I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I do, however, believe in people not giving something totally awesome a chance. Sometimes these underrated shows are cancelled, but sometimes they get a second wind, a la “Firefly” or “Veronica Mars.” Sometimes a show goes on for seasons but never gets the recognition it deserves as a show full of well thought out characters, exciting story lines, or inventive locations. A television show can last 10 years and still be a gimmick and not a good representation of amazing storytelling. Some shows win it right off the bat, some take some time (maybe years) to convince of their amazing cast or storylines. Some of these are more well known than others, but on this list of 14 shows, only four lasted more than three years. Open your mind to some new characters and stories and check out my list of some of my favorite underrated TV shows.
“Firefly” is a great example of a TV show that was ended before its time. Practically everyone knows the story of the little show that had a studio sequel long before “Veronica Mars” blew up Kickstarter. Half cowboy comedy and half space drama “Firefly” will make you aim to misbehave. Watch season one and the movie sequel, “Serenity,” and catch up on what everyone else knows.
From the first time I saw “Reign” I was enthralled by the historically inaccurate but incredibly beautiful costumes and attractive royalty. This show will pull you into history, embellished with some royal scandals and high relationship drama you won’t be able to get enough of. Currently on season two, “Reign” is heating up with enough royal drama for all.
3. “Cougar Town”
“Cougar Town” was a great concept with a terrible name. If you aren’t able to look beyond the horrible name let me remind you that Courtney Cox (our favorite “Friend” is a part of the crew) is 50-plus and she looks amazing! From the creators of “Scrubs,” you can be sure to watch until your stomach hurts from laughing, then take a break and watch some more later. This is the last season of “Cougar Town,” so watch while you can or catch up on the DVDs.
4. “Almost Human”
It’s obvious I like supernatural stories, but give me a story taking place more than 100 years in the future with amazing technology and Dr. McCoy from the new “Star Trek” series and well, I’m sold. Combine Police Detective and his “synthetic” robot sidekick and you’ve got a moral and ethical dilemma with enough meat for some great stories. It might have ended too soon, but while it lasted, “Almost Human” did give us some quality screen time.
They had me at “creators of ‘Will & Grace,'” but I stuck around due to the amazing cast (made up of Sophia Bush, Brandon Routh, David Krumholtz, and Brandon Urie it was a no-brainer). Full of the same intelligence and smart sense of humor as “Will & Grace,” it was sadly cancelled before its time. Although thank goodness, and since then Sophia Bush is killing it on “Chicago Fire,” and Brandon Routh is the ATOM on “Arrow” and “The Flash.” Routh recently said he hoped “Partners” would make it to DVD soon, and we agree!
6. “Teen Wolf”
It’s not just the hot cast that keeps me coming back. When you mix high-schoolers with werewolves, you are bound to end up with cheesy story lines, but “Teen Wolf” has a interesting set of characters dealing with more than just supernatural problems. While Stiles is my favorite, there is more to the show than sarcasm and abs. “Teen Wolf” is one of those shows that comes and goes from Netflix often, so keep an eye out and watch it when you can! Season 5 will be back before you know it!
7. “Beauty and the Beast”
Come for a weird supernatural story line, but stay for the romance. There are always moments in a supernatural show that are almost too much, but the romance of Cat and Vincent is worth the supernatural pain. A modern retelling of a classic tale taking place in New York City doesn’t have a simpering heroine, but a NYC detective with some serious skills. Season 3, rumored to be the final season, will air on the CW this summer so catch up on Netflix before it’s here!
It’s been off the air for years, but it was and is, in my opinion, one of the seminal shows of the late ’90s. Sisters, secrets, and superpowers is only the beginning of this family drama. They might be witches, but they are sisters first, and the family dynamics and romances throughout the season makes for some great stories and plots. Seeing the sisters grow from inexperienced women in their 20s to full-power Charmed Ones is still one of my favorite shows to rewatch.
9. “Eye Candy”
Shows on MTV get a lot of flack, and most of it is justified. I mean it’s supposed to be “music television,” but in the past few years they have made some strides in unique and interesting storylines. If doesn’t hurt that they fill their casts up with seriously attractive people. “Eye Candy” is a story of a hacker with a mysterious past being stalked by a serial killer via a dating app. It’s “Girl with A Dragon Tattoo”-meets-every police procedural ever, but with a unique perspective from twenty-somethings dealing with murder. You can watch all the episodes on the MTV app or online.
Five sesaons and it still wasn’t enough. “Fringe” was one of the most innovative shows on TV, and despite being put in the Friday death slot, we still got five seasons worth of compelling sci-fi storylines full of murder, intrigue, alternate universes, and science fiction from the mind of Walter Bishop. I completely blame “Fringe” for my affinity for Joshua Jackson and Walter still goes on my list of favorite characters ever. Watch all five seasons on Netflix.
11. “One Tree Hill”
“One Tree Hill” was often referred to as ‘The Little Show that Could,’ and it was nine years of incredible storylines. Despite those nine years I still get funny looks when I tell people it is one of my favorite shows. It is chock full of drama, but also heart, action, and comedy. You can watch all the seasons on Netflix, so get watching.
This is an oldie, but one of my favorites. I’ll be honest it has some pretty cheesy moments for a show about teenage aliens in Roswell, New Mexico, but it’s also full of heart. Aliens learn from humans how to be human and all that jazz, but it also has action, government intrigue, and of course a little romance. The best shows get you a little bit of everything, and honestly teenage aliens is pretty funny! Watch all three seasons on Netflix.
13. “The Last Ship”
Post-apocalyptic story line: check; human population dwindling due to plague: check; small group of humans stuck on a Navy battleship: check; and one female not in the Navy (therefore able to date the men): check. What started as a time-killer turned into a pretty fascinating storyline about a battle carrier full of men and women who don’t know if their families are alive. High drama plus guns equals excitement-filled episodes with action and adventure. Catch up before episodes come back this June.
14. “Chicago Fire”
Firemen and EMTs dealing with life or death circumstances breeds a high drama. Firehouse 51 is filled with brothers (and sisters) and the firemen look out for each other. “Chicago Fire” is full of action and high stakes along with amazing action sequences and multiple crossover events. Since it premiered it has since spawned a spin-off, “Chicago P.D.” Watch “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.” online.
What are some of your favorite TV shows that don’t get enough love or recognition? Tweet us @litdarling.