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The Worst TV Shows Of 2022

The Golden Age of Television is still very much in full swing, with a wide array of great shows hitting television screens in 2022. In fact, there was something for everyone over the last 12 months, with series such as "Better Call Saul," "Stranger Things," "House of the Dragon" and "Only Murders in the Building" all receiving widespread critical acclaim. With more and more streaming services entering the fray to capitalize on ever-growing online audiences, there are now more choices than ever before.

Of course, all of that choice doesn't necessarily mean that every release is a winner: The past year has seen just as many duds as it has hits. After all, not every single show can manage to be a success with both viewers and critics alike. Some shows were let down by confusing stories and one-dimensional characters, while others proved too tedious and lacked any meaningful action to keep the audience invested.

Here's the very worst of television from the last year, the shows that left a sour taste in the mouths of viewers everywhere.

The Endgame

There's no shortage of crime dramas on television, so "The Endgame" already faced something of an uphill struggle to establish itself in what is an undeniably crowded genre. Created by former "Prison Break" and "Law & Order" writer Nicholas Wootton and "Arrow" producer Jake Coburn, the series saw Morena Baccarin's character, Elena, go toe-to-toe with FBI Special Agent Val Turner as she pulls off a series of audacious heists around the country.

The consensus among critics was almost universally damning. Many complained about the unrealistic way that the criminal mastermind is able to escape from every situation, a common enough occurrence that Variety reviewer Caroline Framke grew bored of it after just two episodes. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter suggested that there was little substance to the series, and even the performances of the normally reliable main cast were below par. Ultimately, "The Endgame" did nothing to justify its own existence, and there was little surprise when it was canceled after a single season by NBC (via Deadline).

Adults Adopting Adults

Reality television has reached a saturation point where shows have to go to more extreme lengths than ever before to gain any traction, simply because there are so many options available. There's no denying that "Adults Adopting Adults" is a strange concept. It sees a group of fully grown men and women attempting to find new families with other adults who will legally adopt them. This is problematic for a number of reasons, especially because adult adoption is a logistically and emotionally complex process that varies greatly depending on location (via The Guardian).

Making its debut on A&E, the series almost immediately attracted criticism. One of the show's most controversial figures was Danny Huff, who tried to adopt a young woman from Austria. This prompted allegations that he was human trafficking and grooming the potential adoptee, especially when it was made clear that he had developed romantic feelings for another 18-year-old under similar circumstances (via Variety).

Originally scheduled for 10 episodes in total, only three were aired before the show was pulled. Viewers shouldn't be too concerned that they missed out on the rest of the episodes, though: The Daily Beast called it "a bonkers and creepy reality show."

The Calling

If you are coming up with a new police procedural, then you better have some sort of unique element to help it stand out. After all, there are dozens of great crime shows on television and they are all fighting for pretty much the same audience. Starring Jeff Wilbusch, Juliana Canfield, and Karen Robinson, "The Calling" sees a police detective called Avraham Avraham put his faith to good use while solving crimes in New York City. Airing exclusively on Peacock, all eight episodes of the first season were made available to viewers in November.

With a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of just 25%, "The Calling" does little to add anything to the genre. The religious angle feels tacked on more than anything else, giving the detective a seemingly mystical ability to find clues or gain insights into a crime. It also wastes its opportunity to explore deeper philosophical themes about humanity, with Avraham instead just coming out with a series of spiritual lines that don't really mean much in the given circumstances, according to RogertEbert.com.

Combined with the fact that "The Calling" doesn't have any satisfying conclusions to its deeper mysteries, it ended up leaving most reviewers feeling as if it had failed to capitalize on an interesting premise (via Slant Magazine).

The Time Traveler's Wife

"The Time Traveler's Wife" came with a good pedigree. After all, it was created by Steven Moffat, the man behind shows such as "Doctor Who" and "Sherlock" along with Netflix's "Dracula." So it was completely fair for audiences to have high expectations of this HBO series. It stars "Game of Thrones" alumni Rose Leslie along with "White Lotus" star Theo James in the two main roles. The pair portray a couple who have to deal with the fact that James' character unexpectedly travels through time intermittently over the course of their relationship, meaning that they meet out of sequence.

Based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger, the series attempts to address some high-concept philosophical questions regarding free will and what it means to have control over your own life. The problem arises from the way that "The Time Traveler's Wife" largely fails to properly examine those ideas, and its plotlines become confusing far too quickly. TV Insider even went on to say "if only time travel were real, they could use it to go back and do it right" while The Hollywood Reporter criticized the lack of chemistry between the two leads as well as the constantly changing tone.


"Fairview" is an animated sitcom from the creative minds of R.J. Fried and Stephen Colbert, the latter of whom acted as executive producer for the series that first hit Comedy Central at the beginning of 2022. What was meant to be a satirical look at small-town drama and politics in America turned into what can only be described as a complete disaster — made worse by the fact that Colbert's involvement had given people some hope that it would have some redeeming qualities.

Almost certainly meant to appeal to the same crowd that watches "South Park," this show is little more than a rip-off of the crudely drawn cartoon. However, the show's biggest sin is that it just isn't particularly funny. The Daily Beast confirmed that there is really only one joke in "Fairview," about the idiots who don't care for their own safety living in the tiny town, "and it's replayed with a particularly off-putting brand of brash, cheery screechiness."

All of this meant it failed to capture the hearts and minds of audiences, with consistently low ratings throughout its eight-episode run (via TV Series Finale). Those few viewers who did watch were unimpressed, as "Fairview" has remarkably low approval scores from users on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

The Pentaverate

At one point in time, Mike Myers was almost a guarantee when it came to producing a hit comedy. He had a string of successes following his stint on "Saturday Night Live," including the likes of "Wayne's World" and "Austin Powers," continuing his career in the early 2000s by voicing the character of Shrek in DreamWorks' popular animated franchise. But in the last decade or so, he has largely been absent from Hollywood. That all changed in 2022 when he created and starred in the Netflix series "The Pentaverate," based on the 1993 film "So I Married an Axe Murderer."

As is the case with many of his projects, Myers plays multiple characters in the comedy series, from the news journalist Ken Scarborough to the highest-ranking member of the secret organization known as The Pentaverate. The likes of Ken Jeong, Keegan-Michael Key, and Debi Mazar also joined the show, which focuses on the secret society run by five powerful men around the world.

Not only were most of the characters in the show lacking in any humor, Salon felt that they were also just slightly different versions of characters Myers has portrayed in his previous work, "whose humor feels crustily outdated in 2022." "The Pentaverate" throws a genuine question mark over Myers' ability to create something truly funny or successful, with the show failing to make much of an impact in terms of viewers (via The Wrap).

The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On

Netflix has gone all in when it comes to reality dating shows, with release after release coming to the streaming service over the last few years. One of the standouts from 2022 for all the wrong reasons was "The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On." In this reality television series, soon-to-be-married couples are forced to test how strong their relationships are as they are paired up with other couples and decide whether to stick with their partner or try something new.

For many, the entire premise of "The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On" might well have gone too far, even for a dating show. The premise is confusing in the sense that there is apparently no reason for this "social experiment" other than the fact that it would make for entertaining television. The New Statesman found the entire experience ugly and crass, putting young people in the position of watching their loved ones and long-time partners flirt, or sometimes do a lot more, with complete strangers. As The Guardian put it, the show is "absolutely terrible" and best to be completely avoided even by the most ardent of reality TV fans.

Hard Cell

Catherine Tate is no stranger to mockumentary series, having appeared as part of the main cast in several seasons of "The Office" from 2011 until the show ended. The comedian and actor has also worked on her own shows in the past, most notably with the award-winning comedy sketch show, "The Catherine Tate Show." You might think, then, that her first sitcom — and one that is produced by Netflix — would be a sure-fire hit.

"Hard Cell" sees a documentary crew following the daily goings-on in a prison in the United Kingdom, capturing the action that happens in correctional facilities. Tate plays multiple characters in the series, while Lisa Davina Phillip, Cheryl Fergison, and Dystin Johnson all have roles as well.

According to The Guardian, "Hard Cell" is filled with "lazy stereotypes and far too many one-dimensional characters: this prison-based comedy is full of problems — not least the lack of an actual plot." Others criticized the dated jokes and the way that the sitcom would feel more at home on television some 20 years ago, with Decider also saying, "'Hard Cell' becomes a lot to take, even after the first 30 minutes."


"Blockbuster" is an ironic series for Netflix to commission, considering how the former video rental store was effectively killed off by the streaming service, but here we are. The workplace comedy sees Randall Park and Melissa Fumero star as two employees at the last surviving Blockbuster store. Having found out that the wider company is going out of business, Park's Timmy Yoon battles to keep his store operating.

The comedy fell flat when it finally came to Netflix in December, failing to get viewers invested in the characters or even the story at its most basic level. Filled with the kind of tropes you might find in older sitcoms from the early 2000s, there's very little in "Blockbuster" to make you laugh. As noted by Variety, the lack of a restricted duration, courtesy of being on the streaming service rather than network TV, means that "each episode the Netflix show drags on several minutes too long for its material, dragging out scenes and jokes that would've been sharper given a more discerning eye."

When even a stellar cast such as this fails to deliver any genuine humor, it's clear that the show must be a complete dud. Fortunately, viewers won't be subjected to a second season, with Deadline reporting that the series has been canceled after its first season.

God's Favorite Idiot

Fans of husband-and-wife duo Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone might well have looked forward to "God's Favorite Idiot." Not only do the two star in it, but they also played a major part in its creation. Launched on Netflix in June, it sees a man who, after being struck by lightning, becomes God's new messenger on Earth, tasked with preventing the upcoming end of the world.

Variety suggests that the series might well be the worst thing that McCarthy has done in her career so far, and lambasts the way that it wastes her and everyone else's talent. Comparisons to "The Good Place" were unavoidable, although it couldn't help but be considered a poor man's version of that highly acclaimed fantasy comedy. The Globe and Mail went on to say that "everything about this series is jaw-droppingly slack and unambitious, given the talent involved."

Regardless of what happens, it seems certain that Netflix subscribers will get to see at least another eight episodes, as the streaming giant has already committed to 16 episodes of the show in total (via Variety).


The last decade or so has seen a huge rise in musical television series, whether it's "High School Musical" and "Glee" or the more adult-oriented "Galavant" and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." That Fox would create a musical drama, therefore, isn't all that farfetched. "Monarch" stars Anna Friel, Trace Adkins, Beth Ditto, and Susan Sarandon in a series that charts the lives of the Roman family, a dynasty of country musicians who are doing everything they can to stay on top of the music world.

As reported by Deadline, "Monarch" actually had a promising start, but failed to maintain its quality over the course of the first season. Coupled with the poor critical reception, it makes sense that Fox would also go on to cancel the series, meaning that those who did watch it won't get a chance to see where the show would have gone next. But considering just how poor the series turned out, that might actually be a blessing.

With an approval rating of just 31% on Rotten Tomatoes, few reviews had anything positive to say about the musical. Many of the complaints focused on Susan Sarandon's disappointingly small role, with The Hollywood Reporter saying that "there's no breakout character to be found in Monarch and no breakout performances."

The Terminal List

"The Terminal List" had plenty going for it when it was released this year. The action thriller series had several high-profile names attached, including Chris Pratt, Constance Wu, and Taylor Kitsch, and it follows the story of a Navy SEAL trying to keep his family safe while he investigates the mysterious circumstances behind an ambush of his patrol that left many of his colleagues dead.

Using those actors and such an exciting premise to produce a boring series shouldn't have been possible, but that is exactly what Amazon Prime's "The Terminal List" somehow managed to do. TVLine found almost every aspect of the show mundane, from the humdrum action sequences to the story that involves little more than "saccharine family scenes and a paint-by-numbers conspiracy that gets more complicated but not any more compelling."

While some, including Jack Carr — author of the novels that the show is based on — believed that the negative reviews were due to alleged left-wing bias in the media, there's no denying that the show is filled with confusing moments and doesn't really go anywhere. None of that stopped the show from rising up Amazon Prime Video's ranks as viewers tuned in to watch it, though, and there'll surely be a second season for the few who really did enjoy it (via TV Guide).