10 Highly Regarded TV Shows You Probably Haven’t Seen

These 10 highly regarded television shows, including Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Halt and Catch Fire, and The Americans need to be added to your watch list ASAP.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

We live in a time when content is so abundant that it seems as though it is impossible to know about every show on every streaming platform. It’s a blessing and a curse to have so many choices that you will never run out of something to watch. To help relieve your decision fatigue, here are 10 highly regarded TV shows that you probably haven’t seen but should definitely be added to the top of your watch list.


The Leftovers – HBO

The Leftovers is a mystery thriller about the aftermath of a tragic event where 2 percent of the world’s population unexplainably disappeared. The show, which ran from 2014 to 2017 for three seasons, follows the people who were left behind, forced to cope with the disappearance of their loved ones and continue life without knowing exactly what happened. 

The first season of the series received mixed reviews that leaned in a generally favorable direction as audiences adjusted to the type of content they were setting themselves up for. The Leftovers takes itself seriously and can make for some gloomy viewing, but it’s also artfully executed and is extremely thought-provoking. As the series went on, viewers became hooked and Seasons 2 and 3 received high critical acclaim.

The series won a Critics’ Choice Television Award twice (2014 and 2016) as well as a Television Critics Association Award in 2017. The series was created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta and stars Justin Theroux (American Psycho), Amy Brenneman (Heat), and Christopher Eccleston (28 Days Later).

Patriot – Amazon Prime

Patriot is a dark and quirky show about an American intelligence officer named John Tavner (Michael Dorman) who is assigned the task of preventing Iraq from going nuclear. As his mission derails, Tavner is forced to abandon all safety nets and embody an unofficial cover.

The show ran for two seasons between 2015 and 2018, but being shortlived doesn’t mean that the show is any less watchable. According to Amazon Prime, there were never any plans to create a third season, and according to Rotten Tomatoes, the series was well-loved with the second season even receiving the high accolade of a 100 percent approval rating from critics. While the show didn’t win any awards, it was nominated for the 8th Critics’ Choice Television Awards in 2017 for Best Comedy Series.

Patriot was created by Steve Conrad, who also wrote The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and starred Dorman (The Invisible Man), Kathleen Munroe (Elsewhere), and Aliette Opheim (Caliphate). 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – The CW

After a run-in with her high school ex from summer camp, hot-shot, big-time New York City lawyer Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) decides to abandon her career and follow him across the country to West Covina, California. When she discovers that her ex is in a serious and committed relationship with someone else, Rebecca is determined to win him back by any means necessary. The result is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a musical comedy with heart, soul, and rib-splitting shenanigans.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend immediately received critical acclaim from Season 1 and was praised for its lively musical numbers, hilarious writing, and Bloom’s performance as Rebecca Bunch. As the series continued, critics and audiences alike continued to praise the show, especially as it developed to be more than just a comedy about romance but also a thought-provoking portrayal of mental illness.

The show was planned for four seasons and ran between 2015 and 2019. It has won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Music and Lyrics, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (awarded to Bloom). The series has an ensemble cast that includes Bloom, Donny Lynn Champlin, Vincent Rodriguez III, Pete Gardner, Vella Lovell, and Gabrielle Ruiz.

The Americans – FX

The Americans has been considered one of the greatest television shows of all time by many critics and was listed as one of the top 10 television series of the year for five out of six of its seasons. Blowing minds from the very first episode, Season 1 captivated audiences with its thrilling spy drama, evocative historic world-building, and the chemistry between the characters on screen. As the seasons progressed, the series gained even more acclaim as it managed to continue to grip its audience with suspense and strengthened the tension in both the drama and the psychological thrill of the show.

Created by Joseph Weisberg (The Patient), the series stars Keri Russell (Felicity) and Matthew Rhys (Burnt) as Russian agents who pose as an American couple during the height of the Cold War. Over the course of the series, The Americans received 18 Emmy nominations. For its fourth and sixth seasons, the series was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. The show ran for six seasons between 2013 and 2018.

Rectify – SundanceTV

Rectify is the first original series from Sundance TV. It follows a man named Daniel Holden who was wrongfully convicted of a crime and served 19 years behind bars before DNA evidence proved his innocence. Recently released, Holden must now adjust to life outside of prison.

The series ran for four seasons, all of which were critically acclaimed. It was created by Ray McKinnon, who is more well known for playing Reverend H.W. Smith in Deadwood but has also dabbled in writing before with the 2004 redemption story, Chrystal. The series stars Aden Young (Killer Elite) as Holden, as well as Abigail Spencer (Mad Men), J. Smith-Cameron (Succession), and Clayne Crawford (A Walk to Remember). 

Rectify was nominated three times for the 6th Critics’ Choice Television Awards for Best Drama Series, Young for Best Actor in a Drama Series, and Clayne Crawford for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. It also received a Peabody Award in 2014 for being considered one of the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories on television.

The Knick – Cinemax

The Knick is a period drama on Cinemax that ran from 2014 to 2015 for two seasons and is about a fictionalized version of the Knickerbocker Hospital in New York City during the early part of the 20th century. The show follows the doctors, surgeons, nurses, and staff of the hospital as they struggle to save lives at a time when resources and education on medicine were much more limited than they are today.

The Knick received high critical acclaim from the get-go with viewers approving the series for its brave depiction of a subject that is often hard to discuss. While the show’s audience claimed that it was hard to watch at times because of a few particularly gruesome and depressing scenes, the series was thought-provoking and skillfully crafted. Unfortunately, the series didn’t do for Cinemax what the platform wanted, which was to rebrand and draw new audiences in, so, The Knick was ultimately canceled.

The series was created by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler and starred Andre Holland (Moonlight), Clive Owen (Closer), and Jeremy Bobb (The Outsider)

Halt and Catch Fire – AMC

Halt and Catch Fire is a period drama in the late 80s that follows several individuals during the technological revolution that created the World Wide Web and ultimately changed the world forever. It was created by Christopher Cantwell (Our Footloose Remake) and Christopher C. Rogers (Paper Girls).

Halt and Catch Fire stars Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy), Scoot McNairy (Argo), Mackenzie Davis (Blade Runner 2049), and Kerry Bishe (Red State). The show ran for four seasons between 2014 and 2017. It received favorable reviews from critics for all four seasons and won the Critics Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series in 2014 and the Women’s Image Network Award for Drama Series in 2018.

Pushing Daisies – ABC

This early 2000s comedy-drama was not only critically acclaimed, but it built a devoted fan community that has been pushing for the show to come back since it ended in 2009.

Pushing Daisies follows a pastry chef named Ned (Lee Pace) who has the strange and unreliable ability to bring people back from the dead with a touch of his finger. Together with his previously deceased childhood sweetheart (Anna Friel), his co-worker (Kristen Chenoweth), and a private investigator (Chi McBride), Ned solves murder cases.

The series was created by Bryan Fuller, who is well-known for being a major contributor to the Star Trek universe for both Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Voyager. Both seasons of Pushing Daisies were critically acclaimed, but it was canceled after two seasons in 2009 due to the Hollywood writer’s strike. 

Happy Valley – BBC One

Happy Valley follows a strong-willed police sergeant in Halifax, West Yorkshire, who must come to terms with her teenage daughter’s suicide. It’s a crime drama created by Sally Wainwright (Last Tango in Halifax) that follows the sergeant’s work and personal life, and it ran for three seasons between 2014 and 2023.

Every season of the show was critically acclaimed, and Happy Valley has even earned the coveted title of being one of the few shows to receive a 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it has also been criticized for depicting graphic violence in some of its scenes.

Happy Valley stars Sarah Lancashire as the Halifax sergeant and also features Siobhan Finneran, James Norton, and Rhys Connah. The show has won numerous awards, including a BAFTA Television Award, a Crime Thriller Award, and a TV Choice Award.

Deutschland 83 – SundanceTV

Deutschland 83 follows Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay), a young East German man who is recruited to infiltrate West Germany in 1883 as a spy for the HVA. The series also received a 100 percent approval rate from critics who enjoyed the intense spy story combined with a great soundtrack of music from the 80s.

As a miniseries, the show was only made to run for one season, which featured eight episodes. It was created by Anna Winger and Jörg Winger, who also worked together on the miniseries sequel Deutschland 89. In addition to Nay, the series also stars Maria Schrader and Ulrich Noethen. 

Deutschland 83 received numerous awards, including an International Emmy Award and a Peabody Award.