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Thread: Underrated TV Shows

  1. #1

    Underrated TV Shows

    10) Sports Night
    I would wax rhapsodic about how unfortunately the network pulled the cord from this show, but Aaron Sorkin's track record with endings is, shall we say, dog shit. Perhaps the premature ending is something of a reprieve as, on the whole, this is Sorkin's best TV outing to date. Yes, The West Wing's peaks are TV at its best, but unlike The West Wing, I don't have to exclude more than a season's worth of episodes to consider it exceptional. The acting is impeccable (with one notable exception), the walk and talk style is so prescient it seems unremarkable in the 2020s, the scripts are always crisp and broadly funny, if a bit outdated and ham handed at times.

    Bottom Line:
    Great show, no reason not to watch it. Come for the performances, stay for the witty dialogue and fast pace that lend themselves to repeat viewing.
    Last edited by quido8_5; 04-14-2021 at 11:45 PM.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  2. #2
    Subs
    Last Seen:​
    Us (J. Peele, 2019) ☆
    Archer, S12 (A. Reed, 2021) ☆
    Infinity Train, Book 1: The Perennial Child (O. Dennis, 2019)
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S8 (D. Goor/M. Schur, 2021) ☆
    Spielberg (S. Lacy, 2017) ☆
    Central Park, S2a (J. Gad/L. Bouchard/N. Smith, 2021) ☆
    Batman: The Long Halloween, Part 2 (C. Palmer, 2021) ☆
    Central Park, S1 (J. Gad/L. Bouchard/N. Smith, 2020) ☆
    Vivo (K. DeMicco/B. Jeffords, 2021) ☆
    Batman: Gotham Knight (S. Nishimi/F. Higashide/H. Morioka/Y. Aoki/T. Kubooka/Nam J./Y. Kawajiri, 2008) ☆

    First time ☆

  3. #3
    I probably won't have heard of any of these shows, but I'm here for it regardless. If for no other reason than to impress my friends with obscure TV knowledge.

  4. #4
    9) Taxi

    A 70s sitcom with genuine pathos, an emerging narrative arc (in the 70s?), and Andy Kaufman? Taxi almost makes it worth all the insomnia driven binges I did on TV Land. No sitcom deserves this cast (none of us deserve Kaufman), but they all coalesce into an ensemble for the ages. I can't imagine *watching* watching all five seasons of this show, but it's a wonderful lark and TV comfort food.

    Bottom line: if you're about to rewatch The Office again, please for the love of God try this instead.
    Last edited by quido8_5; 04-14-2021 at 11:25 AM.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  5. #5
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Is Taxi on a streaming service anywhere?
    Twitch / Youtube / Film Diary

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    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
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    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why havenít entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  6. #6
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Is Taxi on a streaming service anywhere?
    I think it was NBC so that would put it on Peacock, I think?
    "All right, that's too hot. Anything we can do about that heat?"

    "Rick...it's a flamethrower."

  7. #7
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Taxi was great

  8. #8
    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Is Taxi on a streaming service anywhere?
    I think Hulu's got it.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  9. #9
    8*) Home Movies

    My heart goes out to all those young folk who will have a much harder time appreciating Adult Swim in its heyday. Of course, like many people around my age (34), I consider that heyday to be the first iteration of Adult Swim: Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Spacelab 2021 and, of course, Home Movies. It's hard to express what exactly about the show makes it unique, although it's easy to sing its praises. The scripts are quick and slyly funny. The episodes are fantastic individually but the characters bring a cohesion across the series that makes the narrative arc so much more satisfying and nuanced than TV may deserve (just FYI: Paula Poundstone and H. Jon Benjamin voice two of the main characters). The music is basically They Might be Giants saying "hold my beer" as they own genre exercise after genre exercise. I'll go on record as saying this is not only one of the best animated sitcoms of all time, but one of the best sitcoms ever, full stop.

    Bottom Line: if you're interested in seeing sitcoms that are as earnest as they are farcical, this is the show for you.


    * I should note that I'm numbering these, but they don't correspond to a ranking. If that were so, Home Movies would be very close to the top.
    Last edited by quido8_5; 04-19-2021 at 09:56 PM.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  10. #10
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Home Movies is gold.

  11. #11
    #7) Rhoda

    Y'all, fuck Mary Tyler Moore. Of course she's gonna make it after all. Rhoda presents a premise that is immediately more interesting and realistic. Whereas most spin-offs seem like an immediate cash-grab, Rhoda seemed to have more to say out of the gate than her predecessor. Mary Tyler Moore may have more iconic moments of female empowerment, but Rhoda is full of the more meaningful (albeit less momentous) moments of empowerment. Not to mention, there is family banter and one liners that set the stage for Golden Girls. Sure Rhoda is thoroughly problematic, but so is every show from the 70s. Whereas most series either ignored problematic material or dealt with it superficially. Rhoda made fun of the ridiculousness and established a likable enable in the process.

    Bottom line: Yes, of course you love Golden Girls, don't be silly. So, why not try a whole 'nother family system dramedy that is equally dysfunctional, complex and hilarious?
    Last edited by quido8_5; 04-20-2021 at 01:14 AM.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  12. #12
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Rhoda was great.

  13. #13
    #6) The Comeback
    I watched this after it landed the top spot on Bob-Waksberg's list of top shows of the 10s. Season 2 aired in 2014, but season 1 debuted in 2005. When asked about whether or not someone must watch season 1 to get season two he said: "you don't need to watch season 1, you get to watch season one." It's equally hackneyed and true. Both seasons present a world that is insular and exacting: the TV business is brutish, nasty, and short. I haven't seen any show that depicts the life and autopsy of a career in showbusiness better than this. The show is great. Fantastic scripts, clever plot twists, and assured mis-en-scene... The best thing, though? Lisa Kudrow. Her performance is one for the ages and, I think, hands down the best comedic performance of either decades.

    Bottom line: this is the show that you'll want to recommend to anyone who hasn't seen it, if for no other reason than they'll understand what you mean by saying "I don't wanna see that!"
    Last edited by quido8_5; 04-20-2021 at 02:18 AM.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  14. #14
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Rhoda was great.
    Right? I don't understand why it isn't in the canon of great sitcoms.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  15. #15
    #5) Solar Opposites

    You should be watching this, I should be advocating for this, society might be groaning for this. Coming from one of the creators and chief voice artists of Rick and Morty, this show is fledgling, but worth every sign of life it has. There are moments of brilliance, episodes that actually push the boundary of TV. Stick around for the last three episodes and you won't regret it.

    Bottom line: if you're tired of recommending Rick and Morty to your friends and loved ones (which you should be), watch this and see what you think. It'll be like the Goldilock test: this one's too hot (Rick and Morty), this one's too cold (Star Trek whatever*), this one may be just right.

    * Need to watch to see if this is accurate, but low-hanging fruit and whatnot.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  16. #16
    Solar Opposites is on my list.
    Last Seen:​
    Us (J. Peele, 2019) ☆
    Archer, S12 (A. Reed, 2021) ☆
    Infinity Train, Book 1: The Perennial Child (O. Dennis, 2019)
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S8 (D. Goor/M. Schur, 2021) ☆
    Spielberg (S. Lacy, 2017) ☆
    Central Park, S2a (J. Gad/L. Bouchard/N. Smith, 2021) ☆
    Batman: The Long Halloween, Part 2 (C. Palmer, 2021) ☆
    Central Park, S1 (J. Gad/L. Bouchard/N. Smith, 2020) ☆
    Vivo (K. DeMicco/B. Jeffords, 2021) ☆
    Batman: Gotham Knight (S. Nishimi/F. Higashide/H. Morioka/Y. Aoki/T. Kubooka/Nam J./Y. Kawajiri, 2008) ☆

    First time ☆

  17. #17
    You're welcome:
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  18. #18
    Quote Quoting quido8_5 (view post)
    (Star Trek whatever*)

    * Need to watch to see if this is accurate, but low-hanging fruit and whatnot.
    You did not just fix your mouth to say that... what gall!

  19. #19
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting quido8_5 (view post)
    #5) Solar Opposites

    You should be watching this, I should be advocating for this, society might be groaning for this. Coming from one of the creators and chief voice artists of Rick and Morty, this show is fledgling, but worth every sign of life it has. There are moments of brilliance, episodes that actually push the boundary of TV. Stick around for the last three episodes and you won't regret it.

    Bottom line: if you're tired of recommending Rick and Morty to your friends and loved ones (which you should be), watch this and see what you think. It'll be like the Goldilock test: this one's too hot (Rick and Morty), this one's too cold (Star Trek whatever*), this one may be just right.

    * Need to watch to see if this is accurate, but low-hanging fruit and whatnot.
    I don't have time to watch this because I'm too busy re-watching Rick & Morty.
    Twitch / Youtube / Film Diary

    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why havenít entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  20. #20
    lol, touchť.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  21. #21
    #4) Pushing Daisies

    I recall a time when TV Guide was an important reference for me. The Best Show You're Not Watching feature was particularly influential. It suggested that popular opinion isn't always right, but often dead wrong. That is certainly the case with this show that was always too good to succeed. It also highlights the fact that Pushing Daises isn't really underrated (nearly everyone I know, critically and personally, rates it very highly indeed), but is surely underseen. The fact that they pull off such a ridiculous premise* at all is a feat; however, this detective zombie romcom musical is something of a miracle. In a field full of lifeless dandelions, Pushing Daises was a vivacious sunflower. There is a reason why network TV is network TV and we should all be thankful to have had two seasons (22 episodes) of something special in primetime.

    This is streaming on HBO Max.

    * Trying to explain it verbally becomes real convoluted real quick. Much more enjoyable to just watch the trailer and get a taste of the Hopperian cinematography and old-school comedic timing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVELsqFtYCk. The trailer has the added benefit of showing you how hard the network tried to fit this incredibly unique show into a generic "must see TV" box.
    Last edited by quido8_5; 04-22-2021 at 11:22 PM.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  22. #22
    That Pushing Daisies trailer makes it seem more like a movie than a series. I suppose the crime-solving stuff takes up more screen time than the trailer suggests? Central conceit reminds of of Anna Paquin as Rogue.

  23. #23
    Quote Quoting Idioteque Stalker (view post)
    That Pushing Daisies trailer makes it seem more like a movie than a series. I suppose the crime-solving stuff takes up more screen time than the trailer suggests? Central conceit reminds of of Anna Paquin as Rogue.
    Crime solving stuff takes on two narratives: one changes each episode, the other is who killed the main female character. Much of the show hinges on the main conceit, but does not really reference it outside of some awkward exposition at the start of some episodes. Instead, most of the show is devoted to the reasons why people die and live, what makes the life/death remarkable.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  24. #24
    #3) Forever

    After The Good Place, why would the world need another show about the afterlife? It doesn’t really; however, Forever is not very concerned about the nature of the afterlife, but about the nature of human relationships and commitment. Whereas the Good Place explores what the afterlife could be, Forever ignores the philosophy in exchange for one cold, hard fact: eternity. When you have to spend eternity with someone, the stakes go up considerably. Perhaps a relationship you could live with and let ride is not one that you would want to go all in on, in the eternal sense. I don’t think anyone familiar with Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen would doubt their comedic chops, yet their chemistry (if you can call it that) is surprisingly natural. The show as a whole flows with such unpredictable grace, coming to conclusions as outlandish as they are resonate. Serious shit aside, this show is just funny. If you're a fan of either Rudolph or Armisen, would definitely recommend. If you're a fan of both, just stop what you're doing and watch the first episode.

    Bottom Line: Life is full of disappointment, disillusionment, and mundanity. If you want a comedy that paints eternity with the same prosaic brush, this is the show for you!

    Streaming on Prime Video
    Last edited by quido8_5; 04-26-2021 at 11:09 PM.
    Films out of *****

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things - ***
    Suicide Squad - ***.5
    Still Walking - ***.5

    TV out of *****

    Succession Season 1: ***.5
    The White Lotus: ***
    The Chair: **.5

  25. #25
    Producer Yxklyx's Avatar
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    Taxi was fine but I didn't go out of my way to watch it. Two you haven't mentioned (yet?) are WKRP in Cincinnati and Cheers. I have no idea how well these shows have aged.
    Last Excellent Movie Seen For the Very First Time:
    The Crowd (1928, King Vidor)
    Letterboxd

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