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10 Underrated TV Shows You Need to Watch Right Now

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In the golden age of television, there's no shortage of high-quality content. From big-budget productions to critically acclaimed dramas, the options are seemingly endless. Yet, amid the sea of popular series, many excellent shows fly under the radar. These underrated gems often offer unique storytelling, rich character development, and innovative concepts that deserve more attention. Here are ten underrated TV shows you need to watch right now.

1. Patriot (Amazon Prime Video)

"Patriot" is a dark comedy thriller that blends espionage with a dysfunctional family drama. The series follows intelligence officer John Tavner, who goes undercover to prevent Iran from going nuclear. The show's quirky humor, coupled with its gripping plot and standout performances, especially by Michael Dorman, make it a must-watch. Despite its critical acclaim, "Patriot" remains relatively unknown, making it a hidden treasure on Amazon Prime Video.

2. Counterpart (Starz)

"Counterpart" is a sci-fi thriller starring J.K. Simmons in dual roles as Howard Silk, a low-level bureaucrat, and his counterpart from a parallel universe. The series explores the complexities of identity, loyalty, and espionage, all set against a backdrop of Cold War-style intrigue. Its intelligent writing and nuanced performances, particularly by Simmons, elevate it above typical genre fare. Unfortunately, "Counterpart" didn't gain the widespread recognition it deserved during its two-season run.

3. Lodge 49 (AMC)

"Lodge 49" is a surreal dramedy about a down-and-out ex-surfer named Dud who stumbles upon a fraternal lodge. The show delves into themes of community, purpose, and the search for meaning in a modern world. Its whimsical storytelling and charmingly eccentric characters provide a refreshing change of pace from typical TV dramas. Despite its unique charm, "Lodge 49" struggled to find a large audience and was canceled after two seasons.

4. Terriers (FX)

"Terriers" is a crime comedy-drama that follows two unlicensed private investigators, Hank and Britt, as they navigate the seedy underbelly of Ocean Beach, California. The show balances humor, drama, and mystery with ease, thanks to sharp writing and strong chemistry between leads Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James. Despite rave reviews, "Terriers" was canceled after just one season, leaving fans to lament its untimely demise.

5. Banshee (Cinemax)

"Banshee" is an action-packed series that follows an ex-con who assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff in the small town of Banshee, Pennsylvania. The show is known for its intense action sequences, complex characters, and thrilling plot twists. Antony Starr's riveting performance as the anti-hero Lucas Hood adds depth to this gritty drama. Although it garnered a loyal fanbase, "Banshee" remains underrated compared to more mainstream series.

6. Rectify (SundanceTV)

"Rectify" is a slow-burn drama that tells the story of Daniel Holden, a man released from death row after 19 years due to new DNA evidence. The series explores the emotional and psychological impact of his return to society and his struggle for redemption. Aden Young delivers a powerful performance as Daniel, supported by a strong ensemble cast. "Rectify" received critical acclaim but never reached a broad audience, making it one of the most underappreciated dramas of its time.

7. Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)

Set during the tech boom of the 1980s and early 1990s, "Halt and Catch Fire" follows a group of engineers and visionaries as they navigate the rapidly evolving computer industry. The series captures the spirit of innovation and the personal sacrifices behind technological advancements. With compelling characters and a richly detailed period setting, "Halt and Catch Fire" is a standout drama that didn't get the attention it deserved during its four-season run.

8. The Expanse (Syfy/Amazon Prime Video)

Based on the popular science fiction novels by James S.A. Corey, "The Expanse" is a space opera that explores political intrigue, interstellar conflict, and the survival of humanity. The series boasts stunning visuals, complex characters, and a gripping narrative that spans multiple seasons. While it has a dedicated fanbase, "The Expanse" remains underrated compared to other sci-fi epics, despite being one of the best in the genre.

9. Search Party (TBS/HBO Max)

"Search Party" is a dark comedy that follows a group of twenty-somethings who become amateur detectives after their college acquaintance goes missing. The show deftly satirizes millennial culture while weaving a compelling mystery. Alia Shawkat shines as the lead, Dory Sief, whose obsession with the case leads to unexpected consequences. "Search Party" blends humor, suspense, and social commentary, yet it remains underappreciated in the crowded TV landscape.

10. The Leftovers (HBO)

Created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, "The Leftovers" is a post-apocalyptic drama that examines the aftermath of a global event where 2% of the world's population suddenly disappears. The series delves into themes of grief, faith, and existential despair, offering a deeply emotional and thought-provoking narrative. Stellar performances by Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, and others add to its impact. Despite critical acclaim, "The Leftovers" didn't achieve the widespread popularity of other HBO dramas, making it a hidden gem worth discovering.

The Changing Landscape of TV and Opportunities for New Talent

The rise of streaming services and the proliferation of channels have not only diversified the types of stories being told but also the opportunities for new talent. Shows like these often emerge from smaller networks or niche streaming platforms, providing a platform for fresh voices and unique narratives. This trend has also impacted casting in significant ways.

For actors looking to break into the industry, this means more opportunities than ever before. LA castings and reality show casting calls have become crucial avenues for discovering new talent. With the explosion of content, casting directors are constantly on the lookout for fresh faces to bring diverse and compelling characters to life. Aspiring actors can now find more entry points into the industry, from traditional auditions to digital submissions, opening doors to roles in both mainstream and underrated shows alike.

The television landscape is vast and varied, with countless shows vying for viewers' attention. While popular series often dominate the conversation, it's essential to recognize and celebrate the underrated gems that offer equally, if not more, rewarding experiences. From the quirky humor of "Patriot" to the emotional depth of "Rectify," these ten underrated TV shows showcase the rich diversity of storytelling available today. So, the next time you're looking for something new to watch, consider diving into one of these hidden treasures—you might just find your next favorite show.
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