The entertainment industry in the west isn’t as rigorously censored as the Indian entertainment industry. Consequently, they are able to express themselves with more honesty, and that shows. Of course, with OTT platforms becoming more popular in India, we have some great content of our own, but recently, the government decided to regulate content on streaming platforms as well, which is a step backwards. In any case, it’s no secret that the west has an abundance of great content, and sometimes, there are shows that do not get their due share of attention, which is why we bring you this list of underrated TV shows that you might consider binge-watching next.
Some of these shows might be fairly popular in the west, but most Indian viewers may not be familiar with them at all.
1. Jane the Virgin
Jane the Virgin follows the story of a Christian woman, Jane Villanueva, who gets pregnant from an accidental artificial insemination even though she’s a virgin. If that sounds over the top to you, that’s because it is. The show satirizes Spanish telenovelas that are known for their over the top storylines that are full of twists and turns.
2. Brooklyn Nine Nine
The show stars Andy Samberg playing a man-child called Jake Peralta, who also happens to be one of New York’s finest detectives. The heartwarming show follows the lives of cops in the 99th precinct after it is taken over by a new captain, Raymond Holt, who’s faced discrimination his entire career because of his race and sexual orientation.
3. This is Us
This dramedy has had a fairly good run at the Emmys and rightly so. Even with all the accolades, This is Us might be one of the most criminally underrated TV shows. The show follows the lives of various members of the Pearson family over the decades, switching from one timeline to another. The show makes for an intensely emotional watch and we suggest you keep some tissues handy.
4. Big Little Lies
Originally a mini-series, this HBO drama has a terrific ensemble with Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley in the main cast and Meryl Streep joining in the second season. The show follows the story of five women in Monterey whose lives are upended after a mysterious event takes place.
5. Never Have I Ever
It isn’t usual for Indians to find positive representation in American shows, and Never Have I Ever, with mostly South Asian actors in its main cast, strives to change that. The lighthearted show follows the life of a teenage girl who struggles to fit in as an American High schooler because of her Indian roots.
6. Queer Eye
The only reality show on our list, Queer Eye is a makeover show that is about more than just a makeover. With five endearing experts in its cast who turn around people’s lives for the better while giving the viewers important life lessons, the show makes for an extremely wholesome watch.
7. Modern Family
As the name suggests, the show is about three different families connected through one patriarch – Jay Pritchett. The show is one of the first on TV that has a gay couple raising a kid in its main cast. Not only that, it also has Sofia Vergara as one of its leading ladies, so yay for representation. Modern family has many genuinely funny moments, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Modern family is wildly popular in the US, but when it comes to India, it might be one of the most underrated TV shows ever.
8. Sex Education
Sex Education is a coming of age comedy about a socially awkward teenager, Otis. Despite not having much of an actual experience with sex, Otis is able to help his friends regarding their apprehensions about sex with the information he has inadvertently learnt from his mother who is a sex therapist.
9. Dear White People
The political climate of the world and especially the United States in 2020 forced people to put things in perspective and educate themselves about racism. Dear White People can be extremely educative on the subjects of race and inter-sectional feminism.
10. Why Women Kill
Set in parallel time periods, this dark comedy focuses on the lives of three women in three different decades who all live in the same house. The women of Why Women Kill are complicated and multi-dimensional, and provide thoughtful insights.
11. The Good Place
Eleanor Shellstrop wouldn’t call herself a good person. She’d swear that at best, she was a medium person. But when she dies, she is welcomed to the Good Place in her afterlife, taking her by surprise. The show explores the idea of ethics and morals, and what exactly it is to be a good person. The Good Place makes for one of the most underrated TV shows out there.
12. The Bold Type
The Bold Type follows the lives of three young women in the beginning of their careers, working for a magazine. Their boss, Jacqueline, is reminiscent of the iconic Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada, only with more heart. The show can be performative in its feminism, but as long as you want a lighthearted watch, the show can prove to be very comforting.
13. Killing Eve
Killing Eve follows the life of one Eve Polastri, an MI5 agent obsessed with finding the whereabouts of a mysterious assassin, Villanelle. Starring the immensely talented Sandra Oh in the titular role, the show is an intense thriller with a dash of dark comedy. What’s more? The first season is directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who has been having a field day at the Emmys lately.
With this list, we hope you have plenty to keep you occupied as the year ends. Be responsible. Do not go to new year eve parties. Watch a show instead!