Monday, June 9, 2014

Spectacularly Bad TV: Episode #4

There is TV, and there is bad TV, and then there is spectacularly bad TV. Sometimes this is TV that is so spectacularly bad, that it has come full circle, and is actually good again. Other times, it's just plain bad. Spectacularly bad. Well, it is this spectacularly bad TV for which we are here today. This is the first in a series that will explore the worst of broadcast history, the most mind-blowingly ridiculous and utterly unexplainable in all of television programming. In each episode we will take a look at five random TV shows that will most certainly make you wonder what the hell they were thinking. So, without further ado, on with the show.

The Cleveland Show - Somehow this quite crappy show lasted for four seasons. The only explicable reason is that the success of both Family Guy and American Dad made Seth MacFarlane a point. Apparently that point is four years worth of a crappy animated sitcom. Now don't get me wrong - I love Seth MacFarlane. Family Guy is my favourite animated television show around these days (though Futurama is up there too) and I quite enjoy American Dad as well. I know there are a lot of Seth-Haters out there in the world (and you know who you are dammit), but I am certainly not one of them - even after watching The Cleveland Show. A spin-off of the wildly successful Family Guy, The Cleveland Show is just a sad and pathetic retread of said Family Guy.I don't want to rag on MacFarlane or anything (remember, I love the guy), but still - the sassy wife, the obnoxious too-smart-for-his-own-good baby/toddler, the fat stupid brother. Yeah, so he throws in a bear instead of Quagmire living next door, but come on guy! Come on family guy!! But not to worry true believers, for Cleveland has returned to Quahog (where MacFarlane mocked his own failed show) with new family in tow. But what's the bear going to do?

According to Jim - Now speaking of inexplicably successful, yet spectacularly bad TV shows, we come to this oh so duddish dud. On the air for eight seasons. Eight fucking seasons!!? I just don't get how a show this bad, this dumb, this annoyingly inane, can be on the air for eight fucking years!! Sure, there are other family sit-coms that have been quite stupid and have lasted on TV. Contemporaneous ones like My Wife and Kids, Step by Step, and even Yes Dear, on the air five, six, and seven seasons, respectively, are really really really bad shows, but even those (and yes, even Yes Dear) have a least something going for them - even if it is a very little something. According to Jim though, had absolutely nothing. Hell, it didn't even have the right Belushi!! So how the fuck did it stay on the air for eight seasons!? Eight!!? Seriously, how??? Granted, I've only watched about ten or so episodes (out of the inexplicable 182 made), and perhaps it should be given more of a chance (but only in theory, as I gave it ten or so chances already), but I just could not bring myself to watch any more. Damn, I'm not even sure how I sat through that many over those eight years. Eight fucking years!!? Okay, okay, calm down dude. Calm the fuck down. It's only a TV show. It's not like you have to watch any more episodes. There there, buddy. Okay, I'm better now. I've proverbially counted to ten, and I am calm. No more having to watch According to Jim. Thank god! Is this thing even in syndication? I mean, eight seasons, ya think it would be, but I've never seen it in reruns anywhere. Hell, even Yes Dear has reruns going - not that they should be watched either. Well, if they are out there somewhere, I know I'm not tuning in to them. Seriously, eight fucking seasons!!???

Hello, Larry - Like our first two entrants, this is another situation comedy, but unlike those two, this one can not be construed as successful in any way whatsoever. The show, which was about a radio talk show host and single father of two girls, ran for two brief seasons (technically one and a half, as it was a midseason replacement during the 1978-79 season), and was knocked around at every corner. McLean Stevenson had a successful run as Lt. Col. Henry Blake on the hit series M*A*S*H, but after three seasons on the show, he called it quits. Hell, he even made them kill his character off, so he could never be persuaded to come back. So how'd that work out for ya, McLean? M*A*S*H of course, went on to run for eleven years, and to be one of the most successful shows in television history (it's 1983 series finale is still the top rated single show of all time). Hello, Larry on the other hand...well, let's just say the show should have been changed to Goodbye, Larry, pretty much right away. Now actually, NBC's Hello, Larry was Stevenson's third failed sitcom after M*A*S*H, and he would have three more after as well. Evidently, Stevenson's series of failures were bad enough that he even tried to let the producers of M*A*S*H bring Henry Blake back to life. They said no. A fun little sidenote to this show is that child actress Kim Richards, who played one of Larry's daughters, would grow up to be one of the stars of the oh so trashy reality show, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, as well as auntie to Paris and Nicky Hilton, as her half sister married a rich Hilton. But, as for the show, it was a dismal failure, and was a constant source of jokes for fellow NBCer Johnny Carson. The network even tried to cram it into a connection with hist series Diff'rent Strokes, making Larry and Phil Drummond old Army buddies. That didn't work. But the show has a way. Back in 2000, Ariana Huffington said "John McCain's return to the Seanate will be the chilliest reception for a war hero since McLean Stevenson tried to talk his way back onto M*A*S*H after Hello, Larry tanked."

The Amazing Spider-Man - Yes, I know. What the hell is this lifelong comic book reader (and collector) and equally lifelong fan of your friendly neighborhood web-slinger, doing badmouthing a show about that very lifelong fandom. Well, I'll tell ya what he's doing. He's telling the world that just because it's about a favourite thing, don't make it no good. Sorry, the utter disdain for this show, started getting my grammar all woobly and wobbly. But seriously, as far as superhero shows go, this one is one of the worst. I know I ragged on ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last time around, but I'm not trying to pick on comic book related shows, it just looks that way. Actually, my only real problem with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is that it has yet to live up to my expectations. It's not a bad show per se, and surely not a spectacularly bad one, but Spider-Man... Yeah, The Amazing Spider-Man (the TV show, not the comic book) was bad bad bad. Hell, even Stan Lee, the wall-crawler's co-creator (who incidentally, was named as script consultant on each and every episode) hated this show. The show ran for two seasons on CBS, but only aired thirteen episodes. Season one opened with a made-for-TV movie in September of 1977, but did not air the second episode until April of the following year. The second season began in September of 1978, and aired a sporadic seven episodes between then and July of 1979. And that's all she wrote. Fellow Marvel and CBS TV series, The Incredible Hulk, which ran for five seasons from 197 to 1982, was an intriguing series, and even the also contemporaneous Wonder Woman, which went from ABC to CBS during it's three year run, had its moments. This just wasn't. I think the main problem, aside from the poor writing and hamfisted acting (Peter Parker was portrayed by one of those damn von Trapp kids from The Sound of Music!!?), was the fact that nowhere in these thirteen episodes was there ever a supervillain. Never a Green Goblin nor a Doc Ock. Nary a Rhino, an Electro, nor a Vulture. Hell, not even Shocker or Stiltman. What the hell!?

Fox News - Okay, time to get a bit political. As anyone who knows me can attest to, I am what those at FOX News would call a dirty, filthy liberal. At some point, the term liberal became a dirty word in the media that is know as, I mean FOX News. But being this liberal kinda guy (technically I'm more a moderate progressive, but that's neither here nor there) my arch nemesis of sorts, has become the idiots who listen to (and completely believe) the blatant lies spouted by the obviously tainted talking heads that play themselves off as newspeople, over at FOX News. It's kind of amazing that these sheep are told what to do and what to believe by these oh so "fair and balanced" yahoos at FOX News, and they actually do it AND believe it. You can give them all the facts you care to, but if Bill O'Reilly or Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity say it, it must be the gospel fucking truth. Crazy. Now I have nothing against republicans per se (some of my best friends belong to the GOP) but I do have something against a so-called news network, a news network that claims to be fair and balanced, being all too obvious shills for the far right. A so-called news network that lies and distorts and feeds on people's fears. A so-called news network that spews hate. They started a witch hunt after Bill Clinton, a president that led us into peace and prosperity, and now they really hate President Obama - and I think we all know why. So yes, FOX News belongs on this list of Spectacularly Bad TV, but the bad is a different kind of bad than that of things like Hello, Larry or Joanie Loves Chachi. It's a bad that can ruin the world. So there ya have it. Five Spectacularly Bad TV shows.

I would like to take this time to thank you all for being part of Spectacularly Bad TV during its short but fun-filled four episode run, but alas, this show has been canceled. Yes, it's true kids. Spectacularly Bad TV has, like many of the shows discussed on here, been yanked from the so-called airwaves.  But not to worry, because in just under two months, a brand new show will be here to take its place. That show is called Forgotten TV, and it will showcase the multitudes of long forgotten, often times one-hit wonders of sorts, of TV's rich history. Granted, some of these (probably most of these) will be bad shows, maybe even spectacularly bad in a few cases (think The Paul Lynde Show or Automan), but this show will also highlight forgotten gems such as Bridget Loves Bernie and Quark. This new show will not delve in just the negative aspect of television programming, but will look at the brighter side of life on the boob tube as well. We here at All Things Kevyn hope that Forgotten TV will be a big hit, and run for many years. This new series will premier during the month of July. Exact date to be announced later. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


  1. Great choices! I'd add every TV show on The Disney Channel and ABC Family!

  2. Ha! Thanx. Those shows are a whole different horse. I've not watched many Disney shows, and the like, and I don't think I could bring myself to do so just to ad them here, so they probably won't make it.

    Thanx for stopping by. It's always nice to have visitors. See ya 'round the web.

  3. I have no idea how that According to Jim show crap ever lasted that long but it ranks (or reeks) up there with Facts of Life and that hellish show with John Stamos and those evil undead Olsen twins. I believe it is the same people who watch all of these shows and then they genuflect in front of a Rush Limbaugh portrait and decide what is politically correct.

  4. Hey, Full House was one of the greatest, most inspirational television shows of all ti...oh hell, I can't keep that up. The show is ass. End of story.

    Thanx for stopping by B. See ya 'round the web.

    1. Forgot the name of that piece of sh&% and I would have runaway from that house of hell-give me Vincent Price any day

  5. Hm. I'm glad there weren't any old enough to prompt the "Hey, I liked it, but I was only eight!" excuse.

  6. Some very bad shows my bruthah. I've never seen Hello, Larry. I was three when it went off the air, and it ain't exactly in reruns. And I don't think I've ever seen According to Jim. I mean, who the hell watches Jim Belushi? Cleveland Show I've seen --- and it sucks. Spidey I have seen, even though that's before my time too. And yea, it kinda sucks too. Then there's Faux News, or as I like to call it - Fucks News. Evil fucking bastards.