As hard as it is to believe, there was a time when streaming sites relied almost entirely on preexisting content. These days, every site from Netflix to Crackle is producing original series, so it only makes sense that some of the original streaming series are underrated. In fact, there are a few that no one seems to talk about at all. For every Stranger Things, there’s a Grace and Frankie that deserves more love — OK, so it gets the concessional Emmy nod, but people aren’t exactly throwing viewing parties for the Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin comedy, although maybe they should.
These streaming series aren’t monster hits, but that’s all the more reason to check them out. As much fun as it is to watch the water-cooler hits, there’s much to be said for indulging in a quality series that’s flying under the radar.
Casual — Hulu
Thanks to The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu became the first streaming service to win a Best Drama trophy at the Emmys, but the service has a pretty awesome original comedy too. Casual is the story of an adult brother and sister living together and haphazardly co-parenting a teenager as they navigate dating and family. It’s a cynical, darkly comedic series that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Sneaky Pete — Amazon Video
David Shore and Bryan Cranston are behind this show about a con man who assumes the identity of his cellmate. There’s a lot of heart and humor in this tale of an unconventional family, and it’s all held together by the strong performance of Giovanni Ribisi as “Pete.”
Grace and Frankie — Netflix
A show with two kick-butt, 70-something female leads who are allowed to talk about their sex lives, start new careers, and generally do whatever they want? Yes, thank you, more please.
Riviera — Sundance Now
Julie Stiles stars in this tale of murder, money, and deception set against the lush backdrop of the French countryside. This is one thriller that’s both exciting, and absolutely stunning to look at.
Moone Boy — Hulu
If you’re ever looking for something to make you grin, then there’s no better place to turn than Moone Boy. For three seasons, Chris O’Dowd starred as the imaginary friend of an adorable Irish boy growing up in the ’80s. And it was even more brilliant than it sounds.
Good Girls Revolt — Amazon Video
Despite being short-lived, Good Girls Revolt is a fiery, feminist drama everyone should see — especially in the wake of Hollywood’s current state of affairs.
The Wrong Mans — Hulu
James Corden shines in a comedy that owes a great debt to the works of Alfred Hitchcock.
Santa Clarita Diet — Netflix
A rich mythology and satirical take on suburbia makes this zombie comedy a winner. Come for the blood-splattered jokes, but stay for Drew Barrymore’s nuanced performance as a woman losing her inhibitions.
Mozart in the Jungle — Amazon Video
The world of classical music may not sound like it would be an entertaining backdrop for a series, but it most certainly is in the case of Mozart in the Jungle. It turns out the lives these musicians lead can be downright raucous and incredibly entertaining to watch.
Lovesick — Netflix
An STI becomes the catalyst that drives a man to confront his past and what he wants for his future in this modern day rom-com that is far too easily lost in the Netflix conversation.
More and more streaming originals are debuting every month, but that’s no reason not to check out these original gems that you may be missing out on!