A good idea does not always mean a good product, and in the world of entertainment, nothing is more disappointing than wasted potential. A good idea being ruined by terrible execution is a way more infuriating occurrence than a show simply being bad.
Here are 5 bad TV shows/films that wasted great concepts:
Revenge was a unique drama about a mysterious young woman moving to the Hamptons under a fake identity to avenge the murder of her father, who was killed in prison while serving a life sentence for a crime he did not commit. With an expertly crafted plan years in the making, the so-called Emily Thorne seeks out to slowly destroy the lives of anyone who played a part in her father’s demise.
Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel The Count Of Monte Cristo. And while the first season of the show was admittedly fun and compelling, the following seasons very quickly devolved into an overly convoluted mess that widely overstayed its welcome.
It is almost too easy to put Riverdale in this list as as the show is so shamelessly incompetent that a whole new genre of internet memes was born out of it. A show so awfully written, with plot lines that make so little sense, that its own cast members are on record, confessing in interviews that “the writers have no idea what they’re doing” and “are just randomly making things up as they go.”
What makes it so infuriating is that, in theory, the concept of the plot (based on characters from Archie Comics) is simple and highly effective. Dark murder mysteries being solved by a group of teenagers who cannot keep themselves from putting their noses where it’s not supposed to be. How do you mess this up? Well, give the show to an unqualified show runner who could not tell a coherent story to save his life, and doesn’t respect the source material he is adapting in the slightest. As a result, you get the mythical disaster that is Riverdale.
The sci-fi series is so unbelievably horrible from its very first seconds, that many audience members believed it was meant to be a parody of what it was actually trying to be. But, the further the dive, the harder the truth: The I-Land is not a parody. It is just that bad.
That said, it is fair to admit that the idea behind it had a lot of merit. Ten seemingly random people wake up on a deserted island with no memories of who they are or where they came from. As they try to figure out how to survive as a group, we learn that they are actually all convicted criminals stuck inside of a simulation. The island was created to observe their behavior and see if they would rise above their past mistakes, or revert back to their worst selves. In other words, Prison Break and Lost meet Westworld.
Not a single thing about The I-Land works — the characters feel like they were written by 5 year-olds, and the acting bringing them to life is so profoundly bad that it turns the whole thing into an accidental comedy. The storytelling does not bother to have any sense of logic or structure whatsoever, but attempts a bunch of nonsensical twists to “surprise” the audience, all leading up to an absurd ending drowned in plot holes.
CHILLING ADVENTIURES OF SABRINA
One of the most important aspects of any show or movie is the tone, and if not set right the story no matter how great can fall flat. Such is the case for Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, Netflix’s reinvention of the classic Archie Comics character, based on the graphic novel of the same name.
The one minute teaser offered a particularly sinister take on Sabrina Spellman and her story. A dark horror ride diving into the satanic aspect of witchcraft in the town of Greendale. It was so brilliant that even the most skeptical fans immediately put their faith in the show.
Instead of the terrifying witch story we were promised, what we got was a surprisingly dull teen drama with bland characters, awful dialog, and awkward writing with no real sense of direction. The confusing pacing creates a wonky tone that doesn’t seem to know if it wants to be campy and ridiculous or dark and gritty, making this disjointed incarnation of Sabrina feel like it was made for children, despite being way too violent to be made for children. And that is all without mentioning the boring subplots, random musical numbers.
13 REASONS WHY
Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why has been a shining example when it comes to creators’ sense of self-importance becoming the drive behind a show with such heavy themes.
The first season had its merits. It wasn’t perfect, but there seemed to be a genuine attempt at telling a poignant story about a young girl who was in a great deal of pain. It deserved the benefit of the doubt. The narrative was also made engaging by a truly compelling plot device, in the form of tapes left behind by the deceased teenager. All the pieces were in place to make something great.
Mental health is obviously a very serious subject, and 13 Reasons Why has sadly become a spectacular demonstration on how not to address it. The show had no reason to exist beyond its first season, and the lengths it has gone to in an effort to capitalize on controversy (such as randomly turning itself into a who-done-it murder mystery in its third season) have shown its true colours.