As members of the 21st century, we’re lucky enough to be alive in the golden age of television. New mediums such as premium cable and streaming services, and shows such as Game of Thrones, Fargo, Mr. Robot, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Louie, and so many others, have helped redefine what good television means. Yet for all of the good—for all of the innovative and groundbreaking shows—there are still some absolute stinkers. And some of these awful shows manage to persist, despite bad writing and bad acting. Despite all logic, some of them are even extremely popular—cough, cough, The Big Bang Theory.
Not all of the shows on this list were always bad. At one point or another, some of them may have even been your favorites. But, like anything, shows can get old and stale, and they can wear out their welcome, which is why they should be cancelled, to make room for newer, better shows.
Here’s the list of 10 shows that need to be cancelled in 2016.
10. The Simpsons
It’s hard to imagine television without The Simpsons. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie have been around forever (since 1989, in fact). In that time, the show has become a staple in American pop-culture (anyone who’s anyone has made a guest appearance on it or been made fun of by it). But maybe it’s finally time to say goodbye to the beloved citizens of Springfield, not because it’s lost its touch, but because isn’t nearly 600 episodes enough? What more can they show us that we haven’t already seen?
It’s unlikely that the show will end anytime soon, as it’s already been picked up at least through to 2017, and it’s so embedded in our culture that it might never be cancelled.
9. 2 Broke Girls
2 Broke Girls just might be the worst show on television at the moment. No, scratch that, it might be the worst show of all time (okay, that might be pushing it, but still, it’s pretty terrible). Not only are the supporting characters annoying, but so too are the two leads—Max and Caroline, two broke girls (get it?) who basically yell at each other in their high-pitched voices for half an hour. The “jokes” on this show consist of nothing more than one sexual innuendo after another, as if it were written by a dirty-minded fourteen-year-old. And what’s with all the fake accents? The Ukrainian cook, the Asian (and borderline racist) diner owner, and the Polish woman with the face like a melted candle.
8. Family Guy
Family Guy used to be one of the best, most irreverent satirical shows on television. Mixed in with some fart jokes for good measure, McFarlane was able to poke fun at government, religion, and American society in general. But now, after 14 seasons and 258 episodes, it feels like they’ve finally run out of jokes. Nothing about the show is shocking anymore, because we’ve seen it all before. If not for the young teenagers who still find this kind of stuff funny, Family Guy might have been cancelled a long time ago. You even get the sense that the people involved have lost interest, as McFarlane’s off making movies and the writers seem to be mailing it in half the time.
There was a time when everyone was talking about Lena Dunham’s Girls. Whether you liked it or not, it was hard to deny the fact that it was culturally significant (it spoke of feminism, elitism, and being alive in the 21st century). Despite all that, Girls has given us some of the most unlikeable and annoying characters on television. And yes, I understand that the characters are supposed to be annoying, because of realism or whatever, but if this is reality, then maybe we need a little more fiction in our lives.
6. Modern Family
When Modern Family first came out, it was hailed as a refreshing, groundbreaking show (after all, it showed us what a modern family looked like). But lately, more often than not the jokes have been flat, and the writers have resorted to cheap puns and slapstick humor. And some have questioned just how “modern” or groundbreaking the show’s representation of gay people actually is. Cam and Mitchell are riddled with stereotypes, and viewers have noticed that they rarely show physical affection toward one another. For a show that claims to represent the new normal, it sure has some catching up to do.
If that’s not enough to convince you that Modern Family should be cancelled, then consider how much better a place the world would be without Sofia Vergara’s illegible squealing (how that was nominated for four Golden Globes, we’ll never know).
5. The Big Bang Theory
The success of The Big Bang Theory—the number one comedy on television—has always been baffling. It’s not nearly as terrible as some of the other shows on this list, but it’s repetitive humor—they’re awkward and nerdy and she’s hot but dumb—doesn’t seem to warrant the millions of viewers that it pulls in each week. Not to mention the fact that the show relies on canned laughter (aren’t we past that yet?) to let the viewers know when they’re supposed to laugh (seriously, go watch it on YouTube without the laugh track and you’ll see just how bad the jokes are).
I think we’ve had all about the Sheldon Cooper that we can handle for one lifetime.
4. CSI: Cyber
This show was awful straight out the gate. And it’s too bad, because Patricia Arquette was just coming off an Academy Award win for her fantastic performance in Boyhood. Rather than take advantage of her acting skills, the writers of this show stuck in her in dead-end role.
How many spinoffs do we need of a single show? Instead of making CSI: Cyber, why not make an original show, with original ideas? This just feels like a lazy attempt to capitalize on the success of the previous versions of CSI (but who even watches those anymore, aside from grandparents who haven’t discovered better crime shows?).
3. Dr. Ken
The best explanation for the cancellation of this show is to simply watch it. Man, it’s bad. Ken Jeong—Chow from the highly successful The Hangover franchise—is at his best when he’s playing a crazy, outlandish character, but in the role of Dr. Ken he just feels awkward and unfunny.
Dr. Ken has received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics, so it’s likely only a matter of time before it’s cancelled. It’s a shame, too, because the show is loosely based on Jeong’s own experience as a doctor, so you’d think it would be a sure hit.
2. Law and Order: SVU
Law and Order: SVU has been on the air for seventeen seasons now. But as soon as the show became less of a police procedural and more of a cheesy soap opera, it went right down the drain. In recent seasons, the writers have decided to focus on the troubled lives of the detectives, taking away from what made the show a hit in the first place: the crimes. I don’t want to know about Dectetive Rollins’s gambling problems or Detective Amaro’s marital problems; I want to see them solve crimes and catch bad guys. If I wanted to watch overly dramatic acting with ominous music playing deafeningly in the background, I’d watch The Young and the Restless, but for the time being, I’ll stick with re-runs of the original Law and Order.
Supergirl, starring Jeb Bush’s crush, Melissa Benoist, was one of the most hyped television shows of 2015. It was supposed to be a superhero show for the feminist generation—finally a strong female superhero, someone who young girls can look up to and idolize. But instead it feels more like an ad hoc response to television’s gender inequality. It’s a valiant effort, no doubt, and one that deserves some attention, but Supergirl simply isn’t the show to address the issues of gender. The writers hammer home the fact that the lead character is a feminist figure every chance they get (just in case you forgot), taking away from the storyline. For a better example of a strong female superhero, watch Netflix’s Jessica Jones.
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