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25 Underseen TV Shows to Binge-Watch This Weekend

25 Underseen TV Shows to Binge-Watch This Weekend

“Batman: The Animated Series”

What Is It? Those who love the Dark Knight or comics in general would be hard pressed to miss out on the classic “Batman: The Animated Series,” a ‘90s cartoon show that brought the caped crusader and his famous exploits to modern times. Its animation, complexity and the remarkable voices of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill resulted in praise by critics and fans alike, winning numerous Emmy’s and affirming Batman’s richness.

Watch It If You Like: “Daredevil” (Netflix), “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” Sophisticated Cartoons

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon Prime

“The Bletchley Circle”

What Is It? Seven years after the end of World War II, four women who worked as codebreakers adjust to lives devoted to domesticity and keeping their past secret. While they find boredom in the repetitiveness, a string of murders bands the women together to find the killer, all while keeping their investigation from their husbands. The miniseries contrasts tranquil home life with the murderer’s brutality, creating a tale of secrecy and mystery.

Watch It If You Like: Period Dramas, Spy Thrillers, Murder Mysteries

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix

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“Bored to Death”

What Is It? “Bored to Death” is a hidden gem. Set in Brooklyn, the show follows a struggling young writer stuck at a crossroads. Jonathan Ames, played by Jason Schwartzman, makes his beloved detective fiction jump off the page as he tries his luck as a private eye. But the cases — mainly acquired on Craigslist — become complicated as Jonathan’s ego, relationship issues, white wine habit, and high-demanding boss, magazine editor George Christopher (Ted Danson), intervene. A hipster version of James Bond, Jonathan finds himself in a wild goose chase around New York City with his best friend, comic book artist Ray Hueston (Zach Galifianakis). Well-written and witty, the trio of Schwartzman, Danson and Galifianakis make for a hilarious detective genre spin-off.

Watch It If You Like: If you’re a fan of Jason Schwartzman and his dry humor, “Bored to Death” is a must-see. He proved that playing a writer is what he does best in Wes Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited” and Alex Ross Perry’s “Listen Up Phillip.”

Where You Can Watch It: HBO NOW/HBOGo, Amazon Prime

“Broadchurch”

What Is It? The BBC crime-drama stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman as detectives working to find a young boy’s murderer. As the hunt continues, the town changes and struggles under the scope of the investigation.

Watch It If You Like: Crime dramas, AMC’s “The Killing.”

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix

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“Call the Midwife”

What is it? BBC’s period drama quickly gained viewers internationally for its fascinating look at the lives of midwives in 1950s London. The show follows Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine), a midwife at the Nonnatus House in the poverty-stricken Poplar district of London. Jenny works with the nuns of the Nonnatus House to help with midwifery in her town, confronting different families and women through their noble tasks. “Call The Midwife” has been praised for its ability to shed light on the feminist work that midwives did, in a time when feminism wasn’t as familiar a term as it is today.

Watch it if you like: “Downton Abbey,” “The Bletchley Circle,” “Parks and Recreation”

Where you can watch it: PBS, Netflix

“The Chicago Code” 

What is it? A cop show from the creator of “The Shield,” “The Chicago Code” will make for a short but sweet binge for anyone interested in equality. Why’s that? Well, let me tell you. Unlike many other network police procedurals, “The Chicago Code” is built around the first female superintendent of the Windy City and her quest to take down a long-standing gangster. Sure the show stars three top tier actors in Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Terminator Genisys”), Delroy Lindo (“The Cider House Rules,” “Get Shorty”) and Matt Lauria (“Friday Night Lights”), but this is Jennifer Beals’ show (“The L Word,” “Proof”), and she kicks some serious ass.
 
Watch it if you like: “The Fall,” “The Shield,” “Blue Bloods”

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Amazon Prime

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“Chuck”

What Is It? An underdog from start to finish, “Chuck” was the little show that could. The NBC action-comedy centers around your average, computer nerd next door Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), who receives a strange email embedded with the sole copy of a secret government software program. The email downloads the entirely of the government’s information database into Chuck’s brain, effectively turning him into a walking computer and consequently, one of the most important people in the country. The various agencies whose secrets Chuck has inadvertently downloaded are none too pleased, dispatching CIA agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and NSA hound John Casey (Adam Baldwin) to deal with the mishap, and so begins the spy drama spoof. Low ratings toward the end of “Chuck’s” second season put the show in danger of cancellation, but hearty fan campaigns successfully encouraged a third season renewal, then a fourth, and finally a fifth. Considering the number of times such crusades fail, “Chuck’s” consistent return from TV limbo leaves something to look into.

Watch It If You Like: “White Collar.”

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix

“Enlightened”

What is it? A hypnotically strange and deeply beautiful character study of one (irritating) woman’s quest to be good. Laura Dern plays Amy Jellicoe, a fast-rising executive who, after an very personal meltdown, rediscovers herself at a New Age retreat. Creator Mike White earned raves for this barely-seen two-season gem, which scathingly satirizes both New Age and corporate culture.

Watch it if you like: HBO’s lineup of unconventional half-hours, including “The Comeback” and “Getting On.”

Where you can watch it: HBO NOW/HBOGo and Amazon Prime

“Extras”

What is it? Ricky Gervais followed up his massively successful “The Office” with “Extras,” a mockumentary satire that digs into the tragicomic lives of extra actors. Gervais stars as Andy Millman, a lowly, long-time extra with his sights set on bigger things. Each episode features a celebrity cameo, with highlights including guest spots from Kate Winslet and Daniel Radcliffe.

Watch it if you like: Certainly Gervais’ brand of humor, from “The Office” down to “Life Is Short.” More generally, “Extras” is for any fan of cringe comedy.

Where you can watch it: HBO NOW/HBOGo and Amazon Prime (Season 1)

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“The Honorable Woman”

What is it? An engrossing, densely-plotted and brilliantly-acted political thriller. Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a career-best performance as Nessa Stein, the heiress of a nuclear arms dealer whose goal is to single-handedly bring peace to the Middle East. The miniseries clocks in at eight hours, weaving together a complicated web of historical ties, political affiliations and long-buried secrets.

Watch it if you like: Taut political thrillers including films like “Michael Clayton” and series like “House of Cards.”

Where you can watch it: Netflix

“Kroll Show”

What Is It? Given free rein by Comedy Central to provide his brand of comedy, Nick Kroll utilized “Kroll Show” to offer biting satire of television and pop culture, focusing his sights on the likes of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “The Jersey Shore” and “Degrassi.” The comic’s parodies are sharp and hilarious, featuring continued characters and standout performances by other well known comedians, including Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas and Andy Milonakis.

Watch It If You Like: Parodies and sketch shows like “Inside Amy Schumer.”

Where You Can Watch It: Hulu

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“The League”

What is it? FX’s semi-improv show lures you into the elusive world of NFL fantasy drafting as Mark Duplass, Nick Kroll, Stephen Rannassizzi, Katie Aselton and Paul Scheer deliver some serious bro humor. While this may sound like a turn off, it’s actually quite inclusive. Inside jokes build immediately, and soon you’re knocking back Bud Lights and nomming on pizza with the crew for NFL draft season. The cast has a great dynamic and makes binge-watching second nature once you start the show.

Watch it if you like: “Knocked Up,” “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” and “Workaholics”

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime

The Leftovers

What is it? Shut up. You know what “The Leftovers is — or this is your first time to this site. If that’s the case, then welcome! Please come back! For the rest of you, just know that Damon Lindelof’s best series yet — yes, I know what I’m saying — is listed here because there was a time when it almost got canceled. We can’t let that happen. So watch it, stop whining about how “bleak” it is, and appreciate greatness when it’s thrust in front of you (repeatedly). 

Watch it if you like: “Lost,” Damon Lindelof, Depression, Silent Movies, Smoking, Great Television

Watch it if you hate: “Lost,” Damon Lindelof, Joy, Happiness, Moral certainties,  Terrible Television

Where you can watch it: HBO NOW/HBO Go

“Leverage”

What Is It? TNT’s 2008 crime dramedy tracks the escapades of Leverage Consulting & Associates as they seek to right wrongs and deliver vigilante justice in Los Angeles. The team of affable criminals is comprised of a thief, a grifter, a hacker and a retrieval specialist, and is masterminded by former insurance investigator Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton). It’s Ford who guides the team towards a modern-day Robin Hood approach, as they con people and corporations who have exploited the innocent. Think: “Ocean’s Eleven” meets “The A-Team” in episodic format. “Leverage” has aired five seasons – plenty of material for a good binge.

Watch It If You Like: “Burn Notice”

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix

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“Mr. Show with Bob and David”

What Is It? Years before stepping into the shoes of Saul Goodman and Tobias Funke, comedians Bob Odenkirk and David Cross headed this sometimes filthy and always irreverent HBO sketch comedy show. Combining live and pre-taped segments, “Mr. Show” set a benchmark for television sketch comedy, with its original characters and acerbic parodies.

Watch It If You Like: “The Sarah Silverman Program,” “Key & Peele,” “Inside Amy Schumer”

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon Prime

“Orphan Black”

What Is It? “Orphan Black” is a Canadian sci-fi drama that revolves around street hustler Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany), who seizes an opportunity when she witnesses the suicide of a woman with whom she shares an uncanny resemblance. Sarah assumes the woman’s identity – a police officer named Beth Childs (also Tatiana Maslany) – and attempts to rob her of her considerable savings account. But then she quickly finds herself deeper in Beth’s life than she had bargained, uncovering a conspiracy that goes far beyond fraud and theft: she and Beth are two of a series of clones living across the globe, and they are being killed off. Beyond the excitement of a fast-paced thriller, “Orphan Black” offers an incredibly compelling lead in Tatiana Maslany, who takes on the daunting task of playing multiple versions of herself in a feat that, if handled poorly, could have sunk the show before it ever took off. Having recently wrapped its third season, and with a fourth on the way, “Orphan Black” is a testament to Maslany’s talent and an underseen treasure to get on your radar.

Watch It If You Like: “Fringe”

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon Prime

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“Rectify”

What Is It? Daniel Holden (a mesmerizing Aden Young) is released from prison after new DNA evidence exonerates his 19 years on death row for the rape and murder of his girlfriend. As he returns home, Daniel struggles to assimilate into his old life and re-establish relationships as everyone around him questions the validity of his innocence.

Watch It If You Like: “The Leftovers,” “Rubicon” and other slow, methodical dramas

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix

“Sports Night”

What Is It? Before covering network news with his hard-hitting and intelligent dialogue, Aaron Sorkin took a look at another kind of TV program: sports news. Dealing with relationships, pressure from the network and a desire to produce the best show possible while adhering to ethics, “Sports Night” carries the same weight, emotion and occasional comedy that comes with all of Aaron Sorkin’s work, while centering on the sports world and the media attached to it.

Watch It If You Like: “The Newsroom,” “The West Wing,” “SportsCenter”

Where You Can Watch It: Hulu

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“Togetherness”

What is it? The debut season of “Togetherness” progresses like an intimate, four-hour independent film. Created by the Duplass brothers, the HBO half-hour series centers on a married couple whose lives are upended when two old acquaintances end up under their roof. “Togetherness” tackles universal ideas of marriage, fulfillment and friendship and realizes them in a freshly specific way.

Watch it if you like: Well, Duplass movies for starters. “Togetherness” has all the sensibilities of a great indie film, so if you like loose plotting, strong character work and great dialogue, this one’s for you.

Where you can watch it: HBO NOW/HBO Go

“Top of the Lake”

What Is It? Co-created and directed by Jane Campion (“The Piano”) and set against the haunting and serene landscapes of New Zealand, this astonishing mystery drama follows a troubled detective (Elizabeth Moss) and the hunt for a pregnant 12-year-old girl gone missing.

Watch It If You Like: Atmospheric murder-mysteries like “True Detective” Season 1 and “The Killing.”

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix

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“Workaholics”

What Is It? “Workaholics” is a depiction of what life is like as a young professional; that is, if you continue to live with your college roommates, delay your career and take nothing seriously. The single-camera comedy follows Blake, Adam and Anders as they bounce between their home and their cubicle, and the creators of the show, Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, and Anders Holm, play themselves. The comedy trio parties it up and constantly gets involved in elaborate pranks. Full of quotable moments and physical comedy “Workaholics” is sure to give you something to laugh about.

Watch It If You Like: If you are a fan of the “Jump Street” films, the show is right up your alley. The stoner buddy comedy is also similar to some of Seth Rogen’s work.

Where You Can Watch It: Hulu

“Younger”

What Is It? After her husband divorces her for a younger woman, 40-year-old Liza (Sutton Foster) tries to get a job, but has a hard time because of her age. When a guy mistakenly thinks she’s in her twenties, her best friend Maggie gives her a makeover to pass as a 26-year-old. Once she lands a job at a publishing firm, she has to keep up with the lifestyle of a twenty-something to hide her real age. The TV Land show also stars Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor, Nico Torotella and Hilary Duff.

Watch It If You Like: Drama-comedy “Sex in the City” (which was also created by Darren Star), “The Carrie Diaries,” “Girls.”

Where You Can Watch It: Hulu

David Canfield, Jessica Cariaga, Sarah Choi, Kaeli Van Cott, Sara Itkis, Liz Shannon Miller, Ethan Sapienza, Zack Sharf and Ben Travers contributed to this list. 

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