When it comes to choosing a TV show to dedicate your precious spare time to, it can be something of task.
Couple that with the fact that Netflix is always dropping new series, you tend to re-watch what you’ve already seen (it is comforting after all), and you’ve got all your friends tagging you on articles about That Show To Add To Your List, and it really doesn’t get any easier.
While we hate to add to it, we’d argue that amid all the tagging and rewatching, you’re actually missing out on some serious hidden gems that have strangely gone under the radar, despite their quiet cult followings and critical acclaim.
Looking to finally check out something different? Below, 16 underrated Netflix shows worthy of your undivided attention.
Dear White People
For fans of: The Politician, Insecure
A seriously good dramedy that’ll keep you entertained from start to finish, the show follows several Black college students as they traverse the tricky slights and murky politics at an Ivy League college that’s not nearly as “post racial” as it touts itself to be.
For fans of: Arrested Development, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Aptly named, this kooky sit-com tells the story of Rachel, a young British girl who comes back from a gap year, only to tell her conservative parents she’s found the man of her dreams (read: their nightmares). Enter: an eccentric, unemployed American hippy named ‘Cuckoo’ (played by Andy Samberg). The results? Hilarious.
For fans of: Modern Love, Love Life
If the ‘realistic rom-com’ is your genre of choice and you devoured Love Life in one sitting, this star-studded anthology series has your name written all over it. Featuring the likes of Orlando Bloom, Malin Åkerman, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Zazie Beetz, the show tells the story of a wide range of people living in Chicago and their relatable relationship issues and up-and-down dating lives.
Restaurants On The Edge
For fans of: Masterchef, Queer Eye
The ultimate combination of ‘home improvement’ meets ‘food-with-a-view’, a trio of experts across interiors, cooking and business make over restaurants in some of the most stunning locations in the world. Armchair escapsim? Yes, please.
For fans of: Sweet Magnolias, Hart of Dixie
If you’ve been looking for shows like Sweet Magnolias, you can call off the search. The perfect mix of ‘wholesome small-town drama’ and heartwarming romance, this show follows the life of a nurse practitioner in mourning who is looking to let go of painful memories and find a fresh start in the town of Virgin River. Naturally, she soon discovers small-town living isn’t quite as simple as she expected. Check out the trailer above for a sneak peek.
For fans of: Dynasty, Sweet Magnolias
Now, if you favour a small-town drama with a bit more bite, you’ll want to sink your teeth into Greenleaf. Produced by none other than Oprah Winfrey (who makes a cameo as well), the series is about a prestigious family that runs a megachurch in Memphis, but whose lives and business are tainted with scandalous secrets and unscrupulous deeds.
For fans of: Fleabag, Schitt’s Creek
Fancy a little pre-Fleabag Phoebe Waller-Bridge? Consider Crashing your next must-watch. Dubbed a “bingeworthy delight” by Mashable, the standalone series was originally developed as two plays and follows the lives and loves of six twenty-somethings who live together peacefully as property guardians in an abandoned hospital.
For fans of: 30 Rock, Schitt’s Creek
Executive produced by the inimitable Tina Fey, this oddly comforting sit-com follows television producer Katie, whose precarious work-life balance is blown apart when her overbearing mother gets a job as an intern at her network. Like most of Fey’s work, it’s easy to watch, deliciously witty and perfect for when you need a break from it all. Also, keep an eye out for Nicole Richie as an eccentric news anchor!
For fans of: Fleabag, High Fidelity
Canadian comedian Mae Martin stars as a version of herself living in London while dealing with sobriety and navigating the dating scene. She soon meets George, a repressed middle-class English woman, at a comedy club where she performs. The pair begin dating, but the relationship isn’t all roses for Mae, who’s trying not to replace her drug addiction with her new relationship. Darkly funny, endearingly vulnerable and definitely worth a watch.
Queen of The South
For fans of: Narcos, Power
Queen of The South tells the gripping story of Teresa Mendoza, who is forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America when her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico. Left with no choice but to work for the cartel that killed her boyfriend, Teresa relies on her street smarts, a loyal pal and a mysterious notebook to run the biggest drug cartel in the western hemisphere.
For fans of: Desperate Housewives, Ozark
A bingeworthy dramedy to add to your queue, this seriously underrated show follows three mothers in suburban Michigan who are desperately trying to make ends meet. Tired of the struggle, the trio decide to pull of a one-time heist by robbing a local grocery story. Of course, that’s not quite where their walk on the wild side ends…
On My Block
For fans of: Never Have I Ever, Atypical
One of the shows with diverse casts and writers, On My Block is a hilarious come-of-age story that’s rarely represented onscreen. Set in a rough inner-city Los Angeles neighbourhood called Freedridge, four teenagers find their lifelong friendship put to the ultimate test as they tackle the triumph, confusion and newness of starting high school.
For fans of: Sex Education, Fleabag
Like a grown-up version of Sex Education, the sit-com revolves around a group of English friends sharing a house in the West End of Glasgow, Scotland and their love lives. After Dylan Witter is diagnosed with chlamydia, he attempts to contact all of his past sexual partners to let them know. The result? A hilarious, and surprisingly tender, gem of a show.
For fans of: Game of Thrones, The Witcher
Starring Australia’s own Katherine Langford, this epic series is sure to hit the spot for those craving a little fantastical escapism. Netflix’s synopsis describes the story of Cursed as: “A re-imagination of the Arthurian legend, told through the eyes of Nimue, a young woman with a mysterious gift who is destined to become the powerful (and tragic) Lady of the Lake.”
For fans of: Black Mirror, Russian Doll
Potentially Netflix’s most underrated show ever (big call, but we stand by it), Maniac is thoroughly deserving of another look in. The 2018 limited series starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone is a semi-dystopian original based on a Norwegian dark comedy. Surreal and surprisingly funny, the show follows two strangers who connect during a mind-bending pharmaceutical trial involving a doctor with mother issues and an emotionally complex computer. It sounds weird, but trust us, it’s good.
For fans of: Peaky Blinders, The Inbetweeners
Got a soft spot for British humour and quirky, irreverent characters? Cue: White Gold. Set in 1980s Essex, cocky salesman Vincent Swan (Ed Westwick) and his unscrupulous team will do anything to get the sale — including throwing honesty out the window.