The cards were stacked against this one from the start — honestly, who freakin’ cares what happened in Verona after Romeo and Juliet killed themselves? — and it did not disappoint. Or it… did disappoint. Either way, Still Star-Crossed was a direct miss for Shondaland, which shelled out a pretty penny to shoot the convoluted period drama overseas. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t worth the investment.)
This total bummer of a stoner sitcom — starring Kathy Bates as an aging hippie who runs a Los Angeles cannabis dispensary — aired on Netflix, but it felt more like something from CBS’ reject pile, with hopelessly stale punchlines and jarringly loud canned laughter. (The dispensary setting didn’t even matter all that much; it was just a lame workplace comedy with a few stereotypical pot jokes sprinkled on top.) Even a great actress like Bates struggled to sell the hacky writing. Most damningly, it just wasn’t funny… no matter how many herbal refreshments you might have ingested beforehand.
8. DAYTIME DIVAS
On paper, VH1’s View-skewering drama — executive-produced by Star Jones and starring Vanessa Williams, no less — should have been a slam-dunk. And while the show was certainly good for the occasional oh-no-she-didn’t moment, usually courtesy of the phenomenal Tichina Arnold, the season’s “big” mystery proved to weak to sustain itself. Or an audience. Or a budget.
7. TOO CLOSE TO HOME
The second — yes, second — season of Tyler Perry’s TLC soap found new and disturbing ways to work incest into its main storylines. And while the show’s cancellation hasn’t been officially announced, we certainly won’t be shedding a tear for this mess when the hammer eventually falls. (Bonus grievance: TLC seriously under-delivered on the amount of Heather Locklear in Season 2, contrary to commercials promising her increased presence.)
6. FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE
This alleged laffer took an all-star roster of comedy actors — Keegan-Michael Key! Cobie Smulders! Fred Savage! Billy Eichner! Nat Faxon! — and saddled them with some of the least funny material imaginable. It’s not like a show about selfish people doing despicable things can’t work — heck, Eichner even starred on one of the good ones: Hulu’s Difficult People. The problem here was that it was never fun watching these characters be terrible to each other. What we were left with was a four-hour cringefest with no satisfying payoff. Perhaps the cruelest part? Netflix went ahead and renewed Friends From College for a second season.
5. TWIN PEAKS
Showtime boss David Nevins allegedly tried to convince series co-creator David Lynch to trim the 18-hour resurrection down to a lean, mean eight episodes — and, man, do we wish he had succeeded. While the quasi-third season had a handful of inspired moments, the revival as a whole was a bloated, tedious, inscrutable, uneven, misogynistic endurance test featuring zero emotional stakes. Put simply, it was everything the series’ addictive, groundbreaking, triumphant first season wasn’t. And we’re still angry about it.
4. MARVEL’S IRON FIST
The first major dent in Netflix’s Marvel superhero armor, this slog of a story tested our patience from Episode 1, elicited superhuman eyerolls with its bare-footed hero traipsing around New York and stacked the odds against itself with a low-charisma (sorry, “chill”) lead performance. But worst of all for such a series, and specific to this character, the fight scenes — hampered by frequent and painfully obvious doubling — lacked any exciting punch.
3. DIRTY DANCING
We still can’t figure out why ABC would take the beloved late-’80s sleeper hit and Disneyfy it with this bland, miscast, unnecessarily fleshed-out remake. Did Johnny really need to sing “Do You Love Me?” to Baby? Did we really need to see Dr. and Mrs. Houseman’s marital struggles writ large? Did anyone care about Lisa’s interracial summer fling? And what was up with that bizarre, stage musical framing device? Move over, Baby: This iteration of the Patrick Swayze-Jennifer Grey classic should’ve stayed in the corner where it belongs.
Need proof of the sorry state of CBS’ comedy development? Look no further than the sitcom that five out of seven TVLine editors called the worst new show of the fall. Any one of the Eye network’s current Monday night comedies could have made this list, but the Mark Feuerstein vehicle is a special kind of awful that embodies everything people hate about multi-camera sitcoms. The overacting, the incessant canned laughter, the jokes about Elliott Gould’s testicles… it’s all an unfortunate mess that should have never been picked up to series in the first place.
1. MARVEL’S INHUMANS
Some spot-on casting (oh, how we cheered the choice of Serinda Swan as Medusa!), a splashy IMAX premiere plan and a focused eight-episode run suggested that this Marvel series might serve up something special — a thrilling tale, tightly told. (And with an oversized canine, to boot!) Instead, woefully cheap-looking sets (that offset the lush Hawaii exteriors), shoddy CGI, a connect-the-dots storyline and incongruous acting styles (Shakespearean political intrigue vs. sitcom?) created a black hole of urgency, a wholly missable placeholder of a show that was practically buried on Friday nights and, in the end, delivered little payoff.