It’s tough to keep up with all the new shows that come and go every year, especially if you don’t have cable. Some of the best shows ever are ones that got canceled too soon or never got the publicity they deserved. Luckily, we have Netflix to bring us all the great hidden gems we missed out on the first time. Next time you find yourself scrolling through titles looking for a good show to binge on, give one of these a shot.
Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23
I don’t remember hearing about this show at all when it originally aired on ABC for two seasons in 2012 and 2013. I don’t even remember how I ended up watching it on Netflix, because honestly the title and description of the show sound kind of lame. But it quickly worked its way into my heart and is now one of my favorite shows to re-watch on random rainy days. When a nice girl from Indiana moves to NYC she is forced to move in with a heartless party girl who makes a living conning people out of money. James van der Beek also stars as an exaggerated version of himself aka the greatest role he has ever played. The show has a weird brand of humor unlike traditional sitcoms and it is easy to see why it didn’t last long on a family-friendly network.
You might have missed this one because it originally aired in the U.K. in 2011, and only recently made its way over to the U.S. via Netflix. It is a very dark and unsettling look at the horrifying consequences of allowing technology to play too large of a role in our lives. It fits squarely into the category of classic dystopian sci-fi, and unlike other more popular British sci-fi shows that feature lots of killer robots and flying time machines (or phone booths), “Black Mirror” feels as though it could happen tomorrow. The whole series is so well done that nothing in the show ever seems too far-fetched. Each episode stands on its own as a mini-movie focusing on a different story and each one is fantastic and disturbing. Binge it all now before a new season begins later this year!
Better Off Ted
This is another weird one that got canceled too soon. Once again, I never heard about it while it was on ABC in 2009, and apparently no one else did either because it was canceled before the second season even finished airing. It gained new appreciation on the Internet and is hailed as a cult favorite in some circles now. The show is a twist on the standard workplace comedy, set in the offices of an evil corporation that invents dangerous weapons and performs odd experiments on employees. The main character is just a regular guy trying to deal with his job and the nutty people he works with. A lot of the humor comes from the incredible evilness of the company and the way the average workers cope with their jobs, trying to put a positive spin on the things they’re forced to do. It’s really funny and really weird, like a mashup of “The Office” and the “IT Crowd” but with 100 percent more evil science experiments.
If you prefer your sci-fi shows to be a lot less creepy and a little more wacky, this is a great choice. It aired for five seasons on the Syfy channel from 2006 to 2012, but only people who regularly watch the Syfy channel seem to have heard of it. The show follows an average man who gets appointed as the sheriff of a town that serves as an experimental site for the U.S. Department of Defense. Only the smartest scientists and inventors in America live there, and they spend their days working on wild classified government projects that always get out of hand and put the whole town in peril. Of course, the bumbling sheriff is the only one who can save the town from total destruction by an uncontrollable robot or mind control beam. It can be a bit predictable after a while, but it is a fun show that’s different from most other things on TV.