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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Worst. Shows. Ever.

I e-mailed a friend the other day to jokingly let him know that "Perfect Strangers" is being released on DVD in February. Nostalgia is funny that way. I definitely remember watching the show in my youth. But upon further review as an adult, I'd likely cringe at the sitcomy-ness of Balki telling Cousin Larry "don't be ridiculous" 80 times during the course of some foolish episode where the pair ended up on a game show - or something else outlandishly contrived that probably involved sheep.

So I'm telling you right now - even as someone who occasionally stops on Nick at Nite "Full House" reruns for a nostalgia-based TGIF cringe/laugh/cry - don't buy really bad '80s sitcoms on DVD because they were part of your early viewing habits. It's like purchasing one of those rotating, glistening hot dogs at a gas station because you're really, really hungry. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but trust me, you'll pay for that mistake later.

All of this blathering segues into the Chicago Tribune's "Worst TV Shows of All-Time" poll. The paper recently asked readers to rank the wretched (we're guessing the bulk of reality shows were disqualified, because ain't no way Joe Millionaire wouldn't be on this list ...), and based on close to 5,000 votes, here are the results.

1. "The Jerry Springer Show" (1991-present): 19.8%
2. "Cavemen" (2007): 15.6%
3. "Mama's Family" (1983-90): 7.3%
4. "Cop Rock" (1990): 6.9%
5. "Small Wonder" (1985-89): 6.6%
6. "Joanie Loves Chachi" (1982-83): 5.8%
7. "Barney & Friends" (1992-present): 5.3%
8. "Ernest Angley Hour" (1973-present): 4.0%
9. "Homeboys in Outer Space" (1996-97): 3.9%
10."My Mother the Car" (1965-66): 3.6%
11. XFL (2001): 3.4%
12. "Pink Lady and Jeff"(1980): 3.4%
13. "The Ropers" (1979-80): 2.8%
14."Manimal" (1983): 2.5%
15. "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer" (1998): 1.5%
16. "B.J. and the Bear" (1979-81): 1.2%
17. "Mr. T. and Tina" (1976): 1.2%
18. "Petticoat Junction" (1963-70): 1.1%
19. "Beauty and the Beast" (1987-90): 1.0%
20. "Mr. Belvedere" (1985-90): 0.9%
21."Life With Lucy" (1986): 0.9%
22. "Turn-On" (1969): 0.6%
23. "You're in the Picture" (1961): 0.4%
24. "When Things Were Rotten" (1975): 0.4%
25. "The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage" (1991): 0.1%

What? No love for "The Ueck" in Mr. Belvedere?" And "Boy Meets World" REALLY belongs on this list. I still want to punch Ben Savage in his dopey face all these years later ...

More suggestions? Discussion? An autographed picture of Steve Urkel to anyone who remembers the lyrics to ABC's TGIF theme song ...

-- Thomas Rozwadowski, trozwado@greenbaypressgazette.com

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3 Comments:

Best. Blog. Post. Ever.

I have to disagree with you on "Perfect Strangers." It's a show, much like "The Brady Bunch," that is still good all these years later. There are times even now that I get out of the shower and do the dance of joy in front of the mirror.

You make a great point about shows of your youth not being as great when you get older. "Kate and Allie" is horrible now.

I disagree on "Boy Meets World." That show is awesome and can still be seen on Disney. Sure, I got sick of how Shawn Hunter was always complaining that he couldn't become something because he was from the wrong side of the tracks, but there was something pure in watching Corey and Topanga grow up and get married.

By Anonymous TV1, At December 6, 2007 at 5:57 PM  

You need to stop hating on Ben Savage and "Boy Meets World." It wasn't the greatest show, but I think I'd take an episode of that over "Full House" (unless it's the episode where Kimmy gets "drunk" at a party -- that's some great stuff). Plus the show had Mr. Feeny!

By Blogger Malavika Jagannathan, At December 7, 2007 at 9:01 AM  

Tom,
I know "Perfect Strangers" is no "Saved By the Bell," but lay off the hatin'. I know the character of Screech is like Hamlet when compared to Balki "Guildenstern" Bartokomous, but there's no call to link "Strangers" to the worst shows ever. I mean, we all know that ENTIRE EPISODES of "Saved By the Bell" were copied verbatim from Bible passages, and GOD HIMSELF kissed the scripts before Mario Lopez and that chick from "Showgirls" read them, and that Mark Linn-Baker KICKED PUPPIES IN THE THROAT ON SET BEFORE EACH TAPING of "Perfect Strangers" ... but c'mon -- go easy on one of my childhood favorites, brah.

By Anonymous Adam Reinhard, At December 7, 2007 at 9:00 PM  

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