15 Most Underrated TV Shows on Netflix, Ranked

Kelly Bryant | Aug 3, 2017 TV
Image: Netflix

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Back when Netflix began producing original series in 2012, it was unclear how big the concept of "streaming" was going to get. Clearly, the early adopters were onto something, because the platform produces some of the best programming around. From Netflix series big shots like Orange Is the New Black to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, we're regularly chomping at the bit to binge our favorites. Still, Netflix churns out so many series, it's entirely possible you've missed some of their more underrated fare.

Because your entertainment viewing pleasure is of utmost importance to us, we're ranking Netflix's most underrated shows (though they all tend to get at least a little love in the media), so you can plan your next binge sesh appropriately. Grab your popcorn and wine -- or a juice box for the kiddos -- as there are hours upon hours of awesomeness here. 

  • 15. The Crown


    It's hard to call The Crown underrated, because it's a critical darling, so that's why it nabs the #15 slot. But the hype around the series has been relatively low-key compared to other shows that premiered within the last year, so that's why we're including it on this list. Whether you're obsessed with Britain's royal family or not, you're going to fall in love with Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth, and the compelling behind-the-scenes story of the matriarch's life. If this show doesn't take home at least one Emmy this year, we're calling BS on the academy.

  • 14. Grace and Frankie


    When your stars are Hollywood vets like Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, you know you've got a hit on your hands. Add in the producing efforts of Friends alum Marta Kauffman and you basically have lightning in a bottle. Grace and Frankie follows two women whose friendship is solidified when their husbands announce they're in love and marrying each other. Talk about a modern family. The series got off to a bit of a slow start but has picked up steam along the way (which is why it falls at #14). In fact, it was just renewed for its fourth season (set to premiere in 2018). Add it to your queue now. 

  • 13. The Ranch


    Despite having Ashton Kutcher as its star, The Ranch hasn't received as much buzz for Netflix as one might expect. The comedy focuses on Colt (played by Kutcher), a defunct pro athlete who returns home to help his dad and brother run the family ranch. Needless to say, chaos and comedy ensues. It's now in its third season, and in-the-know viewers can't get enough of the show. With totally digestible 30-minute episodes, it's easy to catch up. 

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  • 12. Degrassi: The Next Class


    If you grew up on the original, or even made Degrassi: The Next Generation a guilty pleasure on The N, you'll be wholly satisfied by Netflix's reiteration of the iconic teen series. They've been tackling the same serious high school problems as far more ballyhooed series (like 13 Reasons Why) have for years. It's candid, clever, and responsible, and we're thrilled Netflix chose to resurrect Degrassi. The world of TV just isn't the same without it! But because it will never get as much hype as other high school–themed hits (cough, 13 Reasons...), it makes #12 on this list.

  • 11. The OA


    There was a lot of underground buzz about The OA, but it still feels like it hasn't received the attention it deserves, which is why we're slotting it in at #11. Maybe it was because those who binged it found that the finale left them with more questions than fully fleshed out answers. Or maybe there are just so many twists and turns the audience got confused. The story follows Prairie Johnson when she returns to her family seven years after she disappeared as a child. There are all sorts of head-scratchers, like how is that when she vanished she was blind but now she can see? If you like (or love) Stranger Things, give The OA a try.

  • 10. Julie's Greenroom


    It's Julie Andrews, people! Julie Andrews and puppets: a winning combination. While it's easy to brush off as just another cutesy children's show, and the hype around it has been fairly minimal (hence its #10 ranking), this is one you'll actually want to watch with your kids -- or, at the very least, not feel guilty about offering to them when you're trying to get a bit of work done. Julie created the show with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, and it focuses on teaching kids about the importance of the arts in our world. 

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  • 9. Love


    Relationships are never as cut-and-dry as TV and movies would like to make us think. Whether you're currently plunged in the depths of dating or simply thrilled that you've put that era of your life behind you, Judd Apatow's Love will hit home. Following the story of presumed "odd couple" Mickey and Gus, we learn that the old adage "you can't judge a book by its cover" really does ring true, and we root for these two underdogs to somehow succeed. Because it's an Apatow project, Love has garnered a sizable amount of press, but it still feels like it's owed a larger audience, so we're ranking it #9. 

  • 8. Sense8


    In a true case of you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, Netflix recently canceled the sci-fi series Sense8, which was very much flying under the radar but has an obsessive fan following -- which is why it makes #8 on this list.

    With only two seasons under its belt, the show focused on eight international strangers who somehow find themselves connected. Fortunately, fan reaction to the cancellation was so strong that Netflix is giving Sense8 a two-hour series finale that will likely stream in 2018. Hop on board now to learn what all the fuss was about. 

  • 7. Beat Bugs


    You guys, it's animated insects teaching life lessons set to their renditions of Beatles songs! And somehow, we don't hear about this as much as OITNB? We mean, come on now! Beat Bugs is pure joy, with two of the iconic band's classic songs included in each episode. It's basically the perfect cartoon to add to your kid's screen-time repertoire. We promise you'll find yourself singing along, too. So, we're slotting it in at #7.

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  • 6. Dear White People


    Tackling race relations in a way that starts a conversation and entertains is no easy task, but Netflix's take on Dear White People (inspired by the 2014 film of the same name) handles it with aplomb. It's smart, it's funny, and it touches on a subject we all should be talking about a lot more. And the cast? So many rising stars in this bunch. Yet, the hoopla around the brillz show lasted a mere split second, so it comes in at #6. Seriously, don't let this one stay so underrated. Watch. Now. 

  • 5. BoJack Horseman


    We're going to be totally honest with you -- BoJack Horseman is weird. Mostly because it takes place in a universe where humans and human-like animals coexist. Will Arnett voices the title character, a down-on-his-luck TV star plagued with all of the trappings of Hollywood. But once you get past animals acting like people, you'll appreciate the cleverness of the animated sitcom, which also features the voices of Alison Brie, Amy Sedaris, and Aaron Paul. That's why the #5 slot makes perfect sense for this seriously underrated series.

  • 4. One Day at a Time


    We're not quite sure why Fuller House got all of the reboot glory and left little for the updated One Day at a Time, but if you're not watching the sitcom, you're missing out. With three generations of a Cuban-American family living under the same roof, this is the modernized version of the '70s classic that we need in 2017, which is why it lands at #4. And if you're unfamiliar with series star Justina Machado, it's time to get on board because the actress is on a roll. Aside from her ODAAT duties, she has also been proving her acting chops on Jane the Virgin, Queen of the South, and even Disney Junior's animated Elena of Avalor

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  • 3. Gypsy


    Any TV series that can convince Stevie Nicks to rerecord a Fleetwood Mac hit in a haunting, stripped-down way deserves all of the accolades. Despite having star power from Naomi Watts, Gypsy seems to have been overshadowed by press darlings like GLOW. The show follows therapist Jean Holloway as she becomes darkly entangled in her patients' lives, putting her own picture-perfect personal life at risk. It's sexy and, oftentimes, psychologically scary, so grab a glass of wine and prepare to binge our #3 most underrated pick.  

  • 2. Chef's Table


    There's a reason Chef's Table is an Emmy-nominated series -- it takes viewers into the minds of culinary rock stars and is filmed in such a way that's appealing to an audience that goes well beyond foodies. It's not the glossiest or most heavily promoted Netflix show, but it is one of the finest they've produced, which is why it nabs the #2 spot. You'll never look at your meals the same way again.

  • 1. Black Mirror


    It was originally broadcast on Channel 4 in Great Britain, but Netflix took over the reins on Black Mirror by ordering a third season (and a fourth is currently in production). The anthology series can, at times, be tough to watch, as it often takes a dark look at how technology affects a modern society set in a dystopian universe (although some episodes feel all too real). But its twists and turns are so damn impressive that you'll be instantly hooked. Considering the series has reeled in names like Jon Hamm, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and our new Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker, Black Mirror is worth its weight in star power alone, so it's undoubtedly the #1 most underrated Netflix show of the moment.

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