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Look back at the things we'd rather forget about last year

Shaun Harrison
worst-year-betrayal1.jpg
1 of 18 Matt Dinerstein/ABC

Betrayal

It's hard to pinpoint the worst part of Betrayal. The eye roll-inducing dialogue, the contrived melodrama, Hannah Ware's "American" accent, the fact that the leads have the onscreen chemistry of a potato and taxidermy fish — it's all equally painful to watch. The only small, but confusing bright spot is James Cromwell, whose presence on the show makes about as much sense as the fact Betrayal is still on the air.
2 of 18 Sonha Flemming/CBS; NBC/Getty Images; Splash News; Jennifer Clasen/Fox; Dana Edelson/NBC

The Racial Divide

Barack Obama may be in his second term at the White House, but 2013 proved this country still has a ways to go when it comes to race relations. Big Brother houseguests Aaryn and GinaMarie (who actually ended up taking the runner-up prize) both lost their jobs after using racial slurs against African- and Asian-American competitors. Similarly, Paula Deen's show was canceled by Food Network after Deen admitted in a leaked deposition that she used the N-word several times and once planned a Plantation-style wedding with black waiters playing slaves. (Her strange apology videos and Today show mea culpa didn't help; she subsequently lost many major endorsement deals.) Also this year? Julianne Hough wore Orange Is the New Black-inspired blackface for Halloween, Dads repeatedly went for cheap, racist laughs, and SNL came under fire for hiring six new white cast members, but not an African-American woman. The late-night sketch show has vowed to fix that problem by January of next year. Let's just hope others follow suit.
3 of 18 David Giesbrecht/NBC

Bad Wigs

The best wigs on TV are the ones you aren't aware of (Julianna Marguiles on The Good Wife, Tom Mison on Sleepy Hollow). The bad ones have the power to make even the most swoon-worthy actor look like a squished meatball. There's no reason The Blacklist's Elizabeth Keen couldn't rock the chic pixie actress Megan Boone has in real life instead of that horrid mop. And if we're going to continue flashing back to Oliver's time on the island in Arrow, isn't in worth investing in at least one wig that doesn't look like it was made out of skinned subway rats? See more of the year's biggest offenders here.
4 of 18 Randy Tepper/Showtime

Dexter's swan song

The final season of the Showtime series was all over the place, as Dexter increasingly acted out of character — he was starting to have feelings! — which caused him to make rookie mistakes, including letting Saxon be arrested instead of killing him, which ultimately led to Deb's death. But the most ridiculous thing was seeing Dexter somehow survive driving his boat directly into a hurricane only to go live a life of solitude as a sad, bearded lumberjack. Really? After all these years, that's what this led to?
5 of 18 Danny Feld/ABC

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Mixing the superficial gloss of a USA drama and the formulaic banality of a CBS procedural, S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps things frustratingly simple for a show with such a rich and complex mythos to draw from. The characters are nothing but rigid clichés, the team's limitless resources keeps the stakes too low and the Coulson "mystery" is too overstated and drawn-out to warrant any real intrigue. While it isn't the worst show on right now, our expectations for S.H.I.E.L.D. were high, making its mediocrity that much harder to swallow.
6 of 18 Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Miley Cyrus

You couldn't go anywhere this summer without hearing Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop," but the former Hannah Montana star's ubiquity was just beginning. After a raunchy, twerk-enhanced performance with Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards, the Internet exploded with memes and parodies of Miley's tongue-wagging and suggestive use of a foam finger. Miley kept the ball rolling (swinging?), with the release of her video for "Wrecking Ball," in which she rides the titular demolition device completely nude and licks a sledgehammer. The video sparked a Twitter feud with Sinead O'Connor, but that couldn't stop the breakup empowerment anthem from getting played at every one of Miley's late-fall awards show performances or her guest gig on SNL. She can't stop, but we just can't anymore.
7 of 18 Denise Truscello/Getty Images

KimYe

Forget the Royal Baby — all eyes were on Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for the first half of the year as tabloids tracked Kim's pregnancy. But nothing quieted down once baby North was born: Kanye released his new album Yeezus, and spent most of his interviews calling himself a god and a creative genius in the mold of Steve Jobs or Michelangelo. (He also launched a Twitter war against Jimmy Kimmel.) Once Kim and Kanye got engaged in an over-the-top proposal at the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium (which will be shown on the new season of Keeping Up with Kardashians, natch), the duo capped off their whirlwind year with the ridiculous video for Kanye's "Bound 2," which features a naked Kim straddling a motorcycle — and Ye himself — while he raps about his love for her. You know, like all couples do!
8 of 18 James Bridges/CBS; ABC; FX

Rape as a plot device

There are many ways to challenge a character or explain how they became who they are, but when it comes to many female characters on TV, there's seemingly a one-size-fits-all answer: rape. This year, Scandal used Mellie's rape to explain why she's so determined to keep Fitz in office and the American Horror Story premiere featured not one, but two rapes, which served no purpose beyond giving Madison ample motivation to murder a bus full of frat boys and as a way for Violet to see the "benefits" of her power. Poor Angie on Under the Dome couldn't seem to escape sexual peril all season, while The Mindy Project's Christina taking advantage of a near-unconscious James Franco was played for laughs. There are ways to push characters without resorting to sexual assault. Rape should be handled with warranted care, but instead it's often used as a lazy plot device to stir up drama before eventually skipping over any of the lasting psychological consequences.
9 of 18 Sonja Flemming/CBS

Ziva's NCIS exit

In one of the most debated cast shakeups of the fall TV season, NCIS fan-favorite Ziva David went out with a whimper rather than a bang. Though her exit from the show was hyped as a two-episode event at the start of the season, departing star Cote de Pablo isn't seen at all in the Season 11 premiere, and barely appears in the second. When she finally tells Tony (Michael Weatherly) on the runway that she plans to stay in Israel, Tiva 'shippers finally get the kiss they've been waiting for between the pair. But overall her big farewell left much to be desired.
10 of 18 Michael Becker/Fox

Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj's "Feud" on American Idol

Oh, Idol feud, how do we loathe thee? Let us count the ways. First and foremost, the so-called feud became the star of the show, overshadowing the earnest efforts of the contestants and the charms of shining star judge Keith Urban. Unforgivable! Furthermore, the non-stop bickering wasn't even that exciting or creative. Come on, ladies! At least you can do us the favor of not boring us if you're going to steal the show's thunder with your drama.
11 of 18 CBS

Under the Dome

After such a strong and visually stunning series premiere — remember the cow being cut in half? — Dome went downhill from there in each subsequent episode, culminating in story lines that had people going crazy, characters visualizing dead people and… aliens!? Apparently, the otherworldly species were the reason for the dome in the first place. This is one time we wish the government was at fault.
12 of 18 ABC

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland's rough CGI

Flagship series Once Upon a Time is well-known for its subpar CGI. (The show relies heavily on green screens as opposed to brick-and-mortar sets.) Unfortunately, the Wonderland spin-off has followed suit with distractingly bad special effects that almost make it seem like you're watching Space Jam, in which real-life actors are surrounded by a cartoon. If that's what's down the rabbit hole, we think we'll pass.
13 of 18 ABC

Bailey's OCD on Grey's Anatomy

The sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder for Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) has us wanting to give up on Grey's Anatomy. Sure, it's probably the result of her accidentally infecting patients last season, but it's still a shame that the once-formidable surgeon (everyone remembers "The Nazi," right?) has to get saddled with this story line. Here's hoping Dr. Alma (Illeana Douglas) helps Bailey snap out of this quickly, because this is one development that has us reaching for a scalpel.
14 of 18 Discovery Channel

Icky Survival Shows

Schadenfreude reached new lows with Naked and Afraid, Discovery's reality show that tosses a male and female contestant out into the wild in only their birthday suits. Once you get past the initial titillation of watching for illicit skin and jiggly bits, the show would be better titled Naked and Imbecilic because therein lies the appeal: watching people make really stupid choices — for example, drinking untreated water. Speaking of drinking, NBC's Stay Alive with Bear Grylls may have had a lot of heart, but our stomachs were the ones that reacted during the urine-drinking challenge. Dehydration or a pee cocktail? Hold on. We're still debating.
15 of 18 David Moir/Bravo; Adam Rose/Fox. Fox

Lame Reality Show Shakeups

With the glut of reality competition shows, many attempted to change their formats in a desperate attempt to revitalize its viewership and stand out from the crowd. Sadly, most of these attempts backfired. See: Top Chef's pointlessly live (and boring) finale cookoff or Dancing with the Stars' Twitter-voting gimmicks that inevitably rewarded Zendaya because of her tech-savvy teen fans. The most egregious of these Hail Marys: X Factor's Four Chair Challenge, So You Think You Can Dance for moving the vote-off to the top of the show and The Voice's knockout round Steal. Not only did these confuse the process, but it served to prolong the suspenseful torture for both contestants and viewers. Don't rage against the dying of the light, people.
16 of 18 Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Greg Gayne/Fox; Fox

Seth MacFarlane

MacFarlane's turn as Oscars host was panned after he brought his signature crass humor to the usually stuffy affair. From his opening song-and-dance number "We Saw Your Boobs," which recounted famous nude scenes from Academy Award-winning actresses, to his jokes about Jews controlling Hollywood, the outing was a pretty good precursor to the misogyny and racism on full display on the MacFarlane-produced Fox sitcom Dads. Despite having a great cast, the cheap, lazy writing almost instantly drove the show's audience down to a fraction of the looky-loos who tuned to the premiere. Even Family Guy wasn't safe, as producers killed off fan favorite character Brian, who was hit by a car and replaced by a new dog. Yep, MacFarlane's 2013 was ruff!
17 of 18 CNN

CNN's Boston Marathon reporting

In the modern era of the 24-hour news cycle, speed often trumps accuracy as news agencies scramble to get on top of a story. In the chaos that ensued after bombs went off at the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring dozens more, CNN fell victim to this phenomenon in its rush to file "exclusive" reports about the attack. Most egregiously, on April 17, two days after the bombing, John King reported that the FBI had identified and arrested a suspect in the case. CNN and other news outlets that picked up the report were later forced to retract their stories when the news was discovered to be unfounded. In reality, alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wasn't taken into custody until late Friday, April 19. The network also initially reported that the suspect was a "dark-skinned male," which turned out not to be true.
18 of 18 Fox

Kris

Because she apparently isn't on TV enough already, Fox gave Kardashian mom-ager Kris Jenner her own talk show for a six-week trial run. The show itself was basic daytime TV fare, but Jenner far too often made the show about herself and her family. The premiere episode, for example, teased viewers with the possible reveal of Kim Kardashian's baby, only to reveal it was the newborn of one of the producers. Baby North finally did make an appearance when Kim's baby-daddy Kanye West brought a picture along when he sat down with his future mother-in-law for the full hour of her show's finale episode. The stunt spiked the ratings, which were pretty dismal to begin with, so it looks like Kris will need to keep her day job — whatever that is.