With so many bingeable shows on Netflix, it’s easy for even the best series to get lost in the queuing shuffle. We’re living in the age of Peak TV after all. But there are a handful of true gems that deserve their time to shine, comedies and dramas and Viking epics that shouldn’t be overlooked — especially if you’re craving some damn good TV. We’ve rounded up a few of the most underrated, but totally awesome, TV shows worth your time because algorithms can’t be relied on for everything.
The Last Kingdom
3 season, 26 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
If Vikings and epic battle and political intrigue are your thing then you’ll like this medieval series about a Saxon lord striving to reclaim his birthright as England unites against a Danish invasion. Alexander Dreymon plays Uhtred, a Saxon-born, Viking raised warrior who finds himself torn between two worlds as he fights to help an English king rule over the continent and wrestles with his true nature. There’s a colorful cast of supporting characters (some historical figures you might recognize), but what this show does well is its action, giving fans gritty, realistic warfare that feels just as exciting as any CGI showdown.
2 seasons, 12 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
It’s positively blasphemous how underappreciated this comedy series about a group of rowdy Catholic school girls living in Northern Ireland during the 90s. The girls get into all kinds of trouble — stealing lipstick from dead nuns, pranking hot priests, and holding holy statues hostage — to the backdrop of the Northern Ireland conflict. It’s funny and heartfelt and manages to weave the terror and trauma of living in a war-zone with the normal angst and adventures of teenagedom.
1 season, 6 episodes | IMDb: 7.9/10
Sacha Baron Cohen has spent much of his career transforming himself into an offensive fictitious Kazakh journalist named Borat for laughs, making it almost impossible to separate the actor from the divisive character we all love to hate. We say “almost” because this new spy drama based on a true story of an Israeli agent named Eli Cohen sees the actor inhabiting a completely different type of political figure on screen. Cohen (the titular spy) infiltrates the Syrian Ministry of Defense on behalf of Mossad, rising through the ranks to become Deputy Defense Minister and a close confidant to the future president of Syria during the war between Israel and the Middle East. It’s high stakes action combined with shrewd social commentary, and it might just be the best performance Cohen (the actor) has given yet.
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson
1 season, 6 episodes | IMDb: 7.6/10
Saturday Night Live and Detroiters alum Tim Robinson creates and stars in this 15-minute sketch comedy series that is perfectly happy to offer up a few irreverent laughs without all of the post-comedy commentary that weighs down other funny shows in 2019. It’s a mixed bag of unconnected stories about toddler pageants and old men out for revenge and how Instagram has warped our social interactions in hilariously bizarre ways. What each of these skits has in common is Robinson’s particular brand of comedy and his unquestioned ability to make you laugh.
3 seasons, 41 episodes | IMDb: 7.5/10
The creators of Wynonna Earp knew that the world needed a supernatural Western with a brash, sh*talking heroine who has a love affair with her revolver, a magical weapon named Peacemaker, that sends the ghosts of dead outlaws back to the Hell they came from. They gave us that with Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) a young woman recently released from an insane asylum, carting a ton of baggage and a name steeped in legend. When she discovers that the dead enemies of her great-great-grandfather, lawman Wyatt Earp, are haunting her town of Purgatory, she takes up supernatural arms to send them back to their graves. There more to sell the show, like the fact that Earp is the kind of feminist hero rarely seen on TV, and the supporting characters feature inclusive, intersectional storylines that more than hit the mark, but the action and the witty dialogue are the main draws.
1 season, 6 episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10
Before Phoebe Waller-Bridge would become famous for playing a middle-aged sex addict who seduces a Hot Priest on Amazon’s Fleabag, she created and starred in this British comedy series about a group of 20-somethings living together in a disused hospital. Bridge plays Lulu, a young woman who reconnects with a friend named Anthony who is serving as a guardian for an out-of-use hospital in exchange for cheaper rent. Anthony lives with a collection of roommates including his girlfriend Kate, and the series follows their various exploits as Lulu tries to fight her attraction to Anthony and the rest of the flatmates struggle with their own romantic lives.
5 seasons, 66 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara star in this Canadian sitcom about a wealthy family forced to scale down their extravagant lifestyle with hilarious results. Levy plays Johnny Rose, a rich video-store magnate who loses his fortune when his business manager fails to pay his taxes. O’Hara plays his wife, Moira, a former soap opera star who, along with her husband and their two pampered children, must move to a town called Schitt’s Creek. Johnny bought the town as a joke when the family had more money than they could spend, but now, the town and its residents serve as a comedic wake-up call for a guy who has problems rooting himself in reality. Dan Levy is brilliant in this thing and it’s a damn shame that the show is so overlooked by American audiences. Let’s change that.
4 seasons, 52 episodes | IMDb: 7.5/10
Syfy’s The Magicians is often thought of as a grown-up Harry Potter, which, fair enough. The show begins as a fantasy-drama about a group of magically-endowed students studying at an elite, private school. But instead of wands, magic is done through incantations and fancy vogueing; instead of hangouts in Hogsmeade, there are orgies with demons and magical lands with high kings and queens and beasts and fairy queens and … well, you get it. It’s like fantasy on crack, this show, but it also deals with serious themes, like sexual assault, parental neglect, depression, addiction, etc. You learn quickly that magic can make those things better or worse, depending on the user.
Tuca & Bertie
1 season, 10 episodes | IMDb: 7.5/10
Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish voice the stars of this animated comedy from BoJack Horseman artist Lisa Hanawalt. Wong plays Bertie, a 30-something songbird thrush with debilitating anxiety, a knack for baking, and a truly toxic work environment. Haddish plays her best friend Tuca, a loud-mouthed toucan who loves to party and hates the thought of settling down. The friends try to hold on to their single days, even as Bertie takes the next step in her long-term relationship, and Tuca struggles to find her place in the world. It’s a more colorful, comforting world than BoJack, but it’s got the same great humor and surprisingly-thoughtful musings.
2 seasons, 16 episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10
The OA has been wildly divisive among critics but it’s earned a cult following among sci-fi fans. Brit Marling stars as Praire Johnson, a blind, adopted woman who disappears for seven years, and when she returns, she has scars on her back, she’s clearly been underground for a long period of time, and she can see. She calls herself The OA, and shares the details of her disappearance with only a few select people, her cult of followers. It’s an ambitious, imaginative series and although it is wildly uneven, it still remains thoroughly enjoyable.