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December 31, 2011
If you have found yourself yelling at the TV due to the bad content, or avoiding the movie theaters, you are not alone. It’s not you. The content providers are flailing, desperately and pumping out the worst shows ever.
As fewer people watch free broadcast TV, and even fewer people under the age of 35 pay $150 per month for cable TV, the TV executives have been scrambling to stop the ratings declines. Situation comedies rule the waves, as do multiple versions of the same show, such as the CSI related series. TV news has been the worst hit, and what passes for news now would make Edward R. Murrow gasp if he were alive.
In Hollywood, it is no better. The bad economy, combined with more convenient home theaters and iPads, have caused the box office revenue to decline 11% since 2009. As a result, just as we saw in the music industry, the films are playing it safe, going after the sequel, remake, and family markets.
As a result of these factors, some really annoying people keep showing up on our screens, despite the public not liking them. The following is meant to be constructive for the TV or Hollywood executive. We made a list of the most egregious pop culture faces who need to retire in 2012.
Shia LaBeouf is the product of Steven Spielberg’s hubris. The master of formulaic blockbusters, Spielberg thinks that Shia is someone who females or wimpy males can view and identify with, as he struggles through action packed situations. That might work for films where the special effect robots and Megan Fox are the main attractions, but it does not work in real films. The remakes of “Wall Street” and “Indiana Jones” that starred Mr. LaBeouf were, quite literally, examples of some of the worst casting in the history of modern Hollywood filmmaking. Shia single handedly ruined those films.
January Jones, for those of you who do not know, is the pretty blond who gained fame in the AMC show “Mad Men”. In that limited role, she is sufferable. But placed in larger roles, her lack of acting skills is astonishing. Moreover, she is almost anorexic and simply not appealing as the eye candy that the casting directors seem to think. Her role in “X-men: First Class” was painful to watch. She needs to stick to just the Mad Men series and eat some Big Macs.
Ryan Reynolds began his career in comedic roles. He has a funny looking face with his eyes a bit too close together. He then developed an HGH-like physique, took off his shirt, and casting directors tried to transform into a leading man, to much failure. “Green Lantern” was a bomb. He needs to take 2012 off and try to come back as the principle in the remake of “Saved by the Bell”.
Katherine Heigl was clearly told that she was special by her mother, and seems to have made some good friends in Hollywood. Despite box office bombs one after the other, she keeps getting the leading roles in big budget movies. Maybe Hollywood is finally getting smart and targeting smaller niche markets and that is why they give her the roles? Who knows, but this is certainly an enigma.
Jack Black is clearly the experiment of some Hollywood executives who think that if they push him into the theaters often enough we will like him. It’s not working. “The Big Year” and “Gulliver’s Travels” were money-losers for Hollywood.
Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms, and other “Bro Film” genre actors who are oblivious to their nerdiness have worn out their welcome. The sequel to “Hangover” was hated by most fans who loved the original. That’s a really bad sign when fans turn on a cast so swiftly. Zach’s HBO show “Bored to Death” apparently bored everyone to death, and was cancelled. Zach needs to retire and possibly try some directing or producing, or anything behind the camera.
Ryan Seacrest is everyone’s favorite person to hate on TV. He sticks around thanks to the ratings of American Idol. Not well known, however, is that he is the evil mind behind those Kardashian talentless sisters, producing their reality TV schlock. The geniuses at NBC floated a trial balloon rumor of him becoming the new Today Show host, which was popped instantly. Ryan Seacrest needs to stay on American Idol and punish the viewers for being so stupid as to watch.
Ashton Kutcher took over for Charlie Sheen on CBS’s “Two and a Half Men”, and his lack of charisma is glaring. He could never do 7-gram rocks of crack like Charlie. Also, his stupid hair hats are annoying people. Ashton needs to go away for 2012 and reinvent himself, which will be to do for a former male model with no acting skills.
Seth Meyers somehow kissed Lorne Michaels’ butt enough to become “Lead Writer” for the rarely funny Saturday Night Live. His smarmy act is very uncreative, as are most of his jokes. Seth needs to go away in 2012 mainly because of his annoying “Really?” shtick that he started. Enough!
Conan O’Brien was a ratings disaster when he was handed the Tonight Show job, as the idiots at NBC demoted the #1 viewed Jay Leno. When NBC then, in turn, demoted Conan to 12:00, the arrogant Harvard grad refused, quit, Fox did not bite, and he ended up on basic cable floundering with less than a million viewers at times. Conan is too old and wrinkled now to be doing his Harvard-dorm-room-style pranks. It is so sad to watch that Conan needs to take himself out to the woodshed in 2012.
Nancy Synderman, MD has done more to mislead and endanger the American public than anyone else, given her large platform as medical news reporter on NBC Nightly News. She seems to have been demoted recently, with most stories being handled by Robert Bazell or more qualified breast cancer surgeons. Dr. Synderman needs to go away in 2012 and try being a real doctor again.
Christiane Amanpour is one of numerous broadcast TV news anchors who benefited from some executive somewhere thinking that her snooty British accent would fool dumb Americans. ABC’s “This Week” was one of the best Sunday morning shows when George Stephanopoulos hosted it. But ratings tanked after they made Ms. Amanpour the host, and Stephanopoulos is back. Ms. Amanpour needs to move to London and bother the Brits in 2012.
Katie Couric was another disaster as a TV news anchor. After being replaced as anchor of the CBS Evening News, and sparing the public for a while, she is planning to resurface in 2012. Ms. Couric needs to cancel those plans and stay in retirement.
Josh Elliott is ABC’s most recent brilliant idea as a TV news anchor. Within months, he has moved from ESPN, to reading the short news segments on ABC’s Good Morning America, to now being the full anchor on many occasions, leaping over the normal anchor Dan Harris. Likely, the ABC executives mistakenly think that the large ratings and revenue of ESPN had something to do with Mr. Elliott and that he can bring some charm to the shrinking ratings of GMA. Mr. Elliott needs to go back to the cheesy low brow too-costly ESPN in 2012.
Jeff Glor is an unknown Wall-Street-investment-banker-look-alike who recently was given some fill-in work as anchor on the CBS Evening News. He rapidly made this “Go away in 2012” list of ours due to his bizarre speech. He seems to have his lower jaw wired shut. Make no mistake. This is not an impediment that he had to overcome. This is something that was deemed an asset by CBS and allowed him rise to the crème of the top at CBS. As TV news tanks, no gimmick seems out of line. CBS likely conducted small focus groups and saw that the audience zoomed in on Mr. Glor, like passerby’s rubbernecking a motor vehicle accident.
Trish Regan, the former CNBC “business” anchor, demoted by CNBC, then let go, is reportedly going to be resurfacing on Bloomberg TV in 2012. Ms. Regan made this list because she epitomizes the maddening barrage of clueless business anchors chosen for their looks. Her shtick is wearing skin tight dresses that accentuate her legs and breast augmentations. Enough! Business people need competent business stories, produced by people with Wall Street experience (such, as Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg).
Jim Cramer on CNBC has been wrong on major stock calls so often (ala the infamous Bear Stearns calls that got him dragged before the viewers of the Daily Show for a berating), that people are numb to him. He likely has too many crony friends in TV now to be fired by the new owners of CNBC. Mr. Cramer needs to do the country a favor and retire himself in 2012.
Jon Stewart…Wait, this is a mistake. Jon Stewart is great. He is one of the few things to look forward to on TV for 2012.
We placed music in quotes. There really is no true music industry any longer. We could have selected almost any pop music performer for this list, but settled on these celebrities who “need to go away in 2012”.
Taylor Swift is not as egregious as some, since she supposedly writes her own songs (with lots of production help), but this act has been bled dry. Enough is enough. Taylor Swift needs to retire and come back as an old lady when she is 24 years old.
Rihanna is attractive, but that synthesized monotonous electronic voice of hers has to go away for a while. Maybe she could try acting and be a robot in a new Transformers movie.
Kanye never had telent and never will. Take a nap in 2012 Kanye. Come on man. You know its the right thing to do.
All American Idol and X Factor contestants need to disappear from the media forever, not just for 2012.
If you find that the offering of content in 2012 is unacceptable, then express your views with your checkbook. Cancel your cable service.