3 Underrated Shows to Binge Watch

Matthew Donnellon

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There’s never been more time to watch television. In fact, right now there’s really not much to do, especially now that the weather is turning cold and it’s getting darker sooner.

And it’s good because there are so many options.

In fact, one could say that there’s never been more options for quality and not so quality programming.

The ways in which you can kick back and watch the latest and greatest number ad infinitum between Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and HBO. Not to mention that some people still watch regular cable.

Retro, I know.

But, even with all these options it can be hard to find something to watch.

Now is the perfect time to watch a couple things that might have slipped through the cracks over the years.

So let’s get started.

Jericho

First up is a little show called Jericho. It aired on CBS in the early 2000’s and starred Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McRaney, among others.

Jericho is a show about the small town Jericho, Kansas. At first blush it looks like any other small town drama series. But it’s anything but that.

The story centers on Jake Green returning home for the first time in years. His father is the mayor and they have a rocky relationship at best. All things point to a typical show where family turmoil will be the main conflict.

But that’s not even close to the main problem.

In the beginning of the first episode (this isn’t a spoiler it’s in the trailer of the show) a nuclear bomb goes off.

And that’s when things get real.

Jericho is a show about this little town having to rebuild after a series of nuclear attacks devastates several major cities. With no power, no communication to the outside world, Jericho must come together and rebuild their small society.

It’s amazing.

The show is well acted, and the characters, especially the Green family is fun to watch. My favorite character is the mysterious Mr. Hawkins who knows a little too much about what’s going on, played by a pre-Walking Dead Lennie James.

Unfortunately the show was cut short. It’s only two seasons long. It had a couple things going against it. First, it pre-dated the current obsession with post apocalyptic media, and two it aired just two years after 9/11 and not many people were interested in watching the United States get attacked on television.

I can’t recommend it enough and it’s currently on Netflix.

Bored To Death

Now, there are some shows that are easy to sum up.

Supernatural, two brothers fighting supernatural creatures. Easy.

ER a show about ER doctors and nurses. Piece of cake.

But Bored To Death is…interesting.

The best way to describe it is quirky.

Or downright weird sometimes.

It’s a post-modernist show that delves into all aspects of that particular. It’s equal parts surrealist, absurdist, and comedy.

Jason Schwartzman plays a fictional version of the novelist Jonathon Ames whose writing the show is based on. When he can’t manage to write anything following his debut novel, Ames decides to become an unlicensed private detective. And that’s where things get interesting. He gets cases and works them with only Raymond Chandler’s pulp fiction novels as a guide. He does his best impression of a noir detective and his cases range from finding a missing skateboard to breaking into a BDSM dungeon to retrieve incriminating photos of a client.

He’s joined on his adventures but man child comic book artist Ray played by Zach Galifinakis. Ray is great and really only Galifinakis could pull it off. Also along for the ride is Ted Danson’s George and pot smoking magazine editor. The two of them make for great comedy as they tag along on various cases.

It’s fun to watch.

You can find in on HBO.

Hart Of Dixie

This might look like a left turn compared to the other shows but I love this show. It was a moderately successful CW show about ten years ago.

Rachel Bilson plays Zoe Hart, a big shot surgeon who moves to a small town in Alabama. What could have been a pretty familiar scenario ends up working quite well.

It eschews the teen drama that most CW shows go for and instead they created a solid show with a lot of heart, pun intended.

What sets this show apart are the side characters. There’s the town golden boy and lawyer George Tucker, played Friday Night Lights ‘ Scott Porter. He’s engaged to southern belle Lemon Breeland (Jamie King) who wants Zoe out of town. She’s also the daughter of Dr. Breeland (Tim Matheson) who also wants Zoe gone so he can have the town medical practice to himself.

My two favorite characters are former NFL player turned mayor Lavon Hayes, played by Cress Williams who currently stars as the lead in Black Lightning. And Wade Kinsella (Wilson Bethel) the bad boy bartender with a heart of gold.

All of these characters work though. Each one is much more than the surface description I gave. Within two episodes they will charm the heck out of you and you can’t stop watching.

It’s mostly light hearted, and great time. I can’t recommend it enough.

So there you have it. Three shows you might not have heard of to start watching.

Now that it’s that time of year where you spend the weekend hibernated. Grab some food and now you have you’re couple weekend binges all lined up. Jericho and Bored To Death are both shows you could easily finish in one weekend so just fire up the TV Friday night and come Sunday you’ll be ready to move on to something else.

Now Hart of Dixie is four seasons long. So you have some time to work with. This can be your new after dinner/before bed show and it last your a while. You can probably make it last for two to three weeks easy. However, it is addictive so there’s always the chance you’ll dive in a do marathon sessions. 

So now you’ve got few things to watch if you’ve run out of shows.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI
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