Worst of Tube

updated 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

THE GAMBLER V: PLAYING FOR KEEPS
The song says, "You've got to know when to fold 'em." And Kenny Rogers, who dealt in Loni Anderson and Dixie Carter this time, should have thrown in this busted flush of a western three sequels ago. (CBS)

THE GRAMMY AWARDS
What gall, cutting off Frank Sinatra a few sentences into his Legend Award acceptance speech! Is this any way to treat a living monument? And where were all these self-appointed censors during Bono's endless, incoherent introductory harangue? (CBS)

HOWARD STERN'S NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY
This is just the way to usher in the year, with a Buffoon of All Media's toxic cocktail of crude and repulsive potty humor and immature sexual sniggering. In his scabrous beauty contest, one contestant's "talent" was eating maggots. Oh, the horror! (PPV)

MADONNA ON THE LATE SHOW
Her idiotic on-air chanting of a certain harsh expletive chagrined host David Letterman and proved conclusively that when it comes to parading her wit, the Pop Empress has no clothes. (CBS)

MTV'S WOODSTOCK COVERAGE
On-site but prohibited from showing the festival's performances, the channel's vacuous veejays faced 72 hours of time to kill. This, then, is TV hell: a bunch of zipperheads with nothing to say and all the time in the world to say it. (MTV)

THE ROSE ANNE BIOPICS
Do you realize how low you have to sink to make Roseanne's life look tackier than it already is? These two tawdry subtabloid treatments sure did. The Fox film traced Barr's life back to her childhood; NBC's concentrated on her life with Tom Arnold. Both movies wallowed so much in paranoia and self-pity, you'd never have guessed how funny Roseanne is. (Fox and NBC)

TEARS AND LAUGHTER: THE JOAN AND MELISSA RIVERS STORY
What might have been merely an awkward and amateurish chronicle became downright embarrassing when the dramatically challenged Riverses, mère et fille, elected to play themselves. (NBC)

TOM
In his second stab at a sitcom, Roseanne's ex took a rural route to bad taste. Neither Petticoat Junction nor Green Acres was Molière, but they never wallowed in septic-tank jokes. (CBS)

THE TONYA HARDING ODYSSEY
In the weeks leading up to the Lillehammer Olympics, Tonya got as much sustained and intensive TV coverage as the Cuban missile crisis did in its time. When the lead item on the network evening news breathlessly confirms that some charmless rink rat skated this day at the Clackamas Town Center, there's something wrong with our priorities.

WILD OATS
This would-be sex farce of a sitcom was utterly lacking in humor, taste, sophistication or chemistry. But then, what were you expecting from the network whose flagship family is the Bundys? (Fox)

NEAR MISSES

•HARDBALL (Fox)
•LAST CALL (Syndicated)
•MADMAN OF THE PEOPLE (NBC)
•SWEET JUSTICE (NBC)
•THUNDER ALLEY (ABC)

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