Awesomesauce | Underrated TV Shows
We all have those TV shows that we know in our heart of hearts were brilliant: The Wonder Years, Freaks and Geeks, Firefly, The Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa (you know the standard list that everyone agrees on.) For the most part, we collectively determine after they’re cancelled that these shows were the greatest thing since The Wire—the TV show equivalent of the no-one-says-anything-bad-about-you-at-your-funeral effect. Why, then, didn’t we actually WATCH them while they were on the air? Here are a few of my favorite underrated TV shows on the air right now that more attention- tune in before its too late!
This one got a lot of buzz when it was announced, but now that it’s actually on the air, I don’t hear people mention it much. The translation of the Cohen Brothers’ big screen classic into small screen miniseries is incredibly well done; the unique blend of dark humor and earnest you betcha small town attitude has been retained in the television re-work to great success. The cast (Colin Hanks, Oliver Platt, Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton, to name just a few) is fantastic, and I laugh out loud at my TV at least once a week. The 10-part miniseries is less than halfway through, so jump on this bandwagon now while you still can.
This fantastic series about a group of friends and their fantasy football league has been on for a few seasons, and while it does have quite the cult following, it’s never really gone mainstream which is a huge shame (what is UP with FX; some seriously underrated TV going on over there!) The success of this show lies in in the fact that the comedy serial is largely unscripted—the actors get a rough outline of where the show is going and some lines, and they improv the rest as they go along; comedy gold ensues. Don’t watch this one if you are at all squeamish, or easily offended but I don’t think I’ve seen a more accurate portrayal of dudes in their natural habitat anywhere else.
This is an honorable mention, since the show has been cancelled for several years now (it was one of the victims of the writers’ strike during the 2007-08 season and never recovered, sadly.) Think Amelie-like visual effects, a quirky narrated format, and a Bryan Fuller created supernatural storyline about a man who makes pies and can wake the dead to solve crimes. Throw in a few musical numbers and the ever-fantastic Kristen Chenoweth, and you have yourself one awesome TV show. There was seriously nothing like it on TV before or since (arguably, the Fuller-helmed remake of the Munsters a few years back was close, but that didn’t make it off the ground, either.) Next time, Bryan—I’ll be watching!
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