The appeal of writing for TV Worth Watching has always been the chance to steer readers to good shows -- and there are quite a few out there that are extraordinary. It feels like a noble calling.
This is not the easiest task in the wonderful world of TV criticism, mind you. Spinning out a snarky pan is a hundred times easier than trying to craft a cogent explanation of what makes a TV show worth watching. Anyone who has read my offerings here may remember some of my current favorites: The Good Wife, Southland, Dexter, Men of a Certain Age and Justified, just to name a handful.
Now that I have been playing by the implied rules of this website's name for two years, I figure it's OK to veer off path and spew. (Just a little.) It's no surprise to anyone that there are plenty of TV shows decidedly NOT worth watching -- and most of them comes neatly bunched in the loathsome reality genre.
I'm pretty much opposed to that entire assortment, mostly because the shows are the TV networks' excuse to air cheap stuff that requires little to no thought, writing or performance. But there have been exceptions. Before American Idol went to hell in Steven Tyler's personal handbasket, I enjoyed watching young singers shine. And before Dancing with the Stars decided to join the Tea Party by hiring Bristol Palin, I enjoyed that competition, too. No more.
Just so I'm on the record (because inexplicably, people have asked!) about TV that's NOT worth watching, here are my most worthless programs.
Real Housewives, whether they're in Atlanta, Beverly Hills or Washington, D.C. They're all terrible, spoiled brats who ought to be ignored instead of celebri-fied. (Bravo, be ashamed.)
Jersey Shore, because anything with Snooki in it is vile. Plus, none of those tacky people has an actual name. It's like a kennel populated by semi-humans. Woof.
The Bachelor gets no pass from me even though Brad Womack owns a bunch of bars right here in Austin. The concept of a bunch of women begging a guy to marry them is just wretchedly condescending.
The Biggest Loser puts fat people on display and then tortures them, all in the name of ratings. If some of you find sobbing fat people inspiring, so be it, but I don't. Maybe this show will be pulled when someone actually dies on camera.
Anything (absolutely anything) that features a Kardashian of any persuasion. There's not an ounce of talent or appeal in the entire family of Kardashian women. I realize it's probably a "guy thing," but I haven't found a single guy who can explain to me what's to like about a Kardashian. I've tried to the point of embarrassment to understand, and now I quit.
Toddlers & Tiaras makes me actually hate children, and that's not a good feeling. The truth of the matter is, the parents of these screaming beauty pageant contestants are worse than the kids and should be punished, not put on TV.
The Apprentice and I'm-Running-for-President Donald Trump are both pointless. Stupid and pointless. If Trump were as successful as he claims, he wouldn't be hosting a reality show on NBC.
Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy is pathetic on the surface. But the fact that it's on the History channel, which used to be my fallback, where I could always find something interesting and smart to watch, makes it despicable.
Fox News Channel, all of it all the time. Not worth watching unless you're a Tea Party fan looking for someone to vote for in the next presidential election.
OK, that's enough whining and griping for now. See, I told you it's a lot easier to be negative and snarky than to praise the worthy. But it feels good to get the nasty out of my system, so thanks for reading!