Drug-riddled exurbia, corrupt capital cities, countries threatened by terrorism, societies divided by race and class — in order to be nominated for the Outstanding Drama Emmy, it seems, your show has got to be set in someplace pretty bleak. Whether it’s Game of Thrones‘ Westeros or House of Cards‘ Beltway, these all seem like terrible places in which to live, so of course they’re great hotbeds of juicy drama. While we wait for the Academy to decide which show is the best, we thought we’d ask you: Which show’s setting is the absolute worst? We’ll break it down for you, in our own descending order of terribleness. Then it’s your turn to vote!
6. Mad Men’s 1960s New York City
On the one hand, you’ve got amazing fashion and furniture, the excitement of a changing society and the allure of the advertising industry and its accompanying liquor cabinets. But also: Things really still suck for women, people of color and homosexuals. There’s the Vietnam War going on. If you’re Don Draper, you will never be happy, even as a self-made rich white man. If you’re Don Draper’s wife, daughter or mistress, you’re totally screwed.
5. House of Cards‘ Washington, D.C.
The entire federal government — regardless of political party — is run by wheeling and dealing, self-serving, backstabbing men and women who care way more about personal gain than about public policy. The real question: Is this fiction?