Since the beginning of Game of Thrones, the fantasy genre has been in every TV viewer’s mind. Whether they’re fans of the genre or not, most people have probably at least heard of the HBO show. The current Netflix hit The Witcher is another popular fantasy show that most people have probably heard of. And then there are the shows that we’re going to recommend, the most underrated fantasy shows of the genre.
The following underrated fantasy shows of television deserve more love. Of course, every show has its fans, but these shows are not nearly as appreciated as they could be. They certainly aren’t known to the level that Game of Thrones or The Witcher are.
Don’t worry, though; that’s why we’re here: to reveal these underrated fantasy shows to you. Whether they’re full-on fantasy taking place in a different world from ours, or take place in our world but with supernatural elements to the story, or perhaps even a mixture of both, we’re here to give the gift of these wonderful stories to you. So sit back, relax, and get ready to be amazed!
Underrated fantasy shows: Wynonna Earp
This is probably the most well-known show on the list due solely to its fans’ passion, but we had to include it as one of our underrated fantasy shows because Wynonna Earp deserves more appreciation.
If this is the first time you hear of the show, let us catch you up on all things Wynonna. Wynonna Earp follows a young woman named Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) as she returns to her hometown of Purgatory. Of course, things aren’t all as they seem in this small town.
The town is full of the supernatural, and Wynonna herself is at the center of it since she’s the Earp heir. You see, there’s a curse on the town of Purgatory that the Earp heir needs to break. This is because Wynonna’s great-grandfather Wyatt Earp once killed outlaws, and now they’re back as demons or revenants, bent on revenge. These revenants can only be killed with Wyatt Earp’s old gun, known as Peacemaker.
Luckily for her, Wynonna has some help in the form of her sister Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Deputy Marshal Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson), Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell), and Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon). Doc was Wyatt Earp’s best friend and right-hand man, and he was trapped down a well for a long time. Now he, like the revenants, is back. Unlike the revenants, though, he is on Wynonna’s side.
We won’t give away all the twists and turns, but we will say that Wynonna Earp is a great show. Despite its fantasy nature, it is a show that is easy to relate to. You’ll find yourself rooting for Wynonna and her friends and family. And there may be a couple of good romances among the characters: one featuring Wynonna herself, and then there’s the fan-favorite couple featuring Wynonna’s sister Waverly.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to explore one of our hidden fantasy gems, Wynonna Earp. The show is still airing on Syfy, so you can’t binge-watch the whole thing on Netflix yet, but you can watch seasons 1 through 3 on the streaming service. Season 4 returns on March 5th on Syfy.
Underrated fantasy shows: Penny Dreadful
You may have heard of Penny Dreadful’s short-lived spinoff, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels., which aired last year in 2020. Unfortunately, that show was canceled after only one season. Yet its predecessor, the original Penny Dreadful, ran for 3 seasons on Showtime. The whole show is now available to watch on Netflix, and we’d definitely recommend it as one of our hidden fantasy gems.
Penny Dreadful starts with many mysteries to be solved: a young woman is pulled out of her bathroom window by a mysterious force, her daughter is taken as well by the creature which the audience never sees, and then there is Vanessa Ives (Eva Green). Vanessa is a mysterious character for many reasons, one of which is that she seems to be occasionally possessed by something or someone. In the first episode, Vanessa asks Ethan Chancler (Josh Hartnett) to do some work for her. She wants him to be her bodyguard. Ethan reluctantly agrees.
The two of them meet late at night, along with Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton). Vanessa and Malcolm are looking for someone, a woman. They and Ethan are attacked by what seems to be vampires. Malcolm interrogates a female vampire, asking if there are other vampires like one he just killed. The vampire’s corpse is taken to Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), who reveals that the creature’s skin is actually an exoskeleton that can be removed.
Underneath the exoskeleton, there is a body covered in Ancient Egyptian symbols. Vanessa and Ethan later discuss what they saw, and Vanessa suggests that they entered what she calls a demimonde, a world within our world where supernatural creatures exist. Ethan is initially skeptical but eventually agrees with Vanessa that such a world might exist and that they entered it.
This show is full of mysteries and colorful characters, both original and those from classic literature. Victor Frankenstein is, of course, one of these characters, as is Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney). We won’t give away all the twists and turns, but Penny Dreadful certainly has quite a few. So sit back, relax, and get ready to enter the demimonde of one of our hidden fantasy gems, Penny Dreadful.
Underrated fantasy shows: His Dark Materials
The next of our hidden fantasy gems is an HBO-BBC co-production, which is, like all other HBO shows, available to stream on HBO Max. Based on the book series by Philip Pullman of the same name, His Dark Materials follows Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) as she searches for her missing friend Roger (Lewin Lloyd). Along the way, she discovers that the situation is bigger than her and Roger. A lot of children have gone missing, and it’s all to do with a mysterious substance known as Dust.
Before going on, it’s important to know how the world of His Dark Materials functions. In this world, people have talking animal companions that contain basically their souls or consciences, known as daemons. Lyra’s world is also controlled by the mysterious Magisterium, which is the religious/governmental authority in this world.
Now that you know how the world works, back to the story. Lyra has some help along the way from a colorful cast of characters as she works to find Roger and solve the mystery of Dust. One of the people helping her is not a person at all; it’s her trusty daemon Pantalimon (Kit Connor). Another not-person helping her is the armored bear Iorek Byrnison (Joe Tandberg). She is also helped along by the Gyptians, including Ma Costa (Anne Marie Duff) and her son Tony (Daniel Frogson). Another ally of Lyra’s is the aeronaut Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda).
While a lot is going on in Lyra’s world, there is a part of His Dark Materials that takes place in our world. This part of the story follows Will Parry (Amir Wilson) and his mother Elaine (Nina Sosanya). They are just trying to get by after the death of Will’s father and Elaine’s husband, John Parry (Andrew Scott). As we are sure you can imagine, Lyra’s world and Will’s eventually collide, but we won’t spoil how. Just trust us and check out one of our underrated fantasy shows, His Dark Materials.
Underrated fantasy shows: Siren
And last but certainly not least, Siren. Unfortunately, this Freeform series was canceled in 2020, so warning about that. It ends somewhat abruptly but not with a full-on cliffhanger. However, we suppose whether you define it as a cliffhanger depends on how you feel about certain characters. We won’t give away which ones. Just be aware that since the show was canceled, you might be somewhat surprised by the ending.
Siren follows a mermaid named Ryn (Eline Powell), who comes on land because she is looking for her sister Donna (Sibongile Mlambo). Once there, she meets and is helped by two marine biologists Ben Pownall (Alex Roe) and Maddie Bishop (Fola Evans-Akingbola). The three of them grow closer and closer as time goes on, and Ryn may or may not fall for both of her helpers at one point. So if you like a good romance, you’re in for a treat with Siren.
Another ally of Ryn’s is the mysterious local shop owner Helen Hawkins (Rena Owen), who has a secret of her own to protect. The show is full of twists and turns, which are mostly good and exciting. The characters are for the most part likable. This wouldn’t be one of our hidden fantasy gems if it weren’t good. So we definitely recommend it.
The ending leaves a little to be desired, but again the show was canceled. There’s no telling where it could’ve gone if it had had another season. So sit back, relax, and enter the world of Siren.
What underrated fantasy shows did we miss? What is your favorite show that made the list? Let us know in the comments below!