Dumb TV Shows

I’ve been wanting to write about this for some time. Every country has its dumb TV shows. Japanese TV shows are known for being outrageous and yet I find those shows to be entertaining at least. Same goes for Taiwan television. Some of those shows that have ordinary people jumping through hoops or making up raps can be fun and I admit that I watch them sometimes. But, when I stop and think about all the dumb TV shows coming out these days, and especially those shows emanating from the US, I can feel my IQ lowering.

Here is my list of dumb TV shows (plus my personal nickname for each show).

Show Name / Bushman’s Nickname

Battlestar Galactica / Battlestar Lactica: I am a huge fan of the original show. What is passed off as BG these days is a version where Starbuck is female (who in my opinion would be more suitable for working at Starbucks instead) and so is Boomer! Sorry, my suspension of believability can only be stretched so far. Starbuck and Boomer are supposed to be battle-hardened, older experienced men. So, how about Harrison Ford and Samuel L. Jackson? Someone please explain how/why this show got financing when great shows like Babylon 5 and Firefly got the crapper?  The fake sex and “realism” had my eyes glazing over in sec-cons.  The new Cylons looked cool but since they are all CGI it cost more money to show them so they don’t appear very often.  Pffft!

American Idol / American Midol: When I am forced to endure even one minute of this show I get a headache and a queasy stomach. I went to a restaurant in Taoyuan with some visiting friends from the US, and the boss actually put on a record by William Hung – just for us. No! Please, put on something else! How about some Taiwanese music? All met with blank smiles. Now this show has clones all around the world. Great. We’ll have even more William Hung types doing records while legitimately talented people get passed up. Figures.  I did watch an “outtakes” show when we were in the US recently and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  The truth is, as a former music industry professional, I would be embarassed to be associated with that show.

The Great Asian Race / The Great Loss of Face: I characterize this show as “foreigners acting rude” as they do stupid stuff to gain something which isn’t worth doing in the first place. Sure, the contestants travel all over, but they don’t stop to see or do anything, and in their rushing and impatience with local people, they make bad impressions on everyone they meet. Great PR vehicle, numbnuts.  This line taken from the show will put it all in perspective for you: “You are the worst person at this I’ve ever met.”  WTF?

Miami Ink / Miami Stink: What is the fascination with seeing people who have basically nothing going for them, getting tattoos and tattooing each other? There is some woman on the show now, who has kind of a classic look to her, but she’s covered with all these tattoos and, well, I think she has ruined her looks. To each her own and certainly she’s entitled to do what she wants, and I’m entitled to say it looks nasty.  So, now they got a new show and I’ll be dodging that one with the remote too.  I can see getting a tattoo from a tribal leader after a successful hunt, but not going into a strip mall shop and picking a pattern off the wall.  What I find particularly disturbing is how someone will come into the tattoo shop with an idea and then get a tattoo of a pictured drawn by some guy right there on the spot.  I think I’d spend just a *tad* more effort on something so permanent, like perhaps hiring a professional artist to create the artwork.  That is just one of those shows that baffle me when I think about what keeps it on the air.

American Chopper / American Hopper: I wish that show would go straight into the hopper.  I do not give 2 craps what the boss of that shop things, does or says.  It’s a mode of transportation people, not a lifestyle.  That is, unless you’ve got nothing else going on in your life.

Queer Eye / Queer Guys: If someone is gay, that is no one’s business but their own and that is their own choice. What I cannot stand about these shows is that the gay men seem to be all about being gay. I’m straight, but I don’t live my life in a celebration of being straight (if you see my point). I just do what I do and my orientation isn’t an issue and never comes up in conversation (and shouldn’t). I also refuse to believe that one’s orientation makes one more or less suitable to judge fashion. Let’s face it, none of the gay men on those shows would ever wear a bush shirt, so tell me – what do they know anyway?  Lame.  Not funny.

Lost / Lost Plot: I watched it once. They got more stuff than the castaways on Gilligan’s Island but none of the fun. I’ll pass, thanks.  The ads send me scurrying for the remote.

Survivor / Survivor Wannabees: Once I realized how fake this show was, I couldn’t endure watching it for another minute. The deal is to win the game by outlasting your opponents. They vote you off the island, as if the real game of survival follows the political rules of men. Every contestant signs a waiver in order to get on the show. The waiver limits liability right? The obvious way to win the show is to just slit everyone’s throat during the first night and wake up the next morning, the winner. Duh. Those people would be whining their asses off just camping with me. “What do you mean there’s no tent? We have to make our own shelter?” I haven’t heard any ads for this show in some time so maybe it’s gone for good.  Let’s hope so.

Now, on the other hand, great shows have disappeared!   Here is a list of shows that I enjoy watching:

  • The Original Iron Chef, with Takeshi Kaga
  • Numbers (which is still on in Taiwan)
  • Babylon 5
  • Firefly

I’d love to hear about the shows our readers like and dislike too.  I’m sure many of you like these shows I’ve trashed but that’s what makes life interesting!

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  1. I agree with you about most of these shows, including Queer Eye, but your ignorance is showing when you claim that being gay is a choice. Also, I’m sure that your heterosexuality comes up quite often; you just don’t notice because it’s second nature to you. Do you ever mention your wife? Your marriage? Ever show any affection in public? Ever make any comments about the attractiveness of a member of the opposite sex?

    Also, Firefly is one of my favorite shows ever, and I can’t stand reality shows.

    1. Poagao » i say it’s a choice because someone in my own family made a choice and left that life style. he says it was a choice and that is what i call it. choice or not, it’s that person’s business.

      let me see if i can articulate this. on Queer Eye, there is one guy who is a flaming queen. he’s very obviously gay and he intends for you to know that. the other guys are not so transparent. that’s what i mean. sure, at some point in normal conversation it would come out but those guys were gay probably, just as likely as it would come out in normal conversation that i was married. but i wouldn’t act like a flaming hetero, if you can see my point. i don’t act things out of wanting someone else to know my orientation. i never think about my orientation.

      fortunately i have the Firefly series on my computer as files so i can watch it anytime i like! i agree with you about the reality shows. the fact that people are on camera (as you know) changes the nature of the performance.

      thanks for your comments Poagao.

  2. Those are some pretty bad shows! However, I think the perception that American TV is an insult to one’s intelligence, while partly true, is also in part the result of the sheer number of programs produced in the States, which dwarfs that of any other country. It’s very easy to overlook the numerous quality shows, and just focus on the equally numerous bad ones. As one who lived in Japan for about a decade, I can tell you from personal experience that, with the exception of NHK, what passes for TV entertainment in Japan makes most of the shows you listed above look like PBS offerings! I won’t go into the gory details (and Taiwanese cable doesn’t begin to give a full picture of what the boob tube shows in Japan), but just as MacArthur once said the Japanese were a nation of 12-year olds, someone else (I think it was Karel van Wolferen) remarked that when it came to TV, they were more like 8-year olds! And as for Taiwan, considering the fact there’s hardly an original idea out there when it comes to TV programming, and that most shows are based on Japanese models (especially the variety programs), you have to wonder what that makes the average Taiwanese, TV wise!

    1. Kaminoge » wow, i had no idea that Mac actually said that! who am i to disagree with him? lol truth be told, i normally watch Disco, Nat. Geo, Travel & Living, and the movie channels. once in a great while i’ll watch a variety show but the action isn’t always up to my maturity level.

      but i will stand by my opinion that the worst television in the entire world is anything that originates in Thailand.

      thanks for your comments, Jim.

  3. When it comes to American TV, the lowest point had to be on NBC in the late Seventies, when Fred Silverman was in charge of programming at NBC. Although he was responsible for “Hill Street Blues”, he also gave us “Supertrain” and “Pink Lady and Jeff”. The latter has to be considered as one of the worst TV programs of all time – an unfunny comedian paired up with a couple of attractive Japanese singers who couldn’t speak a word of English. You can read the Wikipedia entry:


    or (if you’ve got the guts) you can watch a clip on YouTube:


    Go on, I dare you! 🙂

    Kaminoges last blog post..??????

    1. Kaminoge » if i said “oh, you just get turned on by my sexy round eyes” my wife would put a frying pan to the side of my head!

      OMG that was so bad! but, i couldn’t stop watching it to see just how low it would go! “boogie wonderland” was bad enough but the dialog at the end was painful! i’ve never heard of that show but i want to thank you for bringing it to my attention!

      “Pink Lady, known unofficially as Pink Lady and Jeff [1], was a television variety show that aired for six weeks on NBC in 1980. It was ranked by TV Guide among the fifty worst TV shows of all time. It came in at #35 out of 50.”

      what were they thinking?

  4. John’s the TV watcher in my family. I stopped watching TV when I moved to China, mainly because there weren’t any English shows. When we moved to Taiwan, I was less than impressed with what was offered on television. Watching more than ten minutes of TV with John is an absolute chore because he never stays on one channel. Besides, I’ve always preferred to read.

    The only time I really see any television is at the gym, and it’s usually some show with four women acting like fools. The other night they were doing exercises to make their boobs bigger. I just about barfed right there. Taiwan’s television line-up seems just as bad as America’s.

    Carries last blog post..Wedding Countdown: Four Months To Go!

    1. Carrie » your comments made me laugh. yeah, that sounds about right – exercises to make bigger boobs. i was surfing the other night and saw one of those vibrator belts. they sell over here because the sellers can make untruthful claims about them. those died out in the US decades ago because they have no health benefits whatsoever. i think that around the world, things are dumbing down at an alarming rate.

  5. Pity that B5 was canceled. I remember my highschool years when I’d come home on time everyday just so that I could catch that show. My school schedule became so hectic later on that I missed nearly all of seasons 4 & 5 – fortunately I was lucky enough to grab the series on DVD last year (pretty hard to find them here in Vancouver) – watching them right now!

    Sams last blog post..Posting hiatus…

  6. In my opinion, TV in general is crap. And it always has been. For the 5% of shows that might be watchable you have to wade through 95% of trash. About the only time I watch it is when I’m traveling and staying in a hotel. I do agree about Numbers though – the few episodes I’ve seen are pretty good, but not enough to make me seek it out.

    One good show I saw was a series called Sleeper Cell. I don’t think it’s been shown in Taiwan but I downloaded season one and watched it and it was worth the time.

    I do confess to having watched the first season of Big Brother in Australia back in 2001 but only because a distant acquaintance was on it.

    cfimagess last blog post..Waiting For The Storm

    1. cfimages » i’ve never heard of Sleeper Cell. just this evening i was in a local restaurant and the TV was on. it was some drama that consisted of people standing in a room and talking trash. absolutely no action or scene changes – just talking and retarded looking facial expressions. how can anyone sit and watch that? i guess it has to do with the Chinese language because no show in English would survive like that for very long.

  7. MJ,

    How about whole networks that are dumb?
    Like CNBC and Faux News. Complete waste of time.

    I’m into Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Man vs Wild. Also Top Chef and No Reservations.

    My wife likes Project Runway (I don’t mind watching it since Heidi Klum is the host.)

    I do watch Lost though. I tried watching the new BG and thought it was wretched.

    owshawngs last blog post..Calling From The Toilet

    1. owshawng » i like the Deadliest Catch but i don’t recognize the others you mentioned. i don’t watch news anyway so i can’t tell you about news nets. thanks for your comments.

  8. I personally hate ALL of those “reality” shows where people compete for some sort of prize. Americal Idol, Survivor, Big Brother, So You Think You Can Dance, The Amazing Race, and so on. I only watch American Idol when they air the auditions… those can be really funny 🙂

    Like you… I use to love the original Battlestar Galatica but I’ve never watched the new version. If its as you say… I’m glad I never did.

    I love Lost and 24.

  9. Perhaps my recollections are clouded by the mists of time, but wasn’t the original show (which I watched religiously on Sunday nights) pretty much dismissed by most critics at the time (1978) as ABC’s attempt to cash in on the success of “Star Wars”?

    Kaminoges last blog post..Eat the Young

    1. Kaminoge » back in those days i was a professional musician on the road most of the time. occasionally i had Sunday nights off and i would go down to a local club and watch BG on their big screen TV. i never heard what any of the critics had to say about it, but the general impression of the people i talked with about the show, was that it was a good show. i also heard that at that time it was the most expensive show on television, per episode.

  10. I’m surprised that more people do not take issue with the stereotyping that goes on in Queer Eye, of both gay and straight men – the former are fussy and feminine, the latter are pizza-eating beer-guzzling slobs. It’s pretty shallow stuff.
    What are you calling “Generation Kill”? That’s probably about the only good TV program on.

    1. Patrick Cowsill » yes, that’s an excellent point. there is a lot of stereotyping going on in that show.

      i don’t know about Generation Kill. never heard of it so i can’t comment on it, sorry. it the show on the air in Taiwan. thanks Patrick.

  11. Hello Michael,

    I have not visited in a while and I couldn’t help but chime in.

    You know, Michael, without ‘American Idol’ it is very likely both Grammy winners Kelly Clarkson & Carrie Underwood would have sadly gone undiscovered!

    And, not only can both these young ladies ‘sing like canaries’ they are also most delicious to look at!

    Also, while not exclusively the birthright of gay people they do tend to have an artistic flair at a far greater propensity than straight people. If you doubt what I mean, consider, on every season (4 total) of Bravo’s “Project Runway” a resounding majority of the fellows are typically homosexual. But, then again, I view homosexuality as a birth defect.


    1. Jeff McMahan » how’s it going? been awhile since we saw you last Jeff, but things are pretty much the same here. as you might guess, i’ve never heard of those two people you mentioned, but i’m normally not impressed with female vocalists because they all tend to to either the “Cher pronunciation” thing, or some breathy imitation of their favorite black singer, replete with gravelly moans to introduce each line. but at least they look good! Jeff, i’m not smart enough to know about the distribution of artistic talent – i just accept what is. thanks for your comments.

  12. Not everyone likes babylon 5 or firefly (seriously never heard of these shows before) and everyone has a different taste in Television. I myself hate all reality tv shows because they are boring. The show i watch religously is The Simpsons. I use to watch family guy but that show is getting old (if your wondering my age, its 20) and now futurama is old.

    No one person is entitled to say who can watch what or what can be on the air. The only time people are allowed to take control of what others do just to benefit you is how people like Hitler and Stalin came into power (right now i can imagine some of you going to wikipedia and see how hitler and stalin came to power lol). Just deal with it and not think about it.

    1. matt » i suggest you calm down and don’t take this so seriously. no one is trying to tell anyone what to watch or what to do. it’s my blog so naturally it’s going to be my opinion. references to dead dictators isn’t warranted or appropriate.

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