10 TV shows that critics hated but fans loved

Morgan Jeffery
Photo credit: A&E / CBS / ABC / Netflix

From Digital Spy

Haven't we all had enough of experts?

There's a ton of TV shows out there that are adored by fans and critics – Westworld, Game of Thrones – and plenty more that are slated by both. But sometimes, there's a serious split, where Joe Public laps it up, but us professional pundits just can't see it.

Take these 10 hugely divisive shows, ranked by size of the gap between fan and critical opinion, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

10. Scream: The TV series

Photo credit: MTV

Critics - 47%, Fans - 73% (Gap - 26%)

Critical consensus on MTV's small-screen version of the satirical slasher film franchise was decidedly lukewarm. Fans, though, were more enthusiastic – enough watched to guarantee a second season, in any case.

9. Hemlock Grove

Photo credit: Netflix

Critics - 38%, Fans - 70% (Gap - 32%)

Eli Roth's Netflix horror show was a bit of a... well, horror show. But while the Los Angeles Times called Hemlock Grove "terrible" and IndieWire branded it "a mess", it had enough of a fanbase to last for three seasons total.

8. Falling Water

Photo credit: USA Network

Critics - 28%, Fans - 75% (Gap - 47%)

"Falling Water attempts complexity and intrigue but churns out an unimaginative concept lacking a redeemable payoff," reads the Critics Consensus.

Your average telly watcher was far less harsh and audience appreciation of this supernatural thriller from The Walking Dead's Gale Ann Hurd was enough to secure it a season two renewal.

7. Hand of God

Photo credit: Amazon

Critics - 30%, Fans - 81% (Gap - 51%)

Critics gave this Amazon Video original series a bit of a bashing when it launched in 2014 – Vox, in particular, called this tale of a corrupt Judge (Ron Perlman) on a path of vigilante justice "excruciatingly terrible".

Fans didn't agree. For one thing, Hand of God was picked up to series by Amazon precisely because the pilot attracted strong reviews (and, presumably, a whole lot of views) from its users.

6. Man with a Plan

Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

Critics - 21%, Fans - 80% (Gap - 59%)

How's Matt LeBlanc's new sitcom doin'? Depends who you ask.

Man with a Plan stars the once-and-future-Joey as a real man's man, struggling with a new life as a stay-at-home dad. Critics called the scripts "unimaginative" and accused Top Gear host LeBlanc of "underperforming" – but clearly his charm is still working on audiences.

4= StartUp

Photo credit: Crackle

Critics - 33%, Fans - 94% (Gap - 61%)

Sherlock's Martin Freeman plays an FBI agent looking into a team of tech hotshots – including The OC's Seth Cohen, Adam Brody – who may be involved in financial crime. This glossy thriller launched on streaming service Crackle last September, but it just didn't pop for critics.

"The plot strains credulity," said the New York Times, while the Hollywood Reporter called StartUp "laughable". Fans, though, have given the series a near-perfect score. Agree to disagree?

4= Conviction

Photo credit: ABC

Critics - 19%, Fans - 80% (Gap - 61%)

Hayley Atwell's massive fan following probably played into the massive split between critics and fans when it came to the short-lived ABC series Conviction.

You lot seemed to love this flashy legal drama, but it still met the axe after 13 episodes. Critics' verdict? "While Hayley Atwell proves a strong and likeable lead, her charisma alone cannot elevate Conviction from its worn and familiar trappings."

3. Iron Fist

Photo credit: Netflix

Critics - 17%, Fans - 79% (Gap - 62%)

One of the most recent examples of Critics vs. Fans. Reviews posted before Iron Fist launched on Netflix were almost universally negative, which may or may not have contributed to fans giving it the thumbs up.

Did they really love it, or were they just hitting back at the critics? In the end, it probably doesn't matter, with the first episode of Marvel's latest becoming Netflix's most-binged premiere of 2017 at its launch.

2. Marco Polo

Photo credit: Phil Bray/Netflix

Critics - 24%, Fans - 92% (Gap - 68%)

In a particularly sassy Critics Consensus, Rotten Tomatoes said of this Netflix historical epic: "An all-around disappointment, Marco Polo is less entertaining than a round of the game that shares its name."

Ouch. Fans were a whole lot more appreciative, though clearly the numbers still weren't there. Netflix dropped the show after two seasons, amid reports that it had led to a $200 million loss for the streaming giant.

1. Damien

Photo credit: A&E

Critics - 11%, Fans - 81% (Gap - 70%)

Merlin's Bradley James played an adult Antichrist in this TV sequel to The Omen, which was cursed with bad reviews from the off.

"A glacially paced, emotionally un-engaging and utterly suspense-free series," seethed TVLine. "James plays the part [of Damien] with such gloomy passivity that you might wonder if Satan's long-term plan is to bore the populace to death."

Jeez. When it comes to Damien, the split between fans and critics is so severe that it has to be the Devil's work.

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