The Idol and 4 other shows that almost ruined TV in 2023

HBO's The Idol almost single-handedly killed the joy of television in 2023. Here are four other shows that were also a pain to watch.
The Idol
The Idol /

The year 2023 has been an odd one in general, but it was extra frustrating for the world of entertainment. From show and movie delays to strikes, fans just didn't know what we were going to get! At one point in time, audiences were just happy to get anything at all! But be careful what you wish for!

Due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, many new seasons we hoped to watch this year were pushed back (some as far back as 2024 and 2025). This left us without many options, desperate for entertainment. Then came Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) as Tedros to make us reevaluate our priorities. Here are the five 2023 TV shows that should not have been made.

#5 Velma on Max

As a supporter and fan of Velma Dinkley ("jinkies" was part of my vocabulary in the late 90's), I was happy an animated series about the character was kicking off the 2023 TV year. However, as a fan of TV, I wasn't looking forward to it.

Don't get me wrong, I love Velma and will support anything Mindy Kaling touches. But did I think a series focusing on Velma was necessary? No, not really. The world of Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. is confusing enough. After many spin-offs and movies, the timeline is all over the place. Not to mention, the series is rated R, something we don't need. I don't know about you, but I'm all for Scooby-Doo and his crew being known as a family-friendly show.

Unfortunately, at least for Max and everyone involved, I was not wrong. On Rotten Tomatoes, Velma has a rotten score of 39% from critics, at the time of this writing. From audiences, though? An embarrassing rotten score of 7%, jinkies!

The Crowded Room /

#4 The Crowded Room on Apple TV+

I have always praised Apple TV+ for its quality programming. The platform may not have as much content as streamer giant Netflix does, for example, but it's all about quality over quantity. Apple TV isn't so quick to produce a series or film if they don't strongly believe in it. Knowing this, I was very much looking forward to watching The Crowded Room, and the fact that it stars Tom Holland, Amanda Seyfried, and Emmy Rossum was the cherry on top!

Sadly, The Crowded Room is a predictable, slow, and unexciting. Based on the 1981 book The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes, the Apple TV+ series wastes the talents of its cast, boring audiences long before the "shocking" twists are revealed.

#3 Citadel on Prime Video

When it comes to hit series, things are quiet over at Prime Video. As much as I love the streamer, it's not exactly known for its hit original shows. Other than Invincible, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and The Boys, I can't think of any other Prime Video exclusives I would call must-see TV. But I sure can name more than three bad shows from Prime Video, and Citadel is at the top of my list!

Now, to be honest and fair, I only watched the first three episodes of Citadel. Did the drama improve after episode three? I'll never know and I have no interest in finding out. If you ask me, it shouldn't take over two episodes for a series to get going and capture a viewer's attention, and I gave it three.

(L-R): Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Marvel Studios' SECRET /

#2 Secret Invasion on Disney+

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown massively since 2008's Iron Man. It has certainly been an exciting ride, or, it was, for a long while. But it no longer is. Instead, keeping up with the MCU and Marvel TV feels like a chore. The problem with the MCU and Marvel TV is that it has not stopped growing, and not in a good way. The stories and timelines have become a giant tangle many fans don't care to sort through.

Secret Invasion not only adds more plot holes to the MCU, but creates more confusion and opens up new worlds that, frankly, we don't care to explore. Can we focus on one thing at a time, please? According to a Rotten Tomatoes ranking, Secret Invasion is one of the worst rated Marvel TV shows, only beating Marvel's Iron Fist and Marvel's Inhumans (you forgot about those, too, didn't ya?).

#1 The Idol on HBO

I'll be the first to admit that I was never super excited about Sam Levinson's The Idol. From the previews to the synopsis and the odd casting choices, the drama just didn't seem like a good idea to me.

Before The Idol, I wasn't too familiar with Lily-Rose Depp's work and had only seen her star in Silent Night. I understood this was Depp's first TV role, and a lead role, at that. And as for Abel Tesfaye, I only knew him as the singer-songwriter The Weeknd. So, to say I was surprised to learn he is not only taking a lead TV role, but that he also co-created The Idol, is an understatement.

Sam Levinson hyped up The Idol as HBO's next Euphoria. During the Cannes press conference, the director even shares "I think we're about to have the biggest show of the summer" in a cringe-packed clip that now just makes me giggle. But hey, in a way, Levinson wasn't wrong. The Idol did make a huge impact, and it takes our number one spot on this list! I just don't think it's the impact or list Levinson was hoping for.

Which shows are on your list of the worst of 2023 TV?

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