New shows come in for negative reviews in the TV Blog for a variety of reasons.
Take “The Endgame,” NBC’s short-lived drama series about a super-villainess who is dressed to the nines in a blue ballgown (Morena Baccarin, pictured above) while held in maximum-security custody by the U.S. government.
While wearing this low-cut formalwear in lockdown, the character, “Elena,” was at the same time orchestrating a series of precision bank robberies in the middle of Manhattan.
“While previewing [the show], I struggled to find just the right adjective, out of two options, to describe this show -- ludicrous or hilarious,” I wrote then. “I settled on ludicrous.”
Looking back on the year’s TV Blog reviews, “The Endgame” was among the most negative. Certainly, the opinions expressed here are merely my own, based on criteria that are also my own. Others are free to enjoy any of the shows mentioned here to their hearts’ content.
Where “The Endgame” was too farfetched to take seriously, other issues arose in the consideration of other shows.
It is a rarity to apply a show’s title as a criterion for a negative review. But that’s what happened in a review for “The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window,” a Netflix series about a lonely suburban woman (Kristen Bell) who stares out her window at the new guy who moved in across the street.
The title implies the show is a comedy, but it played more like a drama. Plus, how on Earth is anyone supposed to recommend the show to a friend with a title like that?
The TV Blog tilted at the usual f-word windmills in 2022, but the overuse of the word in the DC Comics adaptation of “Peacemaker” on HBO Max took the cake.
The congenial title character, played by John Cena, has a winning personality, but the f-words in this comic book series that likely attracted at least some children were beyond the pale.
The CBS hospital series “Good Sam” about father-daughter doctors working in the same hospital where she is her dad’s superior, got a thumbs-down for another reason: The dad’s character was a bully who was so loathsome that it completely derailed the show for me.
“In ‘Good Sam,’ the victim of this doctor’s bullying is his own daughter, which makes him particularly odious,” I wrote last January.
“Julia,” a limited series on HBO Max about Julia Child, went overboard in its positioning of this universally beloved cooking-show pioneer as the Rosa Parks of TV food personalities.
Julia Child would no doubt have been as surprised as anyone to see herself portrayed as a symbol of the civil rights and women’s liberation movements of the 1960s.
The series’ portrayal of the 1960s seemed inauthentic, particularly in its script, which was seasoned with words and phrases that we associate more with our contemporary world than the decade of the ’60s.
Another limited series also struggled to place itself in a bygone time frame -- “The Offer” on Paramount, based in the early 1970s and purporting to tell the story of how “The Godfather” and “The Godfather, Part II” came to be.
It’s portrayals of Hollywood movers and shakers and Italian mobsters were stereotypes seen a hundred times before.
In addition, the story of the production of the “Godfather” movies, as it was told in “The Offer,” just wasn’t all that interesting.
In 2022, the TV Blog didn’t care for Peacock’s “Bel-Air,” a one-hour drama version of the old “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” sitcom -- both of which imagined a story about the origins of Will Smith that everybody knows is false.
Other shows that came in for negative reviews in 2022 included The CW’s tasteless update of “Tom Swift”; the so-called travel show “101 Places to Party Before You Die” on TruTV, hosted by two 40-something men who should have grown out of this by now; and ABC’s “Final Straw,” a giant Jenga game in which adults acted like children on a sugar high.
Bill Nye was a reaper of grimness in Peacock’s “The End Is Nye”; NBC’s reboot of “Quantum Leap” was “a straight-up mess” (sayeth the TV Blog); and Hulu’s “Fleishman Is In Trouble” was undermined by a narrator who wouldn’t shut up and characters who wouldn’t stop whining.
A TV critic’s take on “The Kardashians” on Hulu, the K-clan’s newest reality hit, and “Harry & Meghan” on Netflix can be pretty easy to predict.
One can complain about both of them, but they are both impervious to criticism, so why bother?
Having said all this about the shows that were reviewed negatively in the TV Blog in 2022, let the record show that positive reviews outpaced the negative ones by a margin of 2-1. The best of the best is the subject of tomorrow’s TV Blog.