Three underappreciated TV shows you need to watch

Charles Liu

“Orange is the New Black” and “Game of Thrones” are currently among the biggest shows to binge watch on TV and streaming services, but there are a few others that deserve some attention. The Daily Texan has picked three underrated series to check out.

“The Americans”

Set during the last years of the Cold War, “The Americans” chronicles the lives of husband and wife KGB sleeper agents living in the United States.  

The couple, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys), have to navigate dangerous missions while caring for their nosy children and evading the FBI agent who lives across the street. But their biggest battle of all may be their own relationship: Elizabeth and Philip’s marriage was arranged and they have to learn to love each other for their family to survive.

“The Americans” starts off slow and repetitive, but it evolves into a gripping, morally complex saga that manages to get us to root for the bad guys. Russell and Rhys deliver tremendous performances as secret agents who must often choose between love and duty and navigate the Soviets’ machinations without bringing harm to their family.

Season five will premiere in 2017 on FX.

“Star Wars Rebels”

From the creators of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” the animated show “Star Wars Rebels” is a continuation of unfinished events from that series and serves as a prequel to the original “Star Wars” film.

“Rebels” tracks the rise of the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire, seen through the eyes of young Jedi apprentice, Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray), and his master, Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.). Their adventures take them to strange worlds and unite them with surviving characters from “The Clone Wars” — all while being hunted by Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) himself.

“Rebels” packs a lot of “Star Wars” lore into its eventful run, and it also boasts a surprising amount of depth. The heroes and villains constantly grapple with their pasts and their beliefs, and a few come to question whether they’re fighting for the right side. Its cheap-looking animation aside, “Rebels” is one of TV’s best shows for both children and adults on the air.

Season three will premiere in this fall on Disney XD.

“Mr. Robot”

One of TV’s most recent breakout hits, “Mr. Robot” is a dramatic cyber-thriller that is truly a story for the digital age.

The main character is Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a cybersecurity engineer and hacker vigilante who struggles with social anxiety disorder. When enigmatic insurrectionist Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) invites him to join a group of hacktivists, Elliot finds himself on a mission to wipe away all debt by taking down E Corp.

Malek delivers a star-making turn as the young but calculative Elliot as he makes his way down a dark, twisted path to the startling cliffhanger finale of the first season. Like its protagonist, “Mr. Robot” displays a strong attention to detail with its sharp writing and its use of authentic code. This show has rightfully earned its critical praise, and is truly a masterpiece in the making.

Season two will premiere July 13, 2016 on USA.