With so many channels to choose from, we are officially the spoilt for choice generation. Like your documentaries? The History Channel awaits….Like drama and conflicts over literally anything? ITV2 is your friend… Like Top Gear? Tune into DAVE at any point during the day.

But with so many channels and shows coming and going, sometimes some really good TV gets missed amongst the Don’t Tell the Bride and Sun Sex and Suspicious Parents marathons.

Here are five underrated TV shows you may have missed that you need in your life.

Dinner Date

Dinner Date

You’ll like this if you like: Dating or dinner shows

A bit like Come Dine with Me, but more awkward and with about half the budget, Dinner Date is becoming my guilty pleasure. In fact as I write this, my third Dinner Date of the day is on TV.

It’s the classic premise that you’re probably expecting from the title. Someone is given five menus from five different people, they pick their top three, and then experience those menus. Then they pick one to go on a real date with, while the other two get microwaves meals.

There’s always one that screws up dinner (my favourite being a woman who served raw rhubarb and custard for pudding), awkward hellos and goodbyes, lots of wine and a sarcastic narrator telling the person cooking how shit they are.

But unlike most dating shows, they don’t just have gorgeous 20-somethings cooking for each other. In fact many of the episodes I’ve seen (and I’ve seen A LOT), feature people in their 40s and 50s who are looking for love, which makes it even more brilliant, and often, more cute to watch.

Grandma’s House

Grandma's House

You’ll like this if you like: Arrested Development, The Royle Family, Simon Amstell being awkward.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post how brilliant I think Simon Amstell is, and this show just highlights his comic genius even more.

Written by and starring Amstell, Grandma’s House is a sitcom based around him at his grandma’s house, that’s it. He plays an exaggerated version of himself with an exaggerated version of his family but you get the feelings there’s honesty in his writing. In fact the opening episode is Simon telling his family that he’s leaving Buzzcocks, and one entire episode in series two focuses on Simon making an inappropriate joke on TV that actually happened.

And if you needed another reason to watch this show, Rebecca Front from The Thick of It plays Simon’s mum. What more do you want?

Yonderland

Yonderland

You’ll like this if you like: The Muppets, Horrible Histories

From the cast of Horrible Histories (yes, the children’s show, bear with me) comes a show so brilliant that you’ll end up watching the whole first series in one sitting, I guarantee it.  

The story revolves around Debbie, a mum, a wife, and that’s pretty much it. Until an elf turns up in her cupboard, tells her she’s the chosen one who will save their land and takes her to Yonderland. Yes, it sounds batshit mental, and in parts it is, but’s it’s also bloody funny with plenty of heart.

Just like Horrible Histories, the cast play all the characters in Yonderland, well, apart from the characters that are played by puppets. Yes that’s right, actual puppets. Lots of them. It’s like watching The Muppets all over again.

It sounds like a show for kids, but a lot of the humour is more for adults. Including a character whose answer to everything is taking off his robes and characters that learn to lie by becoming estate agents.

Him and Her

him and her

You’ll like this if you like: Spaced, Peep Show, Fresh Meat 

A good show doesn’t need amazing CGIs or large sets, and Him and Her proves that. Every series (apart from the final episodes) take place in a single flat.

Becky and Steve are in their late 20s and live together. Occasionally their family and friends pop round, and they all sit in their bedroom and chat. That’s pretty much it. But never has a show captured what it’s like being in your 20s and in a relationship better than this.

From the judgemental family that think they can do better, the friend’s partner who’s a bit of a twat or the weird neighbour who won’t leave you alone, there’s something familiar for everyone in this show.  Plus if you ever feel bad for staying in bed all day, you’ve got nothing on Becky and Steve, trust me….

Chickens

Chickens

You’ll like this if you like: The Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner

This show initially piloted on channel 4, but no one really seemed to get it and it was never given a full series. Thank god for Sky picking it up!

The show is about three men who used bad excuses to get out of going to war and are stuck in their hometown surrounded by women as of all their partners, brothers and fathers have gone to war and done their duty for the country. To say the three men are unpopular in their small village would be an understatement.

Starring Simon Bird and Joe Thomas from the Inbetweeners, and the massively underrated Jonny Sweet, this show is beautifully sarcastic, witty, and just bloody brilliant.

 

What shows do you think are brilliant but underrated?

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