TheCustard looks at the worst of 2013

by | Dec 13, 2013 | All, Reviews

I feel I must warn you that if you manage to read this article all the way to the end you’re likely to be reminded of those TV lowlights you may have put to the darkest depths of your mind or, if you’re lucky, forgotten all together. It’s time for a look at what we think were the worst shows of 2013.

Splash! (January 2013, ITV) This celebrity diving competition stank so much of cheese it’s a wonder every house in the country wasn’t infested with mice on a Saturday night. We’re a bit of fun on a Saturday night but Splash was the definition of corny. It was AWFUL! However, if you were one of the few that enjoyed the high dive action, you’ll be pleased to know you can expect more of the same in 2014.

Being Eileen (February 2013, BBC1) It’s not too much of a shocking statement to say that BBC1 had a god awful year for comedy. Every ounce of comedy on the BBC’s flagship channel made us wince rather than smile. You’d be forgiven for instantly forgetting this six-part comedy which was a spin off of Christmas comedy Lapland because it was instantly forgettable. Even the host of familiar faces that made up the impressive cast couldn’t save this from being a hugely dull and predictable sitcom. Ultimately Being Eileen was pointless.

Food Glorious Food (February 2013, ITV) A blatant rip off The Great Bake Off, this Simon Cowell produced reality show lacked any of the charm that makes the BBC show so watchable. This series was full of all the clichés that we’ve become all too familiar with and bought nothing new to the table (if you’ll pardon the pun). Doomed from the word go Food Glorious Food was a mistake that we hope ITV will have the sense not to repeat.

Heading Out (February 2013, BBC2) We’ll admit to being relatively excited when it was announced Sue Perkins was to write and star in her first BBC comedy. Whilst it hasn’t dented our love for Sue, Heading Out was a disaster.  There wasn’t a believable performance in there, the premise was hard to believe, and it failed to make us smile.

Vicious (April 2013, ITV) This comedy about an elderly gay couple could’ve been good but the result was a stereotypical embarrasment with not an original thought to be found. The series felt incredibly old fashioned and behind the times. I can’t imagine who the viewers were but there must have been some as ITV have given this a second series. We won’t be watching.

The Wright Way (April 2013, BBC1) I know it seems like we have no sense of humour knocking all these comedies, but if we have to come up with a contender for the worst show of the year Ben Elton’s health and safety sitcom would win hands down. Everything about this was awful. The shouty delivery from David Haig, the old fashioned gags and the overall premise. It’s a mystery how this was ever shown in the first place.

The Intern (April 2013, Channel 4) Hilary Devey moved to Channel 4 after leaving Dragons’ Den but once glimpse at her first solo show for the channel made you wonder why she would be so silly. Even the broadcaster seemed to agree with audiences when they decided to move the ailing show to a graveyard slot of 11pm to finish the run. We’ve not seen Devey since.

Family Tree (July 2013, BBC2) Back to the comedy misery. This BBC/HBO collaboration had a lot of things going for it. Chris O’Dowd in the lead and Christopher Guest at the helm, but for some reason it wasn’t even a tiny bit amusing. The fly on the wall element wasn’t done well enough to allow for any believability and we’re scratching our heads as to why Nina Conti had her money with her. A disappointing miss.

Badults (July 2013, BBC3) I know it’s another comedy but if nothing else this proves how awful the comedy offerings were this year. Badults was completely immature and ridiculous. If it were an attempt to recreate some early anarchist comedies like The Young Ones or the sheer silliness of Bottom it failed miserably. We appreciate not all comedy is aimed at us, but Badults was a mess from episode 1.

I Love My Country (August 2013, BBC1) Whilst we applaud the BBC for attempting a new format on a Saturday night, it’s a shame the best they could come up was a show fronted by puppets and this truly bizarre panel show. I Love My Country was hosted by Gabby Logan with team captains Mickey Flanagan and Frank Skinner, it was utterly headache inducing. It was manic, confusing and oddly completely un-British in it’s approach.  It seemed to lack any purpose or identity. A brave attempt ruined.

Through The Keyhole (August 2013, ITV) ITV had a success when they revived Catchphrase earlier in the year so you can understand why they’d be keen to revive Through the Keyhole too. Then, in an utterly disastrous move they made the master-stroke of putting Keith Lemon at the helm. Talk about destroying a show in one foul swoop. As you’d expect the show was a lewd disappointment.  We’ve no news on whether this will be returning any time soon but we hope ITV have learnt their lesson when it comes handing mainstream series over to ITV2’s poster boy.

Father Figure (September 2013, BBC1) We’ll be honest we’re running out of adjectives to get across to you how disappointed we were at all the sub-standard, comedy by numbers sitcoms we were given in 2013. Father Figure wasn’t given much of a chance to be fair, it was in the same late-night slot that BBC bestowed on The Wright Way but we soon realised it deserved to be there. It was mind numbingly irritating the series lacked originality and laughs.

Some Girls (September 2013, BBC3) My relationship with BBC3’s female Inbetweeners knock-off has been fraught at best. Apparently I don’t have a funny bone in my body because I don’t enjoy the crass humour, unbelievable situations or annoying characters. Despite having better production values than its predecessor, Bernadette Davis’ sitcom was still as unfunny as ever as the quartet of college-goers tried to deal with more personal crisis. While I can understand that the talented four actresses want to use the show as a break into the business, I am still puzzled to what Colin Salmon is doing in this wholly atrocious project.

Citizen Khan (October 2013, BBC1) One of our most loathed shows from last year returned for a second series, and whilst we tried to go back into this with an open mind we can still find the laughs here. It’s coming back for a third series in 2014 so perhaps third time’s a charm. We highly doubt it though.

Truckers (October 2013, BBC1) The last half of the year saw a decline in the standard of BBC drama. For the last few years we’ve been championing BBC drama but this series seemed a step backwards. One of the lowest rating dramas in years it was full of characters who needed a good slap. It felt like a drama the BBC would’ve produced in the eighties and a million miles away from the quality they’ve been churning out of late.

Sex Box (October 2013, Channel 4) This was the year that Channel 4 documentaries plumbed new depths of indecency. From Dogging Tales to the Man with the Ten stone Testicles these documentaries seemed to be an excuse for the channel to come up with the daftest titles ever. Sex Box was by far the worst of these though. When the press release was sent over we reached for our remote controls in preparation for switching off. The programme served no purpose and was incredibly dull. An awful idea terribly executed.

The Nightclub Toilet (October 2013, Channel 4) Another example of those documentaries that Channel 4 thought made for interesting TV. This one stuck camera in a toilet to capture the going’s on. We can’t fathom how this made it to our screens, they were quite literally scraping the bottom of the bowl with this one.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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