Hostages isn't just the worst new drama of the fall season--it's one of the worst shows ever, a future classic of badness that single-handedly ups the ante for just how much weirdness can be packed into an hour of television. And while it's too soon to say where it ultimately resides in the canon of bad TV, we've counted down some of the worst shows ever to grace the small screen. So join us, dear reader, as we take a stroll down memory lane. Tread lightly.
1. The Brady Bunch Variety Hour
Produced in the wake of the Bradys' appearance on Donnie & Marie, this one-hour musical special mutated, like sentient ooze, into a freakish spin-off of The Brady Bunch, running on the premise that patriarch Mike Brady has quit a career in architecture to become a full-time musician. The disco spangles will make your eyes bleed.
If you grew up in the 90s, you might remember Animorphs, the young adult sci-fi series about a group of teenagers with the power to transform into animals. Well, NBC did it way before that with this action series about a shape-shifting scientist who uses his power to fight crime (as all shape-shifting scientists are contractually obligated to do). Starring British actor Simon MacCorkindale, who possesses the best name this side of Benedict Cumberbatch, Manimal is so 80s that watching it will give you instant Aquanet.
3. The New Leave It to Beaver (AKA Still the Beaver)
This 80s catch-up with the cast of the original Leave It to Beaver is well-intentioned, but serves mainly as an uncomfortable reminder of our own mortality, with the actors reuniting nearly two decades after the iconic earlier series went off the air. It's an existential crisis in sitcom-form. File with: The Bradys, The Brady Brides, Dallas (2012).
4. Cop Rock
Ever wish cop shows like CSI or Blue Bloods had less crime-solving and more Broadway-style showstoppers? Look no further than this short-lived ABC drama, which combined the procedural genre with its obvious bedfellow, musical theater. Choice lyrics: "We had a 187 at the 7-11 on the corner of 4th and Main/Two caucasians of the male persuasion put a bullet through the cashier's brain." West Side Story it's not.
5. Pink Lady and Jeff
I'm trying to imagine the pitch meeting for Pink Lady and Jeff: "All right, so we're gonna give Jeff Altman his own variety show. Also, we're gonna give him two Japanese co-hosts who don't speak any English and occasionally perform barely-passable versions of disco standards." "Can they run around in bikinis at the end?" "I guess?" "SOLD!"
Remember the cavemen from the GEICO commercials back in the mid-00s? Well, ABC turned it into a full-on sitcom that the New York Post declared "extinct on arrival." By the same logic, someone should take a dozen of the most popular advertising mascots and put them together in a Toy Story-esque romp. Oh, wait: they already did.
7. I Want a Famous Face
The fame-obsessed reality genre swallowed its own tail with this MTV series, which focused on people who undergo cosmetic surgery to look more like their favorite celebrities. Astonishingly, it seems to celebrate this as some kind of triumph of self-expression, when really it's more like self-eradication. Which is exactly what you'll want to do after about five minutes of this one.
What do you think are the worst shows ever made? Are you going to start singing Cop Rock songs on karaoke night? Tell us below.