By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®
Into every season, a bad TV show must fall. And a slew of bad shows are about to come raining down on your TV.
I have spread the dislike around and have picked the worst new show on each network. My usual caveat applies – sometimes bad or average pilots can become great shows (for instance, I wasn’t necessarily wowed by the Revenge pilot last season). But these five shows have the most to overcome.
Mob Doctor (premiering September 17 at 9 p.m. on FOX): Giving this show a bad review makes me sad. I simply don’t like it when two of my favorite actors end up in a clunker. Jordana Spiro stars as Dr. Grace Devlin. She’s a brilliant surgeon when she’s not being called upon by the Chicago mob to do their medical bidding. (Mob Doctor also wins this season’s award for most literal title). Zach Gilford co-stars as her boyfriend and fellow resident Dr. Brett Robinson. Pause for a moment, won’t you, and reflect on the possibility of a series starring P.J. Franklin (My Boys) and Matt Saracen (Friday Night Lights). Savor this image. Now completely obliterate it from your head because Mob Doctor is so not that series.
Beauty and the Beast (premiering October 11 at 9 p.m. on the CW): Beauty and the Beast, starring Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan as the title characters Cat and Vincent, is not only the CW’s worst new show but it’s also the worst new show of the season (you’re breathing a sigh of relief right about now aren’t you, Malibu Country?) Honestly if I didn’t know this was an actual real show I would swear it was a Saturday Night Live skit. (And even as I write this, I’m not completely convinced that this whole thing isn’t for an episode of Punk’d). I mean it is kind of hilarious that the producers think that taking the very, very attractive Ryan and giving him a strategically placed scar makes him a beast. But even taking away the CW propensity for prettying everything up, the show is seriously flawed. It’s melodramatic, poorly acted (Kreuk remains not the sharpest tool in the acting shed and it doesn’t help that the show has made Catherine a HOMICIDE detective) and completely uninteresting. At the end of the pilot, I didn’t care if Cat and Vincent ever got together and that’s not good.
Malibu Country (premiering November 2 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC): There are some shows that set expectations from the moment the cast is announced. And when you have Lily Tomlin in your cast, I watch the show with one solid expectation – that the show will be funny. And Malibu Country simply isn’t. Reba (I seemed to have missed the announcement when she dropped her last name, but she just goes by Reba now) stars as a country singer who raised a family in lieu of pursuing her career. She divorces her no good, cheating husband Bobby and heads to Malibu with her mother (Tomlin) and two teenage children. Sara Rue pops up doing her best Real Housewives spoof as Reba’s new neighbor Kim. The one semi-bright spot is Jai Rodriguez of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy who plays an assistant who could help Reba’s career. I always liked him and it is kind of fun to see him on TV again. Reba’s WB show Reba had a certain amount of charm and except for a few minor changes Malibu Country is basically the same premise. Perhaps it will develop some charm as time goes on. But I’ve got to think ABC knows they have a stinker on their hands or they wouldn’t be waiting until November 2 to premiere it.
Guys with Kids (premiering September 26 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC): If you caught last week’s sneak peek, you probably already know what I’m going to say about this show. Guys with Kids is cut from the comedy cloth that wives are nagging presences who husbands must endure, deceive or ignore in order to have any fun. These three guys – Gary (Anthony Anderson), Chris (Jesse Bradford) and Nick (Zach Cregger) – are also raising children. So that means that not only can the show touch upon every cliché about being married but it can also run through every cliché about having children. Good times. The show does have moments of inspiration. I thought , for instance, it was pretty funny that Chris’s ex-wife Sheila (Erinn Hayes) actually did have a date with Kareem Abdul Jabbar. But rare moments of inspiration don’t make a show.
Partners (premiering September 24 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS): To be clear, Partners is the worst new show on CBS but it’s nowhere close to being the worst new show of the season. My major issue with the comedy is that it’s basically Will & Grace: The Saga Continues. Except this time instead of a gay man being best friends with a straight woman, a gay man (Michael Urie) is best friends with a straight man (David Krumholtz). Brandon Routh (Superman) and Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) are their significant others. Urie is positively charming as the needy but well-meaning Louis and the rest of the cast is equally strong. But everything about the show – the sexually suggestive double entendres, the slapstick humor, the over-the-top characters – is very, very familiar.
So those are my picks for the worst new offering of each network. Don’t worry, we’ll have more bad shows to talk about as the new season launches (I’m talking to you Emily Owens, M.D.). I’ll be back tomorrow with my picks for the best new shows of the season. Talk about which show you are least looking forward to below. And don’t forget to follow my blog so you’ll know every time I have a new post.