Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hey, let's remember some terrible episodes of otherwise-great shows

Nobody in TV bats a thousand. Well, maybe the British The Office. But, by and large, even the medium’s most vaunted series have a dud episode or two in the mix. Just look at Stranger Things’ second season last year, which paired us up with a bunch of bargain-bin X-Men in one of the most disappointing TV episodes in recent memory. WhatCulture just released a video breaking down some of these episodes, and though there aren’t many hot takes on here, it is interesting to hear what the gang considers the worst episodes of institutions like The Simpsons and Doctor Who.

In those cases, the worst aren’t, like, the genuinely bad ones so much as the ones that veered off course in unforgivable ways, such as The Simpsons’ introduction of Armin Tamzarian, whose name is more or less considered a pop-culture swear these days. In other instances, the list cites series finales as the prime offenders, if only for failing to stick the landing of an otherwise interesting series. (We will, however, assert that Dexter should, in no definition of the word, be considered a good show.)

It is fun, however, to revisit just how transcendently bad an episode like Lost’s “Stranger In A Strange Land” is in depicting the origin (that nobody asked for) of Jack’s tattoos. In arguments with ABC, the creators famously used the 42 minutes as an example of why they needed a definitive end date, lest they kept pumping out garbage that ignored questions about polar bears and Walt in favor of investigations into Hurley’s love of, let’s say, T-shirts. There’s also the divisive “docu-style” episode of The West Wing, which many fans cite as the moment they’d fully realized series creator Aaron Sorkin had abandoned them.


Hey, at least the list-maker’s not the latest doofus trying to say “Fly” isn’t a great episode of Breaking Bad.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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