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Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 04/ 2/2010

Friday List: The Unwatchables -- Shows, movies and viral videos we're proudest to have missed

By Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney
Friday List

As consumers of pop culture, we often have to wade through a lot of garbage to get to the good stuff. But sometimes, in lieu of any good stuff we'll park ourselves in front of a TV, movie screen or computer monitor and just give in to the waves of brain cell-murdering mediocrity. Admit it: How many nights have you spent watching yet another episode of "Tool Academy" just because there was nothing better on and you forgot to set the DVR?

But even the most lethargic of couch potatoes have boundaries -- a point-of-no-return line that we will not cross. This came up in last week's Celebritology Live discussion when one reader asked, "What is the TV show/movie you're proudest to say that you've never watched?"

Well, we thought that question would make a mighty fine Friday List, but we've expanded it to include Web-only (aka "viral") videos since they increasingly take up a substantial portion of our online time.

So: What is the TV show/movie/viral video you're proudest to say that you've never seen?

We'll each offer five of our top non-watchables below -- and trust me, it was hard to winnow these lists down to five -- then ask you to do the same in the comments section below.


1. "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila" -- I follow this diminutive self-promoting hellraiser on Twitter because, you know, it's in the job description -- but I could never bring myself to watch suitors vie for "everyone's favorite bisexual bachelorette's" manic attention.

2. Dustin "Screech" Diamond's sex tape -- Sure, he was okay as part of a cheesy ensemble cast, but somehow watching shaky video of this pathetic has-been perform a "Dirty Sanchez" on some random chick in a hotel bathroom didn't appeal to me.

3. Jennifer Aniston's last 10 movies -- I kid you not. No "Along Came Polly." No "The Break-up." No "Marley & Me." I am not a fan of this woman and her saccharine rom-coms. Though she did do an okay job as a flair-wearing waitress in 1999's "Office Space."

Zac Efron and co.? No thanks. (John Bramley/©Disney Enterprises, Inc. )

4. Any of the "High School Musical" movies -- What? You mean I missed out on watching over-coiffed tweens jazz-hand their way through PG-friendly song-and-dance numbers? Ummm, yay! Sorry tweeners. I honestly couldn't pick that Efron kid out of a crowd if my life depended on it.

5. Gwyneth Paltrow's "Spain... On the Road Again": Listen, I can barely keep my breakfast down each Thursday morning when her GOOP-y newsletter hits my inbox. I don't like to think how I'd react to the insouciant one playing the gastronome in a 13- (thirteen?!?!) part PBS series.

Bonus! Things I'm sorry I did see: David Hasselhoff's drunken cheeseburger vid, "Dancing with the Stars" (just pick a season), one-third of a "Pretty Wild" episode, Bear Grylls's self-administered enema and, unfortunately, 10 seconds of "2 girls 1 Cup" (thanks for that, Weingarten).


1. "Flavor of Love": I once accidentally flipped by an episode of this Flava Flav dating disaster show and lasted all of five seconds before feeling so physically nauseous, I had to turn off the television, lie down and limit my diet to Saltines and ice chips for the ensuing 24 hours. "Fear of a Black Planet"? No, I'm cool with pretty much everything Flav did as part of Public Enemy. Fear of this horrifying reality show that demeans women and anyone with a couple of functioning brain cells? Totally.

2. The Pam Anderson/Tommy Lee sex tape and the Paris Hilton sex tape: For the record, I haven't seen the Dustin Diamond sex tape either. But these two were more, uh, famous and therefore, perhaps, more challenging to avoid. I pride myself on having enough of an open mind to watch anything. (Yes, I have seen two out of three "High School Musicals." And yes, I actually like Zac Efron.) But sex tapes -- no matter who stars -- are where I draw the line.

3. A pro wrestling match in its entirety: WWE? WWF? All that makes me say is WSIC -- Why Should I Care? Even during the heyday of Capt. Lou Albano and Hulk Hogan, I couldn't bring myself to sit through an evening's worth of bogus body slams. Back when Dwayne Johnson was still The Rock, I smelled what he was cooking. It just didn't make me hungry.

4. Every Steven Seagal movie ever made: "Hard to Kill"? Nope. "Out for Justice"? Nope. "Under Siege" and/or "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory"? Haven't even seen a millisecond on cable at 3 in the morning. I did see "The Onion Movie," in which Seagal very briefly makes a cameo. But that flick barely counts as a movie, honestly. I do plan to break this trend, however, once Robert Rodriguez finally releases "Machete."

5. A complete season of "American Idol": I will admit to watching a couple episodes from the end of the first season, and a results announcement here or there. But I have never committed myself to an entire season of "Idol" and, even with that lovely Ellen DeGeneres on the show, I never will. I get the guilty pleasure factor. But I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that people will actually sit and watch young, aspiring vocalists croon their way through Burt Bacharach Night and not consider it proof that society, as we know it, is crumbling before our eyes.

Bonus! Things I'm sorry I did see: The dancing baby (disturbing on "Ally McBeal," disturbing on the Internet, just plain disturbing); "Surviving Christmas" (survived ... barely); that really disgusting scene in "Freddy Got Fingered" that involves a horse, but that one only happened because they showed the clip during the Razzies; several episodes of "a.k.a. Pablo"; and "National Lampoon's Gold Diggers," a film I called: "so stupefyingly hideous that after watching it, you'll need to bathe in 10 gallons of disinfectant, get a full-body scrub and shampoo with vinegar to remove the scummy residue that remains." I stand by that review.

By Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney  | April 2, 2010; 12:38 PM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists, Pop Culture  
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Any of what passes for "reality TV" (Bachelor/Bachlorette/Survivor, etc.).

The minute or two that I accidently saw of Survivor reminded me of "Lord of the Flies".

Posted by: badgerfan1 | April 2, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Glad I did not see -- Star Wars "Episode 1,2,3" - George Lucas is a worse writer than he is a director. Gray's Anatomy -- ER wore me out on overly dramatic hospital shows. Dancing with the American Survivor Idol Star Apprentices -- I was a teenager, i've already seen and done my own airheaded histrionics and overwrought drama.
I'm sad I saw Vince Neil's Rock of Love, those people give skank a bad name.

Posted by: keepwastingmoney | April 2, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Liz, I have to tell you that styling it "Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Spain... On the Road Again'" will really piss off the *real* ego in that series, Mario Batali. Seriously, he makes her look gracious and (almost) down to earth. And then Michael Stipe puts in an appearance: if ever there was a skinny gourmand-poseur who needed a b!tch-slap into next week, it's him. Mark Bittman and the very lovely Spanish-actress-who-isn't-Penelope-Cruz-so-I-don't-know-her-name are redeeming, though. And the show itself is not braincell-murdering in anything like the way reality TV is.

Things I proudly have not seen: Anything on MTV since they stopped showing music videos, American Idol, an entire season of any reality show, and The Wizard of Oz in its entirety. Yes, I did grow up in the USA in the era when it played on TV every year, I just never managed to stay awake through the entire movie.

Posted by: northgs | April 2, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to get in trouble for this one...

Lost and Fringe.

Abrams writes like one of those pseudo-intellectual coffeehouse philosophy majors. With Alias he overreached into the idiotic for a plot device... he grew from that - and for Lost he made a show about a plot device... then for Fringe he skipped plot devices altogether and just jumbles a bunch of poorly imagined twists and turns together with dialog your typical slash-fiction writer would be embarrassed to claim (delivered by actors who are either embarassed or so utterly confused as to be wooden). It's one thing to not say anything... it's quite another to pretend you are (or worse, think you are). You dont take points away from Godzilla for having a giant latex monster in it... but you do take points away for Hubris if it's poorly executed (and his stuff is generally really really REALLY over the top on that front - a lot like Waterworld)

His next show should be Jennifer Garner eating a sandwich... then we can devote a column a week deconstructing what he meant by using mustard in scene 17.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | April 2, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"The Hills" and "Laguna Beach". My roommate turned one of them on years ago. I spent five minutes watching some overtanned twit pitch a fit over a fashion show and declared myself done for once and all.

In a similar vein, I have not been in the same vicinity as "American Idol" since one horrible evening when my roommate (different one) was watching the tryouts. I was on my laptop in the kitchen, and I kept hearing horrible noises drifting through the house, like a pack of off-key hyenas being beaten with cattle prods. I was assured that the quality of the performances would improve in a few weeks, but by that point, I had already purchased the largest pair of headphones I could afford.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | April 2, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm the opposite with celeb sex tapes, I am practically compelled to watch almost every one.

Except the Dustin Diamond one.

Even I couldn't bring myself to click on that one.

I haven't seen one minute of:

-the HSM movies & their spawn-alikes
-most of the MTV "reality" shows like The Hills or anything resembling the Hills
-Amazing Race
-Biggest Loser
-Grey's Anatomy (ER ruined me for med shows)
-any version of CSI

I've only seen 2 full seasons of AI, the Taylor Hicks season & the Adam Lambert season.

The only thing good about 2 Girls 1 Cup were the reaction videos that were rampant after it hit the scene.

Posted by: wadejg | April 2, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

You'll watch Tool Academy but not Flavor of Love? What about the spinoffs with Flav's girl New York? She makes Flav look like a courtly gentleman.

Posted by: greenmountainboy | April 2, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hm, I haven't seen any of the Harry Potter movies (or read the books). I wouldn't say I'm proud of that, just . . . ambivalent.

I've also never seen 'It's a Wonderful Life'. I'm kind of ashamed of that one, though.

Posted by: blahblah6b | April 2, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Despite its long years on TV and extreme popularity, I am proud that I never watched an episode of Friends--and have not done so in syndication. The whole premise seemed so utterly synthetic to me.

Posted by: jhpurdy | April 2, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I know! I never watched Buffy (movie or tv show), or any spin-offs (was there only Angel?). I am ridiculously proud of that.

Posted by: blahblah6b | April 2, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen "Jon and Kate Plus 8," and I am extremely proud of this.

I have also never seen "Titanic." As much as I like and respect Kate Winslet, I couldn't bring myself to watch that film, if only for the hordes of dippy teenage Leo fans.

I've never watched anything involving Kim Kardashian, be it a reality show or a sex tape. In fact, I've managed to avoid "celebrity" sex tapes altogether.

Finally, speaking as a newlywed, I studiously avoided any wedding-themed schlock out there during my engagement, and there is plenty of it - "Bridezillas," "Platinum Weddings," and pretty much anything else on the WE channel.

Posted by: ras4q | April 2, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Proud to have never watched:
The Hills
Any Real Housewife show
Jersey Shore
Dancing with the Stars

Sorry to have watched:
Couples Retreat
American Idol this season
Four Weddings

Question: people who say they have never watched ANY reality show - what do you watch? Not all of them are skanky.

Posted by: sjcpeach | April 2, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Back when I was a mere Lizard-let, I used to think that being a TV critic would have to be the world's cushiest job.

Now I'm convinced it must be agony, having to squander so much of one's precious eyesight on the vast wasteland the medium's become in order to get to the few shows worth watching. Back in the '60s, Newton Minow had NO notion of how much worse it could get.

I'm so grateful to Pookie, Shales and Stuever for watching, so I don't have to.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | April 2, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we should all extend much gratitude for those folks that take one for the team & watch so we don't have to!!

Posted by: wadejg | April 2, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Dancing With the Stars, America's Got Talent, ditto the poster above who said they've seen nothing on MTV since they abandoned music video -- I'm the same (The Hills, what's that?).

Sorry to have watched: Hoarders on A&E. I deliberately watched one due to curiosity -- after watching them cleanup this woman's house, including three skeleton/mummy cat carcasses from the living room buried for years under mountains of other stuff(woman said she wondered where those cats had got to), well, sorry to have watched--WON'T WATCH AGAIN.

Posted by: NW_Washington | April 2, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm weirdly proud of the fact that I've never seen a single episode of any of the CSI franchise. Not sure why -- mostly timing probably -- but just never got into the forensic science/murder-scene clean-up vibe, I guess.

And, on a *totally* different level, I've never seen the Daniel Pearl beheading video. I have a lot of friends in TV news, so they would talk about how it was pretty gruesome and I had to see it to believe it, but I just have never had any need to see it for myself. I'm guessing a lot of us in this forum have never seen it, but, given the pervasiveness of that video on the internet at that time, I'm pretty proud I never bowed to the pressure to even peak at it.

Posted by: klaw009x | April 2, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Proud I haven't seen:
Survivor (any of them)
Extreme Makover: Home Edition
Twilight/New Moon (although I may one day cave)
Jersey Shore

Actually, I skip a lot of reality by catching up via the Soup. Does that count as skipping them?

Things I saw, but am sorry I did -- All seem to be movies: Hot Shots, Roadhouse, Great Balls of Fire, Welcome Home Roxy Charmichael, ... Hard to decide which of these is the absolute worst.

Biggest guilty pleasure - Trading Spouses. If only Fox would bring this back. This one definitely falls in the "so horrible you can't turn away" category.

Posted by: DCLocal20 | April 2, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's one that I'm horrified that I enjoyed - Mamma's Boys - I laughed so hard I cried when one of the guys found out that the girl his mom loved was a former Penthouse Pet of the Year.

The Best-Worst. TV. Ever.

Posted by: DCLocal20 | April 2, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

What passes for TV.

Posted by: tws1372 | April 2, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen:
The Hills (except for Soup clips)
Any MTV dating show in its entirety
American Dad
Grey's Anatomy
Twilight/New Moon
Any High School Musical movies
Hannah Montana
Really, the list goes on...

However, I have seen every episode of:
Project Runway
Top Chef
The Simpsons

I'm not proud of this.

Not for nuthin', I've also never driven through a drivethru to order food. Been a passenger, never driven. Did I mention I'm 41?

Posted by: crowtrobot | April 2, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen:

Dr. Phil
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway, Top Chef, any of those silly competition shows
The Biggest Loser
Big Love
The Sopranos
That show with Tim Allen about the DIY host
Grey's Anatomy
Something about Mary

Yep, I don't watch much TV. I suspect it's why I know that the plural of most words doesn't include an apostrophe. But I DO tape the National Spelling Bee every year.

Posted by: padre1957 | April 3, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

**Abrams writes like one of those pseudo-intellectual coffeehouse philosophy majors**

Perhaps, but J.J. Abrams is not really one of the PTB on the mythology of Lost (notwithstanding his producer status). Has he written any episodes beyond the pilot?

Posted by: ooyah32 | April 3, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Anything in which Kate Gosselin appears. I saw a couple of episodes of Jon and Kate etc. three or four years ago and could not believe that anybody could be that nasty to a spouse. If she was that corrosive to her husband, how will her kids survive teenhood with her???

Posted by: eskarp | April 3, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

How mean of Gwyneth to FORCE you to subscribe to Goop.

Posted by: katsat | April 3, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Never watched:
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
So you think you can Dance
The Hills
and any season of Real World after Real World in Hawaii

Sorry I saw:
Flava of Love
Frank the Entertainer
Real Chance of Love- Back in the Sadle or any other VH1 "dating" show that I stopped to look at while channel surfing

Glady 'fess up to looking at these shows:
Amazing Race
Top Chef

Posted by: plamar1031 | April 5, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

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