Another episode, titled "Deacon Stan, Jesus Man," had a church-mocking plot where Stan competes with a neighbor to be elected deacon of his church, and then because of an incredibly strange sideplot about his supposedly pregnant son, he decides to resign from the post of deacon and puts on an elaborate show of pretending to be demonically possessed at church, which culminates with him vomiting in his vestments on the altar in front of the crucifix. It's bad taste on such a steroid binge that the show ought to be deceased by now.
Ron Howard, once the delight of family television as Opie and Richie Cunningham, is the narrator of the appropriately titled dysfunctional comedy "Arrested Development." Not only is it stuffed with curse words that have to be bleeped out, the show also employs some of the most outrageous double-entendres ever to find their way into primetime. In one episode, for example, one character says he was an analyst and a therapist, making him the first "analrapist." Other episodes have delved into the bizarre sexual proclivities of the main characters, such as Grandpa and Grandma's revelation that they derive sexual pleasure from being strangled with a belt.
One episode last spring featured a minister's wife throwing herself at Jason Bateman's lead character, begging, "Take me into your secular world." She rubs her body against his and tells him that she wants to "please him secularly." Later in the show, her teen daughter tells his teen son, "teach me the ways of the secular flesh."
Rounding out the list of worst shows on Fox are the teen drama "The O.C." and the rapidly aging "That '70s Show," which clearly ran out of its decade about three years ago. Fox does have two shows on the Best Shows list, as families love the talent show "American Idol" and "Bernie Mac," about the actor who plays the cranky but functional dad to his sister's children.
But with Fox TV, you have to take your joys in the shows that won't air rather than the ones that do. So raise a glass to the World Series, and crack a smile at the thought of Paris Hilton having one less vapid TV spotlight.
(With reports by Stephanie DuBois and Emily Feimster)