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23 extremely underrated TV shows you should binge ASAP

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In Binged, Mashable breaks down why we binge-watch, how we binge-watch, and what it does to us. Because binge-watching is the new normal.


Ever feel like you’ve discovered the greatest show ever, only to learn it’s not getting nearly enough recognition? You’re not alone!

With hundreds of original shows coming out a year, it’s impossible to watch everything. Unfortunately, that means unsung masterpieces inevitably fall to the wayside while the masses obsess over the Game of Thrones and Breaking Bads of the world

And while it’s totally tempting to just hop on the popular show bandwagon or re-watch your go-to comfort binge on a loop, it’s worth it to branch out and give some lesser-known shows out there a chance.

In search of hidden television gems for you to add to your queues, I asked a group of dedicated binge watchers from Mashable and beyond to share the most underrated shows they’ve ever seen. (I offered up a few of my own favorites, too.)

Next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling on a streaming service for a new show to dive into, consider checking out these under-appreciated hits on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and YouTube.

NETFLIX

1. Schitt’s Creek

Schitt's Creek cast

The Rose family loses their fortune, forcing them to give up their wealthy lifestyle and start over from scratch. Nearly all of their material possessions are seized by authorities, except for a single asset they’re allowed to keep: A town named Schitt’s Creek they once purchased as a joke. 

The show follows Johnny (Eugene Levy), Moira (Catherine O’Hara), David (Daniel Levy), and Alexis (Annie Murphy) as they adapt to their new home — a  poorly kept motel — and embark on a wild journey of small-town living and self-discovery.

Why it’s so binge-able: Schitt’s Creek is like no other show on television. I was reluctant to give it a try at first, but once I moved past the corny and slightly confusing title I fell hopelessly in love. The show’s finally started to receive some praise during its fourth season, but the level of appreciation is still not high enough. TBH, I’m not sure it ever will be!

The acting is superb, the storylines are both hilarious and meaningful, and the characters will leave permanent imprints on your heart. You’ll laugh out loud, you’ll tear up, you’ll do both simultaneously, and after finishing the series you’ll want to scream-recommend it to every living being you encounter. To this day, it remains the most enjoyable television binge I’ve ever experienced. 

2. Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy in 'Peaky Blinders'

If you’re in the mood for thought-provoking drama, action, and intense character relationships, look no further than Peaky Blinders. The British crime series focuses on the inner workings of the Shelby clan in Birmingham, England, post-World War I. 

Led by the fearless Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), the family members make up the Peaky Blinders — one of the area’s most powerful gangs. Together they work to control the streets of Birmingham, putting outsiders in their places and going to great lengths to protect each other along the way.

Why it’s so binge-able: Peaky Blinders is so good it’s honestly mind-boggling at times. The show is big in the UK, but it’s truly time the rest of the world hopped on board and experienced the brilliance. Each episode delivers a constant stream of suspense and adrenaline, and just when you think you have the Shelby family all figured out, they pull one over on you. The show also has perhaps the most badass theme song of all time.

3. Lovesick

'Lovesick'

Formerly titled Scrotal Recall — yes, really — Lovesick follows a protagonist by the name of Dylan (Johnny Flynn) as he embarks on an especially uncomfortable journey to visit past lovers and inform them he has a sexually transmitted disease. Fun!

The British sitcom explores the electric sparks, reassuringly magical comforts, and impossible awkwardness of intimate friendships, relationships, and life.

Why it’s so binge-able: Mashable Entertainment Reporter Proma Khosla outlined seven reasons why the show’s such a perfect binge, including its next-level ability to portray existential dread, some especially sweet friendships, and a refreshingly diverse cast.

4. Great News

Great News

Great News follows Katie Wendelson (Briga Heelan), a dedicated producer at the cable news network MMN. While she struggles to prove to her colleagues she has what it takes to excel in the industry, her overbearing mom Carol (Andrea Martin) just so happens to get hired as the company’s newest intern. Casual! The hilarious mother/daughter duo juggles to strike a balance between personal and professional while working alongside a unique crew of news lovers.

Why it’s so binge-able: “Great News is a fabulous oddball workplace comedy that should’ve fit right into the NBC family but never quite found its audience. It channels the best 30 Rock feels (it’s from the same producers and 30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield) with its TV-insider setting and insanely talented cast (where else can you see Broadway legend Andrea Martin nail punchlines alongside Nicole Richie?). The series’ run may have ended, but the binge is forever.” —Proma, 27

5. Skin Wars: Fresh Paint

Scene from 'Skin Wars: Fresh Paint'

As part of the Skin Wars franchise, Fresh Paint explores the art of using bodies as canvases. Former Skin Wars contestants mentor a group of artists who compete in a series of challenges to win a $10,000 prize. Each episode also ends with ambitious full-body pieces that are sure to wow you.

Why it’s so binge-able: Skin Wars: Fresh Paint is like Netflix’s Nailed It, but with less baking and more nudity. Hosted by the one and only RuPaul Charles, this reality show follows six artists taking their first brush strokes as competitive body painters … I cannot recommend this 9-episode masterpiece enough. Pro tip: Enjoy without pants.” —Ali, 23

HULU

6. Younger

Hilary Duff and Sutton Foster on Younger

Younger creatively tackles ageism in the workplace as 40-year-old Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) works to pass herself off as a 26-year-old to get back into the publishing industry.

Starting over as an assistant at Empirical Publishing, Liza reclaims her youth while struggling to hide her secret from her uptight boss (Miriam Shor), her 20-something co-worker Kelsey (Hilary Duff), a young love interest named Josh (Nico Tortorella), and the head of the publishing house, Charles (Peter Hermann). It’s quite a ride.

Why it’s so binge-able: I love Younger so damn much I’ve already outlined a number of reasons why others should give it a watch. Every episode is a refreshing delight filled with drama, humor, books, and close-knit relationships. If you’re looking for a feel-good comfort binge with some depth to it, this is the show for you.

7. Forged in Fire

'Forged in Fire'

The History Channel presents Forged in Fire, a competition show for amateur knife-makers that gets, uh, extremely intense. Each episode — hosted by Wil Willis, an expert on weapons and a veteran of the U.S. Army and Air Force — puts a group of craftsmen to the test. Contestants are challenged to combine materials, creativity, and skill to create game-changing blades worthy of a $10,000 prize.

Why it’s so binge-able: “I cannot recommend highly enough this truly dumb and troubling show. The show moves fast and is full of slow-motion shots of fire, sparks, and red-hot metal being pounded by industrial hammers. It’s essentially Chopped but with weapons, and at the end they test these enormous swords on ballistic gel torsos to see if they are capable of killing a man.” —Bob, 29

8. Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23

'Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23'

In the mood for a show about roommates? Of course! Who isn’t? Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 is here for you, and even though it abruptly ended after two seasons, it’ll still fill you with joy.

Go along for a ride with June (Dreama Walker) and Chloe (Krysten Ritter), two very different personalities who are trying to adjust to working, making friends, and living together. The upbeat show provides constant laughs, and James Van Der Beek stars as himself, so there’s that.

Why it’s so binge-able: Mashable Entertainment Reporter Alison Foreman outlined a solid 23 reasons why you should give the show a chance, promising, “the comedic beats of Don’t Trust the B sizzle with sparkling finesse. With each passing episode, you will laugh until your face hurts.”

9. The Mindy Project

'The Mindy Project'

Mindy Kaling shines in The Mindy Project, a show about Mindy Lahiri, a young OB-GYN who’s constantly striving to improve her personal life, excel in her career, and find true love — all while remaining unapologetically herself.

Kaling’s writing is beyond hilarious, and the show’s packed with brilliant one-liners you’ll be thinking about months later. She isn’t afraid to tackle topics like sexism, racism, fertility, and single-parenthood with humor and tact. And the show’s full of a quirky bunch of charismatic and lovable supporting characters who come to feel more like family members by the time the series ends.

Why it’s so binge-able: The Mindy Project is a must-see for any fan of Kaling, comedy, great writing, or memorable pilots. Tune in to watch her give romantic comedies the love they deserve, reunite with The Office co-star B.J. Novak, and call out privileged white men around the world in the historic episode, “Mindy Lahiri is a White Man,” or you’ll be missing out. 

10. Peep Show

'Peep Show'

Peep Show‘s main characters — roommates Mark (David Mitchell) and Jeremy (Robert Webb) — live their chaotic lives side-by-side in search of love just like everyone else. But unlike other shows, viewers can essentially hear their every thought. It’s a narrative comedy series told from a unique perspective, and did we mention Olivia Colman’s in it?!

Why it’s so binge-able: “Peep Show is one of the bleakest comedies out there — is there higher praise to be had? Even as its characters ruin weddings, relationships, childhoods, and most everything else, the show’s hook of letting you in on their inner monologues makes you bond with them in a way that feels different and deeper than most sitcoms. The show lets you laugh without having to ignore the pitch-black abyss at the core of modern life.” —Corey, 33

11. You’re the Worst

'You're the Worst'

You’re the Worst follows the complex relationship between Gretchen Cutler (Aya Cash) and Jimmy Shive-Overly (Chris Geere) — two people with some serious commitment issues struggling to find love and lasting happiness.

Along with their somewhat odd group of friends, Gretchen and Jimmy experience the ups and downs of life, and everything in between. The show also has one of the most moving and realistic portrayals of depression on television, and though it can be a heavy watch at times, it’s full of comedic relief as well.

Why it’s so binge-able: “There are so many shows about beautiful people dating in either New York or LA that it’s honestly insufferable, but I’m telling you to ignore any impulse you have to writing off You’re the Worst as being just another one of those. With incredible actors who aren’t afraid to, y’know, be the worst, this show continues to dig deeper into its characters alongside beautiful direction, music supervision, and, of course, writing. Now in its final season, I recommend you binge quick so you can say goodbye to this beloved show as its last remaining episodes air.” —Jessye, 25

12. Revenge

'Revenge'

Travel to the Hamptons and bask in the glory of wealthy snobs with the good old ABC drama Revenge. The show follows Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) on a journey to avenge her father’s death. Under a new identity, Thorne cozies up to the family responsible for framing her father for an act of terrorism and uses every skill she has to take them and their co-conspirators down one by one. 

Why it’s so binge-able: Sure Revenge is from 2011 and there’s a good chance your aunts watched it live on cable every week, but if you’re in the mood to completely immerse yourself in a superficial, dramatic AF storyline that you’ll likely never be able to relate to, I can confirm this hits the spot. It has elite parties, love triangles, blackmail, murder, and yep, you guessed it — sweet, sweet revenge.

13. Grown-ish

'Grown-ish'

Executive-produced by Anthony Anderson, Grown-ish is a show fans of Black-ish should definitely consider. It follows Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) as she sets out on her own to start freshman year of college. Though she struggles to tackle classes, responsibilities, and relationships, with the help of a kickass group of friends, she sets out to master adulthood.

Why it’s so binge-able: Grown-ish is definitely aimed at a younger audience than Black-ish, but the heart of the show remains. Yara Shahidi thrives in a college setting and is in great company, surrounded by a group of talented, up-and-coming actors. The binge is fun and light and also give great insight into the very real stresses that face today’s youth.

14. Take Two

'Take Two'

There’s only been a single season of Take Two so far, but the cop-themed comedy starring Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian has the potential to keep fans hooked for quite some time.

After actress Sam Swift (Bilson) gets out of rehab,  the entertainment industry refuses to cast her, leaving her no choice but to shadow a private investigator named Eddie Valetik (Cibrian). The two, of course, grow to value one another greatly and prove to be quite the dynamic duo under pressure.

Why it’s so binge-able: The plot makes no sense and seems extremely dangerous and highly implausible, but still, you will enjoy. This recommendation was also made assuming everyone is a Rachel Bilson fan and has already seen Hart of Dixie; if that is not the case, add it to your “To Binge” list as well.

15. Sabrina the Teenage Witch

'Sabrina the Teenage Witch'

Looking for a perfect comfort binge that can also give you a heavy dose of nostalgia? You can do no better than Sabrina the Teenage Witch. When Melissa Joan Hart was Sabrina Spellman, she lived a far more normal, fun, and relatable life than the Sabrina in Netflix’s recently released Chilling Adventures.

She used her powers to navigate everything from school and friendships to romance and more, and you know what? It was enjoyable as hell to watch. 

Why it’s so binge-able: No offense to Netflix, but the original remains the far superior Sabrina. Though it was free of Satan and other terrifying demons, the show was extremely advanced for 1996, and only got better with age. The casting was perfect, and while Salem wasn’t a real cat in the original, he did talk, which is the much better deal IMO.

16. Casual

'Casual'

In the mood to watch some drama take place in a family that’s not your own? Check out Casual, a Hulu Original centered around Alex Cole (Tommy Dewey) and his family. After a series of events, Cole finds himself living with his recently divorced sister Valerie (Michaela Watkins) and angsty teen niece (Tara Lynne Barr). Together they try to build friendships, engage in healthy romantic relationships, and get their messy lives back on track.

Why it’s so binge-able: “Casual is another story about a rich, dysfunctional family. But its dysfunction is curiously comforting to me — probably because, beneath it all, you know implicitly that however bad it gets for these people, the bond between thirtysomething siblings Alex and Valerie and Val’s daughter, Laura, won’t ever disintegrate. Michaela Watkins gives one of the best performances I’ve ever seen, giving life to a woman in a stage of her life we hardly ever seen on TV.” —Corey, 33

17. My So-Called Life

'My So-Called Life'

Looking for another nostalgic binge? Give My So-Called Life a shot. The angsty high school drama starring Claire Danes only lasted a single season, but it was truly a good one. Be warned, though, binge-ing this show may cause you to lean against walls, say “like” to yourself in dialogue a lot, and embark on a quest to perfect your brooding stare.

Why it’s so binge-able: “I stumbled across My So Called Life during my freshman year of college, way after it finished airing… I watched the whole season in an unhealthy amount of time — when binge watching was just starting to be cool. While I loved Claire Danes’ deep narrations about wanting to dye her hair and hating school, my favorite part of the show was Rickie, the Gay Friend. He reminded me of what I wish I had been during high school: stylish and unafraid, even though he was going through it … Also, Jared Leto.” —Harry, 24

18. The Venture Bros.

'The Venture Bros.'

Adult Swim’s hilarious animated series, The Venture Bros., which premiered in 2003, focuses on the eventful lives of twin brothers, Hank and Dean Venture, along with their family friends — and murdering bodyguard. It’s a real good time for all, except the people getting killed, of course.

Why it’s so binge-able: The Venture Bros. is a surprising, witty, weird, and very funny show that takes the classic trope of superheroes and super villains and turns it on its head… Venture Bros. goes into some very weird places as a sort of homage/absurd parody of shows like Jonny Quest. The writing is unique and original, digging into things like health care for super villains, the motives behind being a hero or a villain, and all kinds of ethical quandaries, propelled forward with an extremely talented voice cast and attractive art style.” —Kellen, 25

OTHER

19. Review

'Review with Andy Daly'

The Comedy Central series Review stars comedian Andy Daly as Forrest MacNeil, a critic who doesn’t review typical safe things like movies or food. Instead, MacNeil reviews real-life experiences firsthand, like attending prom, stealing, and drug addiction.

Why it’s so binge-able: “No one ever listened to me to watch this show and it was cancelled — COINCIDENCE? I think not. Review follows the always affable Forrest MacNeil (played by the always affable Andy Daly) as he sets out to review life experiences for his show within the show, often to the detriment of his personal life and wellbeing. As Forrest charges full-speed ahead at every insane review presented his way, the show manages to pull off increasingly dark turns — the third episode finds Forrest eating 15 pancakes, getting a divorce, and eating 30 pancakes (in that order), for crying out loud.” —Jessye, 25

Where to watch: Comedy Central

20. Pushing Daisies 

'Pushing Daisies'

Ned (Lee Pace), a pie-maker who casually happens to have the ability to bring dead people back to life, teams up with a private investigator to solve murder crimes.

Things get a bit more complicated for the duo after Ned brings the love of his young life, Chuck (Anna Friel), back from the dead only to realize he has to avoid touching her for the rest of time to preserve her life.

Why it’s so binge-able: Pushing Daisies is — and you can fight me on this — one of the best shows of all time. Witty, charming, and visually breathtaking, it’s the perfect way to spend an hour or seven. It’s quirky without being cloying, almost impossible not to fall in love with every single character, and features some of the weirdest, most joyful death-related visual effects I have ever seen. The hurried ending is pretty much the only negative, but at least it makes for even more binge-able material.” —Katarina, 23

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

21. Detroiters

'Detroiters'

Best friends Sam (Sam Richardson) and Tim (Tim Robinson) are on an advertising mission in the Detroit-based Comedy Central show Detroiters. While they’re not wealthy or exceptionally talented, they do have a great deal of heart and low-budget commercials, which makes for a painfully entertaining journey.

Why it’s so binge-able: “RIP to my sweet, freshly canceled Detroiters. This Comedy Central show about two best friends (played by SNL‘s Tim Robinson and Veep‘s Sam Richardson) running their own ad company in Detroit is full of heart and delightful jokes to scream-laugh at. I mean, in the pilot, a bartender asks the boys if they want their beers hot or cold and Sam tries to pull a man off life support. What’s not to love?” —Jessye, 25

Where to watch: Comedy Central

22. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Originally on Nickelodeon, Avatar: The Last Airbender is an animated series about a group of kids tasked with saving the world. Aang, Katara, and Sokka work together to fight Fire Nation and master the four elements.

Why it’s so binge-able: “I didn’t believe that Avatar: The Last Airbender could be as good as people were telling me, so I put off watching it. Don’t repeat my mistake! Avatar is a three-season fantasy epic about a boy named Aang who happens to be the Avatar — a spiritual being responsible for saving the world. It’s a kid’s show for sure, but one with enough depth, compelling characters, and incredible storytelling to put it in league with the original Star Wars trilogy. (Fight me!)” —Alisa, 34

Where to watch: YouTube or Amazon

23. Freaks and Geeks

Thanks to John Hughes, when you think about the 1980s there’s a very good chance you think of classic high school dramas. Freaks and Geeks falls in line with that theme perfectly and follows a group of outcast pals trying to survive the daily challenges of teenage life. Not to mention, the 1999 show had a truly stacked cast.

Why it’s so binge-able: “It only lasted one season but it was a GOOD one. At 18 episodes (the original 12 that aired, plus the rest, released after cancellation thanks to pleading fans) you can do the whole thing in a weekend. You’ll get plenty of high school pathos, plus the cast is pretty incredible and plays out like a ‘before they were famous’ deep dive: Linda Cardellini, Busy Philipps, Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jason Segel. And since it’s set in the early 1980s, the costumes and soundtrack are killer.” —Nicole, 34

Where to watch: YouTube or DailyMotion

Happy binge-ing, folks!

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