What Were They Thinking?

 WWTT   (Back Stage, 2004)

™ and © Back Stage

Subtitled “The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History,” this interesting volume does not hyper–focus on any one type of occurrence. For sure, there are dumb ideas for series (The Flying Nun, My Mother The Car). There are also dumb things on otherwise good shows. The Brady Bunch’s Cousin Oliver is an obvious example, although you may be surprised by the depths of The Dick Van Dyke Show’s “worst… episode… ever.”

It’s not only sitcom moments. Remember when NBC cut a pivotal football game in order to start Heidi punctually, only to miss a complete reversal? (If not, don’t worry—broadcasters will constantly remind us.)

Sadly, there’s no index and the chapter titles are often no help. From the cover, it’s obvious that the (I thought brilliant) show Quark is in there somewhere. It’s #96, under “Star Bores.” So, you have to hunt a little.

If you love TV (or bad ideas), you’ll enjoy this book. Work your way to #1, “The Worst Two Hours of Television Ever.” What are they? Just ask yourself if Wookiees celebrate Christmas...

— Jack Abramowitz

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210 pages; B&WDavid Hofstede