We were sitting down and wondering what the best way to make new friends would be. What we decided on was to go about naming all the most overrated shows on television. That’s bound to make people happy. But seriously, there’s a lot of love going around for television right now and for good reason. We’re in the midst of one of the greatest eras in television history. We’re seeing shows really challenge all norms and expectations. We’re seeing new things and feeling new feelings. The age of streaming has given us greater access to all our favorite shows, and we can binge-watch them over the course of one really long session. Times are good.
Yet, with so many amazing shows out there, we don’t have time to watch them all. That’s why reviewers and aggregate rating sites like Rotten Tomatoes are so useful. They tell us what the world is thinking. We see what’s good and then we watch it. Problem solved, right? Wrong! Why? Because apparently, everything is amazing. Sure, there are plenty of amazing shows, but there are also plenty of overrated shows. What we’ve done is go through all the best-rated shows and determine which of them are not nearly as good as the majority of people say they are. If you are wondering about a really highly-rated show and it’s not on this list, well, that means it’s probably really good. As we will discuss, we do enjoy many of the shows on this list. We just want to show why they’re not perfect and why they’re being overrated. Oh, and The Big Bang Theory and Walking Dead are not on here because, if everyone thinks they’re overrated, they’re not. Get it? Here are the 15 Most Overrated Shows on Television Currently
15. Orange Is The New Black
Honestly, the first three seasons of Orange is the New Black were great. In saying that, it was about halfway through the third season that the writing on the wall became visible—this show was running out of steam and creativity. The fourth season came and, even though it started into the action quicker than most of the other seasons, it quickly fizzled out. Yet, critics still loved it. Hell, many critics loved it more than they ever did before. This is because the time and emotional investment become blinding. This explains why the later seasons of a show are almost always better reviewed than the early ones. We’re not falling for it. Season four was boring and lacking all creativity. Season five was a disaster and the end of what was once one of the better shows on television.
14. This Is Us
If you’re anything like us, you saw the commercials for This is Us and thought, ‘wow, that looks like the cheesiest show ever.’ Well, we thought that, but then we started hearing how amazing and emotional the show was, we could hear people sobbing through the walls crying out for more from this show that looks like it was made as a first-year college film project. We gave it a shot. Here’s the verdict: it’s every bit as cheesy as it looks. This is just an exercise in corniness and over-the-top emotions. There are just too many moments that make us roll our eyes or guffaw out loud to make this show enjoyable. Perhaps we’re too jaded for This is Us. Perhaps it’s our fault that we don’t like it. We just can’t enjoy something that beats you over the head so hard with such forced emotions. It’s as fake as they come.
13. Rick And Morty
Rick and Morty is a funny show. We know that and we accept that. The rating for this one and the discussion around it might lead you to believe that it is the best animated show ever made. It is not. There are plenty of genre jokes in here for fans of the sci-fi. These will keep you coming back and having fun, but let’s stop pretending that this is the smartest and deepest cartoon ever built. Simply because something is edgy, does not give it greater insight into the human soul. Sure, we do love when films and TV shows are riffed on, but turning something on its head is not the same as creation. Rick and Morty is a show that simply benefits from others’ brain children, but it seems to lack a true soul of its own.
How can a show that got cancelled be overrated? Well, for every TV fan who never watched the show, there is one who is convinced that Sense8 is the best thing since sliced bread and got screwed by Netflix because it was so groundbreaking. Listen, this show was cancelled because it was expensive and boring. BORING. Let’s stop the bellyaching for this one. The outrage surrounding this cancellation would make it seem like Sense8 is something that everyone should experience. Truly, the strength of this show is in its high concept. Like almost everything the Wachowskis do, the execution of that concept was disastrous. The slow build is more than painful than anything else on television, and the plot is all over the place. This show should really be called nonsense8…or not.
The best thing about Patriot is that it is a unique TV show. It has a nice mix of dark humor and action, but it never comes together in the way you hope it does. There’s a lot of risks being taken here by the showrunners and we appreciate that. But the misses are obvious, and by the end, you’re left wishing that it did so much more. Maybe the only reason why Patriot is on this list is because the fans of the show are speaking about it as if it’s rewritten the book on spy thrillers. Don’t fall for that. We are holding out hope that things can come together in the later seasons, but for now, this one is never as good as the majority of fans say it is.
10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
If you haven’t watched the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you’re missing out on something amazing. If you have watched the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you’ve also seen seasons two and three because they’re the exact same. After the first glorious season, the show devolves into nothing more than a giant joke machine. Sure, that machine pumps out quality jokes, but when there is so much amazing TV to be watched, who wants to waste time hearing nonstop jokes with no overarching storyline? The premise that once made Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt so hysterical never changes. Kimmy’s now been out walking around for years. We’re no longer intrigued by what shenanigans she’ll encounter next.
There are two types of people that enjoy Girls. The hipster millennials that swear they relate to problems on screen and the people who make fun of the people who think the show is an earnest attempt at showcasing that lifestyle. Now, the first group has got it mixed up. They’re confused already, so we’ll let them go about their lives. The show is meant to be a critique of the people who relate to the show. We’re not meant to really like any of the characters, but wait a minute. If we don’t like any of the characters, which we don’t because they’re despicable human beings for the most part, then what the hell are we supposed to like in a character-driven show? Girls has always been under the impression that it’s smarter than it is. This pretentiousness litters the drama and makes you a worse person for having watched it. After six painfully long seasons, it’s finally come to an end. We expected the ratings to remain inflated as the show went on, but we were hoping a few more people could be honest with what they saw playing out in front of them.
8. House Of Cards
House of Cards suffers from what we feel is indecision on what it wants to be. There’s a great cartoonish quality to the characters in the show. The action is sometimes wholly implausible and campy, which is a hell of a lot of fun. But then, there’s the political drama, a somewhat satirical look at very real situations. When these two worlds collide, the result is something that is difficult to make sense of. There’s also the fact that many of the show’s elements started off being used creatively. Frank speaking directly to the audience, for example, was not overused or used without good reason in the beginning. Over time, however, that device has just opened the door for some lazy writing and cheap plot explanations. There’s a reason why voiceover is so often criticized. The audience wants to be shown plot not told it.
7. 13 Reasons Why
The concept is there with 13 Reasons Why. The concept is always there, but that’s all there seems to be. Yeah, the performances are quality and the technique is nothing to scoff at, but there’s nothing new here, outside of concept. We’re not ever surprised or delighted. We watch the show take a hard stance on a difficult scenario but everyone pretty much knows that it’ll end up where it does. The subject matter and the tone are both as grim as you would expect, but it’s hard not to feel that the whole thing is a little too melodramatic. Perhaps that’s the point. Still, in the same way that Public Service Announcements are meant to be real but seem incredibly fake and overblown at the same time, so too does 13 Reasons Why.
This one is a tough one for us to write because the first season of Preacher was, at times, incredible. The problem then is the same one that is now hurting the later episodes of season two—a dragging plot. This story seems like it would be so much better if it was condensed. For a show that is so much about style over substance, the substance can really move slowly on in spots. More than anything else, the show seems to think that everyone watching is familiar with the source material, as if we know what’s going to happen. Because of that, there is this constant simmering process, teasing the audience of the big even that’s bound to happen. The problem is if you don’t know what’s coming, you’re stuck waiting with an unsatisfied appetite and a lack of hope for any resolution.
5. Mr. Robot
Hear us out before you get your pitchfork. Season one of Mr. Robot was one of the best seasons of television that we’ve ever seen. It was magnificent in almost every way—the performances, the music, the twists, and turns. All of it. Season two, aside from the fact that the incredible music from the first season took a major hit and became ordinary, is too slow of a build to keep people engaged. Sure, once the season has been completed and you can binge-watch it all in one sitting, it becomes as satisfying as ever. But we’re hoping that the major drop-off in audience numbers between seasons and throughout season two gave the creators a hint. Pick it up in season three or you’ll be forgotten.
4. Luke Cage
Yes, Luke Cage is infinitely better than the steaming turd that is Iron Fist, but we don’t believe it’s anywhere near as good as people say it is. The issue here is one of position. If Luke Cage came out after Daredevil or was a standalone show, it would have been brilliant in our eyes. That didn’t happen. It followed Jessica Jones which, was superior in every way and opened our eyes to a political and gender-based discussion, all the while telling us an utterly compelling tale. Luke Cage is like the little brother trying to mimic the success of its more accomplished sibling but paling in comparison. It’s unfortunate that a comparison to a companion piece is the reason it is overrated, but we don’t critique shows in a vacuum.
3. The Handmaids Tale
The Handmaids Tale is an adaptation of the brilliant Margaret Atwood tale and tells the dystopic story of an anti-feminist world. The acting is incredible, and the style is beautiful. Is it the perfect show that people claim it is? Well, maybe, if you like watching puppies die. This show is bleaker than bleak. It’s so bleak, you might never go outside again after watching it. Having said that, bleakness is important in a social critique, so we won’t hate on the show for that. What we will say is that there’s a reason why some books don’t translate to film or TV well. While many audiences will love being told what characters are thinking, we find it draining. This show is like being read someone’s diary. Everything is exposition, and there are moments when that feels much too forced. It is gorgeous, though.
2. Better Call Saul
The writing on Better Call Saul is masterful. Every single scene ties in with the episode, and every episode has a purpose and a clear direction. The only reason Better Call Saul is on this list is because it’s a spin-off of Breaking Bad. If it wasn’t related to that incredible show, our expectations would be lowered. When positioned next to each other, however, Better Call Saul show becomes like the slow-burning boring stepchild of the vastly superior Breaking Bad. It’s hard to get invested in the action when the stakes are so low. While Walt is making bootleg meth and poisoning children, Saul is making bootleg commercials and lounging in a pool. The show is smart and tight, we just never feel the thrills we thought we would when we started watching a show intimately connected to Breaking Bad.
1. The Leftovers
The Leftovers is like the second half of Lost. Instead of focusing the show’s action on the people who disappeared, The Leftovers is centered on the people left behind. It’s a very interesting concept and the execution is, at times, brilliant. The writing is very strong in many areas, although the tone of the show is so depressing in spots that it struggled to get viewers itching to come back. There is beauty in this show. It’s a high quality one to be sure, but, when people write that it might be the greatest show ever made, it makes us wonder what’s really going on. We like mysteries as much as the next person, but, like Lost, The Leftovers seems to be so consumed with being open-ended that it never delivers anything concrete. That’s an unsatisfying viewing experience.
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