If we say the word “classic” to you, then you will know exactly what we mean. Certain movies, TV shows, and other forms of pop culture have amassed more than just a cult following. They’re bona fide exemplars in their fields, and pretty much everyone (bar a few inevitable naysayers) agrees that they are works of genius. However, sometimes a movie or TV slips under the radar despite deserving classic status. Criminally underrated movies and TV shows are always a joy; we get to tell the people we love about the properties we love, and what could be more fun than that? Here are 10 underrated TV series and movies we adore.
Who knew that a half-remembered comic book superhero would make such a surprisingly excellent return to our screens in 2016? Peter Serafinowicz’s deadpan take on the character was a breath of fresh air in a world completely dominated by the slick sheen of Marvel’s superhero franchises. Unfortunately, Amazon Prime didn’t seem to agree; The Tick was unceremoniously dropped after just two seasons, and doesn’t appear to be making a resurgence any time soon.
Emily in Paris
Okay, so we might be stretching the definition of “underrated” somewhat here. The viewing figures for Emily in Paris have been pretty impressive, so by that definition of the word, it’s not underrated at all. However, the critical response has been mixed, and we think Emily in Paris’ sumptuous depiction of the City of Love deserves more…well…love. It’s such a good show, it’s literally changed the way we search for things on the internet. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this infographic from the good folks at Betway.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
We’re coming up on the 15th anniversary of this excellent Judd Apatow comedy, and it still isn’t getting anywhere near the recognition we think it deserves. It was a major commercial flop, but John C. Reilly’s approximation of a country star a la Johnny Cash is wonderful and three-dimensional. Unlike many of Apatow’s comedies, it’s not overly reliant on manchild-style antics or gross-out skits. What’s left is a tender, affecting portrait of an aging musician.
Fans of horror, sci-fi, and thought-provoking fare, your treasure trove has arrived. Annihilation did fairly brisk business (we assume – Netflix doesn’t publish its numbers) and garnered some very solid reviews, but many horror fans seem to have overlooked this one. That’s a shame, because it’s a gem. Ex Machina head honcho Alex Garland understands science fiction, and Annihilation’s tale of “The Shimmer” is exciting, well-told, and unspeakably creepy.
Rami Malek arguably has Mr. Robot to thank for his burgeoning TV and movie career. What starts out as a tale of hacktivists sticking it to The Man quickly morphs into…well…we don’t want to spoil the narrative, but suffice it to say that Mr. Robot is not the show you think it is. Malek’s performance as a disaffected, nervy hacker is excellent, and he’s surrounded by a supporting cast that gives flesh and life to the usual hacktivist collective trope.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
The James Bond franchise is a tour de force of British cinema. It’s given rise to some of the most iconic dialogue and characters ever committed to the silver screen, but one entry that consistently (and unfairly, in our opinion) gets overlooked is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Some of that may be due to George Lazenby’s rather weak performance as Bond, but some excellent set pieces, a great score, and that ending elevate OHMSS above many of its compatriots.
Yes, Locke is a movie about a man driving a car for 90 minutes. However, it’s more than that. It’s a character study of the marvel that is Tom Hardy’s face, watching it go through emotion after emotion as conversations stall and relationships break down. The titular Locke is juggling far too many balls for all of them to stay in the air, and watching as his plans fall apart is much more compelling than the initially rather staid setup would have you believe. The whole thing takes place in the car, too!
Science fiction and fantasy are simultaneously niche markets and incredibly overcrowded ones. While the fandom for these shows tends to be obsessive and dedicated, you’ll often struggle to get a crossover hit in the fantasy or sci-fi fields. The OA was one such show that, while not struggling to find an audience, did run into some difficulty when it came to mainstream success. It’s a shame, too; it’s a fascinating show with an excellent premise, even if the pacing can occasionally feel a little off.
These are just some of our favourite underrated movies and TV shows. You might disagree that some of these are actually overrated, but the general idea is that they only get talked about now among cult followings and obsessive fans. We’ve also missed a whole bunch of movies and TV shows off this list simply for brevity’s sake. Thanks to the advent of Netflix and Amazon Prime, it’s now possible to see some of this content in an evergreen way; movies and shows don’t become cult hits like they used to simply because it’s far easier to get hold of them now. What are some of your favourites? Let us know!