What follows is a collection of televised atrocities and disappointments, none of which were as dull as any single episode of Accidentally on Purpose. I hate AoP not simply because it’s barely funny unless the sister is talking about naughty sex or the mom from the brilliant-yet-canceled Worst Week pops by to act all loopy and weird. I also hate it because after giving it the fairest shake imaginable (two full episodes on, where they stick you with commercials and there’s nothing you can do about it), I never once heard Jenna Elfman’s character mention anything about her job as a film critic. Since I’m part of the extremely small minority of people in this country who get to do that for a living and I also happen to be married to a film critic, I can tell you for a fact that we occasionally have actual breakfast conversations about the merits of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days versus those of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu. But where does Jenna Elfman stand on the burning issue of the New Romanian Cinema? We’re never going to find out, so I won’t be waiting around for it.

Anyway, the list, in no particular order, because it’s all equally gross:


1. Five 10 p.m.'s of Jay Leno every week — This actually doesn’t suck any more than it did when it was on 90 minutes later and they called it The Tonight Show. It’s got all the same lazy, softball jokes and butt-smoochy product-promotion guest appearances as before. The revolting thing about it is that it unemployed tons of people who would otherwise be working behind the scenes for scripted shows in its time slot. I have friends in Los Angeles who are out of jobs because of this.


2. The Osbournes Reloaded — I like fart jokes as much as the next jerk. I even liked the sketch on the much-maligned January Jones episode of SNL where she played Grace Kelly ruining takes of Rear Window with her ass. But I expect farts from the Osbournes. It’s something I can count on. I know they’re coming. And back in the early '00s, I trusted them to make everything they touched, including the farts, a little more black-magicky and metal. But these farts were stiff, forced, family-audience-aimed and embarrassing, written by people who don’t understand fart nuance or disgruntled fart charm. It was like watching Donny and Marie try their hand at it. It was enough to put you off farts as an entertainment option.

Tags: television