Biggest Disappointments of 2015

Here they are. The shows that just did not live up to the hype.

2015-10-27_1630How Not to Behave ABC
We were so excited for the return of Gretel Killeen, but what a shame this distraction spent 15 episodes trying to make the bleedingly obvious funny. How Not to Entertain.

They promised so much, but in the end delivered so little, or at best did not live up to the hype.

In no particular order, here are some of the shows that did not meet the mark in 2015.


True Detective Foxtel
The best new show of 2014 fell so far in 2015 without Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Anthology is no guarantee of improvement.


Banished Foxtel
History turns melodrama, with time to dramatise convict and colonial perspectives, but not enough time in 7 episodes for an Indigenous voice.


Hiding ABC
If you believed James Stewart and Kate Jenkinson were old enough to be parents to Lincoln Younes and Olivia DeJonge then you would probably buy the rest of the script too. Bad luck for the rest of us.


Restaurant Revolution Seven
Dining in shipping containers, a host with limited presenting skills -but its biggest problem was waiting too long to get to the cooking, when Nine went head to head with one that did.


Struggle Street SBS
Yes it got us talking about poverty, but the ‘poverty porn’ tone and bleak narration overwhelmed any considered discussion and ignited a tabloid feast. After the media left town, were the families actually any better off?


Australia: The Story of Us Seven
An over-produced missed opportunity with bloated CGI, emotive narration, selective recall, rapid-fire editing and celebrity commentary. Don’t forget those “Goannas the size of buses.”


Mesmerised Seven
Idiotic. You really have to wonder how so many people can collectively sign off on such rubbish.


Celebrity Apprentice Nine
Felt tired despite having a 2 year break. When lacklustre challenges were forced to draw upon fairy bread sandwiches for conflict you knew this was in trouble. Bring back the non-celeb version.


Heroes Reborn Seven
A series known for its convoluted plots returns with …a convoluted plot. No need to save this world.


State of Affairs Seven
Katherine Heigl just didn’t have the gravitas to be taken seriously as a CIA Agent. Please study Homeland and Madam Secretary.


Room 101 SBS
Delayed by SBS and now we know why. A pointless chat show from a host who deserves better. They should have just given him a proper chat show and be done with it.

RR2801 Reno Rumble with Scott Cam

Reno Rumble Nine
If you insist on giving us another Renovation show at least try and look a little bit different.

Hot Plate - Birds Nest491

The Hotplate Nine
If you insist on giving us another cooking show at least try and look a little bit different.

Scream Queens, TEN
When Ryan Murphy misses, boy he really misses. Annoying, unlikeable characters. Make it stop.


Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud Seven
And Dogs, Pets and assorted Animals. There’s this thing called YouTube see. But the cats rated and saved a Programmer’s arse after the failure of Restaurant Revolution. What do critics know anyway?


The Verdict Nine
That first episode shouting match must go down as the worst hour of TV this year. It was as if Nine broadcast a rehearsal, with a host unable to control his guests. Not yet deserving of the Nine News & Current Affairs brand.


Lip Sync Battle Nine
More pointless telly without actually entertaining. Launched well thanks to its lead-in but frankly RuPaul did this so much better.


The Player Seven
In a year of ludicrous plots, this one takes the cake. Something about high rollers gambling on crimes before they happen. Who heard that pitch and said yes?


Open Slather, Foxtel
It gets a B+ for effort but despite 20 episodes, a fortune invested and all the patience in the world, this just never took off. Key problem? Writing, writing, writing.

Stalker, Nine
Is Dylan McDermott now a Jackie-O kiss of death for TV?

iQ3 + Remote_Front_Light

And… a special mention to Foxtel’s IQ3
Was it rushed too soon ahead of Netflix or launched because it was overdue by months? Either way Foxtel’s new set top box has been riddled with bugs since day one, with some frustrated users demanding the return of the IQ2. There’s only so many times one can write about the errors and complaints, but they just keep comin.’

43 Responses

  1. True Detectives S2 was fantastic, I loved it as much as S1 if not more. The disappointment with Banished was that they failed to commission a second series; easily one of the best dramas of 2015.

  2. My biggest disappointment was The Ex PM. I was expecting so much more from it. The characters were not likeable, some were downright annoying, and the ex pm himself came across as pathetic. Add in the out of place sexual situations and it was a recipe for disappointment. Sorry Shaun I love you but this was a big miss.

    1. Agree about The Ex PM.
      Normally enjoy Shaun’s offbeat humour but not so much here…definitely his weakest effort so far.
      Surprisingly ordinary as all of Shaun’s other projects have always been really good.

  3. I have to disagree with you David about Scream Queens! I loved it! Sure it had its dodgy moments but I couldn’t wait to watch each episode – there were some great characters on there (Chad Radwell for one).
    I also really enjoyed Lip Sync Battle – something fun and easy to watch!

  4. Hot Plate would have been a lot better if Phillipe from Chez Pascal had been drinking like he normally does when he cooks in his restaurant! He and Pascal are lovely lovely people, and Phillipe is hilarious at the end of each sitting, coming to give every female a rose. They were the only reason I watched the show, because I’ve been to their restaurant a few times, and – if you’re in Sydney, so yourself a favour, eat there! It’s amazing! No pre-relationship, this is just a genuine food fan who lives in their area!!!

  5. Being huge fans of the Kath & Kim team, Open Slather was a huge disappointment for me, so cringe worthingly forced & unfunny, i didn’t think they could make anything worse than the season 4 when they jumped to ch 7. Scream Queens i also found disappointing, the humour was not clever enough for a satire so i only watched some because i adore Jamie Lee. Gallipolli, being of an age group who remembers the 80’s it didn’t bring anything to me i hadn’t seen before in other mini series/movies about the topic, except some nice special effects in the promos 😉

  6. Most of the criticism seems fair although I would take issue with the tiresome and repetitive requests for an indigenous voice in Banished, these criticisms seem to be more about obligatory symbolism and empty gestures rather than the quality of the writing and acting that was seen in banished.

    I have also heard that a lot of the Heroes and Heroes Reborn fans love and enjoy their convoluted plots, they admit it isn’t Shakespeare, but to criticise a show which has often had convoluted plots as being ‘convoluted’ seems a bit strange?

  7. you are also forgetting the show Samantha armtyage hosted on 7, you should also add carols in the domain- the ratings were down this year compared to last years( channel7 the viewers are telling you they don’t want the sunrise people as host of it).

    I quite liked the verdict, reno rumble, the hotplate and celeb apprentice. lip sync battle was good in my opinion.

    stalker was okay but it could’ve been better.
    I think one of the biggest disappointments of tv shows this year would have to be Restaurant Revolution.

  8. New Australian Drama was a disappointment in 2016 in regards to what I gave a go.
    Hiding – Terrible (gave up after a couple of episodes)
    Winter – Too Long (Telemovie or maybe a 2 part mini series)
    Love Child – Ruined by 9s need to give away the storyline in their promos. The trick is to give enough of a hint to make the viewer want to watch the next episode not to give away everything.
    Winners & Losers – Missing something that was there in the first couple of seasons.
    800 words – Boring gave up after struggling to watch the first episode.
    The Principal – Good but only 4 episodes aired over 2 weeks so not enough to say drama overall wasn’t a disappointment.
    A place to call home – Wonderful but I only watched the first 2 seasons as reruns so doesn’t count.
    Step Dave – Great but again doesn’t count cause it’s a NZ drama.

  9. Hard not to agree about Room 101. I enjoyed the show but found myself thinking what a waste of McDermott’s talent rehashing a tired British format, why not something bold and daring?
    Also enjoyed How Not to Behave but it is a similar story. Limited idea for a show, not unlike Room 101, but I thought it was a waste of Gretel’s talent (and even Matt Okine’s for that). Reminded me a bit of Randling actually, good talent at the helm just poorly executed.

      1. Problem is I’m not that sure they want to do GNW again. I was more suggesting that a Network like SBS should be bold and give McDermott something meatier to sink his teeth into.

  10. I quite enjoyed Scream Queens too (David, I noticed that you hadn’t reviewed the show nor have you chosen it as a “Top Pick” following the first episode). It definitely had its issues, with some moments of lazy writing, but it was rather entertaining and refreshingly different from a lot of the formulaic crap on TV nowadays. (Spoilers ahead)

    …but the ending made absolutely no sense and seemed like a ridiculously contrived attempt to make ex-Glee star Lea Michele the villain when the sequence of events just didn’t add up. It seemed like such a hurried ending that disregarded most of what transpired in earlier episodes, and I was under the impression that the series was not as intricately planned as hoped. There were other characters that, considering the circumstances, would have made much more sense as the killer(s).

  11. For all those disagreeing with David’s choices here (and I disagree with some of them myself), remember, he did say…

    “What do critics know anyway?” 😉

    Sage advice to live your life by, I say!

  12. I don’t know anything about Foxtel’s IQ3 but I do know that UHD and 4K set top boxes will become more available in the UK and America for their sports coverage. HD should become standard for all pay TV clients, long term customers should also be treated much better when equipment upgrades are requested. Being a small market Australia is still being treated like a poor cousin compared to overseas.

  13. Let us remember we are in the hands of U.S. audiences and TV programmers whether we like a show or not. True Detective is unique as it offers a chance to be innovative with different actors which wont suit every viewer. Most U.S. shows in my opinion are designed for extended seasons so scripting can become soapy and predictable midway through, which also appears to be the case for most Australian shows too, though the occasional gem sneaks through like ABC’s ‘Rake’. The suspicion is that the Australian TV industry is just looking for cost effective ways to fill the obligations for Australian content which is a shame, the fact that some of these ‘Reality’ shows get high ratings is a genuine mystery. Perhaps everyone is in bed by 8.30PM.

  14. Nine’s Gallipoli. A poorly conceived and written, drawn out and under budgeted attempt to cash in on the anniversary of the Anzac landing. It ended up being burnt off in double episodes late at night to minimise the embarrassment. Left Nine with nothing to show on Monday nights for weeks.Deadline Gallipoli used clever writing to tell the story from new angle effectively and show up Nine’s poor effort.

    Fortitude – a big budget show targeted a the international audience that was a confused mess derivative of The X-Files episode Ice.

    TD S2 was a different show but not bad. HBO’s audience liked it, it averaged higher ratings than S1. It was written off quickly by a handful of critics and social media pundits who never gave it a chance and probably never watched much of S1 let alone S2.

  15. Lol,
    For me TD was better in s2 just had to watch the whole season. David I thought u said u never finished it.
    Heroes was great.
    Cats make u laugh made me laugh the most out of Aussie tv for this year. 800 words make me laugh a lot too.
    Should of titled this my biggest disappointments but it’s ur site

  16. Reno rumble, hot plate and celeb apprentice. All these shows where used this year basically as scheduleling replacement for Big Brother. This is exactly the reason why Nine shouldn’t have been too quick to give up BB so soon. If BB was at 7:00 and had the same format as 2012-2013 it would work. Here’s to bringing Big Brother back!

  17. I would add A Place to Call Home to the mix. The first two seasons were so well done I could watch each ep multiple times and did. The third season on Foxtell lost something. I found it difficult getting through each episode, just seemed so flat compared to the previous two seasons.

  18. Thanks David! I love that even in your hiatus you are uploading great articles. Either you were super busy in the lead up to your break or are not resting enough now! Either way a great review of the misses in 2015!

  19. PLUS7 was the worst thing television related thing this year. When I missed a show on Seven I wanted to watch (The Kylie Christmas special) they didn’t even stream it.

    1. yes you would think they would have to make up for its poor scheduling! They could of easily put it on Xmas night instead of a movie thats been on a million times already.

  20. I have to disagree with some of them. I loved How not to behave, I thought it was hilarious. I didn’t mind Room 101 either. I thought Hiding was a great show, I really enjoyed it. I quite liked State of Affairs, but agree not as good as Homeland & Madam Secretary. Stalker was a great show, was really disappointed it was cancelled especially since it ended with a cliffhanger. So annoying when they do that. I quite enjoyed Australia The story of us. I liked The Hotplate & Celebrity Apprentice too. I didn’t mind The Player but there have been better shows this year. It’s by the same people who do the Blacklist, which is much better.

  21. Agree with just about everything, except for Scream Queens which was awesome. Snappy dialogue, ridiculous characters, Jamie Lee Curtis, it was Heathers meets Halloween meets Scream meets Scooby Doo. It was meant to be silly and fun and it delivered.

  22. My biggest disappointments of the year:

    Hiding (obviousy)
    Gallipoli (a lot of padding for such an important mini series)
    Open Slather (just not funny)
    The Secret River (overacting, earnest, too much padding)
    House of Hancock (overacting, schlocky tone)
    Glitch (no story, earnest, lots of padding)
    The Ex-PM (major disappointment from the funniest person on TV)
    Winter (formulaic, morose and tedious)
    Redfern Now: Promise Me (earnest, overwrought melodrama)
    8MMM (just not funny)
    Love Child (overacting, lame soap opera)
    800 Words (formulaic, lame soap opera)

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