Five terrible sitcoms from the last 20 years

Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs in "2 Broke Girls."
Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs in "2 Broke Girls."WARNER BROS.

There is no shortage of bad comedy from the past 20 years of TV. Every year, the networks toss a few of them onto their schedules, still underestimating, even in this era of prestige TV, the intelligence of the average viewer. In choosing the five worst here, I decided to focus on those that were particularly disappointing. Maybe the talent led me to expect more, maybe the popularity (ahem, No. 1) made it seem even worse.

5. “Dads” A groaner about old-coot fathers and their video-game designer sons that managed to be unironically sexist and racist before the end of the pilot. (Fox, 2013-14)


4.“$#*! My Dad Says” Based on a Twitter feed, this soulless, clichéd William Shatner vehicle was a hack job. (CBS, 2011-12)

3. “Mulaney” It was a huge disappointment, since all the immensely talented John Mulaney came up with was this dated “Seinfeld” wannabe. (Fox, 2014-15)

2. “Work It” Two unemployed men disguise themselves as women to get jobs, because, you know, men have it hard in this female-dominated world. (ABC, 2012)

1. “2 Broke Girls” It was banal and predictable, like so many bad-coms. But the schoolyard sex jokes, the ethnic and racial stereotypes, and the genital-based humor made it a shoo-in for the worst. (CBS, 2011-17)

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.