Worst entertainment of 2016

Books:

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat – Sean Ray

I’ve read bad comic book series before. This is the only one to make me drop the idea of every reading a single issue of it ever again halfway through its debut book. Author Kate Leth infantilizes what was once a strong female character, giving her nonsense problems to be solved in three panels with no real conflict at all.

There are no super heroics here, just a fully grown woman acting like a teenager and whining about the most inconsequential things. Marvel completely dropped the ball after introducing this character to wider audiences in “Jessica Jones” by producing this unreadable monstrosity.

Movies:

Batman v. Superman – Zachary Landau

Honestly, the entire pantheon of DC movies are the worst pieces of gutter trash to tarnish the lives of everyone who produced and witnessed them in a long time, and every executive, marketer, writer, producer and director responsible for producing these masses of malignant rectal cancer deserve to have their faces smeared with egg until the end of time for the crimes these films are. Because that is what these movies are: crimes. They are transparent attempts at conning unsuspecting consumers out of their money in order to make a quick buck while true artists with actual talent and vision suffer. And if Zack Snyder doesn’t donate every penny he made off of this dumpster fire to supporting the arts in low-income school districts, he should feel the shame of benefiting off of the work of others while aspiring artists languish in despair.

Suicide Squad – Kailey Love

A talented cast playing a crime fighting squad of super villains – sounds like an instant sensation, right? According to critics and many fans, wrong. Suicide Squad made its highly anticipated debut in August, only to be met with dissatisfaction. What was supposed to be the hit blockbuster of the summer turned out to be a huge disappointment and a earned very sad 26 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

While a New York Times review referred to the film as “so-so” and stating that it “trips over its own feet” in an attempt to keep up with the far more popular Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy, the San Francisco Chronicle’s review took the criticism a step further by referring to it as “two hours of soul-sickening confusion and sensory torment.” I’d say I agree with the opinion of The Chronicle.

The main criticisms of the film included the muddled plotline, unsatisfactory ending and (my personal number one complaint) Jared Leto’s annoying and unoriginal portrayal of The Joker. Despite all the harsh criticism, the movie still made 745 million and (somehow) held the number one spot in the box office weeks after its release.

The Secret Life of Pets – Nicole Prieto

There is no dearth of cute animal movies out in the world, and it is an accomplishment to fall into the category of the irreparably awful. But this summer’s “The Secret Life of Pets” (SLOP) managed to do just that. With a bland cast and total lack of direction, Illumination Studio’s attempt to give the world an insider’s look into the behind-the-scenes world that our furry friends lead falls flat. Instead, the movie is, to put it kindly, a long, crude joke with inordinate amounts of high-pitched screaming and awkward scene transitions.

This is a film that had me surreptitiously glancing at my phone in the theater to check how much time was left until it was over. The basic story is that dogs Max and Duke get lost in New York City and need to find their way back to their owner’s apartment. They run afoul of an abandoned pet gang and city dogcatchers along the way. This is perhaps as basic a “Tom and Jerry” plot as you can get. Yet, Illumination Studios manages to over-complicate what could have been a so-so family movie into a mess of unfunny gags, odd shout-outs, unsympathetic characters and meaningless subplots. (Seriously, who thought the sausage factory scene would be a good idea?)

Ghostbusters – Sean Ray

In a Hollywood obsessed with ‘80s revivals (I’m looking at you “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Jurassic World”) “Ghostbusters” stands out as an example of how not to bring back a beloved classic.

Rather than pay homage to one of the comedy-action greats of film history, this unnecessary remake replaces well timed and varied humor with an obnoxious and loud cast who seems to suffer to tell a single decent joke in this mess of a script.

Decent attempts from Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon cannot save this failure of a movie, sure to insult fans of the original and put off potential new audiences.

Songs:

Campaign Speech -Sean Armstrong

“Campaign Speech” is a song that Eminem felt the need to grace the world with because of the impending election.

An election where people voted, but not many left happy. Eminem decided to take a stance and bash on practically everyone. In this free style rap he tried to channel the anger of many voters.

However, in doing so he missed the mark on addressing any real issues. He tapped into his Slim Shady misogynistic tendencies talking about degrading women as he has countless times in the past.

This comes from someone who loves Eminem the artist, and doesn’t despise Marshall Mathers the person, but what was Eminem thinking?

All he did was go on an angry rant about how he would tell congress to step in line with what he wants, then never really gets to the point of what he wants. All he did was paint a scene of complete anarchy where degrading women, violence and insults reign supreme.

A world that makes Donald Trump’s more out there speeches about building walls and grabbing woman’s private parts seem tame. However, Eminem really captures what I feel the true meaning of this song is in the last line, “why am I such a dick?”

Make me… – Nicolas Jozefczyk

With Britney Spears’ release of her album “Glory” came an interesting song to say the least, “Make Me.” The song itself has a decent beat, but Spears’ voice does not aid the track. With obvious autotune and predictable vocals, it is completely lackluster. “Make Me” is full with uncreative euphemisms for sex, and honestly is a disgrace to creativity. G-Eazy is featured on “Make Me” and is able to add a rap break, but one that is not to stellar. Just like the rest of the song, the rap lacks creativity and is also filled with bad euphemisms. This song needs a lot of work, and should have not been one of the singles off of her album. For starters, the over really obvious autotune needs to go away. In this day-and-age, people like to listen to music made my singers who can actually sing, and this song makes its use of autotune remarkably recognizable. Also, G-Eazy just sounds cocky on his verse. Although there’s the rapper, cool guy stigma, it detracts from the feeling of the song. The song itself is flirtatious, but the rap sounds forceful. Do not subject your ears to this song, listen to some of Spears’ better hits instead.

Work – Loren Smith

“Work” by Rihanna feat. Drake is the worst song of 2016 mostly because of its annoying chorus. It’s basically the same few words repeated the whole time, and the rest of the lyrics really don’t make much sense at all. Even if you like the song, you don’t need to listen past the first verse, because it’s pretty much the same thing after that, with the exception of the Drake part. His verse is just about the only semi-bearable part of the song, but is still not that great. With both artists being talented musicians who have produced amazing songs in the past, “Work” seems like a lazy version of a song that could have been done much better both lyrically and musically. Looking at previous collaborations they have done such as “Take Care,” shows that they are capable of making good music together, and should be producing stronger lyrics than those found in “Work.” If the lyrics don’t ruin the song themselves, the overall boring tone and music do. Artists as successful as Rihanna and Drake should be producing music more meaningful and enjoyable than what you get when you listen to “Work.”

I’m With Her – Josiah Martin

Le Tigre’s “I’m With Her” was by far the worst song of 2016, a wasted opportunity for a powerful comeback by a long-absent synth punk trio, and a squandered chance to make a positive impression on a younger generation for its titular presidential candidate. Le Tigre is best known for “Deceptacon”, a punchy and memorable song from 1999 which later rose to fame in the early days of YouTube for its absurd music video. Le Tigre put out solid music intermittently in their brief career, but remained largely inactive in this decade until they released this pro-Hillary anthem “I’m With Her”, a sad and embarrassing parody of the band’s former self with borderline hysterically bad lyricism, and none of the energy and rebellious spirit that the band was known for. It will never be known for sure if this song accidentally swayed any potential Clinton voters to the Trump campaign, but it would most certainly be an understandable motive. Sitting through this entire song is a task, and should forever be associated with the tragic failure of the Clinton campaign. This song should have played during her concession speech.

Panda – Raymond Arke

A song that has unfortunately dominated social media and somehow wound up number one in the charts, “Panda” by Desiigner, is a hot mess of a loud, banging beat and lazy, nonsensical language. For starters, the lyrics are practically indecipherable, much of this stemming from Desiigner’s mumbling, slurring voice. Once you do figure out the words, the song becomes just another repetitive combination of fancy car names, alcoholic concoctions, and glamorization of a wealthy lifestyle. The first lines you hear refer to his possession of women and the lyrics really don’t improve. As someone who can enjoy rap music and believes it can be used to advance social issues, this song is a clear depiction of why many Americans are turned off by the entire genre. It’s loud, brash, and just plain annoying. The word “panda” is used nearly 40 times in the four minute song, according to my count. There are over 100,000 words in the English language; be creative and use them. Rap is capable of much more than this mindless anthem.

Perfect Illusion – Leah Devorak

If there was anyone I was expecting to hear a good single from this year, it was Lady Gaga, but the song she eventually released, “Perfect Illusion,” was such a disaster that I couldn’t even believe it was hers.

The album artwork and song title set high expectations for what I was about to listen to. Dramatic, drastically different: How could it not be fantastic?

Somehow, though, Gaga managed to make it the opposite. She took what should have been an incredibly powerful, personal pop anthem about being fooled into love and turned it into a grimace-making, eardrum-aching loop of bad lyrics, bad rhythm, bad rhyme and bad singing – not something the decorated artist normally does.

So I guess that means the only thing “Perfect Illusion” did right was literally be the perfect illusion. Fitting.

Music of this quality coming from such a seasoned professional is very disappointing. To be completely honest, the song is only “popular” and on the radio because Gaga has enough power and money to get it there. Without her immaculate fame, this song would have never even made it into the recording studio – as should have been the case.

TV Shows:

Fuller House – Madison Pastrick

Over 20 years has gone by since the extremely corny and family-friendly sitcom “Full House” went off the air. Even though most of us are too young to remember the show in its glory days, I’m sure many of you lived off the reruns that always seemed to populate the TV late at night. Because of this history, the show offers a sense of nostalgia, often relived whenever one of the show’s many catch phrases is mimicked. With this knowledge, Netflix must’ve assumed that its remake, “Fuller House,” would guarantee enjoyment amongst its viewers because the popular characters already had a following. Unfortunately for the Tanner family, this was not the case.

The season started off with the same corny phrases and references seen in previous seasons, but with characters that had grown out of the adorable-factor they once played on. The previously young and ambitious D.J. Tanner is now the widow of three young boys and has decided to move into her old house along with her sister, Stephanie and best friend Kimmy Gibbler. Does this arrangement sound familiar? And though Michelle is not featured in this remake, which the cast blatantly and awkwardly addresses, the rest of the characters appear throughout the season, adding cringe-worthy jokes and unrealistic anecdotes.

Except the factor of nostalgia, “Fuller House” has no valid qualities for enjoyment, but this isn’t stopping Netflix from premiering its second season this month. Perhaps this season will prove to be more successful than the first, but personally, I think the cast should just “cut, it, out!”

American Horror Story: Roanoke – Leonardo Sanchez

Fans have been worried about the path “American Horror Story” has been taking in the past few years. Since “Coven,” the TV show hasn’t been able to truly please its devoted audience and has witnessed its former success slowly dropping every new season. With Jessica Lange’s departure of the series after “Freak Show,” Ryan Murphy’s creation has been in need of powerful characters and a charismatic and coherent story.

“Roanoke” is another step away from the show’s former glory. Its two predecessors, “Freak Show” and “Hotel,” lacked the first three seasons brilliance, but were entertaining and interesting enough. The 2016 take on “American Horror Story,” however, is a confusing, rough tale about the lost colony of Roanoke. Throughout the season, the show struggled to get its viewers’ attention, but it had too many plot twists that ended up turning the series into an inconsistent and sloppy piece of storytelling.

The sixth season seems like a real horror show, but not in a good way. While it has the merit of having the most scary episodes of “American Horror Story” to date, it relies too heavily on scenes of torture and pointless violence, besides having an apathetic, fragile and unsatisfied conclusion to its characters. There was definitely a great idea behind “Roanoke,” but Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk seem to have lost track of their creation.

Slasher – Sean Ray

Horror TV shows may be on the rise, but this Canadian production does not come close to its competitors. The plot is way more confusing than it needs to be, its killer is just a knock off of John Doe from “Se7en” and every single member of the main cast is utterly unlikable. This dull experience was pure suffering to get through, and I sincerely hope this show takes a note from my best show, “Scream,” and learns how to improve in its second season.

Video Games

FNAF World – Zachary Landau

This assessment comes with a bit of a caveat. I actually really like this game’s creator, Scott Cawthon; he seems like a really nice and genuine person who is willing to admit any wrongdoing. Once reviews of Five Nights at Freddy’s World came out and everyone slammed this game, he apologized, offered to refund people who bought it, and then released a better version for free. And that was really cool. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that he released the sickening piece of flaming garbage in the first place. “FNAF World” is legitimately the only game that has made me physically ill to play, and it was probably the most poorly-thought game to be released ever. Twitching animations, loud, abrasive sound effects and seizure-inducing flashes are only the tip of this iceberg made out of excrement. This is to say nothing of the game’s deliberately obtuse story and structure meant only for the truly devout of the franchise (not saying that the series is bad, but at this point it really is an impenetrable wall). The sole achievement of “FNAF World” in my eyes is that it taught me a new breadth for the amount of hate I can feel towards a video game, a fantastic achievement considering how much I thought I understood my own loathing.

No Man’s Sky – Grant Stoner

Designing a seamlessly infinite, procedurally generated universe is a technological feat. Every planet, featuring their own unique flora and fauna is an artistic marvel, enticing players to explore caves, valleys and plains. Yet, despite the sheer beauty of space, Hello Games’ “No Man’s Sky” is nothing more than a shallow, empty title, full of broken promises and egregious amounts of hype.

After years of public demonstrations, interviews and numerous accolades, “No Man’s Sky” unsuccessfully delivered most features, leaving gamers disappointed and outright furious. Even the creator of the title, Sean Murray, fell victim to the overzealous amount of hype, publicly promising mechanics that were not present at launch. While a large update recently added a plethora of new features, the vast emptiness of “No Man’s Sky” warrants no place in any library.

The Division – Craig Taylor

“The Division” is everything that’s wrong with open-world co-op games. It’s boring, lifeless and grindy, and asks that you create your own fun with your friends rather than providing it for you.

On Black Friday, a smallpox virus implanted on banknotes circulates across New York City. The city is placed under quarantine until the virus can be contained, and the city turns into a wintery, lawless wasteland. To maintain order, “The Division”, a joint task force of emergency responders, patrols New York to preserve what’s left of the city.

As impressive as the massive overworld of New York City is, its barren streets devoid of personality personify what feels so off about the whole game. Ubisoft is known for their lack of meaningful collectibles and their poorly written stories, and the result is usually a game lacking context that’s almost impossible to invest yourself in. In a “role-playing” game, it’s key that players feel a connection to what they’re doing. And that connection simply does not exist in “The Division.”

What do you think? Leave us a comment!