The Most Ridiculous TV Moments of 2017

All in all, 2017 was a great year for TV. Sure, there were some crappy new shows. But we were also introduced to some compelling new series and enjoyed often satisfying conclusions of some of our favorite series.

While we witnessed some truly great TV moments, there were also more than a few that made us say “WTF?” Both fictional and real-life developments shook us, disturbed us, and made us wondering if we ought to change the channel.

Here are some truly strange TV moments in 2017, from least to most ridiculous.

10. A.D. what? A.D. who?!

The group stands wearing black dresses in front of a house.

A not-so-interesting plot twist | Freeform

Pretty Little Liars was full of twists and often disturbing turns. For seven seasons, the Freeform series kept fans guessing about the identity of the sinister blackmailer, A.D.

But fans stuck through it, hoping that it would all be worth it in the end. And, they were understandably disappointed when the June series finale, “’Til Death Do Us Part” finally dropped the big revelation. That’s because, instead of it being a character they’d come to know over the years, it turned out that A.D. was Spencer’s British twin.

It felt like a let down to fans who’d invested so much time trying to guess A.D.’s identity, only for it to be a character they never even knew existed. Pretty Little Liars isn’t the first show to pull out an “evil twin” twist. But few would argue they pulled off this ridiculous late-stage reveal.

9. Once Upon a Time travel

Josh Dallas as Prince Charming and Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White on Once Upon a Time.

There’s just too much going on. | ABC

When fans learned that several actors would be leaving ABC’s Once Upon a Time, they knew some big changes were coming. They’ve introduced new timelines and new characters, and old characters in those new timelines, all in an attempt to keep things interesting.

To be fair, a lot of the fairy tale-themed drama’s changes have actually worked. But the constant jumping around between these various time periods, characters, and storylines can be overwhelming. In fact, a lot of the time it’s hard to figure out exactly how all the various threads could possibly fit together.

So, all the energy it takes to keep track of what’s happening with Hyperion Heights, Storybrooke, Henry, and Hook just ends up feeling ridiculously confusing for fans.

8. Pickle Rick

Rick Pickle laying next to a screwdriver.

Fans thought this episode would be more fun. | Warner Bros.

Rick and Morty has been the cause for multiple social media meltdowns this year. There was the great Szechaun sauce meltdown of summer ’17 (which we can’t wait to forget). And there was Pickle Rick, a much-hyped plot development in the show’s third season.

Fans were so pumped to see Pickle Rick in action that he became a meme before Season 3 even premiered. Then, episode in question finally aired, and some fans felt like they’d been totally trolled — because Pickle Rick was actually pretty boring.

It ended up offering very little of the depraved hilarity Rick and Morty fans expected. Instead, Pickle Rick became a kind of somber reflection on Rick’s addictions and his family’s dysfunction. And most of the episode wasn’t even really about Rick-as-a-Pickle. It was about Beth.

The fervor around Rick and Morty, in general, can sometimes seem pretty ridiculous to those of us who aren’t in the fandom. But the whole Pickle Rick journey wound up being something fans weren’t even sure they wanted.

7. A (wight) hunting they will go

The group walks together in the snow.

Was it really worth the trouble? | HBO

No one would ever accuse a fantasy show like Game of Thrones of being true to life. But between its nuanced portrayals of humanity and top-notch special effects, the HBO series has done a pretty darn good job of making its universe feel at least a little bit real.

That’s why Jon Snow’s Season 7 quest to capture a wight and bring it to the steps of the capital was, well, ridiculous. By and large, Game of Thrones’ surviving characters have lasted as long as they have because they’re pretty great strategists.

And yet Jon’s mission — simply to convince the Queen that the White Walkers are real — was incredibly dangerous, especially given the limited ROI. It was especially frustrating to watch Jon, Jorah, and the rest of the crew come so close to death, just to be rescued by Dany and her dragons.

Because they would have saved a lot of time, and energy, and a few lives if she had just agreed to fly them into the frozen tundra in the first place.

6. Eleven’s field trip

Eleven stares ahead while sticking too fingers to her forehead.

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things | Netflix

Stranger Things 2 managed to defy the odds, beat the sophomore slump, and thrill fans when it hit Netflix this October. And by and large, fans were pleasantly surprised with how exciting and emotional it was.

We loved Steve Harrington’s Adventures in Babysitting-esque redemption, banded together in our hatred of Billy and mourning over Bob Newby, superhero. And it was great to see Hopper and Eleven get some quality bonding time.

But one episode of Stranger Things 2 stuck out like a sore thumb among the rest of the awesomeness. The seventh chapter, “The Lost Sister,” found our favorite telekinetic preteen traveling out of Hawkins. She meets up with a gang of misfits, including another patient of Dr. Brenner’s. They cause some trouble, and Eleven wonders if she’s found her tribe. But she ultimately knows she has to return home to save Will and the rest of her friends.

In and of itself, it was a neat story. And it might have worked if it hadn’t been crammed into a single episode. But as it worked out, Eleven’s detour meant that Stranger Things 2 left fans hanging on some dire circumstances back at home (RIP Bob Newby, Superhero). And the whole ridiculous side story amounted to little more than a chance for us to see her in some “bitchin’” eyeliner.

5. What year is this?

Dale Cooper stands with his hand over his mouth.

Is there a more interesting explanation? | Showtime

Twin Peaks fans have been waiting for decades to find out the fate of their beloved Dale Cooper. And in 2017, they finally got a chance, when Showtime brought the cult series back for an 18-episode limited series.

Now, none of them were expecting any easy answers — David Lynch’s seminal series wasn’t easy to parse even during its original run, and fans were hoping for more of the same. Twin Peaks: The Return was, by and large, exactly what fans were hoping for. Except for the fact that it ended with another mind-bending cliffhanger.

In “Part 18,” after Dale Cooper has finally saved Laura Palmer from Judy, they arrive back at her home. But they learn it’s no longer the Palmer’s home at all. As they walk, dejected, into the street, Cooper asks a haunting question: “What year is this?” And Laura’s response is to look up at her home and scream, before the lights in her house flicker out, and everything cuts to black.

The ending left fans stunned — and wondering, in true Twin Peaks fashion, what it all meant. And, sure, it’s ridiculous that fans spent all that time waiting only to still be left in a lurch. But in retrospect, it couldn’t have ended any other way than with yet another unanswered question. And it was actually pretty brilliant that it did.

4. La La Land defeats Moonlight … or does it?

For the most part, the annual Academy Awards aren’t all that exciting. Sure, it’s fun to see your favorite celebrities dressed to the nines, and try and predict who will take home the evening’s biggest awards. But by the end, most viewers are usually trying not to fall asleep during the evening’s last never-ending acceptance speeches.

That was the case with 2017’s Oscar telecast. That is, until Warren Beatty read the wrong title when he was presenting the final award of the night, Best Picture. What happened next seemed like it was right out of a movie — chaos, as La La Land’s crew had to cut their acceptance speeches short and announce that underdog indie Moonlight had won, instead.

The ridiculous moment inspired memes and plenty of hot takes. But it also us a glimpse of something we rarely get to see these days on TV: genuine humanity, as the surprised winners-turned-losers graciously stepped aside.

3. A love that dare not speak its name

Archie and Ms. Grundy kissing in the backseat of a car.

A double standard at work. | The CW

Okay, so most of Riverdale is actually ridiculous. And if you’d ask the creators of the CW’s noir reboot of classic Archie Comics characters, they’d tell you it’s supposed to be. The series has drummed up buzz for its pop culture-soaked stories of murder, and a maple syrup drug ring, and a newly minted gang leader Jughead Jones (!). And it’s become a lightning rod for controversy over how it portrays teens and sex.

Betty Cooper going a little mad and trying to drown a football player while wearing a black wig and lingerie was definitely a little much. And her Season 2 strip dance in front of her boyfriend, his father, their gang, and her mother (!!) definitely stirred up a necessary conversation about how young girls’ sexuality should be portrayed on screen.

But hands down, the most ridiculous moment in Riverdale thus far was Archie Andrews’ steamy affair with his music teacher, Mrs. Grundy. The early Season 1 story earned considerable backlash for the series — and with good reason.

Riverdale ultimately made it clear that Grundy was (very illegally) taking advantage of Archie, and that what happened between them was all kinds of wrong. But between the steamy handprints-on-cars make out sessions and Archie and Grundy’s erotic moments in her classroom, it did seem like it was trying to make statutory rape seem kind-of sexy.

Fans were grossed out from the get-go. But before they abandoned ship, Riverdale pulled the plug on the story. They sent Grundy off to Greendale, and eventually made her a victim of the notorious Black Hood.

2. Rest in peace, kid

Carl stands over Rick as he lies in bed.

A character gone too soon | AMC

The Walking Dead has a habit of killing off pretty much all of its characters. And in its 2017 midseason finale, it upped the ante on cruelty by letting us know that Carl Grimes, son of Rick, is close to death.

Yeah, we all hated on Carl for a while. But taking him out of the picture at the exact moment that his father most needs his newfound wisdom is just plain mean. The series is already struggling to retain viewers, and this new development isn’t going to help.

After all, it’s hard to stay invested in a show that seems hell bent on making its characters and its fans as miserable as possible.

1. Some (not so) very fine people

Trump at a campaign rally.

Donald Trump’s words have caused hostility. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

Not all of TV’s most ridiculous moments came from scripted series. In fact, throughout 2017, some of the most jaw-dropping moments came from the POTUS. And none were more controversial, or more ridiculous, than when President Trump spoke to the controversy surrounding the August “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.

After the march devolved into a clash of violence, Trump addressed the behavior of both the neo-Nazis and the protestors that came to drown them out. He told a pool of reporters that the media wasn’t being fair to the alt-right rally attendees, and that there were “very fine people on both sides.”

Trump’s remarks were widely condemned, excepting the alt-right leaders thrilled by his support. And even in a year full of ridiculous Trump sound bytes, his defense of neo-Nazis still remains among the most appalling and ridiculous things a sitting president has ever said.

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