Sometimes the best “Top 10 Lists” are made up of the ten worst. Here are the five worst television shows and the five worst movies made in 2012. Together they make up the ten worst productions to hit the screen last year.
10. Secret Princes
While TLC programming could take credit for this entire list, Secret Princes especially stood out when it came to television in 2012. The reality series follows four nobles as they go undercover in order to find their true love. Other than the horribly awkward exchanges between the princes (especially Prince Salauddin Babi of India, who is poorly treated as the frumpy mascot of the group), the show’s design just doesn’t make sense. Why subject yourself to reality television when you come from nobility and don’t need the money? Or even more perplexing, if these “princes” are actually looking for love outside of their normal surroundings, do they really think they’ll find it in the bars of Atlanta? Here’s a lesson ladies: carry yourself with dignity when you go out because you never know if the guy in the JBR’s line is a Duke.
9. Guys with Kids
I’m sure we can all agree that Jimmy Fallon is, usually, a pretty funny guy. It’s a shame then that the show he and his production company created, Guys With Kids, didn’t seem to inherit the humour. Instead, Guys With Kids is a seemingly endless cycle of jokes asking the tough question “how a cool guy can keep being a cool guy with a baby in his life?” It’s never really clear what the audience should be laughing at. Lessening the burden of the wife? Ha! Paternal responsibility? Hilarious! What’s more troubling: the fact that Guys With Kids wants us to laugh at these men who bring their babies to sports bars, or that they want us to feel sorry for them?
8. Glee (currently)
While everything else on this list has been created in 2012, Glee’s most recent season deserves a special exception. Much of the show’s initial cast has graduated, and what was once the loveable and talented McKinley High Glee Club is now a group of B-listers who were lucky if they got more than a side arc in the first three seasons. The new 2012 Glee follows Rachel and Kurt to New York in an obvious, and desperate, attempt from the show to hang on to the real star power. While the new inductees to the Glee cast show promise, the series has some serious fat to trim if they hope to make audiences care in the same way they did for the previous generation. Maybe the show should just completely focus on Rachel and Kurt. I mean, a Jewish girl and a gay man living together in New York City, it’s such an origina… oh, wait.
7. Breaking Amish
There was a lot (whatever “a lot” is in the scope of reality television) of debate over the validity behind the TLC show Breaking Amish. The plot revolves around five young Anabaptist adults – four Amish and one Mennonite – who journey to New York City in order to experience “English” culture and make the difficult decision whether to return to their cultural communities or remain in NYC, turning away from their family heritage. The controversy of the show surrounded the truth behind the cast’s lifestyles before taping, as it came out that they had all spent time outside of their communities and regularly partook in “English” activities. The cast may not have been legitimate, but the show certainly made me want to turn Amish, if only to escape television like this.
6. Kourtney & Kim Take New York
If you combined the Transformers franchise with a children’s board game, and then gave it an overblown budget, you would get Battleship. Watching the film’s trailer is enough to understand what Battleship offers – a lot of explosions, an overly (or usually?) dramatic Liam Neeson, and Rihanna in a “acting” debut, playing the dual role of sexy army warrior and… Wait, that’s all she is in the film. Let’s not even linger on the fact that the aliens, who seem completely capable of launching a full scale attack on the human race, can only fly their ships on water. How they got here from outer space, I don’t know. Try asking Rihanna.
4. Magic Mike
Though one may not have high expectations for a movie about male strippers, you would at least hope for one hundred and ten minutes of eye candy. Unfortunately, that’s not what you get with Magic Mike, a film that stars the abs of Channing Tatum, arms of Alex Pettyfer, and chiselled jaw of Matt Bomer. The true magic of the film is the fact that it was made at all, with dialogue so pointless and rambling that you wonder if the cast had a script at all. With a terrible storyline, Magic Mike is definitely not worth the watch, and if you wanted to watch the film to get off, I would suggest just watching porn – it probably has a better narrative.
3. Piranha 3DD
“No body is safe.” This was the slogan plastered on promotional material for the Piranha 3DD film. No, the space between “no” and “body” isn’t a typo – that’s literally their advertisement. You’d understand more if you saw their movie poster which features a busty woman in a ripped, wet shirt with the film’s title scrawled across her chest. That’s Piranha 3DD though, always trying to keep it classy. The mere fact that the makers of this sophisticated horror/comedy about mutated piranha chose to name the film Piranha 3DD, instead of just Piranha 3D 2, should stand as a testament to goals of their overall franchise. Bravo gentlemen, bravo.
2. Anything by Kristen Stewart
Twilight, Snow White and the Huntsman, On the Road… It seems that Kristen Stewart tried to fit as many mediocre films into 2012 as possible. One would think that all that frowning and slouching could tire the young actress, but no. Stewart preserved and delivered three of the most lukewarm performances of her life. If you think about it, Stewart died and came back to life in both the final Twilight film and Snow White and the Huntsman. Perhaps Stewart merely walks into an audition and the casting director thinks that her pale skin and overall lack of emotion will be perfect for the death scenes. It would certainly explain a lot of things about Stewart’s acting career – namely its existence.
1. That’s My Boy
It’s not surprising that Adam Sandler’s own movie studio Happy Madison produced his film That’s My Boy. It’s kind of like fake texting when you’re alone in public. You’re trying to seem busy and relevant, but really it’s just sad. As Sandler jumps around the screen in his usual man-boy persona, he does succeed at one thing: being even more offensive than usual. Between issues of pedophilia, incest, and statutory rape, nothing is spared from Sandler’s comic brutality. In fact, the film was so bad it was nominated for eight Golden Raspberry Awards. Because Sandler’s films are becoming a constant in these mock-Oscar celebrations of cinema’s worst, he should really consider becoming a sponsor. After all, at least someone is talking about his movies.
–Kevin Hurren is OPENWIDE Vol. 12’s Arts & Entertainment Editor