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Look back at the past year's lowlights

Shaun Harrison
worst-year-lohan-bynes1.jpg
1 of 20 Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department via Getty Images

Girls Behaving Badly

Amanda Bynes dodged that "child-stars-gone-bad" bullet… until this year, when she made the news repeatedly for vehicular dramas including DUIs, alleged hit-and-runs and driving with a suspended license. Not to be outdone, Lindsay Lohan crashed into an 18-wheeler on the freeway, was accused of hitting pedestrians, fled the scene of the crime multiple times and most recently was arrested after an alleged nightclub fight. But LiLo's biggest crime of the year? Starring as legendary screen siren Elizabeth Taylor in Lifetime's craptastic biopic Liz & Dick. Is Hilary Duff too busy playing Mommy to get booked for a gig?
2 of 20 Katherine Bomboy-Thornton/ABC

Connie Britton's Singing on Nashville

Although we're loving ABC's sudsy country-music drama (and those twangy tunes!), one element has struck a sour note: Connie Britton's soulless singing. Don't get us wrong; We adore the Friday Night Lights alum, but her character Rayna James is supposed to be the reigning queen of country music, not a peon with amateurish karaoke dreams. The world is not flat, but Britton's tone is. There's no shame in asking for a little help beyond Auto-Tune. Even Audrey Hepburn had a playback singer for My Fair Lady. Just sayin'.
3 of 20 PBS

Sesame Street Scandals

It was a bad year for our felt friends when Big Bird became the poster-Muppet for liberals protesting Mitt Romney's anti-PBS-funding platform, which would effectively end the beloved children's program. Beyond the depressing images of Big Bird offering to work for food or in the unemployment line, the real blow to Sesame Street fans came soon after. Following multiple accusations of sexual acts with minors, Elmo puppeteer and creator Kevin Clash resigned as the voice of the popular red-furred puppet.
4 of 20 TLC

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

It's bad enough that the TLC show exploits child pageant star Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and her Mama, but the truly reprehensible party is the audience that tunes in fully expecting the Georgia family to be depicted as a freaky carnival sideshow. This is the same audience that gave the show higher 18-49 demographic ratings than the third night of the Republican National Convention. Is it any wonder that The Voice coach Adam Levine equated Honey Boo Boo with "the decay of Western Civilization"? No more go-go juice for you, America!
5 of 20 Trae Patton/NBC

Christina Aguilera's style on The Voice

Who'd have thought that CeeLo Green would be the second-most flamboyant coach on The Voice? X-Tina teaches us that the whole "less is more" concept is for chumps. What could complete an outfit consisting of a balloon skirt, bustier and a train? Why, a pink afro of course! And a tiny crown. And sparkly thigh-high boots. And a fan. Mustn't forget the fan. Next up: Kitchen sink!
6 of 20 Jeffrey Neira/CBS

The Kalinda-husband story line on The Good Wife

Kalinda has always been fearless, but all of that crumbled when her estranged husband Nick returned and brought out the worst — not to mention the weakest and weirdest — in her. Their endless rounds of sniping, physical one-upmanship and inevitable angry sex were uncharacteristic of her to put up with, not to mention repetitve and unenlightening. And don't even get us started on that Fifty Shades of Ice Cream scene. Put down the soft serve and pull on the boots of justice!
7 of 20 Patrick Harbron/NBC

Smash's supporting characters

There are antagonists and then there are the downright annoying. Bombshell lyricist Julia deserves a more interesting son than the whiny, pot-smoking Leo, and Dev is kind of the worst boyfriend ever, proposing to his girl while she's "in tech" and then sleeping with her nemesis. The nerve! But the worst offender is Ellis, whose devious ambition leads him to almost kill an actress after he spikes her smoothie with peanuts (knowing she's allergic). Of all the strategies to remove her from the play, he chose anaphylactic shock? Strictly amateur hour.
8 of 20 Craig Sjodin/ABC

Duets

Wannabe singers who get the chance to perform alongside pros like Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke? That twist should have been intriguing, but in the end it was ill-conceived (the mentors outshone their protégés), painfully tedious and at times, inexplicable. We're looking at you, host Quddus! The best thing we can say about ABC's foray into the reality singing competition arena was that it ended swiftly and quietly. (Well, can you name the winner?)
9 of 20 Toby Canham/Getty Images, Ron Tom/ABC via Getty Images

Mike's death on Desperate Housewives gets spoiled

Your Honor, we object! Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan filed a lawsuit against series creator Marc Cherry, claiming he hit her on the set and subsequently fired her (when he offed her character Edie) for reporting the alleged assault to ABC. During the trial, however, it was pointed out that James Denton's character Mike was also killed off. Only problem? The episode featuring Mike's death had yet to air. Oops! Can that spoiler be stricken from the record?
10 of 20 Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Demi Lovato's eyebrows on The X Factor

Props to Season 2 of The X Factor for keeping us guessing week to week — not about the inevitable eliminations, but mentor Demi Lovato's eyebrows! Each episode, we tune in wondering: Will she sport an overplucked Pamela Anderson special or go full-on Groucho Marx? Will the bangs encroach? Is there such a thing as too dark or too full? Give our hearts a break, cuz the suspense is killing us!
11 of 20 Jeff R. Bottari/Getty Images

Chris Brown

Why?!? No, really. Why is Brown still tolerated after his 2009 assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna? We'd be a lot more forgiving if the "With You" singer had actually ever been repentant, but he seems determined to remain unlikable. Somehow, he has reconciled with Rihanna, started a vulgar Twitter feud with a comedian, threw down with Drake at a SoHo nightclub, lost his cool (and his shirt) before shattering a window in his dressing room at Good Morning America and chose to wear an offensive "terrorist" costume for Halloween. Apparently, the trick is on us!
12 of 20 Colleen Hayes/ABC

Revenge's second season

Introducing us to Emily's mom Kara seemed promising — mother and daughter revenge-ing it up together! — but, alas, it turned out that Kara was all sorts of damaged and crazy. Speaking of damaged, we're still traumatized by seeing pregnant Amanda falling over that second-floor railing, but it's nothing a good old-fashioned revengenda couldn't cure. Unfortunately, this season has been stingy with revenge-y acts, instead getting bogged down with some group called The Initiative. Can't we get back to basics: a really moody girl and her red pen?
13 of 20 Steve Granitz/WireImage

The Amy Poehler-Will Arnett divorce

Remember, remember the sixth of September. That's the day the laughter died, or at least when our hearts broke over the news that comedic sweethearts Amy Poehler and Will Arnett would dissolve their nine-year marriage. They had seemed so perfectly suited, even portraying ice-skating siblings in Blades of Glory and guest-starring on each other's sitcoms. We'll miss them making beautiful, inappropriate jokes together.
14 of 20 Warner Bros. Pictures

Bane's accent in The Dark Knight Rises

In the latest Batman installment, the Caped Crusader faced his most menacing foe yet... that is, if you find a prank-calling Sean Connery scary. Seriously, Bane's goofy vocal affectation sounds more like a vaguely ethnic character on an old-timey radio show than a supervillain. Is that even you, Tom Hardy?
15 of 20 Fox News

Karl Rove

The stages of grief are usually a private thing, but unfortunately, on Election Night, viewers at home witnessed Karl Rove go through both denial and anger live on Fox News. Even though the network had declared that Barack Obama had won Ohio, and thus the election, the conservative pundit just couldn't let go. His public meltdown was baffling to behold, even by his peers, who handled his insistence to spout statistics with bemused tolerance. As did we. Fox News? Not so much. They have since distanced themselves from Rove.
16 of 20 Kent Smith/Showtime

Dana on Homeland

While double agent Nick Brody has the hardest-working nostrils in the CIA, his daughter Dana is working her pout overtime. But whatever sympathy we may have had for the teenager before her boyfriend-assisted hit-and-run, we lost it all after her incessant whining, trembling lips and overall sullenness. Just how much screen time must we devote to petulant Dana when there are matters of national security with which to be dealt?
17 of 20 NBC

Olympics coverage stateside

With this summer's London Games, NBC attempted to boost prime-time viewership by tape-delaying highly anticipated events. What could go wrong? Unfortunately, a miscalculation spoiled the results of Missy Franklin's 100-meter backstroke before it even aired when a promo for her Today show interview featured Franklin holding a gold medal. To make matters worse, fans seeking to watch the Games live were met with wonky streaming online. What united the fans? Tweeting out the hashtag #NBCfail to grouse about the problems.
18 of 20 Mitchell Haaseth, Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Community's behind-the-scenes problems

In 2012, NBC's community-college sitcom enrolled in Drama 101, with star Chevy Chase and creator Dan Harmon going to the head of the class. The actor's disdain for the "mediocre sitcom" came to light in a profanity-laced voicemail to Harmon that the executive producer later pettily made public. After renewing the show for a fourth seaon, NBC fired Harmon, but Chase still struggled on the show, dropping the N-word on set and eventually parting amicably with the series midway through shooting the fourth season. As if to reflect the behind-the-scenes turmoil, the Season 4 premiere was pushed to midseason.
19 of 20 Sven Frenzel/The CW

Beauty and the Beast's so-called beast

Who'd have thought The CW would get all metaphorical on us? On the network's reimagined Beauty and the Beast series, apparently star Jay Ryan's beast is on the inside. At least, that's what was explained to critics wondering how Ryan's brooding good looks — only partially marred by a scar scratch — qualified as beastly. Sorry, but we're not buying it. Just cop to wanting to keep The CW pretty and call it Beauty and the Beefcake.
20 of 20 Cliff Lipson/CBS

Angus T. Jones

Et tu, Angus? Two and a Half Men's titular half man Angus T. Jones followed in the footsteps of his sitcom uncle Charlie Sheen when he bit the hand that fed him. The teenager blindsided everyone by declaring the sitcom was "filth" in a YouTube testimonial for the religious organization Forerunner Chronicles. And although he issued an apology, the damage was done; he gave Sheen yet another opportunity to take pot shots at Men producer Chuck Lorre.