The Most Hated ‘Gunsmoke’ Episode of All Time ‘Should Have Never Been Made,’ According to Fans

The Most Hated ‘Gunsmoke’ Episode of All Time ‘Should Have Never Been Made,’ According to Fans

Gunsmoke has a type of episode for everyone over the course of its 20-season run. However, the Western television show was bound to have its share of duds, as well. Longtime fans continue to rewatch classic episodes, which speaks to the show’s excellent staying power. Gunsmoke audiences spoke through online ratings as to the episode that they hated more than any other.

The ‘Gunsmoke’ episode count totals 635

The Western show was an adaptation of a radio show by the same name. It first came to television in 1955, but the change in the cast took viewers some time to adjust to. However, James Arness, Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, and Dennis Weaver would ultimately warm the hearts of audiences across the country. It became so popular that it became the top-rated show for a few consecutive years.

Gunsmoke stuck around until 1975, bringing the episode total to 635. The network, CBS, suddenly canceled the show without warning, which was a horrible surprise to the cast and crew. However, Arness had the opportunity to reclaim his role as U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon for five made-for-TV movies starting with 1987’s Return to Dodge and ending with 1993’s The Long Ride.

‘Gunsmoke’ episode ‘Brides and Grooms’ is the most hated of all time

Based on IMDb audience ratings, Gunsmoke audiences had a clear least favorite episode of all time – season 20 episode 19, which was called “Brides and Grooms.” In fact, some reviews went as far as to say that they hated it. Victor French directed the episode based on Earl W. Wallace’s screenplay.

“Brides and Grooms” continued the story told in season 20 episode 6 – “The Wiving.” The first episode followed a farmer named Jed Hocket (Harry Morgan) who asked his three sons – Ike, Luke, and Shep – to seek out brides in town.

Meanwhile, the follow-up episode picked back up with the sons of the eccentric farmer who finally managed to meet women willing to marry them. Little did they realize, the wedding process was a lot more difficult than they imagined. “Brides and Grooms” was the second episode Hannah Cobb (Fran Ryan) appeared in, as the farmer tried to pursue her.

“Brides and Grooms” earned a staggeringly low user score of 5.3/10, which is the worst of any Gunsmoke episode ever. Viewers went as far as to call it “embarrassingly bad,” “terrible,” and “cheesy.” Others went as far as to say it “should have never been made” and that they would have given it a zero if they had the opportunity. The users pointed to the fact that the original story in “The Wiving” was already uninteresting, but that this episode really doubled down on a plot with “bad writing” that they had no interest in.

‘Bad Lady from Brookline’ is a close second

Despite the fact that Gunsmoke fans pointed to “The Wiving” as being a terrible episode, it wasn’t the second worst-rated one. Season 10 episode 32, “Bad Lady from Brookline,” earned the second worst IMDb rating with a 5.5/10. The 1965 episode was directed by Michael O’Herlihy and written by Gustave Field.

“Bad Lady from Brookline” explored Molly McConnell’s (Betty Hutton) journey, who just arrived in Dodge searching for her husband. She discovered that he died at the hands of Matt, so she began to learn how to handle a firearm to exact her revenge.

The reviews largely blamed Hutton’s performance, as one user wrote that she “couldn’t act her way out of a wet paper bag.” They were saddened that she failed so miserably in an attempt at a comeback performance that simply didn’t work out, in addition to her “tone-deaf” singing.


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