Established in 1998, Rotten Tomatoes amalgamates critical consensus from all over the globe. As critics weigh in, the site assigns a numeric percentage to each review. Highly rated reviews clock in at the 80th and 90th percentile, while lower ranking reviews score 30 percent rating or less. Rarely do films or shows receive a 100 percent score on the site, and even fewer receive a zero percent.
Shows earning zero percent scores on Rotten Tomatoes commit the same problem. They know what they are going for, but the delivery falls flat, and because of that, the viewer suffers. Bad dialogue, tone-deaf humor, politically incorrect thematics, distasteful humor, misuse or awful CGI, and special effect directions cause zero percent ratings.
Of every show Rotten Tomatoes has rated, only ten added up to zero percent. If you want to keep from subjecting yourself to hours of this allegedly awful content, stick around and read a summary of why these shows tanked instead.
1. Snowflake Mountain
Netflix distributes popular reality titles such as Too Hot to Handle, Selling Sunset, and Queer Eye. One of their newest reality shows, Snowflake Mountain, did not receive the same praise and loyal fan base as those popular titles. Snowflake mountain plays on the premise of Gen Z kids who don’t yet know how to make their beds, thrown into the wilderness to fend for themselves.
Of course, with reality TV being the vessel it is, some viewers wondered if Netflix scripted this show because some of the activities and dialogue come off as too bizarre to reflect actual people. Are we looking at characters or caricatures?
Gen Z Kids Thrown Into The Wilderness
One of the participants gags any time he encounters anything, and everyone else preoccupies themselves with personal fables, so they don’t pay much attention to what is going on.
One of the series highlights occurs when the participants pick items they need to survive in the wild. The hosts give them time to gather belongings they can’t live without. After choosing the essentials, the hosts blow up their belongings. Not the most sustainable for the environment-loving survivalists the hosts identify as.
The idea presents an interesting notion, a bunch of kids forced to live in a society without access to technology, malls, or take-out. However, the version of camping on Snowflake Mountain is not traditional exploring the outdoors, hunting for food, pitching tents, and chasing away the occasional bear or hungry wild animal. Instead, the contestants have running water, pre-packaged food, alcohol, and fires set up when they arrive.
The hosts created this program because they wished to see these snowflakes prosper, although by giving them the most menial tasks, they bolster the idea the snowflakes will never need to learn how to do anything on their own.
Oh, and the snowflakes won $50,000 if they survive in “the wilderness.”
2. Charlie’s Angels
The original Charlie’s Angels show aired from 1976 to 1981 and focused on three detectives working in Los Angeles under a man named Charlie. Two readings of the original Charlie’s Angels arose. Either you thought it was a revolutionary show pushing for female empowerment, or you thought it represented a disgusting portrait of the male gaze.
Even if you thought both of these readings applied to the show, it received good reviews for the first couple of seasons. Those who hated Charlie’s Angels can’t deny its cultish influence on pop culture today.
Pop Culture Influence
Charlie’s Angels had two film spin-offs and a web series air before the trainwreck 2011 reprise. For a reprise, retelling, or spin-off to succeed, it must capture the same wit, storyline, and theme.
The acting in the original Charlie’s Angels never exceeded any expectations or garnered any high praise from academies, but the acting in the 2011 show boasts three grating actors who delivered lackluster lines and appeared bored while doing so. During conversations, the actors pause for uncomfortable amounts of time all while exchanging unbreakable eye contact.
The show looks and acts more like Real Housewives than a retelling of the iconic 70s show.
3. South of Hell
Some shows struggle with an inability to understand genre. South of Hell is one of those shows. The eight-episode series centers around Maria, a demon hunter with a demon living inside her. However, Maria’s brother narrates the show, confusing viewers and bringing a trivial character to the forefront for no other reason than to describe each character’s actions.
Demon Hunter With a Demon Living Inside
The show had potential with an interesting baseline and a talented team backing the project (Eli Roth and Jason Blum); however, it lost itself by trying to be too much of what it’s not, and what it is, it doesn’t know.
Maria tries to save others from the same force possessing her, though viewers never get the chance to take her seriously due to overacting, terrible contacts (it worked for Twilight, not this show), and a script without any sense of direction. In fact, listening to the actors voice their lines makes it sound like they’re trying to read a comedy slated as a horror.
Great shows use what they have within budget while producing quality content. Despite South of Hell’s low budget, the crew had some talented, albeit lazy people. The vocal editing is noticeable and distracting, and the constant narration makes it difficult to focus on the plot.
4. My Big Fat Greek Life
The 2002 film My Big Fat Greek Wedding collected $368.7 million at the box office and has a Rotten Tomatoes Score of 76%. This tale is about a Greek woman who married a non-Greek man and navigated her love for him and her family’s opinions. The relatable and realistic film translated well to audiences looking for a funny family representation of something that could happen.
A year after its successful release, the rom-com tried to stretch itself into a sitcom.
Relies on Humor and Intimate Stories
What was the problem?
Most rom-coms consist of the protagonist pining for a lover. We see the trajectory for the lover to find their mate and knowing, in the end, they will give the viewer that comfort cushion. Whether a woman chases a man around the country or a man shows up at the airport five minutes before his long-lost love hops on a flight.
Usually, viewers see a short bit of the couple spending time together before the credits roll, and sniffles or applause fills a theater.
My Big Fat Greek Life started with the couple in an airport. It relies on humor and intimate stories to further the plot, but evidently, there isn’t a storyline strong enough to move this. The viewer knows these characters, and they know what they endured. The chase ends, and the excitement depletes.
The movie nailed the execution. In 95 minutes, we met the characters, became attached to them, sat in on their lives, and invested ourselves in their heartwarming story. A TV show based on the same characters asks the writers to expand an already fleshed-out story, stretches the characters too thin, and the writers scramble for ideas. The film knew its form and developed the story within the allotted time.
The comedy did not work, the actors did not care about their performances, and Entertainment Weekly said Nia Vardalos, the main character had reprehensions about filming the show. After the ratings bombed, CBS canceled the show after a seven-episode run.
Some sitcoms fail because they can’t nail the formula, while others use notable actors to save bad scripts. Dads fell victim to both of these. Fox picked up Dads in 2013 for one season of 19 episodes. Seth Macfarlane of Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show executive produced this sitcom starring Seth Green of Austin Powers and Family Guy; nevertheless, talented cast and crew don’t always make for good content.
What ensued was a racist, homophobic, bigoted tale of two adults whose fathers come to live with them.
A Challenging Tale of Two Adults
Some sitcom characters, like The Office’s Michael Scott, paint unlikeable character traits honestly, making the metaphors the humor rather than the literal meaning. Michael Scott is not a good person by any means. He’s racist, acts inappropriately around female coworkers, and banks on harmful humor.
However, an article in GQ reports the viewer’s familiarity with these characteristics makes the viewing experience pleasurable. Instead of relying on cheap gimmicks and tasteless characters, The Office utilizes these uncomfortable and offensive moments to illustrate the modern-day workforce. That is where Dads went wrong.
The first episode of Dad offended a slate of groups. Primarily directing hatred toward Asian people in the pilot. Instead of looking deeper into the content, the show tacked on offensive language after offensive tropes for shock value rather than imposing a meaningful story in the sitcom. CNN published an article stating that after a critic saw an advanced pilot screening, he asked Fox to consider reshooting the pilot. Fox did not pull the program from the air.
Besides blatant racism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny, the dialogue in Dads lacked humor and originality.
6. The Alec Baldwin Show
Two years before Alec Baldwin accidentally shot a supposed prop gun on the set of the Western Rust, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, ABC greenlit a new talk-show program with Alec Baldwin as the host. Baldwin interviewed high-list celebrities from Kim Kardashian to Ricky Gervais for a one-season run of ten episodes with two unaired episodes.
Low Viewership and Cringy Content
An article published on Decider states the Alec Baldwin show entertained less than one million people a week, marking a harmfully low score for the network television ratings. The low viewership and the cringy content of the show crafted the perfect recipe for a primetime network failure.
Talk shows work when the host cares about their guests (or feigns their care) while asking questions catered to the best interest of the interviewee. Some hosts get away with asking juicy questions or making fun of the interviewee to dazzle the audience, but Baldwin did not grasp either of these interviewing tacts. Instead, the actor tried to act interested in what his interviewees said. The whole show came across as tone-deaf and dull.
Baldwin appears transfixed that he is a talk show host and that feeling translates through his pretentious poses while on camera. He interrupts the speakers and adds his own thoughts to the conversation, which the interviewees do not appreciate and find rude.
Besides holding the gun that killed a cinematographer on a movie set he worked on, Baldwin’s acting chops are most recognizable as Trump. Most reviews for this show claimed Baldwin and Trump share one common character trait: narcissism.
7. Sh*t My Dad Says
Justin Halpern created the Twitter account Sh*t my Dad Says to illustrate his hilariously unfunny father with all the cursing and politically incorrect dialogue his dad spoke. The title of his account suggests his dad speaks whatever is on his mind, including offensive or uncharming language. The point of the Twitter account was to illustrate funny scenarios his dad did not find funny. When CBS picked up the show, they edited the content because the network television program refrained from greenlighting a pilot with the same themes and offensive dialogue.
Took Away The Charm
In an article published on AV Club, Halpern noted the strides needed to convert different media mediums. Since Sh*t My Dad Says started as a Twitter account created by Halpern, Halpern had complete authority over the tweets and content he shared. He wrote a book that allowed for more words and expanded character dimensions. When CBS got the rights to the show, they edited the central source of the content, the dad’s tongue, taking away the charm that made fans fall in love with Halpern’s work.
What remained was a cringy sitcom relying on a formulaic story-telling arc without a solid foundation. The show failed from the get-go.
8. Point of Honor
This 2015 Amazon Prime original show premised the Civil War but those fighting for slavery and those against slavery. The creators of the show’s refusal to research the Civil War era translates through the costuming, the music selection, and the moral of the story.
Neglecting Their Research
An article on Flavorwire claims the White Savior trope. The white family decides to free their slaves, and when they do so, they become heroes, ignoring and forgetting about their identities as slave-owners five minutes before they release their slaves. Their now-freed slaves cheer for them, and some other white families look up to them as heroes.
The actors are subpar, and even worse are the writers of the show. They neglected to research, it seems, any aspect of the civil war, as the show resembles people from 2015 playing dress-up as civil war soldiers more than it shows spent time researching and reading up about life in that era. The show also refuses to focus more than a few background scenes on the slaves.
We don’t hear them speaking anything except rejoice for their saviors, freeing them of their misery. The show reduces the slaves to two-dimensional characters because the point of the show is not to give the slaves a platform. Rather it is to honor the white savior complex prevalent in war movies.
9. Saint George
George Lopez delighted audiences for six seasons between 2002 and 2008 with a Latin family played by a mostly Latin cast, rare for 2002. Although Geoge Lopez did not dive headfirst into a realistic depiction of Latin culture but played it safe for non-Latin viewers, the talented cast and crew presented a well-acted, hilarious show about family. Saint George aired in 2014 and may not be a direct spin-off of George Lopez, although breaths of the beloved sitcom bleed into the one-season run about a fictional, divorced George Lopez.
Bad Acting and Terrible Writing
In Saint George, the show’s namesake divorces his wife yet stays in contact because they have a son together. The show revolves around the parents’ lives, mostly George’s, as he encounters day-to-day experiences. The jokes try to grasp the same brevity George Lopez mastered but fail, and the bad acting and terrible writing also distract the viewer from the story.
The writing drains the viewer, and the acting doesn’t save the script. Two-dimensional characters survive in some sitcoms because of their talent to land a joke, but Saint George fails the sitcom test with an unfunny script and bored actors.
10. Work It
Work It presents a harmful premise where two straight, white, cis-men struggle to find work, and their solution is to dress up as women and tackle the workforce.
Two Whiny Men Dress Up as Women
The tired joke doesn’t land because women still (and in 2012) received less money than men in the workforce, and having two whiny men dress up as women to try and earn more isn’t funny.
Before the series aired, GLAAD urged ABC not to air the program as it would cause unnecessary harm to LGBT PEOPLE with the tired trope of cis men dressing up as women for laughs and negating the trans experience. Instead of pulling the show, ABC dropped the show on Jan. 3, 2012, to air two episodes in the US before removing the show from the air due to execrable reviews and low viewership.
Creating a television show with proper research that documents three-dimensional characters and an understanding of humor requires talent from writers, crew, and actors. However, creating a show at the complete opposite of that scale requires some effort, too.
Rotten Tomatoes totals scores from critics and the general population to provide an average rating for a film or television show. While getting a 100% is rare, receiving a zero percent happens to fewer programs.
Only ten tv shows rated by Rotten Tomatoes earned a zero percent and if you choose to indulge in these programs out of curiosity or for research purposes, just remember you won’t get your time back.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.