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Popular shows, not so popular opinions

Written by TV

We all have opinions that we should be able to vocalise and have a respectful argument over. That is of course with one exception. You complain about a show and their fandoms will come after you with the fury of the nine hells. But despite this risk here are some of our brave writer’s controversial opinions.

Rick and Morty

I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoyed the first season or two of Rick and Morty. However, in the year 2020, I literally cannot stand it, and I stopped watching it after season three. The moment ‘Get Schwifty’ and Pickle Rick became unavoidable on the internet, I realised how bad the show actually is.

The show itself has worse quality as it progresses, leaning into its own hype rather than actually writing decent episodes

Credit: IMDb

Sure, it had a good(ish) concept, but the humour isn’t funny to me anymore. It’s way too try-hard and appeals to an insufferable fanbase who can’t take criticism. To the extent that the “You have to have a very high IQ to understand Rick and Morty” copypasta became popular during the peak of the show, in response to the fans thinking they have some kind of God complex for appreciating the show. They believe the problem isn’t with the show itself, it’s clearly your issue for not “getting” it. No, I get it, I just grew out of it- thank God for that. Partially because the show itself has worsened its quality over time, leaning into its own hype rather than actually writing decent episodes, and partially because of the insufferable fanbase, I can confirm that I now find it unwatchable. Get Schwifty and get f*cked, Rick and Morty.

Sophie Hicks

Two and a Half Men

Where do I start with Two and a Half Men? Is it the crude, unfunny jokes I can’t stand? The overuse of the laugh-track on said unfunny jokes? Charlie Sheen’s arrogant depiction of a womanising bachelor in his Malibu home? Or even just that annoying, repetitive theme tune that you can’t get out of your head no matter how hard you try? I think you’ve got the point, I’m not a fan of Two and a Half Men.

The series often relied on misogynistic comedy to make jokes land

Credit: CBS, IMDb

Although I don’t actually know many people who watched or liked Two and a Half Men, it must have been popular with some people as this sitcom ran for twelve seasons, spanning over 200 episodes. Let’s not forget that the series went through its fair share of controversies off-screen, with Charlie Sheen being fired and replaced with Ashton Kutcher following comments made by Sheen against creator Chuck Lorre.

Despite the nature of the series, which often relied on misogynistic comedy to make jokes land, Two and a Half Men remains one of the most successful American sitcoms to date. It has also been credited as aiding the success of Lorre’s other projects, including the far superior The Big Bang Theory. Despite loving lots of other American sitcoms, I’ll never understand the appeal of Two and a Half Men.

Kate Dunkerton

Breaking Bad

Before you light your torches and raise your pitchforks, I don’t really hate Breaking Bad. But for whatever reason, I’ve never been able to get through it.

I’ve made several attempts to get through the drug-fuelled escapade that is this show but time and time again I have failed. I found it really frustrating that I couldn’t get on with it because of how cool the concept was and how often I’d heard Breaking Bad was the show to watch. Maybe it was the slow pacing but when I began each attempt it didn’t take long before my interest waned.

After so many attempts, I feel like finishing Breaking Bad is a feat beyond me

Credit: IMDb

Now though, after so many attempts, I feel like watching Breaking Bad is a feat beyond me and something I’ll never be able to complete. I have no interest in starting the show yet again only for me to more than likely drop it. It is a damn shame though, I’ve heard many great things about the later seasons of the show.

And now with the spin-off show Better Call Saul and Netflix movie El Camino (2019) I feel like I’m missing out more and more. But no matter how good the rest of the show or these spin-offs are I simply can’t be bothered to put myself through it all again.

I guess I’m just not as cut out for the meth business as Walter White.

George Bell

Keeping Up with the Kardashians

I hate Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Now, before I get attacked, I don’t hate the Kardashians themselves. These women are smart, savvy businesswomen, who managed to break into the modelling, make-up and fashion worlds to become reality royalty. Regardless of whether they have lip fillers, bum lifts, or champion natural beauty, they send the message women should truly own their bodies and do/wear whatever makes them feel amazing. So why does Keeping Up with the Kardashians insist on recording the mundane parts of such incredible lives?

The constant sisterly tiffs seem petty, the moments of apparent insight scripted

Credit: IMDb

One of the (admittedly few) episodes I have seen details Kim’s attempt to adopt a stray dog. When Kris finds out, an argument ensues, quickly devolving into teary, indecipherable screaming. The dog is taken to a rescue centre and we’re back where we started. Maybe I have just seen the worst episodes, but I cannot get lost in this show. The constant sisterly tiffs seem petty, the moments of apparent insight scripted.

Often referred to as ‘famous for being famous’, I feel this family are devaluing their business intellect. By focusing on staged drama, they miss the chance to detail how other young women can reach the same dizzy heights of success by starting their own brand.

Sally Grey

Black Mirror

The description for Black Mirror that appears on Netflix promises a bleak, sleek dystopia that sees “humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide”. The problem is that, most of the time, it only lives up to half of that.

The episode that kicks off the entire show – “The National Anthem” – explores both: humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts. It uses technological advancements like deep-faking and mass media to consider how the public don’t want nuance or leadership in their politics.

As the show progresses, it gets more and more preachy

Credit: Netflix

As the show progresses, though, that clever, human subtext becomes less prominent. What takes its place is increasingly vapid preaching about how bad technology is. It talks innovations, but not darkest instincts. True, “Men Against Fire” explores the dehumanisation of people we see as ‘beneath’ us, but only at the end of the episode. The subtext isn’t an essential part of the story: it’s more of a punchline, for a big-budget plot about cool, mysterious soldiers.

Not all TV needs to make a point, but Black Mirror was built on one, namely the point that modern technology is bad. Sometimes that point is made excellently, but a lot of the time it falls flat.

Joe Molander

Friends

“So no one told you, life was gonna be this way” but it isn’t. The 90s cult classic Friends is actually boring, dull and unrealistic. Six young friends constantly meeting up in a rather soulless, but also expensive, café in the centre of New York is a luxury most millennials can’t afford. If they were real young urban professionals, they would be much more stressed, overworked and would have no time to deal with petty issues like who is dating who.

You cannot escape the show’s homophobic undertones throughout the series

Credit: IMDb, NBC – © 2012 NBCUniversal, Inc

As the friends gather together for the very first time on screen, we are already confronted with jokes about female sexuality with no apparent punchline. You cannot escape the show’s homophobic undertones throughout the series, with further examples including insisting that a male nanny has to be gay and aversions to transgender parenting. The excuse ‘it was acceptable in the 90s’ doesn’t account for its current popularity on streaming services and a willingness to forgive all wrongdoing by its fans.

As well as being problematic, the show is also incredibly irritating with every so-called ‘joke’ being followed by the sound of canned laughter. The character of Chandler serves to add unnecessary sarcasm at every moment, which ruins the rare occasions of character or plot development. Any writer should know that the over use of any comedic device simply renders the piece unfunny and Friends is the biggest culprit of this I have ever stumbled across.

Friends is simply a product of a bygone era and for me, there it should remain.

Gemma Powell

Stranger Things

Credit: IMDb

Although it seems strange to consider a time when Netflix wasn’t common-place in people’s lives, the streaming giant once relied more heavily on creating a binge-worthy sensation to put its name on the map. And no show fit that bill like Stranger Things.

I didn’t have Netflix at the time and my interest towards the show wasn’t overly great to begin with, but a couple of years after the initial season dropped, I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. And my God was I disappointed.

There’s nothing wrong with setting a horror show in the 80s, but it should be more than a zeitgeist

At first, I thought the series was just going through the usual growing pains and teething that most shows encounter when starting out. And then it just kept going and never felt like was ever going to reach maturity. For the record, I didn’t think that the first season was particularly bad, it just never reached the heights that everyone had raised it up to.

Credit: IMDb

What’s always bothered me the most about the series is its 80s setting. Along with how amazing all the child actors are, the 80s setting was at the forefront of the craze for how nostalgic it is – like, “wow, this Coke can looks kind of different” and “remember when technology didn’t meet today’s standards.” There’s nothing wrong with setting a horror show in the 80s, but it should be more than a zeitgeist: it should capture the feel of 80s horror and instead we’re left with a show that could be easily translated into the present day.  

And before you say about the important “Cold War” plot points, let’s be real – has US-Russian relations really changed since the 80s?

Unlike the first season, the second season was an actively infuriating experience. If nothing other than wasted potential, the sophomore outing was so incredibly dull, and no amount of CGI “otherness” could provoke any sort of sense of threat. Admittedly, coming back for more during a dry-spell of television content was my own fault – a “fool me twice, shame on me” moment. But hate-watching those ten episodes allowed me to leave the series behind with a sense of closure.

Peter Lennon

Featured image credit: IMDb, Ursula Coyote/AMC, Youtube, Adult Swim, Netflix – © 2016 Netflix, Public Domain Pictures, Pxfuel, DMCA, Tom Lianza on Flickr, Pixabay

Last modified: 24th July 2020

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