Sunday, June 02, 2013

TV's 10 most embarrassing moments this season

Ava, C.I., Elaine, Stan, Isaiah,  Rebecca and Betty look back at some of the worst TV moments since last September when the fall season kicked off.   They could have easily done 20 but here are ten in no particular order.

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1) When Megan Hunt (Dana Delany, ABC's Body of Proof) was 13-years-old, her father died.  A suicide, she was told.  In the final episode of the series, aired last week, it turned out then-police rookie Angela Martin had killed him.  Martin (Lorraine Toussaint) was now the police chief.   Delany's 57-years-old, Toussaint's 53-years-old which makes Angela Martin the youngest police recruit in the world at the age of nine.  It also allowed the show to continue to work out it's third season racism -- third and thankfully last season.

2) Colton Haynes in the cast of Arrow.  Haynes plays Roy Harper who is Speedy -- Green Arrow's sidekick -- in the comic books.  On the TV show, he mainly takes his shirt off and brings to mind The Wonder Twins and Scrappy Doo and any other insipid character who dragged a show down.  Already top heavy in action males, the show actually needs to show some action females and with David Ramsey -- the show's lone African-American -- already fighting for screen time as Arrow's sidekick, nobody needs another slice of White bread.

3) Struggling photographer Whitney (played by Whitney Cummings in the sitcom Whitney) apparently gives up her job at a magazine in season two to put out sex for her boyfriend in exchange for his paying the bills and his giving her spending money.  This is also known as prostitution.  By season's end (not surprisingly, it was also the end of the series), Whitney is still not a part of the legitimate workforce.

4) Justin Bieber's performance of "Take You" on the Billboard Awards. Styled as if he were Corey Haim getting ready to shoot Lucas and wearing what appeared to be a leather skort with leggings, Bieber was a disaster before he even attempted to sing.  And then he attempted to sing.

5) In the spirit of 'sisterhood,' Tina Fey and Amy Poehler decide the best use of their combined skills and combined 84 years is to rip apart a 23-year-old (Taylor Swift)  for her dating.  Fey was especially surprised and liked to point out that critics loved it.  Yes, sexism sells quite well.  But what does it say about two middle aged women who feel the need to stand up on TV and slam a young woman for her dating habits?  What it said was when two older women need laughs, they go cheap with "slut shaming" and that's why the critics cheered (they always cheer sexism).  They did grasp that they were on show promoting the arts, right?  And not one of their sitcoms that America refuses to watch?

6) Season one of Up All Night found Ava (Maya Rudolph) hosting her long running talk show which was crushing the ratings of a competitor and former protege (played by Megan Mullally).  Yet season two started with Ava's talk show -- syndicated daytime -- being axed.  That doesn't happen in August and September.  Syndication doesn't work that way.  But even more embarrassing was watching the show offer one bad episode after another about Ava unable to find work and about Reagan (Christina Applegate)  deciding she wanted to be a stay-at-home Mommy.  Season two's story lines would never have gotten Stevie Nicks to agree to appear on the show -- as she did in season one.  Everyone connected with season two should be ashamed of themselves for how they undercut and destroyed two strong female characters.

7) The Not So Entertaining Mr. Sloane.  Barry Sloane joined the cast of Revenge in the second season and quickly his Aiden became the main storyline.  Emily VanCamp's Emily Thorne had been the lead and now she was lost in the episodes. If Emily's storylines were lost, Madeleine Stowe's Victoria pretty much just disappeared.  As Sloane moved further and further into the forefront and as the former hit show watched its ratings slip week after week,  ABC decided they'd had enough of the ratings wreckage and dismissed show runner Mike Kelley from his own show.

8) Season two of Smash found the creative and fascinating but occasionally maddening musical drama losing a talented show runner to replace her with a CW reject -- indicating only that no one kept the phone numbers of UPN show runners.  What was the thinking there?  "No one watches Gossip Girl on The CW anymore so let's hire from their 'creative' pool"?  Suddenly the show was dipped in youth with actors who really weren't ready for their close up -- Ana Vargas, for example, would be perfect for MTV's Undressed.   As the "young 'uns" threw tantrums that were embarrassing to watch (Karen's many tantrums with Jimmy, Ana's tantrums with Jimmy and Karen, Karen egging Kyle on to end his friendship and partnership with Jimmy, etc.), the talent of season one was forgotten as was demonstrated by the writers repeated attempts to start a relationship for Julia (Debra Messing) -- none went anywhere -- and by their failure to figure out what to do with Eileen (Anjelica Huston).

9) Parks and Recreation.  For a show that claims to have a feminist in charge, Amy Poehler, they sure have enjoyed trashing strong women.  Ann (Rashida Jones) was frequently the only reason to watch.  When she ended it with Andy, it appeared that the character was getting some strength and, indeed, she became the rock everyone leaned on.  Then a stupid decision to add Rob Lowe to the cast pushed her and everyone else (including Retta's Donna) to the side but worse was the relationship between Chris and Ann leaving her unsure of herself to the point that she even dates Tom.  If you thought the downward spiral was over for Ann, you were no doubt surprised by her Baby Fever this season which found her looking for sperm donors but apparently not grasping that the best sperm donor might be the unknown one and not the personal acquaintance you ask for sperm.

10) The theme of fall 2012 and spring 2013 was cowing female characters.  Only in such a season was it ever possible that someone would argue the best storyline for The Good Wife's strong and capable Kalinda was to be trapped in a sado-masochistic relationship.  Watch as Nick and Kalinda beat the s**t out of each other and then hop into bed -- destroying not only Kalinda's integrity but sending the wrong message about spousal abuse.

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