Here is a list of just such shows:
- Lost - I think it all started with Lost. After a brilliant pilot episode, it got into 1001 Arabian Nights territory and became ridiculously unwatchable. While it wasn't a truly bad show (some people actually enjoyed all 6 seasons) I couldn't watch it more than 2 seasons. Calm down, the rest of the shows will be more recent.
- The Messengers - every once in a while the American Bible thumpers convince producers to create religion based TV series or movies. While every possible superstition has and will be used in films, the Christian ones are standalone - in their own cinematic universe, if you will - and take themselves seriously every time. Messengers is one of these, and I couldn't watch more than 2 episodes before I gave up. It's (again) about the upcoming apocalypse and end of days and these 8 idiots are given superpowers to convince God that we are still worth it, while Satan goes around doing silly things. It was not only about the most tabloid part of (a part of) the bible, but it was acted and scripted badly. Ugh!
- Dig - This relates more to Hebrew religion and feels like a TV series take on the Da Vinci Code, with clones of Jesus (I think), FBI policemen running around in Israel doing whatever they feel like, shady cabals and shady opposing cabals. It could have been interesting and I admit that I was drawn into it by the acting and production values. Unfortunately the script was a convoluted mess that had no way of improving. They never learn to ease into it, present a little bit of the story, add another element later on, make people feel rewarded for continuing to watch the series. Anyway, four or five episodes in, I gave up.
- iZombie - Oh, you have to love this: young blonde accidentally gets turned into a zombie and gets a job at the morgue in order to have access to a fresh supply of brains. While consuming said brains, she gets visions of what the brain's owner had lived and thus helps a police detective to find out who murdered them. It combines police procedurals with zombies, comedy, romance and drama. Talking of messes, this is as messy as they come. I watched a few episodes before I slapped myself "what the hell are you doing watching this swill?"
- Eye Candy - A darker show about a girl using her hacker tech skills to try and catch the serial abductor and killer of young women, including her sister. Yet the killer is just as able and a game of cat and mouse ensues. It started well, then went into pop culture territory. Besides, she continues on only because the killer refuses to murder her and get on with his job. Something about the way the film was made or the main actress or the ridiculous plot made it impossible for me to get past the second episode.
- Allegiance - It is strange to put this series here, as I watched all the episodes so far. However, it was hope that kept me going, not the quality of the show. While it is about Russian spies in the US, living as a family, while their unknowing son is recruited into the FBI, while the antagonists are interesting, the story goes so much over the top that it becomes overcheesy. That means it starts as cheesy, then it starts to smell. Just do yourself a favor and do not watch it.
- Suits - Yet another flashy show that I kept watching for no good reason. It is about lawyers. Young, cocky, caught in personal intrigues and competing with one archnemesis after another, while occasionally engaging in some silly romance. It makes no sense, although I have to admit that I liked the feel of the show. It just goes nowhere. They get the mood right, the actors, the characters, then they make a joke of the storyline and script.
- Helix - Helix is the new Lost! It starts with a subject close to my heart: killer viruses, and then it crashes into la-la-land. Viruses that make people immortal and strong so they form a world controlling organization, CDC teams that act like they are terrorist splinter cells with no support, no rules, no communication, strains of the virus that turns people into The Strain like vampires, religious cults that are also genetic scientists living on their own island, etc. It starts as something, goes into something else, switches back. It's like someone was undecided what to write about and they wrote about everything then they just drew lines between the unrelated subjects and wrote a script. It is a complete and utter waster of time.
- Elementary - I watched two seasons of this until I admitted to myself that there is no point in continuing. I like both Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, I love Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes character and so a modern Sherlock should have been something I would at least enjoy. Unfortunately, it shortly turns into another "gifted person helps the New York police" show and one can feel when the writers just completely stopped giving a damn, if they ever did before beyond pushing the pilot.
- Scorpion - Talking about gifted persons helping the police, this had a promising concept: a genius young man creates a sort of a thinktank of gifted people then starts helping his FBI parent surrogate. While the characters were brilliant, the people writing their script obviously were not. It took a few episodes to completely fail and another ten for me to just give up hope.
- The Librarians - God, what a complete and utter mess. A TV show spinoff of the ridiculous Librarian movies, it was completely stupid. I mean, the movies were masterpieces compared to the writing for this show. Stay away!
- The Newsroom - This is a show that has ended and I watched all of its episodes. However, it was under duress. My wife liked it, but then I could see that she couldn't watch it anymore. I watched the last mini-season just in order to tell her it was not worth watching. It's about a news organisation that fights for its moral integrity. It would have been fun if not for the hyperactive writers that thought people could normally carry conversations like machineguns shoot bullets and the ridiculous romantic interludes that made no sense for anyone but a New Yorker raised on Woody Allen movies.
- State of Affairs - I already ranted enough about this piece of propagandistic crap. The plot was stupid, the script was stupid, the actors couldn't give a damn. It's just bad!
- The 100 - In theory I am still watching this young adult sci-fi TV show. In reality, I can't make myself start watching the second season. Why? Because the sci, as usual, gets completely negated by the fi. Add to this hormone induced behaviour of teenage kids and savage barbarians and you get a load of messy crap. It started really well, though. Too bad.
- Extant - Another sci-fi show in which they dumped randomly whatever was hot at the moment: aliens, artificial intelligence, the Japanese guy from Helix, etc. Add to this the excruciating acting skills of Halle Berry and you get something unwatchable.
- Stalker - This is one of the more interesting police procedurals. It involves a team that is tasked to handle stalkers. The new hire of the agency may be a stalker himself. The lead actors are people that I respect. However the story was so banal and lacking anything that showed any concern for the lives of the characters or victims, it was so formulaic that it ended up being something I regret having watched.
- Arrow - OK, I am still watching The Arrow, but I do it on fast forward. It started as a fun comic book TV show with a vigilante dressed in green killing assholes with the use of arrows. It then started growing and expanding until it reached a full team of heroes, with impossible situations, history, skill learning curves, ridiculous villains. It culminated with John Barrowman having a line in the show in which he tells three other characters he is the better man for a job because he is the better at acting. Which is true, but it just shows that even the scriptwriters are tired of the mediocre talents in this mediocre show. I keep watching it because it is set in the same universe as The Flash, which is the better TV show, even if not by much.
- Gracepoint - When Americans are redoing a show with the same script as the original show from a different country I snicker. Stoopeed Americaens, they can't read subtitles. But Gracepoint upped the ante: they redid Broadchurch, a British TV show. Not only that, they cast the same actor as the main character. I love David Tennant, but I can't possibly condone watching this. Anyway, it was cancelled after a season, and then Broadchurh continued for a second season, also starring Tennant.
- Sleepy Hollow - An entire TV series based on the Legend of the Sleepy Hollow. Starring a colonial Mason that fought for and knew the forefathers of the United States, resurrected in our times and fighting along a black female police officer to stop the End of Times. What can possibly go wrong here? Yet it wasn't that clear cut. The comedy was fun, the original drama had impact, the romance was believable and John Noble, like in Fringe, was awesome. However the storyline, like in Fringe, descended into a chaotic mess that makes no sense and no one could ever care for. Too bad, since it wasn't a complete waste of time, especially at the beginning.
- Madam Secretary - Just as with State of Affairs, I've ranted enough about it. It's a pure propaganda piece, with no artistic value whatsoever.
- Haven - It started as a nice supernatural police procedural with a sexy FBI agent coming in a town where people get dangerous "troubles" which act like superpowers out of control. I kept waiting for it to get anywhere, instead it just went more and more overdramatic and adding storylines that made no sense and in the end turned into a supernatural 90120. Too bad, since it started well and has some actors that I really like.
- Forever - Forever boring, this show is about a British doctor who never ages and, whenever gets killed, he finds himself alive and well in a nearby body of water, completely naked. And what does he do with that? He helps the police, as a forensic medic. Just as a general rule: avoid the gifted people helping the police catch bad guys shows. They never end well and they are as well propaganda pieces.
- The Lottery - Badly made show. Bad casting, bad acting, bad scripting. The plot: people stop having children, embryos stop getting fertilized and a woman doctor finds a way. Obviously, the powers that be want to control this in a market of dwindling supplies. Could have been nice, probably, although shows about children and parently feelings never do well in the long run, but it was pure shit from the beginning.
- Taxy Brooklyn - Someone tried to combine the French Taxi storyline with a police procedural. Sexy ass police detective, a Black French taxi driver, some intrigue and of course the obligatory connection with an old case involving a relative. But it was bad. The actors did what they could with lazy writing, but they couldn't save it.
- The Witches of East End - Some of the most beautiful women in acting get together with ridiculously good looking men in order to act a really stupid Dynasty-like plot. Just like similarly afflicted The Originals, it is a complete waste of time, unless you are a hormonal teenager and you need something to jack off to.
- The Leftovers - Trying to express the horrible anguish of being among the ones left on Earth after 2% of the population randomly disappears. Of course, it hints of another Bible concept: the Rapture. It felt to me overly dramatic, with people just doing stuff for no good reason and overly depressing as well for equally no good reason. It seemed to be well acted, but I just couldn't watch it.
- Resurrection - an American remake after Les Revenants, it missed the point completely. Ended up being this drawn out mystery that led nowhere, with really unsympathetic characters and without any of the real tension from the French series.
- Da Vinci's Demons - I know, I am still watching it, but not because it is worth watching. It is about a young Da Vinci who does everything from saving Florence to saving Italy and then going to the Americas (way before it was discovered) to look for clues about his mother, who was there previously. It is a fun to watch show, but it really goes nowhere. I liked the acting and the production values, though.
- Crisis - An intriguing concept: some very resourceful people kidnap a lot of high profile adolescent kids, including the son of the president of the United States, then they use the parents to achieve their goals. While the show was well done, the story was just a lazy fantasy trying to surf the edge of suspension of disbelief. Again, it goes nowhere.
- The Tomorrow People - An American take of an old British children's TV show that wasn't good to begin with, it only served to promote certain actors to better TV shows. It used the common tropes: child with mysterious father who dies doing something awesome, mother unknowing, uncle being involved somehow, evil organizations, rebellious teenagers fighting them, etc. It just collapses under the ridiculous ideas that they introduce to appease a boring viewership.
- The Originals - Some spin-off from a vampire show that I never watched, it is about pompous asses acting even more pompous because they are the original vampires. Werewolves and witches are thrown in the mix, but the only worth mentioning attribute of the show is the pompousness. Which is annoying. So don't watch it.
- Killer Women - Trying to get on the diversity bandwagon and get some easy money, it was supposed to be a police procedural with tough women. Didn't pan out. Was cancelled.
- Bitten - One of the most beautiful actresses around is a werewolf. Instead of being about her biting more than she can chew (heh heh), it is about another clan/royalty obnoxiousness, while the world is blissfully unaware and rivals are trying to take power or kill them or whatever. Do you know why people don't officially acknowledge vampires and werewolves? Because they act all annoying and overbearing while being completely idiotic. Nobody wants to know these people!
OK, as an interesting experiment on my preferences vs the public preferences, I will tell you how many of the shows above were cancelled and how many were not. Ready?
Completed (meaning not cancelled, but finishing their story): 2
Still Running or undecided: 15
So there you go, studios think 50% of the shows that I can't stand should be running and they are basing their decisions on public choice. What do you guys think?