed in French, but when I got back to the States I could not STAND it. Strange how that works!

  44. December 2, 2010 10:04 pm

    I hate CSI and I hate Law and Order. I can’t tell you why exactly. I just don’t.

  45. December 3, 2010 1:53 am

    I guess I get to play janitor and try to sweep things up! Or maybe I’ll open the door for another wave of commentary.

    At Clown College, Rule #1: If you have to explain the joke, it isn’t funny. So, if you’re needing some long-winded commentary about something that was said, the laugh already evaporated faster than a drop of water in the Sahara at noon. So I buy into “The Big Bang Theory” as being one of THOSE shows.

    I personally never was able to watch “Everybody Loves Raymond.” And I don’t know of anyone who actually sat through an episode of it, despite all of the lauding CBS did over their ratings. Did you watch an episode of it, ever? Did you watch it regularly?

    HBO’s current tentpole “Boardwalk Empire” has proven difficult to sit through. I will usually start watching it, but then something will happen, a scene I don’t like or a character that’s too bizarre or creepy will turn up and I have to either change the channel or stroll to the fridge at a leisurely pace. I never did that with “The Sopranos!”

    I have to pull some punches with Reality TV programming, which to me is a different animal. There, in a lot of cases, the EDITOR is the storyteller, not the writer nor director, and that suggests a totally different animal when it comes to criticism, so I won’t mention those shows here.

    I’m still puzzling over “Mike & Molly.” James Burrows is a TV magician, I guess.

  46. December 3, 2010 6:46 am

    I abandoned Boardwalk Empire after the third episode. Turns out, I don’t want to see Steve Buscemi doing anything approximating sexual activity.

    Also I concur with, “if you have to explain a joke it’s not funny”. I am baffle this is new shit coming to light for folks.

  47. December 3, 2010 9:17 am

    One good thing I can say about BBT is that the lead characters’ names pay homage to famed producer and tough-guy actor Sheldon Leonard.

  48. December 3, 2010 10:29 am

    Did anyone watch “Everyone Loves Raymond”. I mean I never did, but it got really high ratings and I’ve never seen an episode nor met anyone who has. I don’t even dislike the premise or Ray Ramano.

  49. December 3, 2010 10:37 am

    I know this isn’t yet a “universally” beloved show, but I do not get the huge fan support (on the internet, at lease) for The Walking Dead. It’s not very well-written and the characters are poorly developed and unlikable. I’d rather just watch a good zombie movie than a mediocre one dragged out across several episodes.

    Otherwise, yes 2 1/2 Men sucks so hard. My dad watches it so when I’m home I get stuck with it. I’ve seen a few episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond (he watched that too) and didn’t like it. It’s just too mean to really be funny, and way sexist- I felt bad for the lady who played his wife.

  50. December 3, 2010 10:40 am

    @Alex – Yeah, people are repping hard for The Walking Dead and it’s cringe-inducingly bad. The characters, as you’ve pointed out, are unlikable and really shabbily written. i don’t get the bandwagon on it at all. Same with Boardwalk Empire. I want to like it. But I don’t.

    I have heard Raymond tends to be sexist the way “Dave’s World” and “Home Improvement” were (shows I also didn’t watch) so that kind of means I wouldn’t be into them either. I find the caveman hubby/long suffering wife trope to be more tiresome than the chubby slob/hot wife trope that is beloved by CBS.

  51. December 3, 2010 10:53 am

    I am a big fan so far of The Walking Dead, I do wish some more time was spent on character development. It is a simple premise thats should allow for any type of character they want. Not every AMC show can be Breaking Bad. I wish it was

  52. cath permalink
    December 3, 2010 11:12 am

    I back you all the fuck up on Friends and Seinfeld — two shows about nothing. If I wanted to watch people yammer about nothing, I’d hang out with stoners.

    I don’t watch much telly nowadays, but I tried Desperate Housewives because I love Vanessa Williams, and WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SHIT? I mean, come the fuck on. I love trashy telly, but that’s just fucking ridiculous. HOW THE HELL IS THAT STILL ON?!

    Firefly — great on paper, boring in execution. Yawn.

    CSI post-Grissom: I have TRIED. I love Fishburne. I love CSI. Love love love. But besides the Doc Robbins/Langston science foolery, it just doesn’t work. I miss Grissom and Warwick too much to watch anymore, and Sara has always left me cold.

    Bones is just Boreanaz eye candy, a second-rate CSI.

    24 post-President Palmer sucked HARD. Not even my undying love for the Keef can sort this shit.

    It’s just balls, really.

  53. lucy permalink
    December 3, 2010 11:30 am

    I love Everybody Loves Raymond! It was equal parts heartwarming and bleak all while managing to be consistently funny. All things I appreciate in a comedy.

  54. December 3, 2010 12:52 pm

    I don’t know if I have a short attention span or what, but I pretty much don’t like TV anymore. I don’t have cable anymore… just a dvd player and netflix instant view. So I don’t know how much I can weigh in, but here goes. Couldn’t make it through the 1st episodes of Community, Glee, BBT, DWTS, etc. etc. 30 Rock is all about Baldwin, but the only good thing they’ve done in the last 2 years was the “Reagan-ing” episode, which was all about Alec. Dexter has gotten tired to me, I liked it better when it was “Monster of the Week” and lots of black humor instead of big, mostly boring story arcs. True Blood has become 2 plots told over and over in different ways (“Bill Gets Kidnapped” or “Bill’s Girlfriend Gets Kidnapped”) Someone please kill SNL quick before people forget that Jane Curtain and Gilda Radner used to shut it down weekly on that show. It’s the worst thing on TV right now… Period.

    I like Conan! It’s goofy. It’s candy. I don’t have to think much. Plus I really do love that crazy red pompadour swoosh.

    Reality shows? I adore Top Chef and that’s about it. Work of Art started promising but fizzled out quickly when they realized they had picked a bunch of, well… self-absorbed artists, that were VERY hard to like, so they chose the most likable of them all to win. Problem is, he’s just a so-so artist! His show at the Brooklyn Museum of Fine Art was almost universally panned. (And for good reason, it was sophomoric) Project Runway lost me loooong ago.

  55. December 3, 2010 1:35 pm

    @Poplife – I sooo wanted to like Work of Art, but the characters were into being “artists” in a way I found repellent.

  56. December 3, 2010 1:50 pm

    Speaking of Conan, the situation was remarkably similar to the Leno/Letterman set up after Carson walked away. Someone at NBC didn’t really like Letterman (and probably for good reason, since he had been skewering the suits at GE from almost the very first moment they arrived) but his humor definitely rubbed them the wrong way. Compared to the style of Carson, at least in Johnny’s latter years, Leno was a more smooth transition. So the Peacock went with him.

    And, after Leno moved to 10PM, and the suits got to see that Conan was still basically the same goofy, dopey, whacked out dood he was at 12:37PM, someone there decided that compared to the style of Leno, Leno was a more smooth transition.

    Of all the hosts that could take the Tonight Show next, the only one of the current crop I could imagine actually doing it would be Jimmy Kimmel. That’s no knock on all the others, (especially Chelsea Handler, who Leno seems to have on as a guest very frequently, which makes me think he wants to position her to be the eventual host), but just based on approach and concept Kimmel might be the best.

  57. December 3, 2010 2:01 pm

    Am I the only person who loved it when Joan Rivers subbed for Johnny?

  58. December 3, 2010 2:22 pm

    @Snarky: No! She was unstoppable back in the day.

  59. December 3, 2010 2:33 pm

    I’ve watched a few episodes of Raymond. I think (once again) I’m drawn to the inside jokes — I grew up Italian American in Brooklyn. But it’s also got some great supporting performances by Peter Boyle, Doris Roberts and Brad Garrett.

  60. December 3, 2010 2:40 pm

    I saw an episode of Raymond that I really liked. It was super cheesy, but it worked for me. Maybe it was because it was an episode that wasn’t about Raymond. The episode revolved around his (Raymond’s) mom taking a sculpture class where she makes a very vaginal piece that she is very proud of. Her husband (Peter Boyle) loves it, but can’t put his finger on why. Raymond is embarrassed by it. It’s not handled very cleverly, but it was presented well and Doris Roberts was fantastic. I can’t imagine watching any more of it though.

  61. December 3, 2010 2:55 pm

    @Snarky you know I have a great deal of respect for Joan, in that she literally blazed that trail, and she worked for everything she got. As far as her Tonight show career, what I remember her for best were her monologues, which were NOTHING like the material Johnny would do!

    But where I think Joan didn’t succeed was in the interview portion of the program, where she didn’t leave a good impression and sometimes really turned it around and made the discussion about herself or whatever she wanted to talk about, and that was a big fat “F,” especially in the wake of Carson. I think had she been able to do that better, she would have trumped both Leno and Letterman!

  62. December 3, 2010 3:03 pm

    @lucy @redlami and @p0plife thanks for your “Raymond” acknowledgements. I just never connected with that show in any way and even trying to do it, I never made it through an episode.

  63. December 3, 2010 3:26 pm

    I don’t know about TV, but I know what I like one episode of!

  64. December 3, 2010 3:48 pm

    I love Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle. Maybe I should give Raymond a shake? I do like Romano’s stand up a lot. Go figure. I feel the same way about Seinfeld’s stand up vs. the show Seinfeld.

  65. December 3, 2010 4:11 pm

    Another show that people seem to like is That 70s Show. I watched it once and found it a very pale imitation to the actual 70s sitcoms like Good Times, All in the Family, Soap and Happy Days. Hell, even the Brady Bunch and the Courtship of Eddie’s Father look good in comparison.

  66. lucy permalink
    December 3, 2010 6:10 pm

    I haven’t watched Raymond for a few years. Is this another one of those shows that 1) I gave too much credit for being subversive because I want the world to be a less sexist place and 2) have been Ruined By (my knowledge of) Feminism? Ugggh.

  67. December 5, 2010 12:05 pm

    I do not like or understand 2 1/2 Men and am grateful every day that I don’t have to watch live broadcast television and deal with it sandwiched between shows I watch like I use to, however, as is usually the case, I have a nearly opposite taste in television as Snarky. I like BBT, generally, along with HIMYM and I watch Glee because I’m endlessly enamored with Jane Lynch and Brittney. I think I’m more inclined to dislike characters on shows than to dislike the shows entirely — I can’t stand Ted on HIMYM and Finn leaves me cold on Glee. I love 30 Rock because I love Tina Fey and I love Alec Baldwin — but I don’t have any real interest in Tracy Jordan or Jane Krakowski.

    My favorite show of 2 years ago — Chuck — has been endlessly disappointing since they put the two leads together romantically (I am rarely, if ever, a shipper.) and I have become uncomfortably aware that the show has never had a gay character. Its disappointing to me, too, because in season 1 and especially season 2, I loved this show in a way that I have the two seasons memorized but they came back and tried to get all actually cutting edge-y when the camp factor was what made the show work for me. Now I’m all jaded and don’t trust anything new they do and can’t proclaim that its the most underrated television show anymore.

    I kind of love Greek on ABC Family.

    Shows I actually think are overrated — American Idol.

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