8/20/2010

The 12 worst sci-fi shows of all time

Ah the beleaguered sci-fi genre. Always a huge risky gamble for networks, its no wonder occasionally it rarely eve has a solid presence on tv. Even the best shows usually have to fight hard to find a solid audience. And for every great show like Battlestar Galactica, there are a dozen sub-par shows (most of which are on this list), including shows that seem to throw in sci-fi elements just for the hell of it. Such as:




12: Family Matters

What? Family matters was a crappy sitcom! Not a sci-fi show! I say otherwise. Had the show truly go on its original intended theme, which was a middle-class black family, I would certainly agree with you. But most internet-savvy people know the story of the most annoying nerd ever, Steve Urkel. He was supposed to be a one-shot character, but was so popular he became more of a focus of the show so much so where the family was pretty much irrelevant to the point of characters popping in and out of continuity or disappearing entirely with no justification. This quickly became the Steve Urkel show, all about his wacky misadventures with science. Which included, but were not limited to alternate personas (which he was able to change into with a potion or chamber), robots and time travel. It had tons of sci-fi elements to it, mainly because it was a horribly unfunny show that relied on outrageous scenarios to cover for that fact.


11. Small Wonder: Arguably one of the creepiest concepts ever for a show, Small Wonder was basically a giant endorsement for child slave labor. Lots of shit happened in this show that supposedly ok because the kid was "just a robot". I'm pretty sure Data, the Cylons and most other sci-fi robots would have something to say about that too. Also, the kid was just plain creepy. Any kid behaving like that would be put under for psych eval in quick order. One of many examples on this list that for whatever reason, sci-fi and comedy don't really mix all that well.



10. Homeboys from Outer Space: One of the many abominations from the short-lived UPN network (which  merged with the slightly less awful WB network to create the mostly awful CW). The borderline racist concept-It's just so wacky that 2 black guys would be in space! Is moronic all on its own, add in tired jokes, production values that made MST3K look impressive, and two extremely unfunny "comedians" as the stars, and you've got a show that is a constant presence on just about any worst list ever.



9. Whoops!: Yeah, that's pretty much the only pic I could find. But this might be the worst sitcom ever made. It's about a nuclear holocaust that apparently only 6 people survived (for really stupid reasons such as being in a Volvo). Bring on the comedy! I'm not saying a comedy about a nuclear holocaust couldn't work, but in traditional dumb sitcom fashion they went for the lowest common denominator, relying on slapstick and featuring really awful production values, with such brilliant plot lines as Santa Claus not being able to save Mrs. Claus and all the elves because HE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO WORK A DOOR. Yeah, how this thing even got a pilot is beyond me.



8. Heroes: Ah Heroes, such a promising show. The first season was absolutely brilliant. Then things went downhill really fast. Even the creators to their credit acknowledged that essentially they didn't know what the hell they were doing, but they never found their footing again and each season got exponentially worse until its merciful cancellation this year. This is a show that in one of its moments, had a character carry around a turtle on a "spiritual journey". FOR SEVERAL EPISODES. Add to that a tendency to change characters powers and how they worked on a whim and you have one of the most incoherent shows in history.



7. Enterprise: Few shows can lay claim to essentially killing off a thriving franchise and making it in desperate need of a reboot, but hey, JJ Abrams version of Star Trek may have never seen the light of day had Enterprise not been such an awful show. Granted, the popularity of Star Trek in general had been gradually declining since TNG ended, as DS9 and Voyager weren't quite as capable of duplicating the same success. But Enterprise was the real nail in the TV coffin, with characters that were simply boring at even the best of times, a time-traveling plot running through most of the series' run without much rhyme or reason, and episodes that featured things like Captain Archer's dog being sick and trying to find out Tripp's favorite food. Space exploration at its finest, indeed.



6. Manimal: Aside from an extremely stupid name, this travesty of a show featured a cop who could turn into virtually any animal he wanted to. Not a horrible concept all by itself, but add in ridiculously awful production values and the show never had a chance. It seems that the producers of a lot of these shows don't seem to realize that they need a decent budget in the first place in order for them to last.



5. Robocop: Robocop the movie was awesome. It was bloody and gritty. Robocop the series was anything but. Aimed at teens for some unfathomable reason, the violence was gone, Robocop never killed anybody, and the evil OCP corporation was portrayed more as bumbling fools who were merely criminally stupid than actually evil. It even messed with basic continuity (i.e. in the movies everyone knows who Robocop was before he died, it's a key subplot, in the show, no one does). Why this was even made is beyond me, I mean that'd be like making saturday morning cartoon of Sin City.



4. Beauty and the Beast: Yeah, I have no idea how this even existed ever. Let's take the story of Beauty and the Beast, except there's no curse, he's just a random freak, and they solve crimes in modern day! How much blow did TV execs get offered to believe this was a good idea? A truly horrible concept that should have never gotten off the ground, it was actually amazingly popular until Linda Hamilton left, then no one cared anymore and it was canceled in short order.



3. Mortal Kombat: Conquest: Yeah, adapting video games is seemingly always a bad idea, be it movies or TV, and this might be the worst of the lot. It didn't even feature most of the rather large MK cast, focusing pretty much on Kung Lao and making up several unnecessary characters. Why they think they could make a series based on a fighting game is mind-boggling at best, and like most shows of this type, it suffered from bad acting, worse writing, and laughably awful production values.

2. Ok yes, the original TMNT movie was live action, and it's awesome. But that doesn't mean you should make a whole series that is live action, it just gets to Power Rangers-level of ridiculousness (which they had a crossover with oddly enough). But really, the major psychological trauma was Venus De Milo, the first femal ninja turtle:


Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!? But all of the combined above ridiculousness is nothing compared to:



1. Baywatch Nights: Let's see, what made Baywatch popular? Surely it was Michael Hasslehoff, and absolutely nothing else. So clearly, we should give the guy his own show as the same character, only with a job as a P.I.(which it's not really clear if this is a part time gig or he's just switched careers). What you say? That's not enough? Well let's make it a poorly done X-Files riipoff in the second season dealing with ghosts, werewolves, vampires, aliens and the like. Yeah, not suprisingly, that not only didn't work, but made this one of the most mind-baffingly awful shows this side of Walker: Texas Ranger. This is truly the most godawful attempt at sci-fi ever. No contest. The only way it might've worked is they added a laugh track.

Ok that's the list. I will try and post one more time this week, but Monday or Tuesday is looking more likely. Til then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Achievement Unlocked 2

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

ST Enterprise did get really lame, but compared to the terrible make-up and stupid plots of the original show its no wonder that Enterprise lasted more seasons than the original. It was the Star trek movies, and ST-TNG that really built this franchise

Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Just for the record...did you happen to watch ALL the seasons of Enterprise? Sure, the first couple of seasons were retreads of Star Trek stories from years before (Voyager especially, which was a WAAY worse show than Enterprise IMO)...but years three and four were pretty darn good! Plus, even bad Trek is good for normal tv...so there's no way this should be on a "Worst of all time" list...