My two favorite quarantine hobbies are eating my bodyweight in blueberry muffins and watching endless amounts of television.
I’ve seen all streaming’s star players, from Netflix’s Tiger King to Disney+’s The Mandalorian. Although those shows are fantastic, there’s a long list of quality TV shows on streaming services that don’t get nearly as much hype. In my curated list, you’ll find underrated tv shows that are just as good, if not better, than the MVPs.
We Are Who We Are — HBO Max
Joining streaming’s line-up of excellent Gen Z TV (Euphoria, Love, Victor, Sex Education, etc.), we have HBO’s We Are Who We Are. The show follows the lives of its two main characters, American 14-year-olds Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Caitlin (Jordan Kristine Seamon).
Each character comes of age in an American army base in Italy during the 2016 Presidential Election. The episodes document their exploration of their identity and figuring out what makes them, them.
Co-creator and director Luca Guadagnino’s (Call Me by Your Name, Suspiria) intimate, romantic stamp is all over We Are Who We Are. The way he captures Italy fully immerses you in its lifestyle and culture. The series also has an excellent soundtrack that makes my music snob heart soar.
When Ty Dolla Sign was singing about capturing the perfect vibe, he was definitely singing about We Are Who We Are.
The complete eight-episode miniseries is currently streaming on HBO Max.
MAXXX — Hulu
MAXXX is a British comedy about the comeback of a formally famous boyband member, Max (O.T. Fagbenle). Max is equal parts insufferable and loveable — which fictional characters rarely do well.
One second you’re cringing at Max’s latest scheme to make it back on top. The next, your heart goes out to him as he struggles with his non-existent relationship with his model ex-girlfriend (Jourdan Dunn).
This show isn’t afraid to go for the joke, no matter how weird, awkward, or crude it may be. But, all throughout the show, MAXXX had me laughing. I’m crossing my fingers that this show will come back for a second season. The streets need it — and you do too.
The first season of MAXXX is currently streaming on Hulu.
Pick of the Litter — Disney+
Pick of the Litter is for all my homies that binge-watch tear-jerking dog videos on The Dodo’s YouTube channel…or is that just me? The Disney+ exclusive follows six dogs as they train to become guard dogs for the blind. The mini-series shows the dogs from when they’re puppies to when they are matched with their blind owners.
There are so many adorable moments in Pick of the Litter. Best to prepare a few boxes worth of Kleenex for viewing — especially if you’re a dog person.
What I didn’t expect from Pick of the Litter is the drama of whether each dog becomes a guide dog. The show is basically Dog Whisperer + America’s Next Top Model and I’m here for it. The drama of becoming a guard dog, the connections between the dogs and their respective humans, as well as the freakin’ adorable pups, make Pick of the Litter a must-watch.
The six-episode miniseries is currently streaming on Disney+.
Ramy — Hulu
When people ask me what’s my favorite show to stream, it’s a TV show that people have rarely seen: Ramy. The Hulu original follows the life of an American Muslim-Arab millennial Ramy (played by Ramy Youssef) and his family. The show “explores the challenges of what it’s like being caught between a Muslim community that thinks life is a moral test and a millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences.”
Ramy had been lingering on my Hulu watchlist for over a year and I had never watched it. After randomly giving the show a chance, it was the only thing I streamed for a week straight.
Ramy’s complex. It’s authentic. It’s heartfelt. And, on top of that: it’s freakin’ hilarious. If there’s one recommendation from this list that you follow with, let that be Ramy. And, that’s on period.
Ramy’s two seasons are currently streaming on Hulu.
Aggretsuko — Netflix
If I told you that the most relatable millennial TV comedy ever was an anime about an anthropomorphic red panda — would you believe me?
Aggretsuko features the life of an overworked 25-year-old red panda, Retsuko (voiced by Erica Mendez in the American dub) working at a Japanese trading firm. Retsuko is working her way through a quarter-life crisis as she deals with her career, friends, family, and love in the big city.
To let out some steam, she does what any one of us would do — she goes to a karaoke bar at night and sings death metal songs.
Although Aggretsuko’s adorable animation grabbed my attention, I can relate to Retsuko’s constant search for happiness. Besides — aren’t we all going through the same thing?
Aggretsuko’s three seasons are currently streaming on Netflix.