Total Nerd

Beloved TV Shows That Have Aged Horribly  

Zack Howe
18k votes 3.6k voters 152.9k views 15 items

List Rules Vote up the TV shows that have aged like a fine gallon of milk.

Many people harbor fond memories of crowding around the TV to watch hit shows such as Friends and Home Improvement. Unfortunately, more than a few beloved shows don't hold up to modern standards of decency. TV shows that have aged badly are filled with offensive jokes, poorly-written scenarios, and painfully cheesy premises; all of which you probably overlooked in your youth. 

What's even more remarkable is that a few of these garbage series are regularly brought up as examples of the best shows in recent memory. Regardless of popular opinion, there are a lot of recent TV shows you couldn't make today, and for good reason. 

As is often the case with older films, these TV shows are nowhere near as wonderful as you remember them being. Get ready to have your youthful memories ruined. 

Baywatch is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Beloved TV Shows That Have Aged Horribly
Photo:  Baywatch/NBC

Baywatch was a show about women in bathing suits. That's it. The plot has little more substance than what you'd catch on late-night Cinemax. In fact, it might even have less; at least those movies know they're ridiculous. Despite all that, Baywatch was revived as a feature-length film in 2017.

At least this time around the story took pains to objectify men, in addition to women. 

More Baywatch

#28 of 43 on The Best '90s TV Dramas #8 of 122 on TV Shows with the Hottest Casts #2 of 17 on Pretty Good Comedies You Can Totally Check Out On Amazon Prime

see more on Baywatch
Family Matters is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Beloved TV Shows That Have Aged Horribly
Photo:  Family Matters/ABC

Family Matters deserves credit for putting a black family front and center in a sitcom (a decision which is, unfortunately, still far too rare). That said, what characters do you remember from the show? There's Steve Urkel (Jaleel White), sure, but who else? 

Unfortunately, the show amounts to little more than a single gag. As the episodes roll by, the clumsy, nerdy neighbor will appear time and again to knock [insert messy item] onto the floor, before saying, "Did I do that?". The show's writers seemed to feel that once they had plugged five or six of those instances into an episode, their work was as good as done. 

More Family Matters

#33 of 65 on The Best Sitcoms of the 1980s #91 of 294 on The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History featuring The Best Episodes of Family Matters The Family Matters Cast: Where Are They Now?

see more on Family Matters
Blossom is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Beloved TV Shows That Have Aged Horribly
Photo:  Blossom/NBC

Blossom is an interesting case; the show could have delved into some deep, complex issues regarding abandonment and mental trauma. Instead, it sidesteps all of that, opting for silly, infantile jokes.

The premise of the show is that Blossom's (Mayim Bialik) mother walked out on her family, leaving them to fend for themselves. This opens the door for all kinds of psychological exploration that even modern-day TV rarely tackles. Unfortunately, the show balks in the face of genuine societal issues, and ends up taking the goofy, predictable path. 

More Blossom

#51 of 65 on The Best NBC Comedies of All Time #35 of 54 on The Greatest Sitcoms of the 1990s, Ranked #75 of 80 on The Best After School Shows from the '90s

see more on Blossom
Lost is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Beloved TV Shows That Have Aged Horribly
Photo:  Lost/ABC

When it first premiered, Lost piqued the interest of viewers across the nation with it's titillating puzzle pieces that often seemed impossibly disparate. Why is there a polar bear on a tropical island? What could be behind the mysterious hatch that the gang finds in the jungle? What even is that thing that mauls the plane's pilot in the series premiere? 

After several seasons of filler, it became clear that many of the clues actually were added at random, and that the creators had no idea how to wrap things up. The series hit the bottom of the trough in season three, after a writers strike and a string of DUIs came together to dictate a significant portion of the story. 

Notable cringe-worthy moments include the episode that's devoted to the "secret" meaning of Jack's (Matthew Fox) tattoos (which are actually just a random collection of Chinese characters), and the episode where Hurley (Jorge Garcia) spends a full hour learning to drive a beat up Volkswagen bus. 

Like all good mysteries, the show was most intriguing when little was known about what was going on. The more the creators revealed, the less things seemed to matter, up until the series finale left pretty much everyone disappointed. 

More Lost

#6 of 780 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #23 of 283 on The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time featuring The Best LOST Characters Turbulent Stories From The Production Of ABC’s ‘Lost’

see more on Lost