We’re living in the golden age of television, and while that’s perfect for shows like Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead, it also means that smaller shows are often left in the cold. It can be incredibly difficult for a television series to find a large enough audience in such as crowded landscape, which is why I’ve created a list of shows that I believe are underrated and deserve more attention.
5 – Wilfred
“Elijah Wood stars in this comedy based on a popular Australian series of the same name. Wood plays Ryan, a young man struggling to make his way in the world. That is, until he meets his neighbour’s dog, Wilfred, and forms a unique friendship with the canine. Everyone else sees Wilfred as just a dog, but Ryan sees him as a crude, surly Australian bloke wearing a cheap dog suit. As the dog guides Ryan through a series of comedic, existential adventures, he also shows him how to overcome his fears and embrace the unpredictability and insanity of the world around him.”
If you’ve ever wondered what your furry friend is thinking, this is the show for you, but be warned, he’ll probably want to kill you. Wilfred explores the intense and hilarious relationship between a man and his dog in an entirely refreshing and honestly, crazy way. Trust me, if you want to see a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously and has some great comedy, you should definitely check this out.
4 – Banshee
“A recently paroled master thief assumes the identity of Sheriff Lucas Hood in Banshee, Pa., where his former lover and partner in crime relocated years ago and reinvented herself as Carrie Hopewell, the wife of the town’s prosecutor. As Lucas attempts to reunite with Carrie and keep his past a secret, he resumes his life of crime, even as he’s hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier, including a mob boss who seeks revenge against Lucas and Carrie for the jewel heist that landed Lucas in prison.”
Throughout its television career on Cinemax, Banshee was one of the most exciting, brutal and enjoyable shows, and over time we can only hope it will be appreciated. With an original story, great characters, and enough blood to make Game of Thrones squeal, you should definitely check out Banshee.
3 – Justified
“Deputy Raylan Givens has his own, Wild West-style methods of upholding justice, putting him at odds with the criminals he hunts and with his bosses in the U.S. Marshals Service. And an incident prompts his reassignment to the Kentucky district where he grew up. The character is based on one created by author Elmore Leonard in several books and short stories.”
Who doesn’t love modern day cowboys? Justified is without a doubt one of the greatest shows that hardly enough people watched. Not only is Raylan Givens one of the coolest and most badass characters ever put on screen, but Justified will also draw you in with some great storytelling, refreshing cop drama, and the worlds favourite Neo-Nazi, turned Christian, Boyd Crowder. Unlike a lot of shows, Justified ran for just the right amount of time, and when it was time to hang up the hat, Raylan Givens was gone like a flash.
2 – Spartacus
“Torn from his homeland and separated from the woman he loves, Spartacus is forced into slavery and condemned to the bloody gladiator’s arena in Rome. As he navigates the violent and brutal world, he realises that not all battles are fought in the arena and that he must overcome treachery and temptation to survive.”
To this day, watching this show with my father remains the most awkward experience of my existence. Before Game of Thrones, there was Spartacus, and my god was it brutal. Sex and violence (sometimes at the same time) were only the tips of the iceberg for this brutally exciting series, which to this day remains one of the most epic series on television. You should definitely check this out, but I highly recommend you find someone appropriate to watch it with.
1- Ripper Street
“Jack the Ripper was a serial killer who butchered many women in and around the Whitechapel District of London in 1888. This drama begins about six months after the final murder, with now-peaceful East London hoping that the reign of terror is over. Among the hopeful are members of H Division, the police precinct tasked with keeping order in the district, including Detective Inspector Edmund Reid, a forward-thinking detective haunted by a past mistake that ended in tragedy. While trying to keep order in the chaotic streets of Whitechapel, Reid is soon drawn into the seedy criminal underworld of Victorian London, where each new murder elicits fear that the Ripper may be back.”
I’ll admit that Ripper Street has only recently found its way into my life, but that only makes its underrated status more evident. Set in 1888 London, this series shows the horrible condition of Whitechapel after Jack the Rippers infamous reign of terror. With more Game of Thrones actors than you can count and some of the best storytelling on television, Ripper Street is must watch TV, and one of the most gripping shows to tackle Jack the Ripper.
Agree with my list? Let me know in the comments section below and if you think another show belongs on the ranking, make sure you shout it out.