TV Turkeys: The worst shows of 2015

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From clich├ęd comedies to tiresome reality series, this year gave us so much we'd like to forget

With Thanksgiving here, it is time to pay homage to the worst shows on the small screen — the cream of the crap — in 2015. With more than ever before to choose from, there were more turkeys to pluck into. Our Top 10 list includes a combination of comedy, drama and reality — new and established. Ratings aside (our top turkey is actually holding up pretty well in the numbers), this bottom of the barrel mix is a reflection of everything horrific on TV.  Gobble!  Gobble!

10. "Stewarts & Hamiltons" (E!)
In search of the next breed of Kardashians, this eight-part docuseries focused on the blended families of Alana Stewart and her ex-husband and now best friend George Hamilton (the two once upon a time hosted a syndicated daytime talk show together that no one watched).  Alana, of course, was married to rocker Rod Stewart, and their son Ashley is known for his brief marriage to former "Beverly Hills 90210" bad-girl Shannen Doherty. Since no docuseries on E! ! can truly fit the genre without some sort of drugs and alcohol, sexual escapades and overindulgence Hollywood-style, "Stewarts & Hamiltons" certainly fit the bill. But with the perennially tanned George the show’s biggest draw, no one had any interest in keeping up with this uneventful crew.

 9. "Weird Loners" (Fox)
Let me guess ... You either never heard of this show or you managed to forget about it. So, on an apologetic note, let me remind you of this so-called comedy about very different roommates in Queens, N.Y., who … gasp! … fear relationships. There is Caryn, the high-strung dental hygienist (not a good descriptor when your job is putting your hands in people’s mouths); sleazy Eric; nervous artist Zara; and Eric, the innocent toll collector who is suddenly on his own after his father unexpectedly passes away. Thankfully, only six episodes were ordered. So, hopefully, you will never have to think about these lonely people — who were just plain weird — ever again.

8. "The Bastard Executioner" (FX)
Personally, I like fantasy dramas and understand completely why someone would want to rip-off HBO’s "Game of Thrones." Success does breed imitation, and "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter certainly has the chops to create good meaty drama. But when I sit down to watch a TV series, I like to understand what was going on. Yes, I know … "The Bastard Executioner" was set in 14th century Wales during a period of political rebellion (translation: bloodshed).  It revolved around the tortured existence of Wilkin Brattle (Lee Jones), a former knight for King Edward I who managed to survive a horrific battle and vowed to lay down his sword forever. And, after tragedy ensued he was forced to take on the new role of a journeyman executioner. While I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent individual, I honestly had no clue what went on all season.  Nor did you, I bet. Thankfully, FX put this turkey out of its misery after one confusing season.

7. "The Bill Cunningham Show" (The CW)
When you watch "The Jerry Springer Show," it is all too obvious that the host himself knows the daily hour of "talk" is a complete joke. You just sit back and watch the choreographed high-jinx ensue. But this Springer-wannabe, Bill Cunningham, wants us to believe these low-life 15-minute fame seekers cussing and brawling over issues like infidelity, addictions and strained relationships are actually real. Note to Mr. Cunningham: We are not that naïve. And we wish you would return to radio.

6. "2 Broke Girls" (CBS)
After four seasons of mindless plots and crude sexual innuendos, it wasn’t surprising to hear sex-starved Sophie (Jennifer Coolidge) complain of her "gusher" after getting her long-awaited period on the fifth season-premiere of CBS sitcom "2 Broke Girls." Eek! While most shows nearing the 100-episode mark tend to develop in time, the focus of "2 Broke Girls" remains on racial stereotypes and cheap and predictable jokes aimed to shock the audience. There is no meat on this bone, and not much in the laughs department either. A show does not have to be "good" to last seasons, and airing after "How I Met Your Mother" initially gave it solid lead-in support.

5. "True Detective" (HBO)
Given the critical accolades in season one (including five Emmy Awards), you might have assumed — or at least hoped — that the return of this crime drama anthology would keep the proverbial watercooler abuzz with banter. But Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn did not compare to Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. The writing, direction and production — everything about it — was painfully bland. And the bizarre murder case, offset by a creepy gothic tone in Season One, morphed into just another typical cop story set in smoggy Los Angeles.  Consider "True Detective" Season Two the true definition of the sophomore slump.

 4. "Fashion Police" (E!)
The passing of the legendary Joan Rivers last September should have resulted in the end of Friday night staple "Fashion Police." Joan Rivers was "Fashion Police" — the weekly hour was a forum for her jokes and her timely comments. Everyone else was window dressing. But producer Melissa Rivers apparently needs a job and the latest revamped series of specials with "Missy" as host and Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski as panelists is no better than the short-lived fiasco with Kathy Griffin, Kelly Osbourne, Rancic and Goreski. Sometimes you just need to know when to let go.

3. "Life in Pieces" (CBS)
Here’s an idea. Let’s do a multigenerational single camera family-themed sitcom. We’ll make Grandpa James Brolin a real kook. (Every male on over 70 is an oddball, right?) Grandma Dianne Wiest is oh-so-sweet and ever-so patient. And the adult "kids" (Colin Hanks, Betsy Brandt and Thomas Sadoski) are riddled with a truckload of insecurities. We’ll also throw in some spouses for the kids (including the clueless goofball son-in-law) and a few smart-alecky grandkids. And, we will try to trick the audience into thinking this is a new concept by presenting each episode as four short stories, one for each branch of the primary clan with some connections related to the characters' events. Note to the producers: You can’t fool us. "Life in Pieces" is the pits!

2. "Donny!" (USA)
With "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on an indefinite hiatus on HBO, sitcom-starved USA decided to clone the format. USA’s version of Larry David is successful ad executive and cable talk show host and contributor Donny Deutsch, who plays a fictionalized version of himself as the host of a syndicated "Dr. Phil"-like daytime program called, yes, you guessed it, "Donny!" Donny, of course, does not listen to his own advice, and manages in the pilot to … oh, dear! ... accidentally sext pictures of himself flexing his 57-year old muscles without a shirt on! Sadly, there is more topless Donny in the future, which is both creepy and egotistical. And, unlike Larry David, who we absolutely love to hate in "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Donny in "Donny!" is the man we see at a function and pretend we don’t see. What’s next, sitcom "Mark" (as in Cuban) on Spike TV?


1. "Dr. Ken" (ABC)
After six seasons on a sitcom that was critically acclaimed, yet consistently struggled to pull in ratings, it is no surprise that former "Community" star Ken Jeong was hoping for a vehicle with more mass appeal. Airing after "Last Man Standing" on Friday, there was no reason to expect "Dr. Ken" to anything more than a generic chuckler. But cranking up the laugh track every time one of the characters opens his or her mouth only makes the stale jokes and obnoxious overacting seem even worse. Although Jeong as Dr. Ken Park is described as a brilliant physician, only an idiot — no offense — would crack a smile watching "Dr. Ken."


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