Text by: Robert Seidelman
2013-2014 was a season of great highs in game shows. We saw some of the greatest moments in recent Price is Right and Let's Make A Deal history, GSN getting more Original happy in recent months and a lot of them sticking and also we got highs in the form of shows that made you think that the producers were high when they got on the air. We also got a batch of shows that were awful all around and those are the five shows I will highlight here. This is my personal list of the Top 5 Worst Game Shows of 2013-2014. The stipulation is the same as the unscripted best of list: A show qualifies for the list if they made new episodes during the 2013-2014 television season. Here is my list.
5: Cutthroat Kitchen - Yes, I know you're all tired of me banging on about how awful this show is, but if your show makes Alton Brown very unlikeable, then you're doing something wrong. Also add into the mix contestants that are more unlikeable than Congress & sabotages that, while interesting are just kitschy and lame when they are put into practice and you have a recipe for a really bad Chopped ripoff. It would be higher, but Food Network gave us a show that took the Chopped Formula and made it worse.
4: Rising Star - Rising Star was a falling star right out of the gate, where in a two hour debut, they dedicated 10 minutes to actual singing, 20 minutes to stupid sob stories, and the rest of the time was basically explaining the voting mechanic that should only have taken a lower-third graphic to get the point across. The rest of the season wasn’t much better, although to be frank, it’s nice to see Kesha not act slutty for once on a video. This is ABC’s second massive failure in the race to be the next American Idol or The Voice and should really think about doing something else, like for instance giving people another season of Whodunit or Million Dollar Mind Game.
3: Kitchen Casino - Remember how I said a few moments ago that the Chopped formula can go much lower than Cutthroat Kitchen? Well, here it is with Kitchen Casino. Bill Rancic has to go down in history as one of the worst hosts in genre history, having no charisma or anything that at least gives Justin Willman the personality that makes him likeable in other shows, such as Win, Lose or Draw. Not only that, the competition element of a casino and the rounds themselves is even more hacktastic than Shoppers Casino and makes it the only Food Network Game Show that can have a sad ending when an unlucky contestant winds up with nothing thanks to a bad spin on the bonus game wheel. The end result is a really unwatchable mess that makes me thankful that we still have The Great Food Truck Race and Guy’s Grocery Games on the air.
2: Panic Button - What gets me about this bad melding of Fear and Total Blackout is that to the contestants it’s played straight while to the crew it’s played for laughs, sending the entirely wrong message to the viewer and those that would care about the show. It's evil incarnate and doesn't belong on television whatsoever. Maybe it’s just me, but TruTV should just stop making original game shows. Killer Karaoke was beyond awful and this is worse. I don’t know who’s in charge of the network, but either pick better shows or just stop trying.
1: It Takes A Church - Piggybacking off of American Bible Challenge to get viewers is one thing, but to make a soulless Bachelor/Bachelorette clone, if it were produced by Ned Flanders, and manage to not even make it seem remotely genuine makes this show downright blasphemous. Throw in a wooden log as host in Natalie Grant, half-assed situations and drama that would make the folks behind Dating In The Dark wonder what in the hell are you doing and everything else that makes up the hour of horrendous TV makes me yearn to see Temptation Island back on the air. The only reason this is getting picked up for Season 2 is because it’s nothing more than a 60-minute infomercial for ChristianMingle, who basically footed the bill for this show, making it cheap enough to make it worth GSN’s while, no matter how bad the ratings get. Further proof that the only god that exists in the TV industry is the same god that Ted Dibiase made people worship in the 80s: Benjamin Franklin.
That's the list. If you have opinions on this list, be sure to send
me your personal top 5 at my e-mail address.