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Here Are 5 More of the Most Underrated TV Shows of All Time

Between broadcast, cable, and various streaming platforms of ever-increasing prices, it’s nearly impossible to remember each series that is brought to life on the small screen. With content being increasingly oversaturated, it can be hard to keep up with what’s hot. Usually, the most-watched television shows are given a great deal of promotion while others fall by the wayside. That doesn’t mean that the other shows are bad, it just means that they probably didn’t get the same promotional treatment and long-term care as the veteran shows, which have already amassed a fanbase and proven themselves.

Oftentimes, the shows in question are positively received but fail to attract an ardent cult following in their initial run, drifting away into television’s ether of yesteryear. This may change for some as they slowly collect a stronger audience that calls for the return of the shows. Let’s take a look back at some more TV shows that don’t get enough love and remain underrated.

5 Duck Dodgers


Duck Dodgers
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

This sci-fi Looney Tunes spinoff aired on Cartoon Network from 2003-2005. The show is a reboot of a classic cartoon episode which George Lucas actually wanted to screen alongside every Star Wars showing. The reboot proved to be a hilarious take on Daffy Duck’s alter ego and the zany adventures he got himself into with the help of his eager, young Space Cadet (who is essentially Porky Pig). Duck Dodgers was frozen for an unknown reason and thawed out 350 years later, where he eventually became captain of his own crew. He’s rude, lazy, incompetent and arrogant, and it’s from this disposition that the best jokes in Daffy Duck’s filmography emerge.

Its slapstick humor and quick-witted gags are what make this Cartoon Network show so enjoyable to watch. However, like many Looney Tunes shows that aired after the ’90s, it seemed to stand in the shadow of its previous Merry Melody creations and wasn’t quite able to stand out. Nevertheless, it proves to be a jovial gem in the Looney Tunes pantheon.

Related: Here Are 5 Reasons Why Teen Titans is the Best Cartoon Network Show

4 Everybody Hates Chris


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CW

In its initial run, Everybody Hates Chris did garner critical acclaim and have more of a fanbase than the others on this list, but it still feels like it didn’t (and still doesn’t) get the credit it deserves in its only four-season run. The series brought the fictionalized version of comedian Chris Rock’s childhood to life with its fresh cast, clever writing, and brilliant lead Tyler James Williams.

The show began airing on UPN for its first season and then the CW for the following three seasons, and taught audiences the value of true friends, respecting yourself enough to not just please other people, and honoring your family. While it earned many awards, it still seems like a show that people don’t talk about enough, and should be an essential staple of Black media from the past several decades.

3 Arrested Development


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Fox/Netflix

Yet another television series that was highly acclaimed and still seems underappreciated by viewers is Arrested Development. The series details Michael Bluth, portrayed incomparably by Jason Bateman, who is set to take over the family business, but is then denied the opportunity. Things get worse for his family when his father (Jeffrey Tambor) is arrested for stealing money and doing business with Saddam Hussein. The show was canceled after three seasons on Fox, but after a period of restless outcry from fans, Netflix continued it in a highly anticipated move which marked the beginning of several series’ rebirths. While its continuation on Netflix may signal that it’s no longer underappreciated, the return was unjustly disliked and misunderstood by many, and nobody really talks about Arrested Development anymore.

The cast includes Will Arnett as Gob Bluth, Portia de Rossi as Lindsay, and a slew of other talents who are an absolute joy to watch. The chemistry of the cast and their endless antics, along with the bevy of subtle jokes and laugh-out-loud moments, make the show worth watching on repeat. In a way, every family seems a little hectic and abnormal like the Bluth’s, which is why it should certainly be recognized more for its portrayal of said dysfunctional family.

Related: 20 of the Best American TV Shows, Ranked

2 Hell on Wheels


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AMC

Hell on Wheels was an AMC show that most people have either never heard of or forgotten about due to the fact that it was overshadowed by larger AMC phenomenons like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead. Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) takes center stage as he attempts to avenge the deaths of his wife and child while working on a railroad. It may seem like a generic concept, but it was a well-crafted series in a post-Civil War era that’s culturally and historically specific and fascinating. It’s beautifully filmed and magnificently acted, with a sense of grandeur and scope. It’s just a shame that nobody talks about this AMC series.


1 About a Boy


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NBC

This was a show on NBC that had the shortest air time on the list, which sadly ended up being just two seasons. The story follows care-free songwriter Will Freeman (David Walton), who lives his bachelor lifestyle to the fullest. All of that changes when an English woman named Fiona (Minnie Driver) and her son Marcus (Benjamin Stockham) move in next door. Will begins to bond with Marcus as the two share wings, beer, and each other’s company. The series was based on the sweet and beloved 2002 film of the same name, which itself was based upon the novel by Nicholas Hornby. This television adaptation, however, features a true progression of maturity and coming-of-age (for both characters) that transcends the source material but was never finished, as half a dozen episodes were left unaired. All that could be done is to campaign for season three, but, unfortunately, that seems like nothing more than a pipe dream. Thus, About a Boy may remain one of the most underrated television shows forever.


Justin Theroux standing by a window in the Leftovers.
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