10 underrated TV shows perfect to binge

With a wealth of options ahead of audiences, it may be hard to narrow out one’s next watch. Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock. 

The television industry is rapidly shifting, but audiences still find time to enjoy their favorite series — both old and new. Whether unexpected cancellations or lack of word of mouth are to blame, plenty of underappreciated shows fall under the radar. To press play on your next undiscovered fave, check out the following recommendations from the Culture section.

OWEN MADRIGAL | CULTURE CO-EDITOR | omadriga@butler.edu 

The Boulet Brother’s Dragula” on Shudder

While RuPaul may have the world gagging on eleganza and haute couture on the runway, the Boulet Brothers have captured a different and equally important sector of drag culture for television. Through the four main seasons and one Titans season, “Dragula” shows drag monsters and horror-based drag that is starkly different from many of the drag performers audiences may know. The reality competition show seeks to find the next drag supermonster through standard design, acting, performance and lipsync challenges. The added angle is the floorshows, where looks are judged based on their intersection of horror, filth and glamour, the three cruxes of “Dragula.” This is a show for horror lovers who want to see something different from drag performers on television. “The Boulet Brother’s Dragula” is available to stream on Shudder.

LEAH OLLIE | CULTURE CO-EDITOR | lollie@butler.edu 

The Royals” on E! Network

For audiences who enjoy the soapiness of “Gossip Girl” and the imperial drama of “The Crown,” consider “The Royals.” The first scripted series for E! combines scandalous intrigue with family ties in its dramedy depiction of the fictionalized House of Henstridge as they rule modern-day Britain. Elizabeth Hurley, Alexandra Park and William Moseley give strong leading performances that balance wit, humor and pathos amidst a delightfully watchable script; if viewers live for the mess of it all, they should tune in to this series on Amazon Prime Video. 

GIANNA CASSIN | STAFF REPORTER | gcassin@butler.edu

28 Days Haunted” on Netflix

This series is based on a theory from Ed and Lorraine Warren, best known as the main characters of the “Conjuring” film universe. The Warrens believed that 28 days is the ideal amount of time to uncover the supernatural secrets of a location. The veil between realms would become thin, allowing for more discoveries. This series focuses on three separate groups of paranormal investigators, who put this theory to the test in their respective locations. 

SAMANTHA COHEN | STAFF REPORTER | srcohen@butler.edu 

Dark” on Netflix

From the genius writing-and-directing duo Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar comes the science fiction show “Dark.” This show is unlike any other — with its mind-bending twists and turns and overtones of time travel, deception and mystery, this show is sure to intrigue. The outset of the show focuses on the disappearance of two local boys in a seemingly normal town. As the police and members of the town work to solve this unusual mystery, they begin to uncover the unusual foundations of their very existence. The series is sure to excite even the most reluctant viewers. 

MEGAN FULLER | STAFF REPORTER | mafuller@butler.edu

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson” on Netflix

Fans of “Nathan for You” or “Key and Peele” will love this quirky sketch show. Comedian and former SNL writer Tim Robinson co-creates and stars in this hilariously awkward show. Episodes are around 15 to 17 minutes, so it is easy to binge watch whenever. The show is made up of short sketches starring Robinson and some bigger names like Cecily Strong, Andy Samberg, Sam Richardson and Vanessa Bayer. Robinson’s awkward comedic style is hilarious, and after two short seasons viewers will be left wanting more. The point of each episode is to drive characters to leave, and the ridiculous scenarios Robinson creates are unlike any other sketch show. While this show can be found on Netflix, it is quite under the radar, and it definitely deserves a watch.

EVA HALLMAN | STAFF REPORTER | ehallman@butler.edu

Beauty and the Beast” on The CW

Tale as old as time, show not known worldwide … CW’s “Beauty and the Beauty” brings a classic love story to life in science fiction. Loosely based on the 1987 series with the same name, this Canadian American crime show has 70 episodes of binge-worthy suspense. NYPD homicide detective Catherine Chandler witnessed her mother’s murder but was saved by someone or something. While analyzing a new case, Catherine and her partner Tess discover fingerprints of Vincent Keller, a doctor who was reportedly killed in Afghanistan. Tensions rise, and mysteries are uncovered, which leads to romance that lasts till the last petal falls. For fans of the action of “Criminal Minds” and love stories of “NCIS” plus some added science fiction, this show is a must-try. “Beauty and the Beast” can be viewed on The CW for free. 

ABIGAIL OAKLEY | STAFF REPORTER | aloakley@butler.edu 

Barry” on HBO Max

For fans of “Breaking Bad” or “Better Call Saul” this crime dramedy will likely prove compelling. Bill Hader, a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member and popular comedian, writes, directs and stars in this compelling show. He brings his stellar instinct for comedy into an otherwise gloomy story. This combination is perfect for those who enjoy a darker and drier brand of humor. Hader’s character, Barry, is a hit man. However, after accidentally attending an acting class, he begins to question his life path. Now, Barry is on the run from the law and his former employers. He becomes the perfect main character for any anti-hero fans out there. With a premise this unique and a star as talented as Hader, “Barry” will not disappoint. 

MASON KUPIAINEN | STAFF REPORTER | mkupiainen@butler.edu

Dark Winds” on AMC

Stories revolving around Native American reservations have slowly become popular within film and television. From series like “Reservation Dogs” and films like “Wind River,” stories highlighting the difficulties of living within these reservations continue to be told. The series “Dark Winds” offers a breath of fresh air for police procedural fans as it follows two Native American police officers investigating various crimes. The backdrop of New Mexico makes for a unique setting from the traditional Miami, LA, Las Vegas and other typical cities used for detective series. This provides the series with a more intimate and small scale feel, allowing the characters to stand out on the screen. From compelling characters, a unique setting, engaging writing and beautiful cinematography, all of these make for one of the year’s best new debuts. 

GWEN PAVICH | STAFF REPORTER | gpavich@butler.edu

Red Oaks” on Amazon Prime Video

It’s no surprise that the 1980s aesthetic is making a comeback to today’s movies and TV shows, and the Amazon Prime Original “Red Oaks” is a must-see for all 80s lovers. This show takes place in 1985 and revolves around David, a college student who begins working at a country club called Red Oaks in New Jersey during the summer. The main setting is the club and focuses on David as well as his family, friends and coworkers. “Red Oaks” is very comedic but also explores themes such as relationships, coming-of-age and socioeconomic mobility. Craig Roberts, Ennis Esmer and Paul Reiser give amazing performances throughout the series. “Red Oaks” is perfect for anyone who wants something more than just a comedic 80s homage.  

JACK WILLIAMS | STAFF REPORTER | jrwilliams@butler.edu

The Librarians” on TNT

A plucky gang of misfits is drawn together to preserve magical artifacts from around the world in this series starring Noah Wyle, best known as John Carter from the TV series “ER.”  These titular librarians use their unique talents to face off against dark forces that threaten to unleash the magic of ages past once more. Fans of “Doctor Who” and “Supernatural” will recognize and love the structure of each season. Each monster of the week serves to develop the relationships between the central characters and give a clue to the overarching plot of that season’s villain. “The Librarians” is a perfect combination of campiness and creativity. No episode takes itself too seriously, and viewers will be pleasantly surprised by the unexpected ways the heroes defeat each ancient monstrosity.


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