The worst TV shows of 2011

From the December 27, 2011 edition

It’s the time of year when people roll out their “Best of …” lists, but I thought it would also be fun to do a Worst of TV list. The 10 shows below really irked me over the last year — some for being just downright bad, others for squandering potential. So, without further ado …

10. “Entourage” (HBO)

Spoiler alert: Everything worked out for Vince and the boys.

9. “Weeds” (Showtime)

This makes the worst list because early episodes showed incredible potential to make Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) finally confront her destructive narcissism — especially in some great scenes with Silas (Hunter Parrish) — but the show threw all that out the window in favor of giving yet another shot at unearned redemption. Very frustrating.

8. “Whitney” (NBC)

NBC shelves “Community” indefinitely and keeps giving second chances to this crap?! TV is a cruel, cruel mistress.

7. “Harry’s Law” (NBC)

Earlier this year, I wrote, “The absolute absurdity of this ‘legal’ drama combined with its strong ratings means that America is either the dumbest collection of people on the planet or drug use is at an all-time high,” about “Harry’s Law.” I was too kind.

6. “Dexter” (Showtime)

Michael C. Hall is a great actor, but the writing on this show has become predictable and downright awful. Were we supposed to be surprised by (spoiler alert!) the reveal that Travis (Colin Hanks) killed Professor Geller (Edward James Olmos)? I wasn’t.

5. “American Horror Story” (FX)

As a ridiculous piece of genre fiction, “American Horror Story” is fantastically entertaining. But its attempts to be shocking or revolutionary television are not only utterly contrived, but laughably silly. Plus, way too much masturbation.

4. “H8R” (CW)

And I thought it was impossible to hate Mario Lopez more than I already did.

3. “New Girl” (Fox)

I just don’t like Zooey Deschanel here. But the real problem is in the lazy and obtuse jokes.

2. “Playboy Club (NBC)

Rarely do ratings reflect the quality of a show, but the reason nobody watched “The Playboy Club” was because it sucked. At least Eddie Cibrian has a future as a Don Draper impersonator.

1. “The Killing” (AMC)

With 13 episodes of repetitive red herrings and contrived (non)twists, this so-called thriller ended up testing the patience of every viewer who stuck in out until the end. Then, they were treated to a big ol’ middle finger from showrunner Veena Sud in the finale.