The 5 Most Overrated Television Series Of The Last 20 Years

The most overrated tv shows includes Two and A Half Men and 13 Reasons Why.

By Chad Langen | Published

Throughout the history of television, certain series have garnered extreme popularity and acclaim, but have also sparked heated discussions about their true worth. The following shows are ones that have been hailed by many as iconic and groundbreaking, however, they are also considered to be the most overrated TV shows of all time. From inflated expectations to questionable storytelling choices, these shows serve as a reminder that popularity doesn’t always equal quality.

5. This Is Us (2016-2022)

This Is Us premiered on September 20, 2016, on NBC and quickly captured the hearts of viewers with its emotional storytelling and intertwining timelines. The series follows the lives of the Pearson family, exploring their joys and struggles across different generations. Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, and Chrissy Metz have pivotal roles in the series.

Despite its immense popularity, evident in the millions of viewers tuning in each week when it was still on air, This Is Us is a highly overrated TV series. The show relies heavily on manipulative and melodramatic tactics to evoke emotional responses, frequently sacrificing logical character development. Additionally, although initially intriguing, the constant use of flashbacks and time jumps becomes convoluted and confusing in later seasons, detracting from the overall storytelling. What’s more? The series tends to prioritize shock value over consistent and coherent plotlines, leading to contrived and unrealistic twists.

4. How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)

jason segel

How I Met Your Mother premiered on September 19, 2005, on CBS. The show revolves around the main character, Ted Mosby, recounting to his children the story of how he met their mother. Set in New York City, the series follows Ted and his group of friends, Marshall, Lily, Barney, and Robin, as they navigate through the ups and downs of dating, friendships, and career aspirations.

Even with its lengthy run and dedicated fan base, How I Met Your Mother remains an incredibly overrated TV show. While it undoubtedly has its comedic moments and a charming cast, including Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan, the series often relies on repetitive and stale storylines. The constant back-and-forth between Ted and Robin’s relationship quickly grows tiresome, and the final season’s twist is a severe letdown.

3. Two And A Half Men (2003-2015)

Two and a Half Men premiered on September 22, 2003, on CBS. The sitcom centers around the lives of two brothers, Charlie Harper (portrayed by Charlie Sheen) and Alan Harper (Jon Cryer), along with Alan’s son, Jake (Angus T. Jones). After Sheen’s departure from the show in 2011, Ashton Kutcher joined the cast as Walden Schmidt.

Despite its extensive run and immense popularity, Two and a Half Men was widely regarded as an overrated TV show even during its time on air. While it has plenty of comedic moments and a talented cast, the series frequently relies on crass humor and predictable storylines. Additionally, the characters’ behaviors and attitudes are often one-dimensional, lacking depth and growth throughout the show’s duration. Oh, and it’s impossible to ignore the excessive and grating laugh track the series heavily relies on.

2. 13 Reasons Why (2017-2020)

13 Reasons Why premiered on March 31, 2017, on Netflix. The series revolves around the aftermath of high school student Hannah Baker’s suicide, as she leaves behind a series of cassette tapes explaining the reasons for her tragic decision. As the tapes circulate among her classmates, the show explores sensitive topics such as bullying, sexual assault, and mental health.

Without question, 13 Reasons Why is an overrated TV show, despite generating significant buzz and discussion. While it aims to shed light on important issues, it often sensationalizes and romanticizes the darker aspects of teenage life, potentially glorifying self-harm and suicide. Additionally, later seasons quickly veer off track as the show progresses, transforming the series into another run-of-the-mill soap opera.

1. Game of Thrones (2011-2019)

Game of Thrones premiered on April 17, 2011, on HBO. The epic fantasy series, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, follows the intricate and treacherous power struggles among noble families in the fictional continent of Westeros. The show features a sprawling ensemble cast, including actors such as Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harrington, Emilia Clarke, and Maisie Williams.

Despite its conclusion nearly four years ago, Game of Thrones continues to maintain its immense popularity. However, it is a subject of debate whether it is possibly the most overrated TV show of all time. While early seasons are undoubtedly captivating, with complex political intrigue and shocking plot twists, later seasons suffer from rushed storytelling, inconsistent character arcs, and unsatisfying resolutions. The final season, in particular, is utterly disappointing due to its questionable narrative choices.