The highest-rated TV shows you're not watching - and how to catch up

Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 4:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 4:38 pm

While popular, watercooler TV like Westworld, The Bridge and Peter Kay's Car Share continues to dominate public conversation, there are an awful lot of acclaimed dramas and comedies flying under the radar.

Here are 13 gripping thrillers, entertaining capers, and fascinating documentaries to catch up on - plus details of where you can watch them in the UK.

Barry

Bill Hader plays a hitman who falls in with an enthusiastic L.A. theatre troupe in Barry (Photo: Sky Atlantic/HBO)

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Rotten Tomatoes: 98%  IMDB: 8.2

What is it? A darkly comic tour de force from actor Bill Hader and Seinfeld/Curb Your Enthusiasm writer Alec Berg. Hader stars as the titular marine turned contract killer, who finds himself sucked into the LA arts scene after travelling there for a 'job'. One of the year's most notable cult hits.

Where can I watch it? Sky Atlantic, Thursdays at 10.45pm. Also on Sky catch-up and NOW TV.

Legion

The weirdest show on TV - and also one of the best (Photo: FX/FOX)

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%  IMDB: 8.4

What is it? Noah Hawley's surreal, inventive take on superheroes is now in its second season, and shows no sign of easing up on the weirdness. Dan Stevens plays a disturbed former psychiatric patient with terrifying powers, in a unique show brimming with style and psychedelia.

Where can I watch it? FOX, Tuesdays at 9pm. Also on Sky catch-up and NOW TV.

Patrick Melrose

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the eponymous character in Patrick Melrose (Photo: Sky)

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%  IMDB: 8.4

What is it? Edward St Aubyn's novels form the basis for an ambitious 5-part drama, chronicling the life of Benedict Cumberbatch's eponymous protagonist through a turbulent adulthood. Expect hard-hitting scenes - with the occasional Wolf Of Wall Street style burst of drug-induced slapstick.

Where can I watch it? Sky Atlantic. Also on Sky catch-up and NOW TV.

The Looming Tower

Jeff Daniels stars in The Looming Tower alongside Tahar Rahim (Photo: Hulu)

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%  IMDB: 7.9

What is it? A riveting, dramatised look into the US security services and their actions ahead of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Jeff Daniels heads up the cast of an international thriller that somehow takes on even greater edge-of-the-seat tension, even though - and perhaps, because - we know how it eventually ends.

Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime

The Terror

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%  IMDB: 8.3

What is it? Nail-biting Arctic horror starring Jared Harris, Ciaran Hinds and Tobias Menzies, as two ship crews in the 1800s get stranded in the polar ice - and are forced to confront isolation, starvation, and something very sinister lurking in the shadows. Think John Carpenter's The Thing on a boat, with a host of British and Irish acting talent.

Where can I watch it? The AMC channel. BT customers can also catch up on the BT Player or free BT TV app.

Atlanta

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%  IMDB: 8.6

What is it? Donald Glover's comedy-drama about two cousins' foray into the hip-hop business has been making waves for years on the other side of the pond. Now it finally makes its way to UK screens - in the same month as Glover arrives in cinemas as the young Lando in Star Wars prequel Solo. Fate? Perhaps so.

Where can I watch it? Sundays on BBC Two at 10pm. You can also catch up on BBC iPlayer

Manhunt: Unabomber

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%  IMDB: 8.2

What is it? Sam Worthington stars as an FBI profiler on the tail of America's most notorious serial bomber, in a dramatic take on the real-life case. Leaping back and forth in time, Paul Bettany is magnetic and magnificent as the Unabomber himself; his interview scenes with Worthington evoking similarly-named recent crime hit Mindhunter.

Where can I watch it? Netflix

Evil Genius

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%  IMDB: 8.3

What is it? Receiving a tentatively positive response from critics, but already a word-of-mouth success with viewers, this new true crime doc homes in on one of America's most bizarre and troubling bank heists. The kind of binge-worthy mini series that only gets more and more surprising and engrossing with each successive instalment.

Where can I watch it? Netflix

Dear White People

Logan Browning stars as Samantha White in Dear White People (Photo: Netflix)

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%  IMDB: 6.3

What is it? Based on the 2014 film of the same name, Justin Simien's satire is a wry look at the experience of black students at a predominately white US college. Now in its second season, the show aims to cast a light on the everyday issues its characters face through sharp observational humour, like a decidedly less gory Get Out.

Where can I watch it? Netflix

Safe

Safe deals with the seedy underbelly of an upmarket neighbourhood, and its residents (Photo: Netflix)

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%  IMDB: 7.8

What is it? An entertainingly over-the-top missing person thriller starring Michael C Hall - or Dexter, to you and me. Opinion on Hall's British accent may vary, but its tale of murky secrets in a gated community have seen it compared to Broadchurch (with a higher body count, and plenty of fiendish twists).

Where can I watch it? Netflix

Salamander

(Photo: Eén/BBC)

IMDB: 7.6

What is it? Having won a cult following with its first season in 2012, Belgian crime show Salamander recently returned with an entirely new tale - this time focusing on the bleak and violent world of the blood diamond trade.

Where can I watch it? BBC iPlayer

13 Commandments

Gruesome spree: Vicky and Peter team-up to track down a twisted mind (Photo: Channel 4)

IMDB: 7.9

What is it? Another acclaimed Belgian show, 13 Commandments is a thriller about cops on the hunt for a twisted serial criminal, who is "punishing" their victims in terrifying ways. On the face of it, it seems almost cliched in its characters and set-up. But there's a lot going on beneath the surface.

Where can I watch it? All4

Tabula Rasa

IMDB: 8.2

What is it? Evoking favourable comparisons to American Horror Story, this outlandish chiller follows a young woman who has lost her memory - and finds herself committed to a strange psychiatric institution. Did we mention that this also hails from Belgium? There's something in the water there right now...

Where can I watch it? All4

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[Main image: Sky, FOX, AMC, HBO, Channel 4]