If we were to step away from ourselves for a bit and judge the current run of television shows, we would be stunned to see that the caliber of TV we’re getting now is the highest it has ever been. From Breaking Bad to Walking Dead to Game of Thrones, TV has hit heights none of us ever imagined it would. If you compared 90s TV – Full House and Family Matters – to what we have today, it is clear that one of the ways the world hasn’t gotten worse in last two decades is the television we get now. Some would even argue that television has surpassed the medium of film for just how encompassing and enjoyable it is.
It is very important during this TV renaissance that we gaze backwards in time and look at some TV shows that were just so awful, your brain has already locked them away in your subconscious, never to resurface again. Well, bad news. They are about to surface again. Why? Because if we do not get brave enough to stop and recognize the error of our ways, how will we ever learn from them? If we do not have the courage to talk about Cop Rock, can we sleep soundly knowing we will not get a TV show that bad ever again? I say we just call them out, throw them on the table for all to see, and just pray that we NEVER get TV this bad again.
Here are 10 TV shows so bad, awful and tasteless, you won’t believe they ever existed – but we assure you, each and every single one did.
10. Dancing with the Stars
It may be popular, but let’s be honest here. We are a society obsessed with celebrities and for some sick reason, we want to see ALL that they do. We don’t even care if they are good at it. We just want to see, specifically, HOW bad they are at something so we can point and laugh.
The kicker is, you would think this joke would have run its course by season two, at the latest. But nope, apparently some of you still find this funny. I say funny because no way does anyone find this entertaining.
9. The Swan
Hey, are you fat and unattractive? Good news! There is a show that you can enter where you win all sorts of messed up plastic surgery that will leave you looking completely unfamiliar to yourself and your family! Yay!
The best part is, the first half of each episode showed the “professionals” going over a woman’s face and body with a pen and pen light showing off all her flaws. It was a direct attack against woman – unforgivable and disgusting.
Hey, heads up, ladies. You all look scary as hell after you get cosmetic surgery. Just age with grace and love yourself, for Christ’s sake.
8. Straight Plan for the Gay Man
Hey, remember Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? The show that featured gay guys helping make a straight guy more appealing? Well, this Comedy Central knock off featured four straight guys who would help teach gay guys how to, um, “fit in” more. Awful, homophobic stuff that just consisted of lame and cruel gay jokes. There is a reason this show lasted for like, three episodes.
Honestly, the less we say about this show the better.
7. My Mother the Car
So in this old show, a man has an overbearing mother who tries to run all aspects of his life. Then she dies and he is kinda like “PHEW”. But then, in the most absurd freaking plot twist of all time, she comes back as his CAR.
Yes. The ghost of his dead mother haunts the car he drives, busting his balls and still doing the whole overbearing mother shtick. This show is actually so bad, I almost want to see it get a current remake on Adult Swim just so I can see how bat s*** crazy it can really be.
Some people wanted to scoff at a show about a powerful dude who can turn into any animal he wants, but that is a reflection of the times. If you made this show now, people would eat it up.
A man who can turn into any animal (via some very bad effects) is a pretty dumb premise for a show aimed at adults (which is just what this 80s show was). Perhaps if they remade it but tapped into how openly awful it was, maybe THEN it would find some traction in the ironic humor department. But outside of that, this show was shameful just based on the awful name alone.
5. After MASH
MASH was an insanely popular series with an incredibly talented cast that dealt with the social and personal turmoil of those affected by the Vietnam war. It was one of the greatest TV shows ever with one of the most powerful final episodes in television history.
Which is EXACTLY why so many people forget about After MASH. It was a show that followed a few of the cast members to see what happened, well, after MASH. All the charm, heart and soul of the original was gone, and they just tried to force it so hard, it almost ruined the legacy of the original show.
4. Homeboys in Outer Space
So some fat, white producer knows that in the late nineties, hip hop and African American-centric movies were getting quite a buzz. So what did fat, white, producer guy come up with? Let’s take two stereotypes of black men as written by white men and put them into a Star Wars like situation, only where they are is the “ghetto” part of space.
Again, yes, this happened. Homeboys in Outer Space was a freaking TV show that actually aired on the UPN. So racist and awful, UPN no longer exists (it actually does, it just became The CW).
Remember those Geico ads where they used to say “so easy a caveman could do it?” Well, this show was (and this is NOT a joke) spun off from that exact set of ads, using the same guys as cavemen. The twist was: THEY WERE LIVING IN MODERN TIMES. Woohoo, let the good times roll!
The simple reason this decent hook didn’t work at all was because they were as mentally evolved as us. So it was really just a show about some extra hairy dudes trying to make it in modern life. On top of that, being completely unfunny was the nail in their coffin after just a few episodes.
DON’T MAKE TV SHOWS BASED OFF COMMERCIALS. ANYTIME. EVER!
2. Cop Rock
Steven Bochco was a super famous TV producer known for making great crime procedurals. Then he came up with this concept about a cop show that was also a musical. That’s not the weirdest part. You know what is? That SOMEONE GAVE HIM THE GREEN LIGHT.
It’s almost impossible to put this show into words, even for a writer. It featured singing cops and criminals, and hell, even the judges and street walkers got their own songs. Talk is cheap, just YouTube this show right now. Trust me. And keep your eyes out for Sheryl Crow as that was one of the singer’s first “big” breaks.
1. Heil Honey, I’m Home
So imagine, for a second, a sitcom about Hitler. And not just any sitcom, but an uber-cheesy sitcom about a loving couple that is just filled to the brim with cliches based off of other family TV show tropes. The kicker being, the husband is Hitler.
Yes, this was an actual show on the BBC that lasted about six seconds. Though the concept screams satire and “may’ work for about a minute, the reality is, people did not want to come home from a long day at work, sit down with their significant other, and watch a TV show about one of the most vile humans who ever lived.
Also, safe to say, some people lost their job for allowing this show to even air at all.