8 Shows That Are So Bad They’re Good

This is my favourite television show genre. The So Bad They’re Good shows. It’s a tricky genre, because exactly what falls into bad enough to be good, but then also good enough that it’s not just completely terrible – it’s a fine line.

But they’re they’re the ones that are fun, because you can surrender to them, you have to forget about logic and reality, just enjoy the ride. The key is to try not to think too much and as someone who thinks too much about too many things, these shows are a welcome break for my brain.

So, here goes:

Jane The Virgin


Jane is  a 23 year old virgin, who is determined to wait until she’s married. She’s engaged to Michael – and their relationship is ridiculously cute. During a routine gynecological examination Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated with the sperm of rich hotel owner, Rafael. He’s married, sexy, infertile, and desperately wants to become a father… and inside Jane is his very last remaining sperm sample… It’s all love triangles, plot twists, random crime lords, long lost family members and constant drama.

The 100


The show is set well in the future, nearly 100 years after a nuclear armageddon renders the Earth uninhabitable. The entire surviving human race – just 2,400 people – live on a giant space station, the Ark, in Earth’s orbit. So naturally when it comes time to investigate whether or not the Earth’s surface is safe for humans, the adults decide to send down 100 teenagers – all of whom have been convicted of some kind of crime while aboard the Ark. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Of course these teenagers, despite living their entire life inside a metal box, all immediately know how to hunt, swim, build shelters, start fires, create complex weapons and not one person appears to suffer from any kind of Agoraphobia. The important thing with this show is to just relax and go with it.

Lost Girl


Lost Girl is a supernatural drama that centres around Bo, a succubus (yes… a succubus). During her first sexual encounter as a teenager Bo accidentally kills her high school boyfriend. An ensemble cast of both humans and Fae – supernatural creatures like Bo – help her learn what she is and how to control her powers and how to not kill people when she has sex with them, because she needs to feed off sexual energy. There’s a wonderful love triangle between Bo, Dyson and Lauren. Lauren is a human scientist and doctor who is practically a slave to the Fae, and Dyson is a werewolf police officer. It really does sound like a terrible porno, but there’s lots of really endearing moments between characters, especially with Bo’s human best friend, Kenzi.

Faking It


A pair of best friends at a high school that celebrates diversity pretend to be lesbians to become popular. Which would be a really uncomfortable plot if it wasn’t for the fact that one of the girls starts to genuinely question her sexuality, and then falls in love with her best friend. Throughout the show they are constantly introducing and then dissecting teen stereotypes, while also being comfortably predictable. The constant swearing is a little bit jarring though, it really feels like it’s forced, but other than that it’s a really light and relaxing show to watch because it doesn’t require very much brain power to keep up with.

Vampire Dairies


Totally predictable teen vampire drama. A hundred and something year old vampire falls in love with a high school girl and nobody bats an eyelid at the age gap. There’s lots of breaking up, making up, heartbreaking love triangles and people dying constantly with very little consequence. No really. People die in this show and then are brought back to life so often when a character does die it takes several episodes before you believe it’s really true… but then they’ll probably pop back to life the next season anyway. Somehow not as a rotting corpse. And the tackiest declaration of love that has made me tear up every time I’ve watched it (… only…umm… a couple of times…) When *someone* says to *someone else* “I’m not sorry that I’m in love with you.” WAHHHHHHHH. It’s so bad, but so amazing.

Pretty Little Liars


I’m going to do my best to describe this show, but even after watching 5 seasons of it I’m a little unsure exactly what it’s about. A teenage girl, Allison, is believed to have been murdered, and a year later her 4 closest friends start getting creepy, stalkerish messages from someone simply known as “A” – who is threatening to expose all of their deepest darkest secrets, some of which only Alison knew. Every time you’ll think that they’ve worked out who “A” is, there will be another plot twist and you won’t even know who you are anymore. Do not watch this if you like shows that tie everything up at the end – because it doesn’t. Ever. 5 seasons in I still have no idea who “A” is. It’s like trying to work out who the Mother is on “How I Met Your Mother.”

Once Upon A Time


The main characters from fairy tales are trapped in a fictional seaside town, called Storybrooke (*snort laugh*) with no memory of who they are and where they are from. They were sent there and cursed by The Evil Queen, Regina. The story centres around Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, who avoided being cursed as a baby by being raised as an orphan in the real world. Emma’s biological son, who was adopted by Regina was raised in Storybrooke and he finds Emma to save the town from the curse. I felt like there were too many episodes early on dedicated to “This is ridiculous, it can’t be happening”, but it picks up once Emma gets into the swing of the absurd.



Set in 1557, Reign is loosely (so very loosely) based on Mary, Queen of Scots, in her teenage years living in France. Don’t watch it if you like your period dramas to have more than a shred of historical accuracy. Mary has been engaged to Prince Francis since she was 5 years old, and while she develops feelings for him, she also has an undeniable attraction to his half brother, Bash (short for Sebastian). Meanwhile Francis’ mother, Catherine, plots against the relationship between Francis and Mary because Nostradamus predicts that their marriage will lead to Francis’ death. The plot twists are ridiculous and so much of it is just about teenage relationships. It’s so painful to watch, and yet, so very good. 

Some more shows that friend’s have recommended for this category are:

Gossip Girl
Outrageous Fortune
Brooklyn Nine Nine 
Z Nation
The Inbetweeners
The Shannara Chronicals
The Mindy Project
Good Christian Bitches

If you can think of any more shows that are so good they’re bad, and so absurd they’re actually brilliant, then please let me know, because I’m pretty much out of things to watch right now.

Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner. Rachel is obsessed prams, car seats, carriers and all things baby. She has worked in the baby industry for several years, for both suppliers and also in a retail setting and has developed a passion for connecting parents with the right products to make their lives easier. When Rachel isn't playing with prams she's enjoys crocheting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.


  1. Love love love all those shows. Try Shadow Hunters as well. I think you’ll like it.

  2. Mine is Nashville. The stories are ABSURD, but the music is amazing, and you just can’t look away! Love a little so-bad-it’s-good TV!

  3. I’ve watched a few episodes of pretty little liars and once upon a time…but haven’t heard of the others 🙂
    We all need trashy TV from time to time ?

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