50 Worst Shows of the 21st Century : 16th-20th Most Insulting TV Shows

Reality bites, and all five of these entries relied too heavily on exploitation.  Shows featuring folks stooping to demoralizing procedures, families and couples hanging their dirty laundry for the entire street to see, shameless copycats and yet another offender exploiting political hatred of the president hoping for a ratings grab.  Worst of all, two entries tarnished beautiful legacies of shows past.

For those catching up, read about the prior 30 stinkers and prepare to lower the bar further.

46th-50th: Overexposure and the Preposterous

41st-45th: Wasted Opportunities

36th-40th: Misfires and Assaults

31st-35th: Knockoffs, Imitators and the Unlikable

21st-25th: Shows That Fade Folks Sick

20. The Swan, FOX (2004)

"You should love me for the way that I am."  Apparently, the entertainment industry didn't feel that way, and FOX televised two appalling seasons featuring self proclaimed "ugly ducklings" wanting a makeover.  Personal trainers, therapists and dentists seemed like positive elements for contestants seeking changes.  But add a plastic surgeon, and the positive vibes vaporized.  The trouble was the premise took the hurtful and mean-spirited ways a runway model would be treated and televised.  FOX canned the series inside a calendar year, thankfully before experts in bulimia and anorexia would be on display to instill more hateful, negative behaviors on camera.

19. Skating With Celebrities, FOX (2006)

Copycats and imitators are inevitable with television.  After ABC hit paydirt with Dancing With the Stars the following summer, FOX attempted to ride on their coattails in the winter with Skating With Celebrities.  They even recruited Olympic goddess Nancy Kerrigan for clout (they wisely avoided her nemesis Tonya Harding, who had a lifetime ban from the Olympics).  The trouble was they could not secure celebrities who were relevant for 2006 or judges who captivated like other reality competition shows, and viewers in turn could care less.  FOX has historically unveiled its stronger programming in January, so failing to garner interest during this part of the network's calendar spelled doom.  FOX melted the arena in spring and cancelled this embarrassing knockoff after 7 episodes. 

18. My Fair Brady, VH1 (2005-08)

Channel drift happens often with cable channels as their viewers are fickle.  VH1 experienced this as the early 2000's saw an exodus of viewers who went to college who enjoyed non-gangsta rap videos and Pop-Up Video lost material.  Where VH1 took an appalling detour was jumping on the Reality TV bandwagon and provided less oxygen for videos and gave way for show like My Fair Brady.  Based on the personal life of The Brady Bunch's middle child Peter (Christopher Knight), the show should have given a warm portrait of the actor's personal life.  My Fair Brady was anything but wholesome, but rather a salacious publicity stunt as Knight courted his third wife, Adrianne Curry, a celebrity literally half his age.  Every up and down was profiled including Knight getting drunk in front of Curry's mother, Curry mulling breast augmentation on camera to please Knight and other moments which viewers screamed "TMI!"  The trouble came from this series painted Knight in a less flattering portrait was a misogynist, and perhaps he should have explored his personal life off camera.  VH! cancelled the series after 3 seasons, and the couple cancelled their marriage after 5 years.

17. Murphy Brown (2018-19)

Reviving a sitcom to bitch about Trump?  Yep, CBS went there.  Despite 10 solid seasons of delivery from 1988-98, Murphy Brown never succeeded in syndication, leaving it an early 90's relic.  Catching the tail end of the mid 2010's revival trend, network executives believed they had the keys to the kingdom reviving Murphy Brown.  The trouble laid in the fact this was the revival NO ONE asked for.  And its sole foundation rest in fueling off the Trump backlash, which was fading as the public tired of the mentions.  Where the Murphy Brown revival failed was it tarnished the beauty of its original run which yes, the lead was cemented as liberal.  Yet liberal and conservative viewers could enjoy and agree to disagree with the original run.

So much so when 1992's Vice President Dan Quayle cast shade on the show, it triumphed to 3rd place for the reaso(Read about the 1991-92 Ratings Season HERE).  Candice Bergen's career achievement was this series as she invested in the character, which most thankfully shall forget about the revival as it ruined the legacy.  Viewers of any political denomination ought to best look lovingly on the original run as it served them best.

16. House of Carters, E! (2006)

The entertainment industry is known for ruining vulnerable, innocent children.  The Carter  family did this by not only exploiting teenage Nick for Backstreet Boys in the 90's, but also his kid brother/tween singer Aaron.  Their brushes with the law for substance and domestic abuse made headlines.  Who better to make a reality TV show about as they evidently need to add gasoline to those toxic headlines?  Viewers were appalled as instead of shining a lense on the humanity and redeeming qualities of their family dynamic, showrunners instead chose to display every petty squabble and lower the bar on the Carter clan, degrading them to people seeing this dysfunctional family like the one we dread shows up for holiday gatherings.  This was not the worst reality TV show E! created (they have a top 5 entry!), but grateful they kicked out before the holidays set in.

Were you reviled by these shows when they were on the air?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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