The 5 worst TV shows of 2021

2021 was a good year for television, with buzzy shows like “The White Lotus” and gems like “Yellowjackets.” However, it has also had some serious clunkers – and we’re not just talking about some of the more bizarre reality TV shows.

From ill-advised sequels to overly ambitious superhero epics, these shows had big goals… but they failed.

Here are five of the worst TV shows of 2021.

“No Wild” (NBC)

One of the many, many shows still trying to be “lost,” years after that show’s zeitgeist time ended, this show includes a sinkhole under Los Angeles. Naturally, this sends people to a mysterious primal land (so, there’s a dash of “Stranger Things” as well). High concept sci-fi should be fun and interesting, and that simply didn’t get the memo. Derivative work.

Chiqui Okonkwo as Ty Coleman, Natalie Zia as Eve Harris, Diesel La Torraca as Izia, Nicholas Gonzalez as Levi Delgado in “La Brea”.
Sarah Intiknap/NBC

“Clarice” (CBS)

It’s never a good idea to take a beloved iconic movie and try to turn it into a procedural web. The “Silence of the Lambs” sub-show explains exactly why. It pales in comparison to the movie, and watching it just reminds you that there is a much better version of this story out there. Taking a horror movie famous for its notoriety and the weird – one of its most famous quotes is Eating Human Body Parts for Dinner, followed by the cane of my cute kiyan! Turning it into a nice procedural is a bewildering choice.

“Jupiter’s Legacy” (Netflix)

Superhero shows are a dime a dozen these days, so new entries in the genre should at least try to be special. This seemed like a patchwork steal for most of the series currently airing, such as “The Boys” and “Superman & Lois.” To add insult to injury, the show should have a big budget, because it has great special effects and a reasonably star-studded cast, between Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb. So why did they slap a white wig and a beard on Duhamel that seemed to cost ten bucks in Party City?

Josh Duhamel as Sheldon Sampson "Buyer's Legacy."
Josh Duhamel in “Jupiter’s Legacy.” Yeah, really that’s what’s behind that awful wig and beard.
Adam Rose

“The Lost Symbol” (Peacock)

Stories based on Dan Brown’s novels will always be filled with smitten masters, mysterious characters in cloaks, and hundreds of years of conspiracies that only professors and historians can solve. However, “The Lost Code” felt like a parody of the author’s infamous “The Da Vinci Code” author style, printing one nonsensical puzzle after another while not bothering to make it seem plausible from a distance.

Ashley Zuckerman holds a tape recorder and looks imposing.
Ashley Zuckerman as Robert Langdon in “The Lost Symbol.”

“Tiger King 2” (Netflix)

The incarnation of the “Tiger King” documentary series is causing quite a stir in the world in 2020 as this bizarre tale of polygamous zookeeper Joe Exotic, and his plot against his rival, Carol Baskin, has run its course at a time when everyone was feeling cabin fever from lockdown at the start of the pandemic. The follow-up documentary series, “Tiger King 2” doesn’t contain any real new information — and it’s hard, because Joe Exotic is currently imprisoned. More than anything, it feels like a satirical attempt to ride the wave of this 15-minute story into the spotlight, assuming viewers will see anything, no matter how blank it may be.

Go Exotic Inn "tiger king" season 2.
Joe Exotic is imprisoned in the second season of “Tiger King”.
© Netflix / Courtesy Everett Colle

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