THE WORST TV OF THE DECADE
JERSEY SHORE (MTV, 2009-12) What were we thinking? Did we really elevate Snooki to reality TV royalty? Did we really give a damn about the Situation and "GTL" and... yup, we did. We must take the blame here. We made "Shore" the hit it became, pretending it was a "comedy" when it was mostly just a debasement. Italian-American groups were infuriated and rightfully so. In hindsight, we should've been, too.
I WANNA MARRY 'HARRY' (FOX, 2014) Fox put "Harry" in quotes to remind viewers that this wasn't really about Prince Harry, but a look-alike schlub who had to deceive 12 women that he was. This monstrosity crawled out of the swamp that gave us "Joe Millionaire," an early aughts sensation that fooled contestants into thinking they were marrying a millionaire. There were a couple of contestants from Long Island in "Harry," one of them actually "won," nobody got "married," and we all survived. Not, however,this kind of show: "Harry" was the last of an execrable breed.
WORK IT (ABC, 2012) "Work It" had such a short run (two episodes) that it hardly had a chance to inflict much damage. But even those two were so ghastly they live on in infamy — singular testaments to terrible sitcom ideas and really terrible TV. Two guys need work, so they dress up as women and get a job as pharmaceutical saleswomen. Cue to the jokes about high heels, and bras, and... well, don't cue to them. (Sorry.) "Work It" managed to devalue women in ways hitherto unimagined or unimaginable on a sitcom.
STALKER (CBS, 2015) Professional critics hated this show, not so professional viewers. It drew a decent-sized crowd (7-or-so million) over its single-season run, but presumably CBS had seen enough, then could see no more. There were clown stalkers, pyromaniac stalkers, dating website stalkers, Nazi stalkers, women's undergarment stalkers, and a serial killer stalker or two. Women were usually the stalkees — but not always. Hey, even "Stalker" liked to mix it up now and then. But the relentlessly violent, soul-depleting, female-endangerment-exploiting stories finally were too much even for this network. Besides,CBS already had a similar series ("Criminal Minds").
$#*! MY DAD SAYS (CBS, 2010) At the very least, "$#*!" should be commended for warning viewers in the title. Based on a popular Twitter feed, this quickly became a cautionary example of why TV series should never be based on popular Twitter feeds. William Shatner, in his anything-for-a-paycheck days, survived this debacle, but some of the $#*! his character said is still out there, floating through the internet, retrievable via a quick Google search. It serves as a reminder: Some paychecks clearly are not big enough. —VERNE GAY
THE WORST MOVIES OF THE DECADE
GOTTI (2018) LI's Kevin Connolly, of "Entourage," directed this appallingly flattering portrait of John Gotti (John Travolta), who comes off as half crime-boss, half doting dad. More than 40 producers couldn't save this dull yet sometimes giggle-inducing vanity project, nor could the suspiciously large number of positive audience-reviews at Rotten tomatoes. The film's distributor, MoviePass Ventures — the guys who sold subscription passes to theaters — folded in September.
HOLMES & WATSON (2018) Playing Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional sleuths, the usually brilliant Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly became bizarro versions of themselves: unfunny and unpleasant, as if determined to wipe away everything good they'd ever done. A mystery, indeed.
BY THE SEA (2015) In which Angelina Jolie directs herself and her husband, Brad Pitt, as wealthy vacationers who nearly bore each other into divorce. Imagine a pretentious perfume commercial written by a cigarette-smoking middle-schooler, and this would still be worse.
MOVIE 43 (2013) Peter Farrelly compiled these 14 sketches, each by a different director, each trying to be more tasteless than the other. Magically, they succeed! Great talents such as Kate Winslet, Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Gere and Bob Odenkirk contributed to this hostile Hollywood prank, in which you, the ticket-buyer, were the punchline.
ALOHA (2015) Cameron Crowe's icky-sticky rom-com got everything wrong: The guy who tries to steal the girl is not the hero (Bradley Cooper), Hawaiians should not be played by white women (Emma Stone, who later expressed regret over her casting) and Bill Murray can't fix a movie just by showing up. The dumbest idea — a satellite so full of classic rock that it explodes — seemed to sum up Crowe's movie perfectly. — RAFER GUZMAN