Do you ever get the feeling that certain television shows are receiving way too much credit and aren’t even that good and/or they’re so widely like, but you don’t like them as much? Well I certainly do and these are what I consider the most overrated TV shows in TV history.
For this list, I’m excluding non-fiction shows (i.e. X-Factor and Big Brother) for I have another list for them ones. However, this list does not regard the genres or what the target audience is. Also let me make clear that I don’t hate all of these shows. Just some of them. I’m judging them on how much credit they receive and that I don’t understand why. Here is my personal To 11 Most Overrated TV Shows. Why Top 11? Because I’m going one step beyond.
The Walking Dead (2010 – Present)
I put this one low on the list, because I only watched the pilot episode and boy, it didn’t do much for me. The Walking Dead is just your typical zombie horror programme. I’m not a huge fan of zombie horror, not that I’m too frightened to watch them. I did enjoy Shaun Of The Dead and 28 Days Later, but that’s the thing. They were at least unique! Most other zombie films/shows, much like romantic comedies and teen dramas, don’t differ much to each other and this is why I don’t get how Walking Dead became to be hugely popular, even with reviewers. Maybe I’m over analysing or that I just need to watch more eps, but I remember being bored by that one viewing and thinking; “ooh zombies, big bloody deal!”.
Doctor Who (1963 – 1989, 2005 – Present)
Doctor Who has remained popular ever since its first broadcast back in 1963. Following its cancellation in 1989, the BBC just had to revive it in 2005; their excuse being that they wanted to rival ITV each Saturday night. To be fair, I’d take Doctor Who any day over the X-Factor (keeping in mind that I’m excluding reality shows from this list). I’m well aware how much of a cash cow Doctor Who is according to the Boston Matrix, but it has been going downhill for some time. Today’s episodes, mostly forgettable. Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant was both fine, but Matt Smith wasn’t that interesting.
I wish the BBC would repeat at least some of its older episodes. The original series had finished a year before I was born and so I wasn’t able to catch up with any of it. I’m sure they’ll be better than I thought, but until I get a hold of them, I can’t rate this show above, say, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files or most of Gerry Anderson’s shows.
Next one please.
The Inbetweeners (2008 – 2010)
During my three years between when I finished my A-Levels and before I attended university, The Inbetweeners seemed to have a huge impact on many people my age. I remember at one point when some of my media college mates filmed a female version of the show and basically replaced the male characters with female counterparts.
When I caught up with it on Channel 4, or some TV channel networked with the company, I felt kinda bored through it. The Inbetweeners is a sitcom, but I didn’t get any of the humour. I couldn’t even laugh. Because I went to such a lovely school, I hoped for a nostalgic phase and to reminisce happily about the good old times. But all I got was stuff about boys discussing “pulling girls” and stuff. Yawn! This has so been done to death.
This is why I didn’t bother going to see the movies when they came out, even though so many people threw their money away on the tickets.
SpongeBob SquarePants (1999 – Present)
I did say I wasn’t excluding kids shows and here’s one for you, SpongeBob SquarePants. One of the most obnoxious and irritating cartoons to have ever existed. There’s one more cartoon on this list, so I’ll call this the most overrated Nicktoon.
I’d talked quite a lot about this SpongeBob when I wrote one of my previous blogs (Worst-to-Best Nicktoons), so I’ll try to keep this short, though I shall give a few reminders. I give SpongeBob credit for its underwater setting, which I’ve never seen before, except on the Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Shark Tale, some to name, one exception being that it’s more about primitive sea creatures. SpongeBob is a sponge, duh(!), Patrick’s a starfish, etc.
Now here’s what I find overrated about SpongeBob. Firstly, the title character. Oh my god, he irritates me; his voice, the way he acts, he’s like almost on the same category as them minions from Despicable Me. Every time I look at him, I want to turn off the TV. Also, I don’t like how most of the episodes are written. They’re so unfunny and are just too in-your-face. I don’t get why WatchMojo.com placed this show on the very top of the list of Top 10 Nicktoons, and above Ren & Stimpy, Rugrats and especially Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, the latter which they didn’t even mention. Those were fantastic Nicktoons compared to SpongeBob.
I don’t fully understand the popularity of SpongeBob. It still remains admired. Fun fact, I remember when my mom watched an episode of SpongeBob once while she was ironing, because there was nothing else on at the time. Fair enough, I had no objection. But quite frankly, SpongeBob will never be my favourite cartoon.
Absolutely Fabulous (1992 – 1996, 2001 – 2004, 2011 – 2012)
The next show stars Jennifer Saunders, the wife of a comedy guru who starred in two forever awesome shows; The Young Ones and Bottom. Is Absolutely Fabulous more fabulous compared to the other two put together. My answer; nuh-uh!
Don’t get me wrong, I think Absolutely Fabulous is okay. It’s had its fun moments, but it’s a sitcom I wouldn’t place in my top lists of sitcoms or programmes in general, like most reviewers seem to be doing. What? Ab Fab is basically about a middle-aged fashion-obsessed lady named Edina Monsoon who much like her best friend and colleague Patsy drinks heavily, is constantly high and attempts to stay as young and hip as possible. She has a sensible daughter named Saffron who I sometimes feel sorry for and who is often forced to look after her mom, considering how much trouble she gets into. I should also mention that Eddie is twice divorced and I sometimes wonder how her ex-husbands coped.
Just about half of the episodes are not interesting to watch. Fat (Season 1, Episode 2), for instance, sees Eddie obsessing over her weight, done to death. Nearly the whole of Season 5 sees Saffy expecting a child, a cliche which I’m so sick of seeing on TV. And there’s hook-ups. Oh come on, Bottom had more amazing storylines compared to this! On the subject of the cast, I think Jennifer Saunders is a fine actor. She was great in that Friends episode, in them two episodes of the Young Ones, as the voice of the Fairy Godmother in Shrek 2 and she was okay in French & Saunders. In Ab Fab though, she kinda overacts. It’s like a poor attempt to raise the amount of laughs. One minute, there’s a calm conversation, but then she just raises her voice and growls for the sake of it.
Much like the Inbetweeners, Ab Fab gained so much popularity over the years that there just had to be a movie, another one I dodged. Maybe it’s because I’m male and the show’s more of a girls’ thing. I don’t know, but I don’t get the impact.
The Office (2001 – 2003
I know, I know. Some of you are probably going to hate me for including The Office, a BBC sitcom which has become a worldwide phenomenon, even admired by Americans (including the bloke who created the Simpsons), hence why an American remake, which I still have yet to watch, was born.
I think Ricky Gervais is a great guy. He’s a fantastic musician, a member of the crowd and we have similar political interests. He’s one of them people who I’d like to be stuck on an island with. Imagine us two bitching about the illegal hunting, Donald Trump’s harebrained schemes and stuff. He’s the kind of guy who one can create an easy flowing conversation with.
I guess that’s one of the reasons why The Office is admired so much. I want to love this show, but for a number of reasons. When I was in my pre-teens, my older brother told me about The Office and introduced me to a viewing of the show on BBC2. He obviously enjoyed it, though I didn’t really get the humorous side of it. It’s possible that I may need to watch the whole series again, because I can’t remember much detail from its episodes. I can only remember certain scenes such as David Brent wearing a duck-float, putting a stapler in some jelly and oh yes that dance, which to its credit looked like it was improvised.
As a kid, I remember being bored by The Office. I personally prefer Ricky’s later shows i.e. An Idiot Abroad. Maybe when I rewatch The Office, I may like it better. But many people love it, so I’ll just shut up and move on to the next show.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)
One more horror themed show joins the list, that is Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Not about zombies this time, duh(!), but about a lady who possesses the ability to kill vampires.
I remember as a kid, Buffy The Vampire Slayer was broadcast on BBC2. I’d watched a few episodes. However, after those viewings, I had totally forgotten what happened in each one. It’s amazing how the fans can remember so much from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but I always found this show bland and forgettable.
Although it doesn’t do much for me, I’d obviously take Buffy any day over Twilight
Rick and Morty (2013 – Present)
I did say there was one more cartoon due to appear on the list; Rick & Morty.
What to say about what is currently IMDB’s top-rated animated series in general? Hmm… Okay what’s the story? Rick & Morty refer to a mad time-travelling scientist and his teenage grandson who lacks much intelligence. Together they travel through various different universes leading to insane consequences.
Some of my friends love this show. Quite frankly, I can’t get into it. I’ve seen worse adult-animated shows. But for me, Rick & Morty is just a badly-animated (backgrounds aside) and cheap parody to the Back To The Future franchise. We get it. Back To The Future has led a huge impact and continues to do so. It doesn’t mean that Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have to shove it right in our faces. Also, Rick’s constant belches in-between words are just plain obnoxious for the sake of it and are nearly just as bad as Beavis & Butthead’s giggles.
If I want to see time-travel on an animated show, I can watch Futurama and/or Family Guy, thank you.
Sex and the City (1998 – 2004)
How glad I was when Sex & The City ended production. Boy was it so uninteresting!
Sex & The City is just your basic romantic sitcom. All we see is a group of women banging on about sex lives. We get it, we want a bit of love, we want to make love. Don’t shove it down our throats.
As you can imagine, I’ve never been a fan of romantic comedies. There’s not much creativity within them. All we see is boy meets girls and we know there’s going to be a break-up and we know they’re going to realise how much of idiots they was and get back together. Hook-ups as well. This is worse than Ab Fab!
So this is what I basically hate about Sex & The City; no creativity, too many typical rom-com cliches, forgettable episodes, nothing but clap trap.
Thomas The Tank Engine/Thomas & Friends (1984 – Present)
I ain’t gonna lie. I’ve longed to erase Thomas The Tank Engine (or Thomas & Friends as it’s also known) from my memory. However, certain people constantly bring it up. So I thought I might as well place this rubbish on the list and get this over with.
Firstly, I give Thomas The Tank Engine credit for its cinematography, including low-angle shots, but what do you expect from a TV show which is constructed entirely out of a simple train set? Another bit of credit goes to the different vehicle designs used. But that’s about it.
Thomas The Tank Engine has remained popular ever since that vicar guy began writing them books sometime after World War 2, years before the TV show came out sometime near the mid-eighties. The show’s still in production and it’s still selling merchandise. Like seriously, I’ve seen little kids with backpacks that have Thomas pictured on them and so forth. It also surprises me that it’s also got an American market. So considering that even though I remember watching it, I can’t feel any nostalgia for Thomas & Friends whatsoever, it made sense for me to rank this one at number 2.
So what elements from Thomas & Friends made me enough of a cold-hearted jerk to call it overrated and, worse, to strangle it? First of all, the characters. Apart from Thomas himself, the show is home to many other characters; Gordon…, James…, Percy…, I shan’t bother naming the rest, because there’s no point considering that Britt Allcroft constantly brings in new characters and as a result, Thomas is absent from certain episodes. And the title includes his name. What? That is so false naming. The Simpsons may have introduced new characters, but at least Matt Groening and co made an effort to ensure its main characters wasn’t excluded from each episode.
What else brings this show down the line? The audio, including the dialogue. Obviously, the dialogue is entirely spoken by a narrator, who sounds like he’s reading from a book. But the trains repeat their lines way too much. It’s so annoying. It’s like they want to shove it right into our ears, in case we’re like deaf or something. And don’t get me started on the music, which annoys me the most.
I also question today’s children’s views on TV shows for their generation. If they find the puppets in Thunderbirds so ‘dated’, why don’t they think the same about a train-set-animated show? Train sets are as old as since before the war, as old as marionettes.
Thomas The Tank Engine is always brought up in conversation every time Ringo Starr is mention. Geez, I don’t need reminding! And so what? Ringo’s a great musician, but it doesn’t change my mind about this show. I wouldn’t go back and revise it even if Bruce Springsteen or David Bowie was doing the narration.
I hate the dialogue, I hate the music, I hate the episode structure, even the characters ain’t likeable. They’re just as annoying as hell. I never used to hate Thomas The Tank Engine, but now I do and it deserves to be labelled as overrated. I’d rather watch Cars than this pile of roadkill.
Now I feel better. Let’s move on, but…
Before I reveal the number one pick, here are some Honourable Mentions;
Beavis and Butt-Head (1993 – 1997, 2011)
Glee (2009 – 2015)
King Of The Hill (1997 – 2010)
The Royle Family (1998 – 2000, 2006 – 2012)
And the number 1 most overrated show is;…
Friends (1994 – 2004)
Yes folks, Friends. The favourite US sitcom of so many people across the globe. The one that so many people label the funniest of them all, even after over-watching each episode.
And to be perfectly honest, I don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Friends. I think it’s okay. I definitely remember watching it as a kid and enjoying it. Friends has had some comedic moments and memorable episodes. So why do I consider it overrated? Well, let’s take a look.
Firstly, I mentioned that I’m not a romantic comedy bluff. In my opinion, the writing falls flat at certain times. I have to sit through affairs and obsessions with romantic relationships. Yet, through all ten seasons, all six characters; Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross have remained together. At times, a part of me wanted them to leave each other. It’s like “come on, you know the relationships ain’t working out.” Remember at the end of Season 4 when Ross was marrying a British lady? The final episode ended during the reception when Ross thought about Rachel and stated that he’ll “take thee Rachel” instead of Emily? I thought it would close the double bill. But no, by the start of Season 5, the aftermath continued and boy, I so wanted it to finish.
Next, the humour. “Friends is so funny”, many mates state. As much as I’m going to sound like Tommy from Goodfellas, but funny how? How is Friends funny? How can it be possibly be the funniest show in history. I’ve seen The Simpsons and The Young Ones and Bottom and, er, Malcolm In The Middle. I could name more comedies, but them ones was funnier. If you think over-wise, please back it up. Talk to me like a child. It’s not that I don’t find Friends funny whatsoever. Like I said, it does have some amusing bits. For instance, when Joey’s struggling to speak French, that got me laughing. But there are some occasions where we hear the laugh-track during the bits where I’m like “wait a minute, that bit wasn’t/can’t have been that funny, they just dubbed that sound on.”
Another low point I give to Friends is the cliches it includes. Apart from the various romances and affairs, I’ve also had to sit through the many pregnancies each female character came across. I appreciate that Lisa Kudrow was pregnant in real life and so the writers had to make Phoebe pregnant, but not only did hers and Rachel’s pregnancies take up part of the seasons, but you hardly saw much of their babies again. Ross did also have a kid named Ben. But with that said, Ben was the only kid related to a Friend who remained. That being said further, I did find the father/son relationship between Ross and Ben interesting. I often feel that maybe the show should’ve been based around that.
High points; I think the cast does have talent – I’ve seen them in other shows and certain movies (i.e. Courtney Cox as Melissa Robinson in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), though I don’t rate this show as their strongest. Friends does have some great episodes – i.e. The One Where They’re Up All Night, The One With The Holiday Armadillo and of course the final episode. The music is also fine and the show does contain a ‘feel-good’ flavour.
I just don’t think Friends is the best show in the world and I have yet to wonder why viewers and critics love it so much other than just “it’s funny”. Funny how? Oh please don’t get me started again.
So that was my personal list of what I found to be the eleven most overrated TV shows. I may have upset some readers, but that’s just a silly personal opinion and I’m sure everybody else has gone one too.
See you on the next blog post.