30 Underrated TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch Immediately
Already finished House of Cards season 2? Here are 30 more criminally underrated shows that deserve some of your TV attention. At least until Game of Thrones comes back.
1. Banshee – Cinemax
Rising star Antony Starr (get it?) leads the way in this over-the-top show as a criminal on the run who takes on the identity of a small town sheriff in Banshee, PA where his ex-girlfriend now resides. Banshee is insane right from the very beginning (transgender computer hacker anyone?) and everybody should be trying to catch up.
2. Orphan Black – BBC America
So much as been said about Orphan Black and Tatiana Maslany that no further explanation is required. If you don’t watch Orphan Black, you should probably not be allowed to watch television in general.
3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Fox
This Golden-Globe winning comedy is truly an ensemble show, with Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti, Andre Braughner (!) and Joe Lo Truglio leading the way as the hilarious and somewhat competent cops of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
4. The Good Wife – CBS
The Good Wife may easily be one of the best shows on television, period. Julianna Margulies is perfect as the icy politician’s wife turned lawyer Alicia Florrick, while Josh Charles and Christine Baranski own the screen as fiery partners WIll and Diane. The Big Bang Theory is great and everything, but CBS’s true star is Alicia Florrick’s facial expressions.
5. Broadchurch – BBC America
Now that David Tennant is set to reprise his role in Broadchurch in the American version Gracepoint, it seems only logical that everyone should watch the original series. At its heart, Broadchurch was a murder-mystery show that was about so much more than just a simple killing.
6. Bob’s Burgers – Fox
Bob’s Burgers is one of the smartest cartoons on television right now, and Tina Belcher is every twenty-somethings spirit animal.
7. Masters of Sex – Showtime
Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen are in a show about sex. Why are you not watching i??
8. The Americans – FX
Everyone was skeptical about Keri Russell’s ability to sell herself as a Cold-War era Russian spy, but Russell and The Americans have blown all expectations out of the water. The characters are smart and have depth, something sorely lacking in many spy shows these days. Plus, Margo Martindale plays a Russian handler, something you CANNOT miss.
9. True Detective – HBO
By now everyone has been talking about the Woody Harrselson/Matthew McConaughey detective series and so should you. It’s a slow burn for sure, but its brilliant and beautiful, very much worth catching up on.
10. Portlandia – IFC
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein star in one of the funniest scripted/sketch comedies of recent years. If you don’t believe me, go watch the “Battlestar Galactica” bit, and then come back and tell me it’s not hilarious. I’ll wait.
11. The Mind of a Chef – PBS
Narrated by Anthony Bourdain, this cooking show is for those who desire something more than Guy Fieri yelling at the screen. It stars people who have actual Michelin stars to their name, and provides a behind-the-scenes look at what drives some of the most innovative and exciting chefs of our time.
12. Community – NBC
For all the fuss that Dan Harmon created when he was fired then rehired, Community is easily one of the more brilliant decisions by NBC to keep on the air (despite it’s less than stellar ratings). A show about community college could easily be seen as mean-spirited or just not funny, but Community is that rare TV gem that manages to blend heart with humor. And of course, it launched a thousand Alison Brie gifs. You’re welcome internet.
13. Misfits – Hulu
Ostensibly about a group of teenage juvenile delinquents who develop super powers after being struck by lightening, Misfits was a brilliant and gritty look at what happens when the weakest in society suddenly become powerful. It was a great watch, and the entire series is on Hulu Plus.
14. Top of the Lake – Sundance Channel
Now that Elisabeth Moss has finally won her Golden Globe, maybe people will actually watch Top of the Lake and realize its what The Killing should have been – a crazy intense detective show.
15. Fresh Meat – Hulu
A Hulu original series that was imported across the pond, Fresh Meat was well worth the effort. A show chronicling the exploits of several hilariously awkward college freshmen and their journey towards adulthood proves to be an instant classic.
16. Archer – FX
So much has already been said about Archer, from its quippy dialogue to the fact that Arrested Development’s Jessica Walter plays basically the same character (Gangie for life!). But Archer changed everything up in the fifth season by revamping the entire premies of the show, and it’s working beautifully. The first four seasons are available to stream on Netflix, so get on that ASAP.
17. Teen Wolf – MTV
Do you enjoy The Vampire Diaries but are tired of the constant Elena-Damon-Stefan love triangle? Do you enjoy supernatural thrillers set in high school? Do you like shirtless hunks? Then why are you not watching Teen Wolf?
18. The Wrong Mans – Hulu
As TV’s version of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, James Corden and Matthew Baynton star in one of Hulu’s best original series. Part spy thriller, part workplace comedy, and part bromance – The Wrong Mans is easily one of the best and most underrated shows out there. Did I mention everyone has a British accent?
19. Nathan For You – Comedy Central
Did you fall into a coma recently and miss that fake LA Starbucks “Dumb Starbucks” pardoy coffee shop took over the internet for a day? That was for this show. Watch it.
20. Episodes – Showtime
Breaking the Friends curse (sorry Matthew Perry!), Matt LeBlanc stars in this Showtime gem as a fictionalized version of himself. Trying for a comeback in Hollywood, LeBlanc is arrogant, self-centered, and generally the exact opposite of Joey Tribbiani. So good.
21. Parenthood – NBC
Do you like to cry? Because the Braverman clan of NBC’s Parenthood will actually bring you to tears every single episode (I heard its in the show’s contract). Come for Lauren Graham, stay for Monica Potter. Parenthood is great TV people, don’t miss out!
22. Shameless – Showtime
William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum star in the overwhelmingly under-appreciated Shameless, the Showtime drama concerning the troubled Gallagher clan – led by Macy’s Frank Gallagher. Rossum and Macy are both in the roles of their lives, and Shameless has only gotten stronger in its third season.
23. Trophy Wife – ABC
Many people don’t realize how funny Malin Akerman can be, so they are completely missing out on how hilarious she is in Trophy Wife. But honestly, the true star of this show (besides national treasures Bradley Whitford and Marcia Gay Harden) is Albert Tsai, who plays Bert Hamilton. A true star in the making.
24. Awkward – MTV
Awkward is one of the best TV shows MTV has produced since TRL with Carson Daly (RIP). Its high school characters are frequently unlikable and thus relatable, AND it stars Michael C. Hall! Watch immediately.
25. The League – FX
Nick Kroll (Kroll Show) + Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed) + Paul Scheer (Human Giant) = comedy gold. Just watch The League, you cannot be disappointed.
26. The Goldbergs – ABC
Everyone thought The Goldbergs was going to be another That 70s Show ripoff/failure, but it has pleasantly surprised those who kept watching. I’m not saying its great TV yet, but its definitely better than most people think.
27. Longmire – A&E
Yes, A&E has a show that doesn’t involve duck hunting or storage wars. Longmire follows a small-town sheriff who returns to work after his wife’s death. It also stars Katee Sackhoff as the sheriff’s deputy. What more do you need?
28. Boardwalk Empire – HBO
Although recently cancelled, everyone should immediately log onto their friends HBO Go account and rewatch Steve Buscemi star as criminal mastermind Nucky Thompson, who ran Atlantic City in the corrupt 1950s.
29. Borgen – DR1
A popular Danish series featuring the story of a charismatic female politician who unexpedebly becomes the first female prime minister of Denmark. Its as intense and addicting as The West Wing, and with another long wait until the new House of Cards – Borgen should be the next political show people are talking about.
30. Luther – BBC America
Idris Elba? Check. British psychological crime drama? Check.
Seriously, what is stopping you from watching this right now?
Previous Post: 17 Rage-Inducing Harry Potter Confessions
Next Post: 10 Macabre Murder Tales From Asia That Will Make You Sick