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Worst TV Show of the Week

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WARNING: Graphic Content!!! Do NOT push play if you don't want to see the explicit video!!!


Hidden Palms on CW

By Josh Shirlen


The CW’s new teen drama, Hidden Palms, premiered on May 30th in a cliché-ridden pilot filled with the typical Hollywood portrayal of teen life.  Obscenely rich kids with no responsibly or parental supervision and unrealistic, consequence-free lives peppered with promiscuity, drinking, and various devious behaviors made up the bulk of the show.  For those reasons alone the episode could have been named Worst of the Week, but this particular episode’s shocking and unexpected depiction of violence sealed the deal.


The first five minutes of the program (which airs in the 8 p.m. Family Hour) depicts a 15-year-old scholarly young man talking with his intoxicated father.  After a few moments of listening to his father’s ramblings, the young man asks his father for some privacy so that he can finish his studies.  The father stands up, draws a handgun from his pants and shoots himself through the mouth, the camera showing the man pulling the trigger and graphically splattering his brains on the wall. The son simply stares in disbelief at what he has witnessed. 


One year later, young Johnny Miller has gone to live with his mother and her new husband in Palm Springs.  The viewer learns that over the course of the year Johnny fell deep into drug and alcohol addition and was sent to rehab.  At his new home in Palm Springs his mother disapproves of his efforts to stay connected to AA.  Johnny finds an AA group that meets at a local church and is assigned a sponsor – who is a cross-dresser. Later, Johnny walks in on his mother having sex with her new husband. The viewer learns that Johnny blames her for his father’s death because she had several affairs during his youth.  Teen drinking also plays a major role in the episode.


It is bad enough that young viewers are exposed to the destructive and irresponsible behaviors depicted on Hidden Palms, but the impact that the father’s violent suicide could have is inexcusable. That the TV networks value ratings over the minds of their young viewers is shown by the gory shock opening.  For this reason, Hidden Palms deserves our pick for Worst of the Week.


Worst TV Show of the Week

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