2017 was a great year for television, but for every standout show there were a few terrible ones.
Take Netflix for example.
2017 brought us some exciting Netflix originals, including comedies “American Vandal” and “Big Mouth.” But Netflix also gave us some real belly flops like “Iron Fist,” “Friends From College,” and “Disjointed.”
Network television also had a pretty bad year generally, delivering mostly unwatchable or mediocre shows, from “Marvel’s Inhumans” to “9JKL.”
As you round up all the TV you missed in 2017, make sure to avoid all of the worst new shows that came out this year.
Here are the worst new TV shows of 2017:
14. “Powerless” — NBC
Set in the DC universe, “Powerless” follows a group of non-superheroes working in a world where Batman, Superman, the Joker, and other DC heroes and villains roam cities, either saving or destroying them. It had potential, but didn’t go far enough with the premise to save itself. Vanessa Hudgens and Alan Tudyck were a charming part of the cast, but ultimately couldn’t pull off the dull storylines and cliche character dynamics. “Powerless” is not nearly as bad as the other shows on this list, but it was the most disappointing one.
13. “The Good Doctor” — ABC
12. “Will” — TNT
“Will” is a sexy, punk-rock version of William Shakespeare’s life. It’s not the most offensive show on this list, and the premise is fine. But given the crazy premise, the show was actually really dull. It just didn’t take full advantage of how silly its concept was, so it wasn’t even fun to hate-watch.
11. “Dynasty” — The CW
10. “Gypsy” — Netflix
The only takeaway from “Gypsy” is that Naomi Watts’ character is a really bad therapist. One of the worst things about “Gypsy” is that it never trusted its audience. Instead of being a subtle show that could’ve worked, it left nothing for the viewer to figure out.
9. “The Orville” — Fox
8. “Disjointed” — Netflix
This messy, awkward, and painful-to-watch sitcom about a woman who runs a marijuana business is a waste of Kathy Bates, one of America’s most valuable treasures. It was made to be hilarious when you’re high, but it would be shocking if marijuana changes anything about this lifeless weed comedy.
7. “Girlboss” — Netflix
“Girlboss” was trying to be so many things that it turned into a whole lot of nothing. “Girlboss” is based on the life and memoir of Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso. It had a lot of promise as a TV show, but the tone, focus, and plot were too disjointed for it to gain any momentum.
6. “9JKL” — CBS
“9JKL” is infuriatingly named, and infuriating to watch. It feels dated, but even if it had come out ten or twenty years ago, it still would have been terrible. “9JKL” lacks any self-awareness and is nothing more than CBS just trying to churn out another hit sitcom. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any of the qualities to be one.
5. “Wisdom of the Crowd” — CBS
4. Dirty Dancing” — ABC (TV movie)
Apologies for bringing this up after we all thought it was out of our lives for good. In May, ABC aired a remake of 1987’s “Dirty Dancing,” a classic romantic comedy (with a lot of drama) starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. The remake starred Abigail Breslin, who tries her hardest and has a lot of charm, but was unfortunately miscast as Baby. What was meant to be a genuine homage to an American classic turned out to be quite insulting.
3. “Marvel’s Iron Fist” — Netflix
“Iron Fist” took a cheesy comic book character and made it so much worse. Its protagonist is painful to watch and impossible to root for. Danny Rand makes terrible decisions, is more annoying than the hiccups, and the show doesn’t do anything to make up for it. Ultimately, the show is an unsuccessful adaptation from comic book to screen, and made Iron Fist’s presence in “The Defenders” quite dreadful.
2. “Marvel’s Inhumans” — ABC
1. “Friends from College” — Netflix
“Friends from College” has so much going for it, from the creators (Nicholas Stoller of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and his wife) to its cast which includes Keegan Michael Key, Fred Savage, Cobie Smulders, and Nat Faxon. But the show, which was apparently meant to be a comedy, is dreadful. It’s boring, self-indulgent, and doesn’t have any heart. Its only saving grace is guest star Billy Eichner, who proves that he has acting chops that don’t involve screaming.
This gimmicky ABC drama has a great cast. Freddie Highmore continues to prove he should be taken seriously as an actor, and Richard Schiff is amazing, as always. But the cast can’t make this emotionally manipulative drama worthwhile, though it has potential. The show has solid ratings, so it can trust its reliable audience and make the story a little more nuanced, but will it?
This reboot isn’t nearly as fun as the original because it’s trying way too hard in every way. Everyone is overacting, but not in the silly way that made the ’80s “Dynasty” so enjoyable. The dialogue tries so hard to be clever that it’s condescending. The pilot is filled with exposition – the main character, in voiceover, explains what a dynasty is, as if some people wouldn’t know. And the show desperately tries to fit in a feminist angle, despite the fact that the plot clearly relies on pitting two women against each other.
Seth MacFarlane’s “The Orville,” which is beloved by pretty much everyone except critics, is basically a high-concept sitcom in a sci-fi world. But it doesn’t work. It’s trying to be a sci-fi satire with a lot of laughs, but falls completely flat.
Don’t watch this. “Wisdom of the Crowd,” starring Jeremy Piven, tries way too hard to make a crime procedural technologically relevant. The laughable storyline revolves around the murder of the protagonist’s daughter, which inspires a social network used for crowd-sourcing evidence. The show has already been cancelled, which probably had a lot to do with allegations of sexual misconduct against Piven, and something to do with its drop in ratings.
“Inhumans” shockingly beats “Iron Fist” as the worst Marvel adaptation ever. And that includes all of the “Fantastic Four” movies. Despite a huge budget, the production looks cheap – from set to costumes to hair and makeup. The story is boring and clunky, and the characters are one-dimensional. The good-for-nothing dialogue also ensures that none of the performances are even halfway decent, even Iwan Rheon’s (Ramsay Bolton from “Game of Thrones”). At least “Iron Fist”looked like a decent show before any of us saw it.
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