Have you ever watched a show struggle to maintain ratings when the writers are churning out gold? Do you ever ask yourself, why do the same shows get praised, while more deserving ones don’t? We have and we’re sick of it. TV shows visit you week after week, year after year and the material has to stay fresh, relevant, and entertaining. Unfortunately, some of the best programs executing this strategy don’t get recognized for it. Therefore, we’ve found the Top 10 Most Underrated TV Shows on the air and brought them to your attention.
See if your ignored favorite made the list…
10: Hawaii Five-O
- When: Mondays, 10 PM
- Where: CBS
- Why: The reboot of the 1970s TV show has had the biggest ratings of any freshman series this year. The writing for “Hawaii Five-O” is surprisingly fun and entertaining. The chemistry between the cast, especially Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan is what really makes “Five-O” stand out. Unfortunately, being a reboot comes with the negative connotation of being corny and uninspired, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The action is good, the actors are great, and the location is breathtaking. It’s Hawaii for goodness sakes. What’s not to love?
- When: Wednesdays, 10PM
- Where: USA
- Why: “Psych” is one of the most watched shows on the USA Network, yet it gets no love from critics. James Roday and Dule Hill are excellent as the series’ stars. Their characters Shawn and Gus are the dynamic duo of mystery and comedy. Each season they deliver memorable episodes that contain the right amount of humor, music, and pop culture references to keep us glued to our screens. After five years it kind of makes you wonder, when will they get noticed? Emmys (that lame music nod doesn’t count)? Golden Globes? Anybody?
8. Friday Night Lights
- When: Wednesdays, 9 PM
- Where: NBC/DirecTV
- Why: You knew this show would be on here. This year, “Friday Night Lights” was officially cancelled after five seasons. The story of a small town coach and his football team was more about family and the lives within its close knit community. During the majority of the show’s run the actors were largely ignored by the Emmys but finally in 2010 both Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton received a nomination for Best Lead Actor and Actress. We would bask in the glory of the recognition but it’s a case of too little, too late.
- When: Mondays, 8 PM
- Where: NBC
- Why: The action comedy about a nerd-turned-super-spy has been chugging along for four seasons by the skin of its teeth. “Chuck” has a die hard fan base, but it’s always one of the last shows to get renewed each season. The network constantly drags it out and makes it seem as if its near cancellation and it’s unfair. The show is a lot better than the stuff on their current roster, yet it gets treated like an unwanted step-child. “Chuck” has consistently delivered every season with awesome guest stars, action, and witty writing. There’s no reason for the backhanded treatment it receives.
6. Life Unexpected
- When: Tuesdays, 9 PM
- Where: The CW
- Why: The majority of the shows on The CW are either science fiction or over the top teen dramas. “Life Unexpected” doesn’t fit into either category, which makes it stick out like a sore thumb. Instead of focusing on pretty rich people with problems, it centers on an foster kid who finds her biological parents and tries to lead a normal life after several crappy years in the system. Unfortunately, the ratings weren’t up to par with what network execs wanted and it was put on hiatus. We’re not sure when or if it will return. “Life Unexpected” was the most realistic and grounded show The CW had on its otherwise superficial schedule.
- When: Fridays, 9 PM
- Where: The CW
- Why: “Supernatural” gets overlooked by critics because it’s considered a “campy genre show.” It’s unfortunate that just because it has fantasy elements people can’t take it seriously. After six seasons on the air, Sam and Dean Winchester are still as interesting and fun to watch as they were when we first met them. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have a great dynamic, which makes anyone with eyes fall in love with their characters. “Supernatural” is truly one of the best shows on television and more people should be watching.
4. Cougar Town
- When:Wednesday, 9:30 PM
- Where: ABC
- Why: We are not ashamed to admit that “Cougar Town” is awesome. The series is brought to us by the same people who created “Scrubs” so if you liked that show, you’ll love this. Don’t let the misleading title fool you, this is an ensemble that features unique and hilarious characters. Everyone has little quirks that make them stand out: Laurie’s dumb, Travis tries too hard, Grayson has tiny eyes, Ellie’s a bitch, Bobby’s trailer trash, Andy’s overly sensitive, and Jules is a functioning alcoholic. When they all come together, comedy ensues and we love it! The show is much funnier than its lead-in “Modern Family.” There! We said it!
3. Sons of Anarchy
- When: Tuesdays, 10 PM
- Where: FX
- Why: This show is driven by great writing and great performances, specifically from Katey Sagal, who after years of knocking it out of the park finally got a Golden Globe for her role on the show. On the surface, “SOA” looks like a biker drama but at its core, it’s about a family’s secrets and how they keep everything together despite their troubles. The series is one of the highest rated on FX, therefore we know people are watching. It’s just taking Emmy voters and the Hollywood Foreign Press 1,482 years to catch on to what the rest of us already know.
- When: Fridays, 9 PM
- Where: FOX
- Why: “Fringe” has everything you’d want from a JJ Abrams series: a strong female lead, detailed stories, and interesting supporting characters. The cast is amazing, the writing is great, and this season in particular has really pushed the envelope when it comes to relationships. Coincidentally the same year the show decides to kick it up a notch, Fox decides to move it from Thursdays to Fridays. Everyone knows that Fridays are where you send shows to die. Hopefully it sticks around a little longer. Things are getting really interesting between the main trio of characters (Walter, Olivia, Peter) and we want to see more!
- When: Thursdays, 8 PM
- Where: NBC
- Why: READ THIS EMMYS! “Community” has gotten universally ignored by award shows two years in a row, which doesn’t make any sense. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t have a Best Writing, Best Comedy, and several Best Supporting Actor nominations to its credit. Jeff, Pierce, Britta, Annie, Troy, Abed, Shirley, Chang, Dean Pelton, Star Burns, and even that crazy old coot Leonard are funnier than half of the characters on TV right now. “Community” is a different kind of show. Not only do the main characters standout but the recurring ones as well. Everyone brings something to the table, and that something is COMEDY!
What do you think is the most underrated show on television?