Reviewing TV programmes means you have to be truthful to your own opinion, even if that means pointing out the negatives of a TV show. Normally I’m careful to balance any negative with positive or be aware – say if it’s a first episode, there’s a chance a series may improve. However while comparing the Best TV of 2012, its inevitable you think of what’s also the worst TV of the year. So here at Inside Media Track is our top 10 of the worst TV of 2012…
Now this might surprise a few people who follow me on twitter who are well aware of my disdain for Hunted. The BBC spy series divided audiences. Some liked it, some loathed it, some were just holding on hoping it was going to get better (many fitted into that camp). There’s several reasons why it’s at number 10 and not one. The script was lame and the acting wooden, and yes Melissa George pouted her way through eight episodes, but the one thing it did have going for it was high production values. Compared to the rest of the top ten that alone makes it better. (Plus when you get down the list you’ll see just how awful some of the 2012 TV was).
9. True Love
Created and Directed by Dominic Savage, True Love focused on five separate stories very loosely connected shown over one week. Each of the characters either searching for their own version of love or facing the realities of it. Sounds good so far right? Add the word improvisation i.e. Let the actors make up the dialogue – and this sinks pretty quickly.
It wasn’t without its good episodes. Billie Piper and David Morrissey‘s episodes were well done. It had a brilliant cast of which Lacey Turner shone the brightest in her role. But the usually brilliant David Tennant‘s episode felt stilted as if they were trying to think of what to say rather than actually saying much. We essentially got an episode of looking out to the sea. However its Margate setting was stunning as was the beach.
If you’re going to attempt an updated version of a classic film-series then you need to update the story and give it a different twist – Check! (Sinbad cursed to wear Amulet and stay off land. Plus updated special effects). Secondly make sure its surpasses previous incarnations – Fail!
Sky’s Sinbad had a bigger budget than most and threads of a good idea but they failed to utilise the cast and story. A lot of the episodes dragged and felt predictable. Its even more disappointing when they had the rare commission of twelve episodes and yet failed to develop the characters. Good effort but must try (a lot) harder.
This is a personal choice in that I don’t see the appeal I find it slow grey and quite frankly a waste of my time. I find it tedious. That’s not to say it’s not well written, or filmed and acted well. After-all with Kenneth Branagh in the lead I wouldn’t expect anything less. I know many did like Wallander and if that’s the case just glaze over this selection and put it down to poor taste.
6. Eternal Law
Another offering from production company Kudos at the beginning of the year. Supernatural and fantasy shows seem to have a hard time in the UK on main channels. Mainly because we don’t have the budget to make such shows. BBC Three (Being Human, The Fades) and BBC One (Doctor Who, Merlin) seem to do well with the genre but it doesn’t seem to transcend beyond there. ITV’s take was to have two earthbound angels who also acted as lawyers. Again a mixed bag for many, it didn’t resonate and dropped to just over 2 million viewers by the final episode.
Pardon the pun but this sank quite spectacularly. Written by Gosford Park and Downton Abbey‘s, Julian Fellowes the four-part sinking was highly anticipated due to Downton’s success, but became ludicrous during transmission. Social networking sites had a field day mocking the series with every Iceberg and sinking gag. A plethora of talented actors unfortunately couldn’t save this one.
4. Grandma’s House
Your stance on this will depend own your opinion of Simon Amstell. Personally I think he makes a good presenter but bad actor. The story based on his own family managed two series but when it came down to it the comedy just wasn’t very funny and the anecdotes probably best saved for his real family reunions.
Sky commissioned quite a lot of comedy this year and produced some greats including Moone Boy and Stella. However for every success there was a Gates, Parents and Starlings (which has been given a second series somehow). Comedy is always a difficult genre to pull off but Gates starring Gavin And Stacey‘s Jo Page and Miranda‘s Tom Ellis made the list above the others simply due to its poor script and irritating performances.
2. Citizen Khan
This very nearly took pole position at 1 and in reality is probably just as bad. A dire comedy that wasn’t funny looked cheap and quite frankly made me embarrassed to be a brummie. Unfortunately the BBC has seen fit to recommission a second series. Why is beyond me.
1. The Royal Bodyguard
And the number one goes to The Royal Bodyguard – dear oh dear what was David Jason thinking. I’m sure none of us begrudge him topping up his already large pension but the once king of comedy chose a stinker in this BBC one series about a bodyguard to the Royal family. This really needs to be tucked in a very deep and dark hole of the BBC archives never to be found again.