My list of summer TV's worst shows . . . so far
For every ambitious drama like Nurse Jackie or True Blood, there’s a boorish I Survived a Japanese Game show lurking around the corner. And heartwarming as some of the performers’ stories are on America’s Got Talent, most of the bunch are musty enough that I’ve considered adding a question mark to the end of the show’s title.
In that spirit of crabby grousing that the sweltering heat of late July can produce, here’s my list of stinkers for the summer – titled, you’d be well-advised to avoid by any means necessary.
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, 12:35 p.m. weeknights, WFLA-Ch. 8: The rush from his triumphant debut has faded, and a few months into his job as NBC’s New Conan, it’s obvious former Saturday Night Live star Fallon is floundering like a 16-year-old driving his dad’s Maserati. Mentor Lorne Michaels has built an amazing vehicle for his young talent – complete with the second-best band in late-night, The Roots – but Fallon can’t do much with it besides make funny faces and look adorable.
I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here, aired in June on WFLA: Unfolding like a bizarre ripoff/blend of Celebrity Apprentice and Survivor, this show mostly had the distinction of publicizing reality TV brats Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt so much, you actually felt sorry for Sanjaya Malakar and the governor’s wife whose husband got caught trying to sell Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.
Big Brother 11, airing at 8 p.m. Sundays and Thursdays, 9 p.m. Tuesdays on WTSP-Ch. 10: In case there was a viewer left who missed the sophomoric stuff that went down when a dozen vapid reality TV wanna-bes got stuck in a makeshift house over three months, this year producers made it official by separating contestants into the kind of cliques you remember from high school. The problem: This makes the show unwatchable for everyone except that small percentage who still fondly remember high school.
Wipeout, airing at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on WFTS-Ch. 28: Watching over-excited, under-coordinated knuckleheads doink their heads of the show’s outlandish obstacle courses feels entertaining the first dozen times you watch. But every telecast feels like it saps your brain power a little more, until you’re babbling at the screen like somebody stuck in the audience of that Schwarzenegger film, The Running Man.