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What are the most boring TV shows and movies?

With so many streaming services and content choices at our fingertips, we often struggle with deciding what to watch. But how often do we really waste our time on disappointing TV shows and movies?
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Uswitch has looked into which TV shows and movies have been rated a waste of time, according to IMDb reviews. The broadband comparison team analysed them for negative phrases to determine the ones that can be crossed off your ‘to watch’ list.

Since we now spend so much time in front of a screen, people want to make sure they’re making the right choices when it comes to their next binge watch. We found that UK adults spend almost 997 hours watching streamed TV content every year - which is a whopping 21 hours a week! Many of us can’t remember a time when we had to wait a whole week for our favourite TV show, or, even worse, wait months for a DVD release.

Netflix introduced its TV streaming service in 2007, and by 2013 it had launched its first Netflix Original production, ‘House of Cards’.  And following the huge success of Netflix, many media companies have raced to create their very own streaming platforms, such as Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and NOW.

Nevertheless, even with our favourite shows becoming more easily accessible with the rise in streaming services, our good old fashioned TV’s still provide us with the classic programmes to look forward to. But which shows should we avoid wasting our time on at all?

The Inbetweeners (USA) is the most boring TV show

The Inbetweeners holds a special place in the hearts of many Brits. But what happened when they tried to remake it in America? It became a “major fail of a remake”, as described by one review on IMDb.

The show, which follows four awkward teenagers navigating secondary school, was wildly popular this side of the pond. And after seeing its success in the UK, it’s no surprise that the TV executives at MTV wanted to repeat this in the States. While the misadventures of Will, Simon, Jay and Neil make for classic entertainment in the UK, it seemed that the British charm didn’t quite translate overseas.

The Inbetweeners USA tops our list of most boring TV shows - one IMDb review even called this adaption “by far the most vile piece of garbage I have ever laid my eyes on!”...ouch. The Inbetweeners USA never made it past the first season, and was immediately cancelled due to poor reviews and ratings.

Iron Fist ranks as the worst marvel TV show 

[Image credit: Cbr.com][Image credit: Cbr.com]

In 2017, Iron Fist joined the 1,940+ TV shows on popular streaming service Netflix. This American TV series had enormous potential as it joined the beloved Marvel saga, and even starred Game of Thrones’ very own Loras. But even being part of the MCU couldn’t save this TV disaster. 

During the series, martial art expert Danny Rand returns after 15 years with the power of his Iron Fist. However, some viewers wish he hadn’t bothered. In a recent review, the series was labelled as a “waste of time” and “the most lame-brained of all the Marvel Netflix TV shows”. Considering there are 13 seasons and 161 episodes of television across six different Marvel series, this is a pretty bold statement.

Nevertheless, Netflix aren't the only culprits when it comes to creating boring shows, as another American Marvel TV series, Inhumans, ranks almost as boring as Iron Fist. Marvel’s Inhumans, which premiered on ABC, centres around a group of genetically altered superhumans. But what’s truly inhuman is how the creator Scott Buck left many viewers feeling after sitting through only eight episodes.

Thankfully there is only one season, showing even the producers weren’t too pleased with the reviews it had received. One viewer even tweeted they had to stop watching the season, as they were simply “too bored”.

The Walking Dead joins top 5 worst

[Image Credit : AMC/Frank Ockenfels][Image Credit : AMC/Frank Ockenfels]

Moving away from the mediocre Marvel series, post-apocalyptic horror drama The Walking Dead joins our top five most disappointing TV shows. As the drama follows the lives of survivors who attempt to survive constant zombie attacks, some viewers had to attempt to even stay awake through the constant boring episodes they endured.

Many spectators took to Twitter to voice their opinions. Unsurprisingly, this hasn’t helped the show's reviews. One viewer in particular has even expressed their everlasting disappointment as they will be “forever mad that The Walking Dead got boring” as the drama had “so much potential”. Many reviews expressed how the series “started off decent, [and] turned into trash”. But how did it go so wrong after a promising start? Possibly, it was how the series “turned away from its genre roots so hard” that it became less exciting for fans, as a review on IMDb suggests.

Nevertheless, in spite of the reviews, The Walking Dead was - and still is - the talk of the town. Following its fame, a spin-off series, Fear of the Walking Dead, was introduced. It tells the story of two families who blend together to survive the zombie apocalypse. Sadly, this spin-off can’t escape bad reviews, as one viewer wrote “poor writing hampers this zombie spin-off show”. The spin-off actually ranks worst, with its IDMb rating of just 6.2 in comparison to the Walking Dead’s more credible 8.2 rating. 

Updated 5 November 2021
RankTop 15 Most Boring TV Shows% of 'bad reviews'
1The Inbetweeners USA45.83%
2Iron Fist32.25%
3Marvel Inhumans32.00%
4Fear The Walking Dead29.26%
5The Walking Dead26.57%
6Girls24.00%
7The Punisher20.67%
8Riverdale20.59%
9Greys Anatomy20.31%
10Heroes20.20%
11Pretty Little Liars19.91%
12The Big Bang Theory19.79%
13Baywatch (2017)19.00%
14How I Met Your Mother18.35%
15Emily in Paris18.16%

The Last Airbender ranked as the most boring film ever

Fans of The Last Airbender have been waiting since 2005 for a live action adaptation. From directing The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, many were excited for M.Night Shyalaman to direct this project, but it soon became one of his most hated.

Following the huge success of the series, which has a whopping 9.3/10 IMDb rating, the film had huge potential to hit the same sweet spot - but failed miserably. The film has been widely described as one of the worst films ever, with critics commenting on the disappointing screenplay, special effects and poor directing.

One star of the movie, award-winning actor Dev Patel, cites the project as “one of the worst movies I've ever done”. The movie earned five Razzies, including worst picture. As a result, the film has less than half of the series’ IDMb rating, as well as double the disappointment.

Annabelle lacks all

[Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures][Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

With our love for horror films increasing as more technology is introduced to pull off the realism needed, horror fans were left simply wanting more from 2014’s Annabelle. A study by the Journal of Media Psychology found that people watch scary movies for three main reasons: tension, relevance and ‘unrealism’ - and this film seems to lack all of it.

Many reviewers disclosed that the film is “not terrifying enough” to be defined as a horror, which defeats the purpose entirely.  We’ve seen success in films centered around scary dolls before with the Child’s Play franchise. The films have received reviews that applauded the “highly entertaining” horror films, but the same can’t be said in this case for the female doll Annabelle.

Suicide Squad is biggest disappointment

[Image Credit: Warner Bros/ The Verge][Image Credit: Warner Bros/ The Verge]

The biggest disappointment title of 2016 has got to go to Suicide Squad. With an immense $175 million budget, DC fans expected not only the biggest movie of the year, but the best. Sadly, they were mistaken, as viewers spent two hours watching “one of the most lifeless action movies”. 

This movie was highly anticipated since it stars some of the best in the industry. With the likes of Grammy winner Will Smith and Oscar nominated stars Viola Davis and Margot Robbie, the film had all of the ingredients to create a supreme display. But not even A-listers could bring the energy required. A commentator on IMDb explained that “there was no energy to be found anywhere”.

Regardless of this failure, just earlier this year, a sequel was released starring new additions Idris Elba and John Cena. Whatever they did the second time around must have worked, as ratings have increased for the 2021 remake, shooting to 7.3 out of a possible 10, which is much improved from the previous 5.9.

Nonetheless, at least the sequel to Suicide Squad can be considered better than the original, which unfortunately can’t be said for Total Recall. With the original film being released back in 1990, fans were confident that the 2012 film would not only live up to its name, but exceed its reputation with the introduction of modern day film making.

Regrettably, this wasn’t the case and ratings dramatically dropped. The remake fell flat with its original fans as they took to social media to voice their preference, even confirming that they knew they preferred the original within just “5 mins” of watching the remake. From the reviews, it seems fans were not impressed with the lack of “focus on the story” as it fell into the trap of “too much action and shooting”, which left many confused by the plot.

During the same year, the likes of Limitless and Scream 4 hit our cinemas. Battle Los Angeles joined 2011’s film line up expecting the same reception. Inspired by a real-life incident during World War II, the film had the capability to be a massive blockbuster. Despite the potential, many viewers felt it didn’t quite capitalise on this, as it was “over-edited, under-directed, complete with cheesy dialogue, clichéd characters and weak story and acting” according to a 2011 review.

The filming took place in the popular location of Shreveport, where the likes of Texas Chainsaw and Olympus Has Fallen were also filmed. But this made no difference, as reviews still defined the story as a “boring mess”. This must be a kick in the teeth, as they really did splash the cash on this with a $70 million budget.

Updated 5 November 2021
RankTop 15 Most Boring Films% of 'bad reviews'
1The Last Airbender35.69%
2Annabelle34.00%
3Suicide Squad34.00%
4Total Recall31.02%
5Battle Los Angeles28.40%
6Justice League28.26%
7Green Lantern28.07%
8Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace27.95%
9Alice in Wonderland27.91%
10Clash of the Titans26.53%
11The Wolfman26.51%
12Ice Age: Continental Drift25.61%
13White House Down24.93%
14X-Men: Apocalypse24.58%
15Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 223.00%

The most disappointing TV and movies to avoid this Christmas 

With Christmas fast approaching, our study found the most disappointing TV shows and movies that may return to our screens over the festive period. During the festive season, most of us love to cosy up and enjoy the classic Christmas TV shows and movies. But how many leave us feeling not so jolly?

Star Wars spin off misses the mark

Star Wars, created by George Lucas, is an epic multimedia franchise that has flooded our screens from 1977 to the present day. The first spin-off show, Star Wars Holiday Special, stars the main characters we all met in the original film, with the introduction of an additional character who becomes long standing in the franchise. Celebrating the holiday from Chewbacca’s home planet, Life Day, the story follows the adventures of him trying to return to his family during this festive time.

Our study found that Star Wars Holiday Special had over a third of its reviews including phrases such as ‘disappointing’, with an embarrassing IMDb score of just 2.2/10. In comparison, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, released only a year earlier, has an impressive 8.6/10 IMDb score, with some viewers describing the film as a “milestone in film making”. With this previous success, it’s surprising that the holiday special missed the mark so dramatically.

Whether you’re a cat or dog person, you can’t help but feel sorry for Grumpy Cat as she takes us through her Worst Christmas Ever in 2014. Grumpy Cat, A.K.A. Tadar Sauce, became an internet sensation in September 2012 when a photo of her was posted on Reddit. Tadar then went on to become a commonly used meme, and by 2020 she had managed to lock in 2.6 million followers on Instagram alone.

In the movie, Grumpy Cat, after always being left on the shelf, is befriended by a 12 year old girl, who can speak the unique language of cats. The girl then goes on to adopt Grumpy Cat, and they embark on their Christmas adventures. The writer of the project even helped create beloved movies Garfield and Alvin and The Chipmunks, but unfortunately this couldn’t save Grumpy Cat.

Coincidentally, not only was Grumpy Cat, well, grumpy, but so were viewers as it is described to “certainly leave you grumpy” too. Despite her rise to fame and enormous popularity, the “low budget film” and “flimsy plot” didn’t have the same fame.

Santa Claus 3 is the fans least favourite sequel

[Image credit: Buena Vista Pictures][Image credit: Buena Vista Pictures]

What’s Christmas without Santa Claus himself deciding if we’ve been naughty or nice? Santa Clause 3 was far from nice to the fans of the previous sequel, as they rated the film under half its potential score. The original The Santa Clause back in 1994 managed to gain a more respectable rating. Fans called this sequel their “least favourite Santa Claus movie” due to the “predictable” plot and “anti-climatic” ending, which isn’t the feeling we want during the festive period. This sequel is actually the last one created in the film series, are we surprised?

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, ‘tis the season to be jolly words that are supposed to ignite joy and positive memories, but unfortunately not for all. 2006’s Deck the Halls has been said to “not have enough spirit to make this film remotely employable”, which is reflected in our study as 27.72% of the reviews we collected included negative phrases in what is meant to be a positive jolly season.

During the film, we see neighbours battle it out in the ultimate Christmas decoration war. Even though the movie stars distinguished actor Danny DeVito, the film is said to be a “comedy with no humour”, which is not what we’re used to seeing from DeVito. His acting is criticised as it appeared that he “moped his way through the story” to one watcher, which is definitely not the Christmas spirit we expect.

American Christmas comedy-drama film, Love the Coopers, graced our screens six years ago, but the love was short-lived so much so that the title was actually changed to Christmas with the Coopers. Fans took to reviews to voice how “super boring” and “what a mess” the film was! 

With writers like Steven Rogers having incredible success with globally known classic P.S I Love You, fans expected more from this Christmas film. In the film, four generations come together for their annual family reunion, something that is relatable to a lot of viewers during this time. Nonetheless, Christmas lovers hated the narration and pointed out that the film had “more sneers than cheers”, despite it being the most wonderful time of the year.

After watching the film, one viewer in particular even decided to post on Twitter a screenshot of their messages from their partner who was apologising for making them watch the film. We can only imagine how disappointing the film actually is.

As more streaming services are attempting to move away from posting full TV series, and are instead dripping episodes to the customer, would we be less bored if we were able to binge them all at once?

A survey conducted in 2020 found that 31% of Britons said they would be more likely to finish a show if they could watch all episodes at once, in comparison to the 17% who said they preferred the week-by-week method. According to market research firm Nielsen, the total amount of time people were spending per week streaming videos in 2020 increased by nearly 75% compared with 2019. 

In March 2020, we saw the UK enter a once-in-a-century pandemic lockdown, which forced us to remain in our homes. With working from home also being introduced for the first time to many employees, this became a perfect excuse to binge shows we never normally would have.

As we began to spend more and more time at home, has this affected our interest in week-by-week shows? Or did this actually just make us lose interest quicker than usual? Either way, one in five UK viewers have actually called in sick to binge-watch TV so whether we’re in a global pandemic or not, Brits love kicking back in front of their TV!

Max Beckett, broadband & TV expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “With so many platforms constantly producing new content, it can be hard to decide what’s going to be worth your time and what’s best to avoid.

“We now spend almost half of our lives in front of a screen, and as much as 21 hours a week consuming television. Therefore it can be useful to look at  IMDb ratings to determine which TV shows and movies aren’t worth tuning into to avoid disappointment.

“As streaming services become more accessible, the choice of content is growing. Ustream is our onsite tool that helps film fanatics and series lovers plan out their viewing calendar and understand which platforms are needed, or not needed which could save you money.

“The tool can help to plan your nights on the sofa and will give you peace of mind knowing you’ll have great content available for the cheapest price.”

Methodology & Sources

A variety of factors were included in the Most Boring TV Shows and Movies study.

The most boring TV shows were calculated by collecting IMDb reviews for each film/tv show/ Christmas film. These reviews were then analysed for keywords including boring, disappointing, waste of time, predictable, worst and mediocre. If a review contained one of these keywords, it was categorised as a 'boring review'.  The percentage of boring reviews were then calculated by dividing the number of boring reviews by the total number of reviews collected. 

Films with a higher percentage were classed as more boring than those with a lower percentage.

All data was collected in November 2021.

IMDb - Reviews used to collect data

Why do people like horror films? - Psychological Appeal Driving the Popularity of Ultra-Violent Horror Films 

YouGov - Bingewatch Britain? Viewers more likely to finish a TV series if it’s released all at once

Nielsen: How The Pandemic Changed At Home Media Consumption

Engoo - One in Five UK Viewers Call In Sick to Binge-Watch TV