And lo, television hath brought upon us the made-up holiday of Festivus, the Dec. 23 celebration introduced in the 1997 “Seinfeld” episode “The Strike.” In honor of the three traditional tenets of Festivus — the aluminum Festivus Pole, the Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances — Zap2it brings to you our TV-related complaints of 2014.
Below are Zap2it’s TV grievances of the year — we’re mad about everything from premature cancellations (looking at you, ABC!) to character deaths. Read on for the most grievous TV moves of 2014.
FOX, it totally makes sense that you’d want to bring back the heyday of the TV sitcom, but “Mulaney” was not the way to do it. Seriously, this show is so not funny that even the comparison to “Seinfeld” is an insult.
Don’t think you’re off the hook, ABC. There are plenty of bad shows on TV, but “Selfie”? Not one of them. Killing this sweet little flower before it had the chance to blossom is never going to stop being upsetting.
And while we’re at it, ABC? Let’s talk about “Trophy Wife.” First, you started by saddling it with a terrible title that was not at all indicative of the unpolished gem of a show that it was. And, granted, maybe the ratings were so modest that nothing would have saved it. But to fail to even try it out as part of your Wednesday comedy block borders on the criminal.
Hey, broadcast network executives: One reason television is held in such high regard now is that you were willing to take risks on programming and support those shows. Sometimes it didn’t work, and sometimes you got “Lost” and “The Good Wife” and “Glee.” Now? It seems as though every other show in development is a remake of something in your libraries or an adaptation of some other previously existing material. Your business model is outdated, yes, but running scared is not the way to save it. Don’t cede every last drop of bold programming to cable and streaming. Step up.
Cable networks, take note, too: Just because you CAN milk your prized shows as much as possible as they take their final bows doesn’t mean you SHOULD. “Mad Men” didn’t need to be broken up into two ultra-short seasons, AMC. Just as we predicted in 2013, you messed with the pacing of an already slow-moving show, plus the awards eligibility strategy backfired: Instead of being honored as it exits at the top of its game, the groundbreaking series is getting much less recognition as it fades out of the pop-culture consciousness with a whimper. Jon Hamm not getting recognized for his superb work is criminal, and you’re not helping.
Killing off major characters is a bold move, “Pretty Little Liars” writers. But did it have to be Mona Vanderwaal? The biggest, boldest, brightest hyperreality ninja in town? Rosewood burns a little less bright now that this star has been snuffed out. Speaking of sad character deaths, “Bones” — you’re on watch for killing off the beloved Sweets in the Season 10 premiere. It still hurts.
CBS, if you’re going to bring back “Blood vs. Water” on “Survivor” then you need to actually bring back people that fans know and love (or hate). Otherwise the show is just a bunch of randos and their loved ones eating too much rice and making Jeff Probst shake his head in bewilderment.
Oh, FOX, one more thing — we’re glad you’ve finally found some “American Idol” judges with real chemistry, but the show’s never going to reclaim the glory it once had, especially when the singers you pass through each round are utterly devoid of personality. Let’s spice things up for Season 14, hm?
Finally, NBC: You were once home to some of the best comedies on television, but heading into 2015 you’ve dismantled must-see Thursdays for good AND benched “Marry Me,” arguably your best new comedy of the year. You can do better. Please try harder next year.