- Entertainment and Media
Stevennix2001's Top Twelve Under Rated TV Shows Of All Time
To be honest, I don't watch a lot of TV as I used to. Sure, I used to watch television a lot, when there were shows like "Seinfeld" and "Friends" that were running strong. Plus, there was a few shows that I almost got into afterwards, but many of them were cancelled before their time; which makes it very sad. However, from the shows that I have watched over the years, I can't say I wasn't a bit surprised to see how some were ridiculously over hyped (i.e. "Hanna Montana"), to some that barely even got the recognition they deserved like "The Critic."
That's why I've decided to dedicate my 500th hub to creating a top twelve under rated TV shows list. Take in mind, this is not a list of my top twelve favorite TV shows, as some of these wouldn't make the cut necessarily. No, this is a list of shows that I liked, but for whatever reasons, they never reached the commercial success they richly deserved.
Granted, I know there's probably other shows I could've mentioned that readers will feel that I should be putting on here. But please keep in mind, this is my personal list, so if I fail to list an under rated TV show that you feel should be on here, then it could mean one or two things. Either, I didn't see the show that you feel should be on here, or I just didn't care for it as much as you did. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy reading this hub commemorating my 500th published hub.
12. Mission Hill
As some TV buffs know, Warner Bros.' founded a TV channel simply known as the WB, and later switched to CW. Needless to say, the shows that originally started off the network didn't do that well due to mostly limited exposure. Plus, it didn't help that "Mission Hill" was arguably one of the most daring cartoon shows ever conceived. Seriously, if you've ever watched this show, then you would know that many of the topics and themes it covered were considered a bit taboo for it's time. Hell, it could be considered controversial even in this day and age.
Some of the controversial subject matter included such themes like masturbation, and things of that nature. However, that's not to say that this show wasn't surprisingly clever for it's time. The show also benefited from having a colorful cast of characters that not only were interesting on their own merit, but the chemistry between them jelled rather nicely. Plus, some of the episodes were written rather well, as I would dare argue that this show features some of the best stories ever conceived for a comedy show.
11. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Show
Based on the Japanese Pop band, PUFFY (aka Puffy AmiYumi in the U.S.A), this cartoon surprisingly seemed to fall under the radar with a lot of people. For those of you who may not be familiar with PUFFY, they're a pop music band in Japan, and they even created the theme song to "Teen Titans" on Cartoon Network. Needless to say, "Teen Titans" used to be one of Cartoon Network's highest rated shows, and the theme song proved to be quite popular among fans of the show.
To make a long story short, it didn't take long before Cartoon Network decided to cash in on the popularity of the theme song, as they immediately created a cartoon show based on the Japanese pop stars.
However, I seriously doubt this show was accurate to the real Ami and Yumi. After all, if you look at the characters themselves, then you'll come to realize they look nothing like their real life counterparts. Plus, I doubt that the personalities of these girls were that extreme to be honest, as it was portrayed in the cartoon. In one episode for example, Yumi whines and b***es to Ami to drive them all over the United States, to buy a damn cheeseburger, because she's hungry, and only wants to eat a Pink Palace Burger. Although I'm sure the Japanese pop stars probably were eccentric, but driving around all over the damn country for one lousy cheeseburger borders along the lines of being f***ing crazy. Therefore, I'm sure the personalities of these girls were exaggerated a bit for comical purposes.
But for what the show was, it really wasn't that bad. If anything, I thought it was one of the most creative cartoon shows ever conceived. Not only did it make clever references to pop culture like it's episode referring to a card game called "Stu-Pid-Oh." Of course, I'm sure "Stu-Pid-Oh" has no relation to the anime card game/anime series "Yu-Gi-Oh." By the way, I'm being very sarcastic in the last sentence, for those that can't tell. However, it also featured a colorful style of animation that made the show unique in itself, and I especially liked the often over the top humor of it.
Sure, the show could border on the edge of campy and mindless stupidity, but it's still enjoyable to watch nonetheless. In some ways, the show reminds me of "The Monkees" episodes that I've watched fairly recently on youtube. Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi" to "The Monkees", as both shows have their similarities and differences obviously; particularly one being animated, and the other being live action. However, the approach of both shows are eerily in similar in that it shows the misadventures of a popular music group, in various comical situations.
Unfortunately, this show never saw a third season, and it seems like Cartoon Network isn't even bothering to run it in reruns either. I guess the show must've bombed really hard in the United States. It's kind of sad too, as this show could easily still beat out any of today's cartoon shows by a mile. Oh well, what can you do?
Before anyone judges me by thinking, "Oh he's only putting this show on his list because he thinks Pamela Anderson is hot. heheheheh." I want to point out a few things first before stating why I like this show. For starters, I NEVER watch any movie, or TV show, simply because I think the girl in it is hot. If you think I do, then you don't know me at all.
As some of my readers know, I never grade actresses, in movies, solely on their looks, as I prefer to rate them according to their acting talents alone, and how well they do in the particular role they're in.
Hence, you'll never see me watch pieces of crap like "Baywatch." Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the show, nor do I care if anyone chooses to watch it. However, from my perspective, the show is a shameless sexist exploitation that only garners fans off pure sex appeal; while offering next to nothing in terms of substance. Needless to say, I hated "Baywatch." Sure, I can understand how some guys would love it, and I can understand how some girls would too. But my thoughts are if you're going to watch a show for sex appeal reasons alone, then why not buy, rent or simply watch porn? You see everything that you want to see, and you're cutting out the middle man (by middle man, I mean story). Therefore, it just seems pointless if you ask me.
However, "Stacked" was surprisingly better than most people dare give it credit for. Granted, it did star a busty Pamela Anderson, who showed off quite a bit of cleavage throughout the show. But, this is probably the only role that I've seen her in where she showed that she can actually ACT, when given the right opportunities.
Like some actors, they can only play themselves into a role. Granted, it's not a bad thing, as many iconic actors suffer from this, and still go on to have great careers like Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt and etc. Not that I'm comparing Pamela to any of these actors, but I tend to notice that whenever she's required to play a part that doesn't fit with her own personality, then she seems to really struggle with it. However, when you give a role like she had in "Stacked", where she was playing a character with a similar personality to herself, then she excels in it tenfold. Therefore, I think Pamela Anderson actually did do a great job in this show.
Granted, the show itself was sort of a one note joke that involved the idea of two nerds running a bookstore, and they happen to hire a sexy party girl like Skyler (Pamela Anderson) that somehow puts them into all sorts of misadventures. You have the fat nerd that's obsessed with her, and the serious thin nerd that likes her, but he tends to be overly pessimistic to balance out Skyler's overly optimistic personality. Of course, the show also featured a coffee house girl that was kind of insane on the show, and you had Christopher Lloyd, who played the likable schmuck that just happened to always be there whenever crap went down in the book store.
Again, the show itself may have been a one note comedy series, and I'll even be the first to admit that it's not the most well written one out there. However, what saves the show is surprisingly the acting, and the chemistry these actors have off each other. Sure, the show won't win any accolades for creativity, but it's still genuinely funny nonetheless; hence if you want a show that offers a few cheap laughs, then "Stacked" can definitely deliver on that note.
Warning: Video Contains Images that May Not Be Suitable To Younger Viewers. Parental Discretion Is Advised
Again, I would like to ask all my readers to please hear me out before judging me on this one. Yes, the show that I'm about to talk about happens to be about a stripper that works by night, and becomes a superhero by later night; while wearing scantly clothing. However, there's more to this show than that. Although the show can get a bit campy and racy at times, it's actually a clever superhero satire when you actually sit down to watch it. Not only does the show pay homage to Adam West's version of "Batman", but it has a lot of clever double entendre jokes that make the show hilarious to watch. In one particular episode for example, Stripperella saves a man that looks eerily like a cartoon Fabio. The two share words that could be misconstrued as sexual flirtations, but they're done in such a unique way that it comes off more as comical rather than racy.
Indeed, this show has arguably some of the most creative dialogue you'll ever find any TV series, and it's very funny to watch. In fact, it's a real shame this show hasn't gained another season, as it's probably one of the better superhero shows out there.
Warning: This Video Contains Violence, Images of Blood, Adult Language, Adult Situations, and Graphic Images. Parental Discretion is Advised
When this show originally came out, it received quite a bit of hype, due to the comic book's popularity at the time. But as the popularity of the comic book seems to have faded, it seems only fair that the show has garnered little to hardy any mentioning since. However, it's a very unique show though if anyone cares to watch it. Granted, the show isn't for the faint of heart, as it contains various images of violence, and adult subject matter that would easily turn off most people. If that wasn't bad enough, the show deals with subject that many may not feel comfortable with seeing displayed in such a controversially perverse way.
The story revolves around a soldier named Al Simmons that dies, and ends up becoming a soldier for hell. He's sent back to Earth years later, where his wife is now married to his best friend, and they're both raising a beautiful little girl together. To make matters worse, Al not only has to confront enemies from hell, but he has to contend with other threats as well like everyday criminals he happens to come across, and mercenaries from heaven that want him dead.
What struck me as interesting about this series is that it raised a lot of controversial questions that I would dare say is very bold to even ask. For starter if everything in the bible was true, then who's to say that heaven is any less evil than hell? Who says god isn't as much of a sadistic entity as Satan? Indeed, the show raised a lot of controversial subject matters that even in this day and age would make people uncomfortable. Although I will admit that I never read the original comic book this show was based on, but my brother did. And from what he told me about the comic books, I can certainly see why he would be deemed a controversial character. Again, I wouldn't recommend this show if you're closed minded to one religious ideal. However, if you keep an open mind watching this show, then you might find yourself watching arguably one of the deepest shows ever written.
7. Two Stupid Dogs
Although this show was somewhat popular during it's original run, it doesn't seem to get hardly any recognition these days. I guess part of the reason why it's so forgettable is that the show never even bothered giving the two main characters names. No, they were always referred to them as dogs, and nothing more. However, I wouldn't let that stop you from watching this show. It's arguably one of the funniest children's cartoons ever conceived, and features an array of likable characters as well. To make the show even more interesting, it even had clever episodes that included pop cultural references too, like the "Brady Bunch" episode for example.
Plus, if that wasn't enough, the show even featured "Super Secret Agent Secret Squirrel", which was a spin off of the original "Secret Squirrel." During "Two Stupid Dogs", it would always feature three separate cartoons as part of the show, as two of them would be about the dogs; while leaving "Secret Squirrel" to fill in the rest. And, I'll be the first to say that "Super Secret Agent Secret Squirrel" could've easily have warranted his own cartoon show. But to get two great shows for the price of one? Who could say no to that?
6. Family Dog
Although animated shows about average suburban families is hardly original, but telling it from a dog's perspective definitely is. What made this show even more amazing was that the dog couldn't even talk, so we could only go by the character's actions and facial expressions to figure out what the protagonist was thinking. It's a very cleverly written comedy show that ended way before it's time. Not only was the concept unique in itself, but it was also quite entertaining.
Granted, the animation wasn't anything spectacular, but it had it's own charm within it's simplicity. The show was a spin off from "Amazing Stories", and then it was expanded into a short lived TV series of it's own. Unfortunately, the show didn't last that long, but if you have a chance to see it, then I'd highly recommend it.
5. Ned & Stacey
I'm sure arranged marriages are a lot more common than people might think, as the British royal family is proof that arranged marriages exist to this day. However, this is probably the only comedy show that I can think of that ever featured the concept in a rather comical way. Ned (Thomas Hayden Church) needs to get married to a promotion at work, while Stacy (Debra Messing) wants to desperately get out of her parent's house. Oh what are these poor souls to do? Why they get married of course! What's that you say? Marriage should only be out of love? Well, these two don't even like each other, and they still get married out of convenience to help each other get what they want. In fact, they can barely stand one another, so I guess that means it's a sexless marriage... Gee, that would make this arranged marriage like a normal marriage, right? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk! I apologize, as I couldn't resist. No, I'm not married, nor have I ever been. However, with so many comedians joking about how sexless marriage is, I couldn't resist the opportunity to make a joke about that.
Although the characters did start to develop some feelings for each other time, the show was cancelled before we could ever find out. It's a great comedy show, and it's arguably one of the more under rated sitcoms out there.
4. Baby Blues
Arguably one of the more under rated animated shows out there. "Baby Blues" was based on a comic strip that often made light hearted references to the troubles of family life. Although the comic strip isn't nearly as popular as those like "Garfield" and "Peanuts", it's still a very interesting read. I don't even have kids, and I still get chuckles from the Sunday comic strips of "Baby Blues." Seriously, it's probably one of my favorites to read.
Needless to say, there was a short lived animated prime time show about the comic strip. Although the show wasn't that commercially popular because of it's limited exposure on the "WB" (later renamed CW), but it was still entertaining nonetheless. Once the show was cancelled, it was re-aired in syndication on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim." Unfortunately, the show didn't last that long there either. It's a real shame too, as it's arguably one of the best comedy shows out there, as it's helluva a lot better than "King of the Hill" if you want me to be honest.
3. Clerks: The Animated Series
I remember when I saw the original "Clerks" movie, I fell completely in love with the film. Not only was it funny as hell, but it was deeply engaging in it's story. Plus, the movie featured a lot of unique characters, and it also managed to convey a few powerful messages about life that most comedies wouldn't have dared to bring up. Since "Clerks", I've become something of a huge Kevin Smith fan, as I've loved all his movies for various reasons. Sure, some ranged from the slapstick silly "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back", to even featuring a dramatic romantic comedy like "Chasing Amy", but they all had their own unique feel to them all the same.
I especially liked how he managed to cleverly have all his films somehow interlink with each other; hence suggesting that all the characters from "Chasing Amy" existed in the same world as the ones in "Clerks." Aha, I guess Marvel Studios isn't so original in this concept after all.
Anyway, back in 2000, "Clerks" was given a prime time TV series on ABC. Unfortunately, the show didn't do that well because of low ratings, poor audience testings, and the fact that the network aired the episodes out of order. For example, ABC choose to use the fourth episode to launch the show for audiences; versus using the intended first episode. I know one might be thinking, "How is that a problem?" Well the episode that was aired after the fourth episode was the second one, which was essentially a flashback episode of the original intended first one; which audiences never saw until later. Unfortunately, ABC cancelled the show after airing only two episodes, and it wasn't until Comedy Central picked up the rights to the show that audiences were finally treated to the un-aired episodes that were supposed to air on ABC.
The show only had about six episodes, as it never warranted enough ratings to produce another season.
To be honest, I can see why some people wouldn't like the show, as you have to be a huge Kevin Smith fan to really appreciate it. However, it's still a rather interesting show that had a lot of creative ideas, and it fully embraced the idea that it was a comedy cartoon show; which allowed it to do things that even the movies couldn't have done.
Although the show was short lived, it's still one of the better animated comedies out there. In fact, I would encourage all Kevin Smith fans out there to check it out. As Jay would probably say, "Snooch to the nooch!"
2. The Critic
Although most people tend to look down on film critics, it seems this show kind of embraces that concept. Jay Sherman (voiced by Jon Lovitz) is a New York film critic that reviews various movies on TV, and he's often criticized by the public for it. The movies he's forced to review are often exaggerations of what movies have allegedly become in this day and age, to where they've become such a sad joke that it's almost impossible to take them seriously.
However, whenever he criticizes them, the public hates him more; while even his boss takes cheap shots at him. In one episode for example, his boss complains about his ratings, so Jay says he can start to review movies that he actually does like, to show viewers that he's not a pompous jerk. And his boss replies smugly, "This better not be a list of independent movies and foreign films that nobody gives a crap about." Jay nervously smirks, as he makes modification to his list that he's conveniently written down. After making the proper adjustments, he only has one film on there, and that movie was "Citizen Kane." Needless to say, this doesn't bode well with his boss, as he looks at Jay with a disgusted face.
Although that scene was funny, it's amazing how much truth there is in that one comical portion of the show. The sad reality is that most independent and foreign films are often over looked by mainstream audiences; hence whenever a film critic bashes a movie like "Transformers", while praising something like "A Separation", it creates something of a stereotype in people's heads that film critics only give praises to artsy films, while completely bashing movies that are allegedly good because of their mainstream appeal to audiences. Not saying that there's anything wrong with liking a movie like "Transformers", but I'm merely stating an observation about the perceived stereotype of film critics.
Needless to say, "The Critic" fully embraced that stereotypical criticism, and made it into arguably a well written animated comedy. In fact, some of the best parts of the show were when they cut away to poke fun at many popular movies over the years like "Ace Ventura", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", and etc; while also making fun of such iconic legends like Orson Welles.
Of course, that's not to say that was the only thing the show had going for it. Although Jay Sherman was often the "butt" of many jokes because of his profession, and his demeanor, he was also a single divorced father. His ex-wife hates his guts, and he's constantly trying to be a good father to his son; which allows the audience to sympathize with his character.
The show originally aired on ABC for a while, but it was later moved to Fox, where Jay Sherman had a brief cameo on "The Simpsons." Unfortunately, the show was eventually cancelled, due to low ratings. Some fans criticized saying that the show was starting to rip off "The Simpsons", when they introduced a steady girlfriend for Jay. However, I honestly don't see how that could be the case. Sure, the girlfriend had a daughter, but she was nothing like Lisa Simpson, and Jay's son was nothing like Bart. Sure, I guess one could say that his relationship with Alice was similar to the relationship that Homer had with Marge, in that you have a fat guy being involved with a supportive and pretty girl. But other than that, I fail to see how this show ripped off "The Simpsons."
Unfortunately, the last time I checked, the series can only be found in re-runs on "Comedy Central", and it's on DVD now. If you're huge movie buff, then you'll probably enjoy this show for it's clever references to pop culture, and classic film references. But if you're not a huge movie buff, then you'll still love it for it's clever writing, and likable characters.
1. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Screw "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" and "Terminator Salvation", this is the real sequel to "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" if you ask me. Not only does this TV show pick up after the second film, but it explores the entire "Terminator" mythology a lot more thoroughly than even the movies did. Not only covering the universal constructs of "man vs. machine", but it also delves into the possibilities of time travel and alternate realities.
Granted, most fans dismissed this series because "Ahnuld" wasn't in this, but it's actually a great dramatic science fiction series. If anything, I was really sad to see this show get taken off the air, as it not only featured a lot of complex themes regarding the subject of humanity's future. Indeed, if you've never seen this series before, then I'd highly recommend it. Not only does this show pay great tribute to the original James Cameron movies, but it expands on the mythology even more to make it stand on it's own merit.