5 Underrated Shows To Watch When You Get Bored Of The Mainstream Classics

5 Underrated Shows To Watch When You Get Bored Of The Mainstream Classics

With so many choices available within our 12-inch screens, it's time to try something new and experience that pleasure of liking a show enough to click the "play next episode" button within seconds.


We've all experienced the way too familiar cycle of wanting to start a new show or series, but at the same time, not wanting to wait to be fully interested and commit to one. Inevitably, we switch back to one of the more popular choices, like "Friends," "The Office," or "Grey's Anatomy," and start bingeing even though we already know how the story goes. I get it, it's hard to find a new show, and sometimes, it's just easier and safer to just sit back and enjoy something that already has our stamp of approval.

Yet, with so many choices available within our 12-inch screens, it's time to try something new and experience that pleasure of liking a show enough to click the "play next episode" button within seconds. From my own experience, here is a short list of the most underrated shows that I have come to enjoy and watch in between reruns of my old favorites. Personally, in order to keep watching, I need either an element of comedy or suspense.

If you prefer those categories, then I think you'll appreciate some if not all of these choices, and if not, it won't hurt to check one or two of them out to see for yourself.

1. "A Very English Scandal"

During winter break, I had discovered all that there is to love about Hugh Grant romantic comedies. From "Four Weddings and a Funeral" to "Notting Hill" to "Love Actually," his charming personalities were easily recognizable and quickly admired. It was much to my surprise, and many others, when I stumbled upon this very recent work of his on Amazon Prime. Based on the book by the same name and true events which took place in England during the 1960s and 1970s, the three-part miniseries highlights a compelling, suspenseful, and dark yet comical story.

Jeremy Thorpe (Grant) was on his way to becoming Prime Minister when he was accused and tried for conspiring to murder an ex-lover, Norman Scott, played by Ben Winshaw. The series was a hit in Britain, but I found it even more interesting to watch as an American who didn't know the results and aftermath of the trial. Besides the dichotomy of the story for its time and setting along with the characters, one of the best parts of the series for me was the background score. The soundtrack was stuck in my head for a long while after watching and really captured the mystery and subtle humorous tones of it at the perfect moments.

2. "One Day at a Time"

With its third season just released on Netflix, this series follows the day to day life of a Cuban American family. It'll leave you laughing one second and wanting to call your mom the next. Working with very ambitious plot lines, the audience watches as the characters tackle issues and topics such as feminism, minority status, mental health, immigration, and so much more. Though the discussions may seem a little forced at times, the characters do a commendable job of making their conflicts relatable.

Fun fact: its theme is sung by none other than the Cuban American pop icon herself, Gloria Estefan, who also happens to make a guest appearance in one of the later episodes.

3. "Kim's Convenience"

The Kim's are just the average neighborhood family that owns a convenience store down the street. Usually, shows with immigrant family's have children who are still in grade school, but this different because the kids are actually young adults, trying to figure out how to live on their own, while still maintaining family relationships and having the most comedic and all too familiar misunderstandings. I am patiently awaiting its third season to come on Netflix.

4. "Psych"

Far from the average crime-solving mystery drama, this eight-season series available on Amazon Prime, adds a much needed light-hearted note. Each episode starts with a flashback to main character Shawn Spencer's childhood. His father, a retired police detective, trained him on how to develop acute observational skills with the expectation that Shawn would grow up to become a detective. Though he doesn't end up becoming a detective, in an odd turn of events, he ends up convincing the police department that they could use his assistance on unique cases as an on-call, self-proclaimed psychic. What follows is the inevitable friendly rivalry between Shawn and the head detective, advice from his unsatisfied father, help from a hesitant but loyal best friend, all while keeping the audience hooked, not necessarily on who done it, but how Shawn solves it.

5. Any Maz Jobrani Comedy Special

With not one, but three specials on Netflix, this under-appreciated comedian loves to muse about his Persian background, his mixed family with his Indian wife, immigration, and other daily struggles and incidents. His specials are definitely worth a watch and you'll for sure be crying tears of laughter at some point during them.

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The Risky 'Stranger Things' Casting Mistake That Needs Fixing

Not only am I disappointed by such a great show's dangerous decision, I'm upset by the fact that no one has corrected it.


Like many, "Stranger Things" is one of my favorite shows. But after extensive research, I feel like it's my moral responsibility to refrain from watching the upcoming third season of a show that encourages fans to starve themselves.

This article uses potentially triggering language related to eating disorders.

Natalia Dyer is an actress best known for her role as Nancy Wheeler in Netflix's original show, "Stranger Things." Despite its enthralling plot, the first time I watched it, I found myself distracted by her unusually thin frame. While I know many naturally skinny women and actresses, I've never seen someone whose skeleton was so prominent.

Flickr- Natalia Dyer (left)

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two serious eating and emotional disorders characterized by loss of appetite, refusal to eat, excessive exercise, body dysmorphia, and (specific to bulimia) compulsive binge eating followed by purging.

While I didn't find any direct quotes from Natalia about suffering from an eating disorder, I did stumble upon pictures of her from the 2009 premiere of "Hannah Montana: The Movie" and was shocked at how drastically different she looks today.

Youtube- "Hannah Montana: The Movie" Premiere

In 2014, Natalia starred in "I believe in Unicorns," where promotional pictures also illustrate how much she's changed. For those who believe she's "naturally thin," these past films, as well as pictures from her childhood prove that she wasn't always this skinny.

Youtube- "I Believe in Unicorns" 2014

When I first researched Natalia, I found forums in which people who have battled with eating disorders discuss the physical signs of anorexia and bulimia that Natalia exhibits. The most obvious being her frame, visible bones underneath thin skin, sunken-in eyes, "hollow" face, as well as more subtle signs, like scabs on her knuckles (called Russell's sign), white or blue fingernails, and lines around the mouth that seem to age her face.

I am fortunate enough to have never suffered from an eating disorder, so I did a lot of research to keep from jumping to conclusions about Natalia's health. What I've found is that symptoms of eating disorders closely mimic those of gastrointestinal diseases, such as Celiac and Crohn's disease. In this sense, it's possible that those who criticize her for disordered eating are evaluating the body of someone with a dysfunctional digestive system (though the aforementioned physical signs pointed out by people who have had anorexia convince me that this likely isn't the case).

Youtube- Natalia Dyer 2017

While there's little factual information about if Natalia has an eating disorder, there is much speculation that she does, both from those who have overcome such disorders, and those still struggling.

During my search for information, I found several "pro-ana" websites—a contraction of "pro-anorexia," used to admire eating disorders in a positive light—idolizing Natalia's weight loss and expressing jealousy of her outrageously thin frame. In one particular forum, people describe her in "Hannah Montana: The Movie" as "on her way to chunky town," and "mad chunky" in "I Believe in Unicorns." Even going a step further by stating that Natalia's "Stranger Things" co-star Shannon Purser "needs to take pointers from [Natalia]."

Flickr- Shannon Purser

Finding this forum made my blood boil. Not because of the responsibilities of its participants (that's an article for another day), but because of the irresponsibility the casting director—Carmen Cuba—and creators of "Stranger Things" have exhibited in casting a potentially anorexic actress, and Netflix's lack of opposition to this choice.

As a rule of corporate management, businesses have what's called "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) which is defined as "the idea that businesses should balance profit-making activities with activities that benefit society. It involves developing businesses with a positive relationship to the society in which they operate."

From my point of view, Cuba's casting choice for the character Nancy violated the sense of CSR that such a popular show should have, given that she's provided fans who struggle with body dysmorphia a potentially dangerous source of "thinspiration."

Youtube- Natalia Dyer at ages 17 (left) and 20 (right)

There are many different solutions to this problem, but without knowing Natalia's exact situation, it could be thoughtless and damaging to bombard her with messages about gaining weight, meaning the issue of casting an actress who inadvertently (I cannot stress the word "inadvertently" enough) inspires young fans to starve themselves lies solely in the hands of the show's creators.

There are still many facets of this issue I have yet to discuss, but until then, if you believe that you, a friend, or a relative have an eating disorder, contact an eating disorder hotline now.

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5 TV Shows To Binge Watch When You Aren't Stressing About College

My top five shows to binge watch as a college student.


Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are a college students best friend. These are my top 5 shows you should watch while hanging out in your dorm room.

1. "The Office"


"The Office" is definitely an easy show to binge. Its dry humor and sarcasm can be hard to grasp at first, but eventually, you'll start chuckling at everything Michael says. The characters are all different, so you'll probably be able to relate to them in your own way. Not only is it a comedy, but it also adds in some romance and drama. The things that Dwight, Jim, Pam, and the others do will make you think that working at a paper company really isn't too bad. I don't want to spoil anything for you, so you'll just have to watch it on your own. (That's what she said.)

2. "Sex and the City"


"Sex and the City" is a total classic. I remember when I was younger I heard about the show, but there was no way I was going to watch it. When I got to college I realized there was a lot about the world I hadn't learned. I started watching this show and was instantly hooked. If you love Manhattan and the hustle and bustle of the city, you will fall in love with the show. Carrie Bradshaw and her three best friends show the true meaning of "girl power" as they take on life and love together in the big city.

3. "Gilmore Girls"


Another classic, "Gilmore Girls," is an amazing show to watch especially if you're leaving your mom for college. Rory and her mother Lorelai are best friends. It reminded me of my own mother and I, so I ended up watching all seven seasons in one month. It seemed to be so innocent at first, but it is more drama filled than expected. It's interesting to watch her go through high school, just like I did, and experience everything a normal teen would. And who wouldn't want to watch Melissa McCarthy every episode? Of course, I won't spoil this for anyone either, but I will always be #TeamLogan.

4. "The Flash"


I'm typically not into superhero movies or shows, but I was hooked to "The Flash." Rather than being just a basic hero who wins everything and gets the girl, Barry (The Flash) overcomes some pretty intense things throughout his life. After every season I thought the show was going to end, but they came up with so many twists. There was never a dull moment in the show, and you'll learn that not everything is as it seems. There's tragedy, romance, comedy, and a whole lot of drama. What else could you ask for in a show?

5. "Atypical"

"Atypical" is a very easy show to binge. It's honestly very fascinating and has a huge amount of drama. For Sam, life seems to be harder until he finds out that everyone's life is just as hard as his. Their family is different than most, and it taught me a lot of lessons to be a better person. You can finish one whole season in just one night with a couple of people. If you ever need a show to just watch one night with your friends, this is it.

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