Slowly but surely Netflix has taken over the way we watch TV. As young people increasingly trade in their television sets for laptops and screens, basic cable has more or less been rendered obsolete. With a collection of movies and television spanning several lifetimes, Netflix challenged the concept of original television content when it started producing its own series back in 2013, and it hasn’t looked back since. While it seemed at first that Netflix would change the game, offering consistently challenging and high-quality programming, that dream ended pretty quickly. Falling to the same problems as any network, some bad choices, and wrongheaded concepts led to some pretty bad programming.
While not all the shows on this list are all bad, they have fallen in esteem over the years. This shouldn’t be a surprise because even the best shows ever have weaker seasons, and if we’re lucky, they will find a way to raise themselves out of the cinders and burn brightly again. We’re also not saying you shouldn’t check out some of these shows - when it comes to movies and television, opinions vary wildly. At the very least, we would go so far as to suggest that even though some of these programs are pretty dire, they are actually better suited to Netflix and Chill than something like Daredevil or BoJack Horseman. It’s hard to get your chill on when the show is far too good to look away from.
13 Orange is the New Black
Ranked at the bottom of the list because when Orange is the New Black is good, it’s amazing. It’s just that, a lot of the time, it just isn’t. The majority of season 2 was so pointless we were honestly surprised it got renewed for a third season. While in real life Jason Biggs seems like a cool enough dude, on this show he is a black hole and sucks all the life from any episode he appears. The biggest problem with Orange is the New Black, though, is that the least interesting character (excluding Biggs) is Piper, and she’s in nearly every scene.
12 House of Cards
Season 1 of House of Cards was amazing, season 2 was okay, season 3 was a trainwreck and we didn’t even bother with season 4. Ever since David Fincher placed out to pursue better projects, the show has been in steady decline. As hard as Kevin Spacey works to hold it all together he can’t save the show’s poor writing, and let’s be real, even he’s making himself scarce - as the other characters take centre stage. Maybe the real reason why we’re so over House of Cards, though, is that thanks to Donald Trump, the current American election is crazier than anything on House of Cards.
Sense8 showed a lot of promise. We loved the high concept of the show, the idea of people interconnected by some weird magical force. It had the promise of the first Matrix film, but all the execution of Matrix Revolutions. All build up and no payoff, it took an entire season to bring together all the characters, which they maybe should have done in the pilot. And that’s another huge problem, at least half the characters are boring as hell. We are not bloodthirsty monsters, but killing off half the cast would be an incredible blessing in this case - streamlining the story and allowing the remaining characters some time to breathe.
10 Arrested Development
We’re hoping enough years have passed that nobody jumps down our throat for this. Arrested Development was a fantastic show, one of the funniest ever. Season 4, mercifully picked up by Netflix was nearly as bad as Community season 4 after they fired show-runner Dan Harmon. Completely doing away with the structure we came to love, the show lacked the bite and rhythm of the original series. In spite of some funny moments, it felt like a pale imitation of the original series rather than the real thing. We hear they’re thinking of doing some more seasons, and we genuinely hope they learn from their mistakes and capture the spirit of the original series.
9 A Very Murray Christmas
Bill Murray might be the most beloved actor alive, but he cannot begin to save this incredibly boring Christmas special. When we heard that Murray would be starring in a Netflix original movie and it would be a musical, we were pumped - but boy, were we ever disappointed. Awkward at best, most of the songs fall so completely flat that they are borderline embarrassing for all involved. While the movie clearly tries to recapture those “very special” Christmas specials of your favourite TV shows for kids, bringing together an all-star cast, with no real rhyme or reason this was an absolutely pointless venture.
Will Arnett stars in one of the best Netflix shows, lending his voice to BoJack Horseman. So to say we were disappointed with Flaked would be a major understatement. A cheap rip-off of Californication, the show not only lacks an original thread but fails to compare to the much superior Showtime program. Arnett seems miscast as a playboy, and we’re left grasping as to why exactly this show exists in the first place. Lacking a cohesive direction, the whole thing is the actor’s equivalent of a mid-life crisis: feigning faux depth, it seems to be a vanity project, nothing less and nothing more.
7 The Ranch
We are genuinely unsure as to who exactly The Ranch is for. In spite of the all-star cast, literally nothing about this show seems appealing, and we’re scratching our heads over the fact that Netflix has already renewed it. In the past few months, it seems like Netflix is really pushing the wholesome angle and failing epically, and The Ranch is emblematic of this unadventurous thread. While it brings together a pretty great cast including Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson and Sam Elliott, the tone of the show never quite comes together. The show feels lazy, right down to the awful product placement.
6 Netflix Presents: The Characters
While we admit one or two episodes of The Characters work, the ones that don’t are painfully unfunny. Like nails on a chalkboard, most of the episodes of this sketch comedy show make your eyes and ears bleed. The concept is interesting, as different actors are offered the chance to create their own episode around their character creations. Unfortunately, most of the actors don’t have the experience or range to pull it off. The only people we would recommend this to are aspiring actors, as the majority of the episodes are a great example of what NOT to do. Far too many of these characters are telling the audience who they are and what they’re like, rather than showing us.
5 Pee Wee’s Big Holiday
Pee Wee was fun growing up. We liked the Playhouse, and Tim Burton’s film adaptation of the show Pee Wee’s Big Adventure is one of his best films. Paul Reubens is an incredibly talented comedian whose career was cut short due to unfortunate circumstances in an adult theatre, and while we sincerely wish him the best, this movie was a huge waste of his talents. Reubens surprisingly is the best part of this whole thing, and while here and there he seems a little too old for the part, he has aged remarkably well. The big problem with this film is that they don’t seem to know who the audience is. Is this for the kids who grew up with Pee Wee or a whole new generation? Not particularly funny or charming, the whole thing ultimately falls flat.
It’s been over 15 years that Judd Apatow has more or less taken over all forms of comedy, and we’re well overdue for an overhaul. His Netflix produced series Love, is maybe the worst example of everything in his films and TV shows we’re absolutely burned out on. Awkward writer type falls in love with a girl out of his league, misunderstandings and growing up follow. It’s not really Paul Rust’s fault that he’s following in the footsteps of every other man-child to ever be in a Judd Apatow film, but we never quite find a way to empathize with his performance or plight. Gillian Jacobs is a breath of fresh air (she always is), but she’s so much better than anything else on this show that we can’t help wishing the whole thing was about her story, not Gus.
3 Hemlock Grove
Eli Roth is not the most reliable filmmaker, but at the very least, he always promises some good shocks, blood, and boobs. When we heard he was bringing a horror show to Netflix we were pumped, if not a little apprehensive. We had no idea he was going to subject us to a young adult novel that makes Twilight look like Shakespeare. All build up and no scares, this teen drama wrapped in some pedestrian supernatural fodder is bafflingly bad. Unmemorable and with no redeeming characters, we’re not even sure teens who don’t know better like this. Clearly someone is watching though, as the show got a full three seasons.
2 The Ridiculous Six
Adam Sandler has let us down over the years. Long before Red Letter Media exposed the way he abuses budgets for huge pay days, it had been near a decade since he had made a good film. We were shocked that Netflix signed him to a string of movies, we were even more shocked when we finally saw the first one - The Ridiculous Six is beyond terrible. With what little of the film passes for comedy is juvenile for most fourth graders and on top of that, it is also incredibly cheaply made. While apparently it’s the most watched film to ever screen on Netflix, we’re curious as to the actual retention on the movie is, because we have to believe that a lot of people surely bailed on this one pretty early on.
1 Fuller House
Fuller House is a show resting entirely on fan service towards a fanbase that probably doesn’t remember how bad Full House ever was. The Olsen Twins made an incredibly wise choice bailing on this trainwreck, which blends the worst sensibilities of 1990s feel-good sitcoms with a lot of really bad acting. Full House was cute when TV was bad, trying to consciously replicate that schlocky style seems not only ill-advised but condescending. With just about every other second being some kind of reference to the original show (which wasn’t that memorable aside from John Stamos’ hair and “you got it dude”), one episode of Fuller House has more winks at the audience than the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe combined.