12 Backwards TV Series That Aged Horribly

Can you think of any television shows you watched that haven't aged well in today's world? Recently a Redditor asked, “What TV series have aged like milk?” Redditors responded to deliver this list of soured TV shows.

12. Hill Street Blues (1981)

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Image Credit: 20th Television

One Redditor said, ” The first episode of Hill Street Blues has two cops breaking up a domestic disturbance caused by a woman finding her man having relations with her 15-year-old daughter. The man is told not to be terrible, the woman is told to put out more, and the child is told not to be so tempting. Then the cops leave, patting themselves on the back for a well-done job.”

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11. How I Met Your Mother (2005)

how i met your mother the playbook
Image Credit: How I Met Your Mother Wiki.

One user said, “I tried to rewatch this a few weeks ago. The laugh track threw me off. I had forgotten it had one. After hearing the first couple of jokes followed by insane laughter, I decided not to rewatch it.”

Related: Top 5 TV Show Cancellations That Still Frustrate Disappointed Fans

10. Beauty and the Beast (1987)

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One Reddit user said, “Beauty and the Beast Tv show from 1987. My mother LOVED this show back then. Well, I bought her the box set last year. She watched five episodes and couldn't do it. So I decided to watch it because I miss her. Well, I can see why she couldn't finish it.”

9. Saved by the Bell (1989)

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Image Credit: NBC Universal

One Redditor said, “I didn't think much of it until I saw Zach Morris is trash, and it got me to thinking, damn, that kid was a jerk.” Another Reddit user said, “My wife and I recently rewatched this series on Netflix. One thing that bothered us was how often Kelly was dating older guys.”

They elaborated, “At fifteen, she dated a college guy. In the Hawaiian movie (age 17), she dated a lawyer, and at age 19 (in college), she dated her professor. Only the last one had the age difference brought up, and they kept doing a bit even then. It was really a little creepy.”

8. Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008)

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Image Credit: Disney–ABC Domestic Television

One Redditor posted, “My God, this show was terrible. My wife's sister was into it, and we watched a lot of it when we were dating. I think they tried to make the banter like Gilmore Girls, but it ended up being the characters repeating their current plots and arcs repeatedly. I don't remember the characters at all, but the main character was such a horrible person, and the audience is supposed to root for her.”

7. Wife Swap (2004)

wife-swap
Image credit: Zodiak Media/Paramount

One user points out, “It was a reality TV show where they took two polar opposite families, usually with opposing political or religious views, and swapped wives, the first week living by house rules and the second living by the wife's rules.”

They continued, “Usually, the husband or kids would hate the changes, and the drama would ensue! Families claimed the drama was mostly scripted. Viewers have harassed some families for purely scripted things for the show.”

6. Pretty Little Liars (2010)

Pretty Little Liars
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

One Reddit user said, “I think even at the time, the teacher dating his 16-year-old student storyline was creepy, but in 2022 it's honestly unbelievable they ever portrayed in any positive light. Also that her parents didn't immediately report him to the police.”

5. Black. White. (2006)

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Image Credit 20th Century Fox

One user posted, “There was a reality show on Fox called Black. White. They put a White family in blackface and a Black family in whiteface. Just reading about it, it turns out the White family wasn't even a real family. They were unrelated actors.” 

4. Sex and the City (1998)

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One Redditor posted, “When the main character, a sex columnist, has a whole episode about being uncomfortable that her date is bisexual and ultimately can't accept it. She was supposed to be very open-minded too.” Another user posted, “She was the biggest prude! Samantha should have been the sex columnist. Carrie wrote about her stories anyway, cut out the middle man.”

3. What Not To Wear (2003)

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Image Credit: BBC Worldwide Productions

One user said, “Nothing like having your family secretly recording you when you look terrible and then gathering everyone you know to have a style intervention to watch said footage while two strangers pick you apart.”

They continued, “Then they pressure you into throwing away all your clothes (I hope they donated them), giving you enough money to buy four outfits but only on their terms, and also forgetting about your personal preferences and sense of style. You have to dress like a boring adult. And I ate that stuff up.”

2. The Swan (2004)

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Image Credit: Fremantle Media North America

One Redditor said, “The Swan was two women who are considered ugly ducklings that are participating in a pageant against each other after undergoing a three-month transformative process, aka having heaps of plastic surgery.” Another user posted, “This show was spoiled milk before the first episode was over. I remember people rightfully being disgusted by it, and even then, people knew it was a cultural low point.”

1. America’s Next Top Model (2003)

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One Redditor said, “America's Next Top Model. I remember going nuts over it when it first came out, and now, looking back, that show is rife with gross body image, not to mention literally putting models in blackface for a shoot.”

Another user posted, “Not only that but the number of things that, in hindsight, absolutely cannot have been coincidences — but production doing things to create drama or get a reaction from the girls for juicy TV moments.”

What do you think? Did Reddit get this right, or is something missing from the list? Check out these TV show cancellations that people are still frustrated about today.

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