Bad television: I love it.
Regular readers of my columns and reviews — wherein my predilection for the putrescent is often postulated — know exactly why:
Best of all, it’s short-lived.
Bad TV does not have a long shelf life. There’s too much good stuff to watch.
So before 2015 ends, let’s all pause to remember the fallen — those gloriously misbegotten minions of ineptitude. They deserve to be celebrated too.
10. Knock Knock Live (Fox). Knock knock. Who’s there? Justin. Justin who? Justin Bieber, the egg-throwing bad boy pretending to be a nice boy on national TV because Ryan Seacrest asked him to, and because his agent thought it might be good PR. Beebs wasn’t the only one to do the knocking, but no one answered — “Knock Knock’s” ratings were so low that Fox was forced to cancel after two episodes.
9. Happyish (Showtime). Bitterish, angryish, occasionally compellingish, wildly unevenish, smuggish, and an exploration of some terrain — the flip-side of the American dream — that is officially over-explored on TV, particularly on Showtime. Yes, Badish.
7. True Detective 2 (HBO). A victim of overblown expectations and over-rapturous love for the first season, “TD2” didn’t do itself any favors by being actually bad. Tangled up in noir clichés — or just plain old clichés — troubled cops with daddy issues who rely on booze or sex to get through the dark night of their souls — it never found a rhythm or much of a story for that matter, either.
6. The Brink (HBO). A grim would-be comedy grindhouse full of half-baked one-liners propping up an overbaked plot oversold by some big stars (Jack Black) and a famous director (Jay Roach).
5. South of Hell (WE tv). South of hell, maybe, but smack dab in the center of Awful. Mena Suvari — in this Eli Roth-produced demons-among-us dud — had to play two characters, one of whom was a soul-sucking demon with scary eyes, prompting The Hollywood Reporter to predict that an Emmy may be forthcoming if the Academy “open(s) up a category for Outstanding Use of Multi-Colored Contact Lenses.”
4. Real Rob (Netflix). Say! What does Rob Schneider, the star of “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” do when he’s not making great movies? That’s your entire premise for this series — scrawled, apparently, on a cocktail napkin after a few too many cocktails.
3. Donny! (USA). “Donny!” felt like penance — personal penance, full of self-loathing and vapid, creepy one-liners directly aimed at Donny Deutsch, the guy saying them. As such, this became penance for viewers, too.
2. Sex Box (WE tv). A grim, sordid frog-march through sex advice, big boxes and couples willing to endure both. Also: It was also hackneyed, dull, derivative and gaseous, full of advice that could be scrawled on gum wrappers, or cocktail napkins (see above).
1. Wicked City (ABC). My winner! Headless bodies in a mindless show, about a Bonnie and Clyde serial killer tag team which turned some cheap exploitative hooks — oral sex, beheadings, the usual stuff — into one miserable lurid plot. From bad to badder . . . and baddest.