Underrated Shows to Binge During Quarantine: Part One

Sure, you can pay $20 for streaming access to some of the year’s biggest blockbusters, or watch Game of Thrones again, only to be disappointed by the lackluster final season in an attempt feel something. Or, you could peruse this list of shows that aren’t necessarily making headlines, but are hidden gems worth your time, which is something we all have a lot of right now. Craft yourself a quarantini and buckle up, your new favorite show awaits you. Oh, and stay tuned for round two, which will land on your screens just in time for you to make it through this list.

Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope

Can't Cope Won't Cope TV Show
Photo from www.rte.ie/tv.

Watch it on: Netflix
For fans of: Girls, Easy, aimless twenty-somethings trying to get their shit together
Why it’s great: Aisling and Danielle recently entered the real world and have to overcome varying degrees of hardship relating to navigating their way as fully realized people. Both love to go out and party, but reevaluate their lifestyles for different reasons as unexpected events transpire that make them rethink what they truly want for themselves – and their friendship – in the future. Set in Ireland, it’s comforting to know that no matter where you live, navigating your twenties is full of ups, downs and antics galore. 

Case

Netflix show Case
Photo from Netflix.com.

Watch it on: Netflix
For fans of: The X Files, Criminal Minds, true crime, Iceland, being thoroughly creeped out
Why it’s great: This show is truly confounding in that you will not have the slightest clue who is behind this whodunnit til the end. Featuring a tough as nails but also empathetic cop as the brains behind an investigation of a ballet dancer found hanged in the halls of a national theater, there’s much more than meets the eye in this super unsettling Icelandic drama. 

Chewing Gum

Netflix show Chewing Gum screenshot
Screenshot from www.netflix.com.

Watch it on: Netflix
For fans of: Fleabag, Pen15, coming of age stories
Why it’s great: Michaela Coel’s semi-autobiographical take on growing up in London’s Tower Hamlets neighborhood as a young black woman with a super religious single parent is made even more hilarious by the fact that Coel herself plays the main character, Tracy, and often breaks the fourth wall a la Fleabag to explain the hilarious mishaps taking place in this endearing and comical coming of age story. It’s also based on a one-woman theater production, like Fleabag, and premiered for TV around the same time. Yes, Fleabag is great, but you owe it to yourself to watch Chewing Gum too.

Crazyhead

Netflix show Crazyhead screenshot
Screenshot from www.netflix.com.

Watch it on: Netflix
For Fans of: Supernatural, The Walking Dead, zombies, demons, the power of female friendship
Why it’s great: This six-part series centers around two young women finding out they’re “seers,” as in they’ve been tasked to destroy dangerous demons who walk the earth masquerading as humans. While it sounds dark, paired with a healthy dose of wry British humor, it’s a great ride. And since it tragically only had one season, you’ll want to rewatch it just as soon as you started it. 

Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23

Don't Trust the B**** From Apartment 23 Show on ABC and Hulu
Photo from abc.com.

Watch it on: Hulu
For fans of: Dawson’s Creek, Gossip Girl, New Girl, rom coms, crazy roommate stories
Why it’s great: A young midwestern girl moves to the big city and finds herself living with the craziest of crazy roommates, after much warning not to, for a true immersion into (what I imagine is) the NYC experience. Featuring early aughts Eric Andre and Krysten Ritter, this show will make whatever sock-on-the-door college roommate experience you had look like a walk in the park. Oh, and James Van Der Beek plays himself, so get ready for some very meta Dawson’s Creek references.

Lovesick

Netflix show Lovesick
Photo from Netflix.com.

Watch it on: Netflix
For fans of: Skins, Fleabag, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, rom-coms, adorable Brits
Why it’s great: Imagine finding out you have an STD and retracing the steps that lead you to this spot – including telling everyone you’ve ever been with about your predicament. This show was originally titled Scrotal Recall and was eventually renamed for reasons which I am sure you can understand. Enter Lovesick, in which an adorable Johnny Flynn does just that, with his womanizing roommate Luke and best friend Evie (with which he has a very cute “will they or won’t they” vibe) who all undergo some very satisfying character development. Told in a nonlinear format, this show, although kicked off by a peculiar plot device, is extremely sweet. Plus, the soundtrack is amazing. 

Maniac

Emma Stone in Maniac on Netflix
Photo from Netflix.com.

Watch it on: Netflix
For fans of: Mad Men, True Detective, The X Files, retrofuturism, lemurs, Cary Fukunaga
Why it’s great: With a cast featuring the likes of Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Sally Field, Sonoya Mizuno, Hank Azaria and Justin Theroux, I am truly surprised this miniseries didn’t gain more traction. In a strangely retrofuturist city, two strangers struggling with mental health and addiction enter a drug trial as a last ditch effort to fill the respective voids in their lives. They enter a world of sentient computers, time travel and drugs that unfolds in an insanely layered way. It handles themes of mental illness, grief, friendship and addition in a subtle and sensitive manner, and the ending is incredibly satisfying and full circle – however I won’t complain if a second season rolls around. 

Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake on Hulu Elisabeth Moss Gwendoline Christie
Photo by Sundance TV.

Watch it on: Hulu
For fans of: Elisabeth Moss, Gwendoline Christie as someone other than Brienne of Tarth, Nicole Kidman’s wigs and prosthetics working in overtime a la Big Little Lies, true crime, Big Little Lies in general
Why it’s great: This Jane Campion created show follows Detective Robin Griffin (Moss) investigate sexual assault and murder crimes while grappling with her own past history. Moss acts circles around this star studded cast: we’re talking Holly Hunter and Nicole Kidman, among others. While the plot gets a little convoluted and it tends to be a slow burn, watching Griffin’s self actualization and crime solving skills make it worthwhile. Presented as an anthology of sorts, each season sees Griffin on the case of a different crime. General content warning for discussions of murder and sexual assault, and violence throughout. 

Party Down

Party Down on Hulu
Photo from Hulu.com.

Watch it on: Hulu
For fans of: Parks and Recreation, The Office, any other workplace comedy, solid one liners
Why it’s great: Paving the way for some of the most popular workplace dramas of all time is the humble Party Down, featuring a ragtag bunch of aspiring actors supplementing their income as cater waiters in Los Angeles. Each episode is a party even more insane and over the top than the last, and an even more insanely talented cast (we’re talking Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Megan Mullally and Jane Lynch) carry the show into top tier entertainment status.

You’re the Worst

You're the Worst on FXX and Hulu
Photo by Byron Cohen, from FXX.com.

Watch it on: Hulu
For fans of: realistic portrayals of romantic relationships on screen, Los Angeles, Girls
Why it’s great: Two friends of friends hook up post wedding and vow to never see each other again. Not a spoiler: that doesn’t work. This magnificently realistic show follows the two from friends with benefits to a bona fide couple and everything in between. I’ve yet to see portrayals of such realistic relationships on screen, and this show will captivate you with its honesty and heart as well as crassness and comedy. 

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