90s | TV | Pop Culture

10 Shows From The 90s That, Let's Be Honest, Were Pretty Terrible


Let me preface this by saying that just because these shows were terrible, doesn't mean they weren't good. I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But sometimes, even if something is completely awful, it's still entertaining. That's basically how to describe the 90s in a nutshell.

These are some of the most terrible shows from our favorite decade that we all just need to admit were awful...even if we love them. These shows were chosen by both the Internet (an always trusted source) and my co-workers who, like myself, are opinionated beyond all reason.

1. Baby Talk

The Telegraph

I know what you're thinking: how could a show featuring George Clooney, Scott Baio, and a monologue from Tony Danza as a baby possibly be terrible? Easy. The baby's monologue was about the mom's dating life TOLD THROUGH THE EYES OF HER CHILD. Clooney referred to this show as one of the low points in his career, which sounds about right. It only lasted one season and is considered one of the worst shows to air in 1991.

2. Babes

The show revolved around three overweight sisters living in a tiny New York apartment. Classic, right? Wrong. Within the first season, the show was cancelled and faced extreme backlash for their barrage of fat jokes in every episode.

3. Cop Rock

Everything about a police procedural that is also a musical sounds wonderful, but it didn't translate to audiences. It's considered one of the biggest failures in 90s TV history. TV Guide even called it one of the worst television shows of all time. ABC gave the show a huge budget because of its creator, Steve Bochco, who also created Hill Street Blues.

“What did I learn from that experience?” Bochco said in a telephone interview with The New York Times after the show was cancelled. “Don’t put music in a cop show. Don’t have characters burst into song.”

4. Dharma and Greg


Getting married on your first date isn't generally a good idea, even more so when you're complete opposites. But for some reason, the show had FIVE seasons, and Jenna Elfman earned three Emmy nominations for her role as Dharma. Nothing screams romance like a wife continually embarrassing her uptight husband while you sit and wonder how neither of them has filed for divorce yet.

5. Freaks and Geeks


Listen, I know we all love the nostalgic aspect of a show with a bunch of "before they were stars!" actors, but there's a reason it was cancelled. No one wants to watch a bunch of teens go through puberty and deal with high school. We were already living it. If this show was really as popular as everyone seems to think it is now, it would have lasted more than one season.

"I just couldn't find ways to like the characters," one co-worker said. "And if I didn't like them or could relate to their struggles, or find humor in it, it felt like a complete waste of time."

6. Wings

TV Guide

The same people that brought us Cheers also brought us Wings. I know. Shocking. As a surprise to no one, watching a TV show about an airport is slightly more exciting than actually sitting in an airport. But in real life at least, you get to go somewhere. With Wings, you just got to watch adults deal with their love lives for eight seasons.

7. Clueless


Don't get me wrong, the movie was phenomenal. But as with most movies-turned-TV-shows, it just couldn't handle the jump from the big screen to the small one. The biggest issue was that Alicia Silverstone didn't come back to play Cher Horowitz. Instead, we had to settle for her (creepily similar) doppleganger, Rachel Blanchard.

8. Coach


Oh no! A football coach has to deal with his daughter dating! Coach was admittedly a popular show in the grand scheme of things, running for nine seasons, but overall it got really tired really quick. The whole "dad doesn't want his daughter to date" gag can only be funny for so long, as can the endless goofiness of Bill Fagerbakke’s Dauber Dybinski.

9. Will and Grace


This is one of the more controversial picks for the list, as Will and Grace is generally seen as an iconic show from the 90s. It's even doing well in its return to TV. But as one of my co-workers put it, the show relied on stereotypes too often.

"I found all the jokes hinged on the characters having annoying or stereotypical voices, rather than being actually funny."

That being said, I still personally love Will and Grace but in the interest of being open to other opinions, it made the list.

10. Friends


Yep, I said it. Friends, retrospectively, was not a great TV show. I'm still a fan, and you can judge that as you wish, but I can also acknowledge that the setup and characters were just...not ideal. Every single character became a parody of themselves eventually, playing up what seemed to be their most annoying quirks. Also, if I have to hear "WE WERE ON A BREAK" one more time, there's going to be a new show called "Friends: Minus Ross Because I Murdered Him."

"The interesting and actually funny characters keep getting pushed aside for Rachel being boring and Ross being the worst person on the planet," a co-worker said.

What show do you think is the most overrated from the 90s?