TV Turkeys: The worst shows of 2017

Be the first to comment

From broadcast to cable to streaming, there was plenty of bad content to go around this year.

Gobble! Gobble! It’s TV Turkey time, where the worst in content—in all dayparts and all platforms—is showcased just in time for your Thanksgiving holiday feast. With so much to choose from, consider these 10 (listed from the 10th "best" to the biggest clunker) the crème of the crud from 2017.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

10. "Marvel's Inhumans" (ABC) 

Debuting theatrically on IMAX screens two weeks before launching on ABC, the expectations were high for this tale of inhumans secretly living on the moon, on the verge of being discovered by humans. But the characters are bland, the production is uninspiring, the writing and acting is completely monotonous and there are no plausible storylines. What ABC was hoping would be its "Game Of Thrones" Marvel-style turned into the "Showgirls" of superhero dramas: cheesy, laughable and just plain rotten. Now I know why the network buried it on Friday. 

9. "9JKL" (CBS) 

 

Patterned, no doubt, after "Everybody Loves Raymond," the one ingredient lacking in this tale of a family living in three adjacent apartments in New York City is the likeability factor. I just don't feel the "love" for any of these characters, particularly Linda Lavin as interfering matriarch Judy Roberts and Elliot Gould as her stereotypically clueless husband Harry. While the late—and great—Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle as Marie and Frank Barone were not exactly all that loveable on "Raymond" either, there was still something very relatable and amusing about them—good writing and fresh situations, perhaps—that is missing with this pair.

While series creator and star Mark Feuerstein as son Josh is trying to inherit the Ray Romano role, everybody does not love "9JKL." 

8. "Will" (TNT) 

Set in 1589, the focus is on 25-year-old William Shakespeare (Laurie Davidson) who has left his wife and home to seek his fame and fortune as a playwright in London. In other words, the cable network known for traditional crime solvers like "The Closer" and spin-off "Major Crimes" wanted to broaden its appeal. While the intentions were good, the execution was lacking, the story was completely forgettable, and the novelty of witnessing this punkish version of Shakespeare quickly wore off after about 15 minutes.

7. "Girlboss" (Netflix) 

A loose adaptation of the actual experiences of Sophia Amoruso, founder of online fashion juggernaut Nasty Gal and author of the book "#Girlboss," this half-hour dramedy featured Britt Robertson as Sophia, a young woman who translated her knowledge of vintage clothes (gained in part through shoplifting) into the online business Nasty Gal. A "rebel without a cause" of sorts, the goal of the writers of "Girlboss," it seemed, was for the viewers to root for this trendy misfit. We all, after all, have our imperfections, right? But the more I watched, the more I could not stand Sophia, who came off more of a jerk than the girl who could make it after all.

Canceled after one season, the moral of "Girlboss" is even a digital streamer like Netflix can have a miss.

6. "Ten Days in the Valley" (ABC) 

Billed as a limited series, Emmy-winner Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer") plays Jane Sadler, an overworked television showrunner on a fictional crime-solving drama whose daughter (Abigail Pniowsky) suddenly disappears in the dead of night. What could have been an interesting whodunit is marred by painfully generic subplots, including Jane's constant squabbling with her ex-husband (Kick Gurry) and her anxieties in the workplace. And then there is Jane, the superhero, whose solo investigation is as realistic as one of those endless DC Comics or Marvel dramas. 

After just four low-rated episodes on Sunday, "Ten Days in the Valley" will finish its run on deadly Saturday with two episodes beginning on Dec. 16.

5. "The Toy Box" (ABC) 

Here's an idea. Let's clone the concept of "Shark Tank" and morph the "sharks" into a panel of kids, the "experts" in the field, as they decide which toy moves onto the final round and which, ultimately, makes the final cut. While three adult professionals in the field of toys in season one offset the non-adult judges, dropping the pros in exchange for a roster of lively kids only makes this "Shark Tank Jr." feel like it belongs on Nickelodeon and not ABC. Since Eric Stonestreet of "Modern Family" hosts, why not include his scene-stealing daughter Lily Tucker-Pritchett as one of the judges? 

4. "Dynasty" (CW) 

Since the average viewer watching The CW has probably never seen, or heard of, the 1980s serialized drama of the same name, why the reboot instead of something completely unique? If "Empire" could work for Fox, The CW was hoping a feuding family of its own would do the trick, But without the proverbial superhero on the network fighting crime, the clan called Carrington on this new "Dynasty" is nothing more than an hour of "D" level dramatics. Maybe "Supergirl" or "The Flash" should stop by to taunt these cartoonish Carringtons. 

3. "Me, Myself & I" (CBS)

 

Here's an idea. Let's create a sitcom about a man named Alex Riley, someone the average TV viewer will probably not care about, and let's break up his life in three parts: as a 14-year-old (Jack Dylan Grazer) who moves to Los Angeles in 1991, as a 40-year-old (Bobby Moynihan) dealing with the breakup of his marriage in the present day, and as a 65-year-old (John Larroquette) in 2042 who has just retired. While Bobby at age 14 had a "Wonder Years"-esque: flavor, the older versions of Bobby were less appealing, and the constant shifting between the three ages made this viewer just plain dizzy. Not surprisingly, "Me, Myself & I" was the first new network series casualty this season. 

2. "Life of Kylie" (E!) 

Since no annual TV Turkeys list is complete without a Kardashian (or Jenner), here is this year's newbie: "Life of Kylie." In this latest docuseries following this family of relentless fame seekers, youngest family member Kylie Jenner is the focus as she "deals with running a business while maintaining a normal life." "In order to stay relevant for the public I have to be on Instagram and I have to be on Snapchat to keep people entertained," says the spoiled little darling in the first episode, as she also explains why wearing make-up is so important to her. "And then there is really who I am around my friends." 

Now that Kylie is pregnant, methinks "Momager" Kris is already mapping out the second season of "Life of Kylie." After all, it is all about keeping the cameras rolling on this obnoxious clan. 

1. "Megyn Kelly Today" (NBC) 

Considering NBC almost killed its perennial morning franchise "Today" twice (remember the unnecessary departures of Jane Pauley and Ann Curry?), you have to wonder why the network would break up the four-hour block, which flowed seamlessly, with Megyn Kelly in the 9 a.m. ET hour. As the former host of Fox News' "The Kelly File," former corporate defense attorney Kelly was a controversial voice in the current political scene. As host of "Megyn Kelly Today," the humbler and softer Kelly—who gushes aplenty and dances on stage—rings completely false. 

With ratings plummeting (which negatively impacts the 10 a.m. ET hour with hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb), chances of Kelly being shipped off to MNSBC or CNBC until her contact can be resolved seem pretty logical. If I were NBC, I would get Al Roker back in the hour pronto.