Will we ever be able to find The Cosby Show funny again? The seemingly endless number of women who came forward (or reiterated prior claims) in late 2014, accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault, is too great to be ignored. The fact that many of the alleged assaults took place when the accusers were young teenagers, and when Cosby was at the height of his sitcom fame, makes the whole situation that much worse — as does fact that Cosby and his lawyer continue to adopt an "ignore them and they'll go away" approach (which, granted, has worked quite well for them in the past). It sadly seems like the lovable father figure that many American children grew up with is, at best, a fallen hero, and, at worse, never existed in the first place.
The award for "2014 news story that made us all want to take a shower" goes to the revelation that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo matriarch Mama June apparently has a type when it comes to men: sex offenders. In October, a report that June had gotten back together with Mark McDaniel, an ex-boyfriend who was convicted of molesting her daughter, Anna, prompted TLC to cancel the love-it-or-loathe-it show. Though June continued to be cagey about her relationship with McDaniel, she later admitted that a different sex offender was the father of two of her daughters. All of this begged the discomfiting question: What happens when the cheap entertainment of a reality show becomes just a little too real?
In March, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended for a mere two games after being indicted for striking his then-fianc´e;e (now wife) Janay in an elevator. After video surfaced in September that showed Rice's attack had actually rendered Janay unconscious, the Ravens let Rice go, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claimed he hadn't seen the surveillance video until it was leaked, although law enforcement says it was sent to the NFL in April. Later, Goodell held a press conference and admitted to the league's mishandling of domestic abuse cases and promised conduct policy changes. In November, Rice won an appeal to overturn the suspension and was reinstated into the NFL. To quote Jon Stewart's message to the NFL: "You done f---ed up."
It was the moment nine years in the making: Ted finally meets The Mother, and they live happily ever. Wrong! Mr. and Mrs. Mosby did meet, but as many fans feared, the show promptly killed The Mother off. Adding insult to injury, Ted winds up with Robin. Maybe we should've seen it coming before the death knell clues. Cristin Milioti, so effortless and wonderful in bringing The Mother to life, was inexplicably used so sparingly during Season 9, in what could've been a lovely coda to a meandering story that was testing fans' patience. But perhaps Seth Meyers
Will Robin Thicke be appearing on the Frozen 2 soundtrack? Because dude needs to let it go. "It," of course, refers to his failed marriage to actress Paula Patton, which died a slow death in 2014. After the couple separated in February, Thicke slinked back like a dog with its tail between his legs, going on a public apology tour to try and win Patton back — including a cringe-worthy performance at the BET Awards in July. It didn't work. By mid-October, Patton had officially filed for divorce. Guess those lines between them aren't so blurred after all.
In August, Jennifer Lawrence, Kaley Cuoco, Ariana Grande and many other female celebrities had nude photos of themselves leaked to the public thanks to a 4chan hacker. What's worse, some people — including Clay Aiken and Ricky Gervais — blamed the victims themselves for having taken the photos in the first place. In a Vanity Fair interview, Lawrence spoke out, "Just because I'm a public figure, just because I'm an actress, does not mean that I asked for this... It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime."
Look to Shonda Rhimes dramas for diversity and gender equality, because you won't find it behind the desk of late-night talk shows. At the beginning of the year, Jimmy Fallon took over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, and Seth Meyers then took the vacant Late Night spot. In April, both David Letterman and Craig Ferguson announced plans to leave their respective shows, and Stephen Colbert and the completely unknown James Corden were named their successors. See a pattern? Kathy Griffin sure did and even claimed that one executive disuaded her from trying out. "They're not considering females at this time," she said she was told. The all-white male chorus of men have spoken!
Granted, fans of the caped crusader have been spoiled in recent years by director Christopher Nolan’s impressive Dark Knight trilogy, but Gotham leaves a lot to be desired, particularly in the dialogue department.. For all the show’s interesting stylistic choices, the cutesy hard-boiled dialogue screams more "comical" (no pun intended) than "noir.” Sample: "Scum-sucking toads! Where are they?!" Having a way with words never sounded like such an insult.
There's a reason he was crowned the worst Bachelor of all time. First, the Venezuelan got himself into hot water when he said that the popular franchise shouldn't have a gay or bisexual star because gay people were "more pervert." With a bad taste already in viewers' mouths, Juan Pablo continually seemed to offend contestants. The polarizing season culminated in the most contentious "After the Final Rose" special ever when Juan Pablo acted defensive and often rude to host Chris Harrison. And if his second reality stint wasn't bad enough, Juan Pablo and Nikki went on Couple's Therapy, where their biggest issue was Juan Pablo's refusal to say, "I love you." Perhaps the least shocking thing to have come from Juan Pablo's 15 minutes of fame: his and Nikki's eventual breakup.
We'll give Fox credit for trying to go out of the box, but you have to wonder how the "social experiment," which planned to chronicle an isolated group of strangers tasked with creating their own society for a whole year, could ever work. From the bizarre "Father Time"-looking host, to the immediate disqualification of a player, physical altercations and a cast member hospitalization — oh, did we mention terrible ratings? — it's surprising this $50 million debacle lasted a whole two months.
Another day, another reboot: That was the common theme of the news cycle this past year. What began as a few creative ways to capitalize on nostalgia has turned into Hollywood scraping the bottom of the barrel for projects that should never get a second life. (We're looking at you, Say Anything). With a list that includes Bewitched, Uncle Buck, Twin Peaks, Rush Hour, Hitch, Minority Report, Lost in Space and much, much more, is nothing sacred anymore?
Mulaney is a clear throwback to Seinfeld, but the Fox comedy adds no new spin (or laughs for that matter) to the old formula. It's merely a bricolage of stale tropes and dated caricatures with dadsplained jokes tossed in between. Even when Mulaney performs parts of his stand-up, all the charisma and ease he has on stage becomes stifled and contrived, as if even he knows how bad Mulaney is. John Mulaney is a great comedian and there are subtle whispers in the comedy that hint at the funnier show it likely was before network re-working, which makes what Mulaney has become that much more painful.
Lifetime used to be famous for movies about women in distress, but now the network seems to prefer abusing the memory of late female celebrities. Neither The Brittany Murphy Story nor Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B had the consent or participation of the stars' families, which resulted in unreliable — and often downright offensive — storytelling. (Exhibit A: Romanticizing the then-15-year-old Aaliyah's marriage to 27-year-old R. Kelly). Both films were also criticized for their casting decisions, so much so that Aaliyah’s original lead, Zendaya, dropped out during production because she had too much "respect" for the late singer. Oh, Lifetime, go back to films about the Amish and pregnant teens please.
While Aviva losing her leg during the New York City finale will go down as one of the most iconic Real Housewives moments of all time, it was also the pathetic death rattle of a woman's last desperate claw for relevancy. When #Bookgate and faux illnesses didn't go her way earlier in the season, Aviva threw her prosthetic leg in the middle of a restaurant to prove that she's "real." Unfortunately for her, no one bought it and Aviva was (thankfully) fired from the Bravo reality show. So every cloud really does have a silver lining!
Breaking news: The cable news network is not what it used to be. It’s bad enough that CNN has the stiffest morning news team on TV and has resorted to filling hours of programming with reality TV vets like Anthony Bourdain and Mike Rowe, but they can’t even get breaking news right anymore. A Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people went missing on March 8, and the network milked the still-unsolved tragedy day after day for months. No conspiracy theory was too far-fetched and no expert too uneducated. Then came the network’s infuriating coverage of the Ferguson riots following Mike Brown’s death. The final nail in CNN’s coffin was anchor Don Lemon’s implication in an interview that Joan Tarshis, one of Bill Cosby’s accusers, didn’t try hard enough to resist the comedian’s sexual advances. Pass the remote please.
Maybe the producers took those Emmys snubs too personally? Following the Netflix political series’ acclaimed first season, the writing took a bit of a fall in Season 2, twisting and turning in too grand a fashion. But for all the nutty subplots throughout the season — we’re looking at you, Cashew — the final straw was the random and inexplicable threesome between Frank, Claire and their trusty bodyguard Meechum. Here’s hoping Season 3 centers more on actual politics and less on sexual politics.
In recent years, such heralded film actors as Glenn Close and Kevin Spacey have come to TV in search of the great dramatic work that was pushed out of the movie industry because of onslaught of superhero tentpole flicks. So color us surprised that TV’s creative resurgence has led to… more superheroes. ABC has Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fox has Gotham, NBC has Constantine, The CW boasts Arrow AND The Flash and CBS recently ordered Supergirl straight to series. And did we mention the four, count ‘em four, Marvel shows headed to Netflix? Between the many superhero shows and the insanely high number of remakes, 2014 was officially the year original TV ideas died.
Sadly — or is it? — NBC’s second live musical wasn’t nearly as disastrous as 2013’s Sound of Music. First of all, Allison Williams can act and sing, and, although Christopher Walken seemed to fish for his lines, he never actually forgot them. However, the absence of a robotic Carrie Underwood also meant the show lacked a scene-stealer needed to save the day the way Laura Benanti did. Instead of being so-bad-it’s-good, Peter Pan Live was just a big ol’ serving of meh. What’s fun to tweet about that?