Best Under the Radar Shows?

CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
edited December 2019 in Other TV
These types of threads seem to pop up from time to time, but I think that it's been a while and I'm looking for things to watch :)

Basically, what are some of your favourite shows from the past that seem to have flown under the radar? I don't think anyone needs to be told about Breaking Bad, The Leftovers etc.  but what are some of your hidden or under-appreciated gems?

A couple of my recommendations...

Northern Exposure - a quirky cast of characters in small-town Alaska with bits of surrealism mixed in.  IMO it's one of the best shows of all time but rarely seemed to get mentioned in 'best' conversations.  A favourite scene of mine...two characters are feuding, and one challenges the other to a duel:



Four in the Morning - I almost hate to bring this up because don't know where anyone might find it, but it was a great but short-lived show (8 episodes) that bombed. No one watched it, but I loved it.  Each episode takes place on a weekend night at 4am after the characters have had a night out on the town...they head to a diner to meet up.  The show is about the crazy things that happen at 4am in a big city.  It's heavily influenced by South American magical realism (if you like writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, you'll love this!).  My favourite episode is about parents who abandon their kids at the diner.  The kids have a disease that causes them to live an entire life in 1 day (so they start the episode as little kids and are elderly by the end of the episode).  Canadian shows are best known for their lack of budget, and this was low budget even by our standards - but the writing is brilliant (they sometimes just don't have the budget to fully realize it).




Edit: if you can geoblock your IP address and make it look like you live in Canada, Four in the Morning can be seen here (you'll have to sign up for a free CBC account, the paid version removes the ads but you can watch the shows for free with ads):

https://gem.cbc.ca/season/four-in-the-morning/season-1/fdf74543-6482-438d-a027-71c0b6a9467a]
DeeTravisFlukes
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Comments

  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Bakersfield PD! I’m pretty sure all the episodes are on YouTube (terrible quality but what can you do). It was about a big city cop (Giancarlo Esposito) who transfers to this little town that’s pretty white and kind of quirky. Ron Eldard was his new partner and it also starred Brian Doyle Murray, Chris Mulkey, and a bunch of other familiar faces. 

    Also I don’t know how familiar this one is to Americans and Canadians or if it’s really under-rated, but The Inbetweeners (NOT the US version, the British one) is hilarious, even for a middle-aged woman who generally finds teenage boy humour puerile. 
    CretanBullTravis
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Also also, I loved Northern Exposure back in the day. Ed was such an endearing oddball. 
    CretanBullTravisFlukes
  • I’m going north of the border Trailer Park Boys and Letterkenny. 

    There were a few shows that were really good that got cancelled because of ratings but Jericho was awesome and the Black Donnelys. Each show only had one full season. Jericho got a second truncated season cuz so many people complained but it was superior version of TWD minus zombies. 

    Ozarks seems to be overlooked as well. 

    Married With Children set the stage for the dengerate family and was one of the best sitcoms but lacked respect due to the competition. In living Color same thing. 
    CretanBullTravisUnderwoodFlukes
  • Hatorian said:
    I’m going north of the border Trailer Park Boys and Letterkenny. 

    The lead actress in 'Four in the Morning' is the sister from Letterkenny!
    Hatorian
  • Dee said:
    Bakersfield PD! I’m pretty sure all the episodes are on YouTube (terrible quality but what can you do). It was about a big city cop (Giancarlo Esposito) who transfers to this little town that’s pretty white and kind of quirky. Ron Eldard was his new partner and it also starred Brian Doyle Murray, Chris Mulkey, and a bunch of other familiar faces. 

    Also I don’t know how familiar this one is to Americans and Canadians or if it’s really under-rated, but The Inbetweeners (NOT the US version, the British one) is hilarious, even for a middle-aged woman who generally finds teenage boy humour puerile. 
    I don't remember Bakersfield PD, even after looking it up it wasn't familiar to me - I'll check it out!

    The Inbetweeners was on TV here, but it wasn't very popular...I think it got picked up by one of the premium channels like HBO Canada or (its former competitor) Crave TV.  I thought it was great, the first movie was good too...the second one not so much.



    Hatorian
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @CretanBull Bakersfield PD is one of the earliest sitcoms I can remember not using a laugh track. I watched it again a couple of years ago on YouTube and it still holds up. 
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    What’s that Canadian show with the punk kid and it’s set in the 80s? I like that one. 
    CretanBull
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited December 2019
    Dee said:
    What’s that Canadian show with the punk kid and it’s set in the 80s? I like that one. 


    Young Drunk Punk - another shortlived show that deserved more time.
    Dee
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    That’s the one! 
  • Hatorian said:
    I’m going north of the border Trailer Park Boys and Letterkenny. 

    The lead actress in 'Four in the Morning' is the sister from Letterkenny!
    she’s a fine looking woman but I’m all about Bonnie McMurray. The Halloween episode with her makes me want to stand up and starting singing O-Canada...




    CretanBullUnderwoodFlukes
  • Frontier on Netflix.  I loved the 1st season and then completely forgot about it until recently and there are now the third and final season is out.  Here's the plot summary from IMDB... Follows Declan Harp, a half-Irish/half Cree Native-Canadian outlaw who is campaigning to breach the Hudson's Bay Company's monopoly on the fur trade in Canada.  

    TravisElisa
  • edited December 2019
    Dark on Netflix

    Bosch on Amazon
    CapeGabeTravisElisaMFGZsa004
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    Hatorian said:
    I’m going north of the border Trailer Park Boys
    My elementary school best friend is married to Sarah from that show.
    Hatorian
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited December 2019
    Kind of surprisingly to me (not due to the quality, but just strange that it would jump right up like it did), the first one that came to mind was Lovesick on Netflix. Fun rom-sitcom with a good cast. Very charming.

    I'm a big fan of Alone Together as another sitcom. Andy Samberg executive produced it. It's set up as your basic 20 something, two comedian slackers hanging out being slackers type of thing, but I really like the casting and the characters (great Pauly Shore cameo). It's kind of like a younger version of another pick that I have, Difficult People. 2 thirty something comedian slackers hanging out and being bitter and snarky at the world. Amy Poehler had a lot to do with that one getting made. Both are from Hulu.

    My wife has gotten really into Netflix documentary series, and we're really hooked on Explained which I think is a little better known but they do a great job and the topics are really interesting. That said, she just showed me Movies That Made Us which was a whole lot of fun. Basically, they talk about movies that were troubled in their making, but ended up being really successful and sort of quickly go through those narratives. I watched the ones about Die Hard and Ghostbusters and it's a whole lot of fun. Great behind the scenes stuff.
    DeeCretanBull
  • I know some people here have seen it but Hannibal is one of the best shows of the prestige TV era. I think they only got away with some of the stuff in that series because nobody was watching it.
    Travis
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Rome
    TravisCretanBullElisa
  • calebthrowercalebthrower South Carolina
    edited December 2019
    Pushing Daisies...loved everything about that show
    TravisfidozDeeCretanBullneilfgks
  • CecilyCecily Cincinnati
    Dead Like Me - with Mandy Patinkin!  It was on Showtime, and I just looked and it's on Hulu right now, too.  It's about being randomly selected to become a grim reaper after you die.  I loved that show so much, and then it was cancelled.

    And then they made a follow-up movie! Starring peak post-Lost Henry Ian Cusick!!  But it really sucked.
    TravisFlukesDeebizmarkiefaderCretanBull
  • Cecily said:
    Dead Like Me - with Mandy Patinkin!  It was on Showtime, and I just looked and it's on Hulu right now, too.  It's about being randomly selected to become a grim reaper after you die.  I loved that show so much, and then it was cancelled.

    And then they made a follow-up movie! Starring peak post-Lost Henry Ian Cusick!!  But it really sucked.
    Great pull! That show was fantastic, and the movie was as bad as the show was good. Whoo-boy was that ever a strange, completely misguided movie.
    Cecily
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited December 2019
    Brockmire on IFC is Hank Azaria's magnum opus.


    Also, Party Down. If you like Gilfoyle in Silicon Valley, Party Down is where the bones of that character were formed.
    Party Down overall is a murder's row of pre-blowing talent up.


    TravisbizmarkiefaderFlukesDeeCretanBulljleav382
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    edited December 2019
    Man I haven't thought about Northern Exposure in years. Maybe a holidays binge is in order.

    Derry Girls is still high on my list of under-the-radar shows. I've posted about it before, but man is it ever funny. The actress who plays Erin makes this amazing disgusted face that cracks me up every time.




    DeefidozCretanBullMattyWeaves
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Cecily said:
    Dead Like Me - with Mandy Patinkin!  It was on Showtime, and I just looked and it's on Hulu right now, too.  It's about being randomly selected to become a grim reaper after you die.  I loved that show so much, and then it was cancelled.

    And then they made a follow-up movie! Starring peak post-Lost Henry Ian Cusick!!  But it really sucked.
    Ohhh that movie was so bad. 

    I sometimes randomly wonder whatever happened to that girl who was the lead. The only other thing I remember seeing her in was a Law and Order episode, I think. 
    Cecily
  • HunkuleseHunkulese Québec, Canada
    Since there's already a strong Canadian theme, I'll add ReGenesis. One of my favourite shows of all time and Canada's best (only?) attempt at a premium cable show. It focuses on a virology-microbiology lab that deals with stuff like bioterrorism. Lots of (mostly) realistic science and phenomenal acting. Really digs into the moral and ethical ramifications of what we're able to accomplish through science. It's also probably Ellen Page's breakout role.

    It's currently on Prime video and the Roku Channel. I might have to immediately rewatch all four seasons since there is nothing else at all on TV these days.



  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Reaper. A few years ago I went through this phase of catching up on shows that I’d heard were good but only got one or two seasons (My So Called Life, Wonderfalls, etc). Reaper was one of the gems I found then and I really enjoyed it. Ray Wise as the Devil! 

    Oh, and Sons of Tucson, with Tyler Labine. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was funny, and the kid actors were so good, especially the neurotic middle one. He reminded me of Lloyd from Malcolm In The Middle. 
    Travisneilfgks
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited December 2019
    Dee said:
    Cecily said:
    Dead Like Me - with Mandy Patinkin!  It was on Showtime, and I just looked and it's on Hulu right now, too.  It's about being randomly selected to become a grim reaper after you die.  I loved that show so much, and then it was cancelled.

    And then they made a follow-up movie! Starring peak post-Lost Henry Ian Cusick!!  But it really sucked.
    Ohhh that movie was so bad. 

    I sometimes randomly wonder whatever happened to that girl who was the lead. The only other thing I remember seeing her in was a Law and Order episode, I think. 
    I was trying to remember what it was that I randomly saw Ellen Muth a ways back so I went to IMDB. Turns out that it was that she did a couple episodes turn on Hannibal (funny because it also serves as the answer to 'whatever happened to the girl from Wonderfalls?'). Her IMDB is pretty sparse though. It's a shame. I liked her on Dead Like Me. Apparently a member of Mensa. Nifty little IMDB tidbit. Callum Blue (Mason) was also pretty good and though it looks like he's done more stuff never really crossed my TV either which is a bummer. 

    EDIT: I will say one thing about the movie. It was definitely better the second time around after allowing diminished expectations to set in. We did a re-watch of the show and a "why not, it's right there on Netflix (or was it Prime?). Let's just do the whole thing" turn on the movie and where it is still not good by any stretch, and making it under the circumstances (no Mandy Patinkin and a story that really just didn't make any sense) is one of the more bizarre decisions that I can think of, they did some decent fan service and tied out some things that I remember wishing they had tied out during the show. I would have to watch it again to figure it out for sure, and I don't have any interest in doing so, but my guess is that there is an edit where you cut out a huge chunk of the movie and get a pretty good episode's worth of closure. It was still bad, but not nearly as bad the second time.
    DeeCecily
  • Hunkulese said:
    Since there's already a strong Canadian theme, I'll add ReGenesis. One of my favourite shows of all time and Canada's best (only?) attempt at a premium cable show. It focuses on a virology-microbiology lab that deals with stuff like bioterrorism. Lots of (mostly) realistic science and phenomenal acting. Really digs into the moral and ethical ramifications of what we're able to accomplish through science. It's also probably Ellen Page's breakout role.

    It's currently on Prime video and the Roku Channel. I might have to immediately rewatch all four seasons since there is nothing else at all on TV these days.



    A friend of mine worked on that show...Peter Outerbridge is a dick.
    Travis
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    Peter Outerbridge is a dick.
    Really?  I always kind of liked him.  :/
  • Raising Hope was a very underrated comedy.
    DeeTravisken hale
  • HunkuleseHunkulese Québec, Canada
    edited December 2019
    Hunkulese said:
    Since there's already a strong Canadian theme, I'll add ReGenesis. One of my favourite shows of all time and Canada's best (only?) attempt at a premium cable show. It focuses on a virology-microbiology lab that deals with stuff like bioterrorism. Lots of (mostly) realistic science and phenomenal acting. Really digs into the moral and ethical ramifications of what we're able to accomplish through science. It's also probably Ellen Page's breakout role.

    It's currently on Prime video and the Roku Channel. I might have to immediately rewatch all four seasons since there is nothing else at all on TV these days.



    A friend of mine worked on that show...Peter Outerbridge is a dick.
    "A friend of mine worked on that show... "blank" is a dick."

    That's likely something that's been said about every show in existence. Famous people that are nice to us normies are the minority.
    CretanBull
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