A handful of shows released this year, however, didn’t get as much attention as they deserved. These were standouts for their respective streaming services and received rave reviews from critics and audiences who watched. But they fell under the radar. Chances are you either didn’t watch or didn’t consider watching until a friend, family member, or colleague gave the show an enthusiastic recommendation. Consider these our recommendations for the six most underrated TV shows of 2023.
You’d think the mere mention of Harrison Ford starring in a comedy would strike instant gold for a series. Yet Shrinking got lost in the shuffle of so many other high-profile Apple TV+ series. The comedy-drama centers around Jimmy (Jason Segel), a therapist who’s having trouble in his personal and professional life after the sudden death of his wife. He has been ignoring his teenage daughter, Alice (Lukita Maxwell), and giving far-too-honest advice to his clients, as he believes this radical new form of therapy is what they need. This doesn’t go over well with his colleague, Dr. Paul Rhoades (Ford), who worries that Jimmy is slowly falling apart. And he’s right (and also incredibly deadpan funny).
With the help of Paul, along with another caring colleague named Gaby (Jessica Williams), as well as his annoying and invasive neighbor, Liz (Christa Miller), and his once estranged best friend, Brian (Michael Urie), Jimmy might finally be able to get his life back on track. But he’s a complete mess and his journey to get there is paved with trauma, hilarity, heartwarming moments, and grief. Shrinking is a refreshing comedy that tugs at the heartstrings while making you belly laugh in the process. The fabulous cast riffs wonderfully off one another. It comes as no surprise that Shrinking has been renewed for a second season.
Stream Shrinking on Apple TV+.
Natasha Lyonne stars in Poker Face as Charlie, a young woman with a special skill: she can observe someone and immediately tell if they’re lying. Naturally, there are plenty of people who notice and want to use Charlie for her abilities. When a situation turns dangerous at the casino where she works, Charlie goes on the run. During her journey to evade a violent head of security named Cliff (Benjamin Bratt), Charlie lands in a different place every few days, working odd jobs to make money so she can continue onward. She meets an interesting mix of people and, coincidentally, gets caught up in a murder in each town. Of course, she uses her intuition and unique ability to help solve it before she packs up and gets back on the road.
The show has drawn comparisons to Columbo, and each unique story in every episode of Poker Face has its own tone, spin, and incredible cast (think everyone from Adrien Brody to Hong Chau, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and even Nick Nolte). Created by Rian Johnson, the man behind Knives Out and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Poker Face captures the same thrills as those movies, but in episodic form. Fans love to go on the journey with Charlie, no matter where it takes her.
Stream Poker Face on Peacock.
Despite the star-studded cast that includes Rebecca Ferguson, Rashida Jones, Tim Robbins, Common, and David Oyelowo, Silo wasn’t on the radar for a lot of people in 2023. The dystopian series, based on the Hugh Howey novels of the same name, admittedly starts slowly. But it builds and builds and builds until it reaches a nail-biting climax, with a few edge-of-your-seat episodes in-between.
The story is about an underground silo where survivors of an apocalyptic event live by the rules of the government that runs it. They are told the world outside is a vast wasteland, proven through live footage projected onto a huge screen. But following the mysterious death of her friend and research they had been doing prior, Juliette (Ferguson), a talented engineer, begins to question what it’s really like outside. Renewed for a second season, Silo is easily one of the most underrated, must-watch shows of the year.
Stream Silo on Apple TV+.
With Norman Reedus’ Daryl being such a fan favorite character from The Walking Dead, the spinoff series The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon got a lot of attention when it was released this year. But The Walking Dead: Dead City, yet another spinoff in the same universe, was arguably even better. Centered around the characters of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), the show moves to the Big Apple where the forever foes are forced to work together to save Maggie’s son, Hershel (Logan Kim). He has been kidnapped by a maniacal man who has a past with Negan, which means traveling to the island of Manhattan and battling both the living and the dead in this place from which escape isn’t easy.
Offering a new level of intensity, fresh supporting characters, and a storyline that only just got started in season 1, The Walking Dead: Dead City has been renewed for a second season. Fans were begging for the “old Negan” and got glimpses of him, with an ending that suggests there’s plenty more to come. Dead City has the potential to further develop characters that fans have come to know and love in new and exciting ways that truly push the narrative even further.
Stream The Walking Dead: Dead City on AMC+.
Another spinoff series, Gen V promised to offer a new perspective on the superhero world introduced in The Boys, and it delivered just that. With a fabulous young cast playing young Supes attending a crimefighting university, the series explores topical political and cultural issues in clever ways that are relatable to a younger audience. There’s Jordan Li (London Thor and Derek Luh), for example, who can shift from one gender to another, and Emma Meyer (Lizze Broadway) who can expand and shrink, but only by bingeing and purging.
Make no mistake, Gen V isn’t for kids. It’s just as gory, violent, and vulgar as The Boys. But each character has depth and makes you sympathize with them, despite the heinous things they might do. The first season only just began to scratch the surface of what this show could become. With existing and teased future tie-ins with The Boys, Gen V is a subversive antihero series that’s as thought-provoking as it is gruesome.
Stream Gen V on Prime Video.
Jury Duty might initially come across as boring and tedious, but the deeper you get into the clever show, the more you appreciate what it’s about. Citizens have been called in to serve jury duty, including actor James Marsden (anyone can be called to perform their civic duty, after all). The twist is that the trial and everything that happens around it is fake — and everyone is in on the joke except for one unwitting young man named Ronald. There are hidden cameras everywhere to capture Ronald’s every interaction and reaction, unbeknownst to him. It was a bold and ambitious hidden camera experiment that lasted for weeks, not hours. It could have been a total success or a complete failure. It ended up being the former.
The results are heartwarming and sweet, likely not at all what you would expect. When the truth is eventually revealed to Ronald, his reaction to the truth is just as adorable as the way he handles everything from Marsden getting the entire jury sequestered to helping an awkward, nerdy young man build confidence and fit in. Jury Duty is an addictive, feel-good show that will make you laugh and cry, and it might even help restore your faith in humanity.
Stream Jury Duty on Amazon Freevee.
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