WTF were they thinking?
We muttered that several times throughout 2018 at news centering on some of our favorite shows.
Whether it was about a show's storyline, the handling of a particular character, or a network's decision concerning a beloved show, we still manage a lot of eyebrow-raising around here.
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Just for fun, we've put together our list of eye-popping moments from 2018.
Which ones made you question everything? Hit the comments.
The Handling of the Apu Criticism - The Simpsons
The Simpsons responded to the criticism they received regarding Apu being a stereotypical character in a poor way. On the episode "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished," Marge is reading a story to Lisa, and Lisa turns to the camera and says "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?" The joke was in poor taste and was made worse by using Lisa, a political activist, to deliver it.
Dissociative Identity Disorder - Days of Our Lives
We have to nominate this whole messy Abigail Dissociative Identity Disorder storyline on Days of Our Lives. Abigail supposedly developed the disorder after accidentally killing Andre, then was raped by Stefan while dissociated and unable to consent and shamed by every character in town for it while Gabi drugged her and tried to make it look like Abby's mental illness had returned and Abby herself declared that part of her recovery was taking responsibility for choosing to have the sex that she couldn't consent to. Gabi's actions resulted in a desperate Abigail divorcing Chad to marry her rapist instead so she could get out of a mental hospital where she'd been committed involuntarily without even involving a psychiatrist. The whole story made a mockery out of mental health issues and treatment, promoted stereotypes that mentally ill people are violent and dangerous, and promoted shaming of a rape survivor -- and every time it seemed like it couldn't get any worse, it did.
Freeform Mocks Shadowhunters Fans (Yes, Really!)
Freeform canceled Shadowhunters and went on to mock the fans who were campaigning to save it. It all played out during an "enhanced edition" of Toy Story, and the network confirmed it would not be saving the series. It did not go down well with fans who raised money for various charities in honor of the series. And why should it? WTF?
Klaus and Elijah Die - The Originals
It felt like a cop out, but it also was just strange. It was a weird message to send to fans, killing off the most powerful beings in the finale for what was essentially shock value. I get that the actors wanted it and they didn't want constant questions about if Joseph Morgan would go to Legacies and they needed Hope to be going through a lot of pain, but it felt like the entire show had no real purpose. Klaus and Elijah battled so much only to still end up dead?
Aimee's Pregnancy - Superstore
This wasn't like a huge controversial issue, but it was strange the way the show chose to write in a pregnancy for the lead just because the actress was pregnant. They didn't have to, but if they made that choice, why have her get pregnant by her ex-husband? She was moving on and at the same time they were finally setting up Amy and Jonah, so this felt like an unfair obstacle to throw in there. But even more so, it kind of hurt that Amy was just starting to move on and do what she wanted for herself. She was putting herself first because her daughter was old enough for her to pursue more in her career and in her own road to happiness, only for her to have a pregnancy storyline.
Heather's Suicide - Heathers
It was hard to swallow the way that Heather died at the beginning of the season. They weirdly glorified her self harming, having her skate around in her own blood all the way home only to die on the couch where her parents didn't even notice. She tried to get help at the skating rink, but no one cared, so we had to watch her slowly bleeding out, all while it was framed in a "beautiful" contrast of the colors that she was surrounded by in her neighborhood and at the rink. It was very insulting and set the tone for how careless Heathers was about everything.
Lynching Prudence - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
There was some pushback from fans at the way Prudence was essentially lynched early in the series. Sabrina did it to punish her, and it wasn't a great message to send. Teen Vogue actually published a really valuable feature on it, even if not everyone agreed that the character was meant to be read that way.
Mishandling of Characters - The Bold Type
The biggest issue for the show was the way they promoted Adena and then sort of forgot she existed from time to time? They had Kat randomly decide that she wasn't to explore dating women, only to get Kadena back together in a monogamous way. From there Adena sort of didn't matter anymore, only to then randomly dump Kat in the finale because she wasn't creative when she was in a relationship? That combined with the way that just about everyone that had main cast billing (Alex, Jacqueline, and Oliver) felt like an afterthought in their own stories while Ryan, a love interest for Jane, came back in a continuous role just didn't sit right with the fans. It didn't help when the writers' room account on Twitter tried to defend Adena's lack of backstory this season because they felt they explored her enough in a one-off episode.
A Preventable Loss - Midnight, Texas
Midnight, Texas was a solid performer in the ratings during summer 2017. NBC opted to move it to the regular season after being off the air for over a year and on Fridays, no less. Yes, it was canceled, and yes, it was silly to think anything else would come from the mishandling of the show.
The Demise of a Gem - UnREAL
UnREAL was a refreshing look into the reality TV genre when it debuted in 2015. It all fell apart during UnREAL Season 2, but the show's final two seasons managed to capture the glory of the first one. It didn't help matters that it was shunned to Hulu for Season 4, and it was already announced as the final season. Wouldn't it have been a better idea to assess how the show performed on Hulu before confirming it was over?
An Out of Order Narrative - American Horror Story
American Horror Story dangled the apocalypse in front of our eyes like a carrot. We witnessed it occurring, and then the series went back in time to show how the Coven managed to stop the end of the world. The structure of the season was a huge mess, and the happy endings for the Murder House characters were undone as a result. In the end, it wasn't a worthwhile gamble because Satan managed to dig his claws into Emily and Timothy's child.
Netflix Evicts Three Heroes - Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil
Netflix went on a cancellation spree in the final months of 2018, but the biggest headscratchers were Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil. Even though Iron Fist was mauled by critics, the power of Marvel got it a sophomore run. However, there is said to be bad blood between Netflix and Disney as a result of Disney clawing its content back to put exclusively on Disney+. It leaves Jessica Jones and The Punisher as the sole series set in that universe on Netflix, and they are now very likely to be canceled after their upcoming seasons. All of the Marvel shows were popular, so this was a stunning blow dealt to fans.
David's Death - Scandal
Killing off the moral compass of the show was just another bizarre development in an already bizarre season. David was at a great point in life, and things between him and Abby were back on track. It felt like he was killed in the name of shock value, and for a show that used the element of surprise to thrill viewers over the years, it was pitiful.
A Sultry Cheerleader Scene - Riverdale
There was a clip of the cheerleaders heading to the local jail to dance for the prisoners. Like?Yes, Riverdale sexualizes the teenage leads but that was really strange to watch and understand out of context. It became one of the many memes that originate from Riverdale, but at this point, it feels like these ridiculous scenes don't always play into the "Riverdale is a guilty pleasure show" narrative.
Using Madi as a Vessel for Lexa - The 100
It is one thing to want to stick to your mythology and have the chip (with the memories of the previous Commanders) be used as a way to win a war. But when they had Lexa, Clarke's ex-girlfriend, speak through Madi, Clarke's daughter, they took it way too far. It got to a point where Madi quoted something from a conversation Clarke and Lexa had, one they shared right before they kissed I think? So you had fans questioning if that means Madi can see everything that Lexa shared with Clarke. Once you have your general audience genuinely confused if you are hinting at the lead's daughter having access to all the memories that her mother had with her girlfriend, you went way too far. You sometimes couldn't figure out if Madi or Lexa was talking to Clarke and it got uncomfortable very fast.