The Tomatometer, also known as the percentage of positive professional critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, seems to be quite a relevant metric nowadays — it helps tell whether a show or movie is actually good, almost dictating whether audience members should sit down to watch them.
It also seldom happens that the audience score fluctuates tremendously, meaning that while critics believe that a particular project isn’t good, other viewers find it highly entertaining. From Q-Force to Them, these are just some recent examples of absorbing television series that are worth checking despite featuring low ratings on the website.
10 ‘Q-Force’ (2021)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%
Created by Gabe Liedman, the entertaining animation action series Q-Force centers on secret agent Steve Mayweather, also known as Agent Mary (voiced by Sean Hayes), and his team of LGBTQ superspies as they outdo themselves while exceeding in several different adventures.
While this fun series features a low 30% score on Rotten Tomatoes, it is undoubtedly a very engaging show with an interesting narrative likely to keep audience members invested. However, it is worth noting that while its heart is in the right place, some of the jokes featured are dated, with some critics finding them too over-the-top.
9 ‘The Days’ (2023)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%
Based on the true story of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster caused by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan’s main island. Created by Jun Masumoto, this historical drama explores the story behind those involved in the unprecedented deadly threat.
Though very different, The Days may remind viewers of HBO’s hit Chernobyl, given its tragic premise. However, their ratings are nowhere as close. Despite only having a 43% on the Tomatometer (and its slow pace that may throw some viewers off), this well-narrated miniseries makes for an engaging watch while reflecting on a poignant and impactful moment in history.
8 ‘Not Dead Yet’ (2023 -)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 47%
Starring Jane the Virgin‘s talented Gina Rodriguez, Not Dead Yet follows Nell Serrano, a broke and newly-single girl who attempts to restart the life and career she gave up a decade ago. Things get interesting when Nell begins to receive life guidance from an unexpected after starting a job writing obituaries.
Although it is hardly a masterpiece, this American sitcom by DavidWindsor, which was renewed for a second season, is an accessible and relatable watch, making for a great way to spend time and keep boredom at bay. This is also the perfect pick for fans of the genre who find comfort in shedding some tears every now and then, as it perfectly blends comedy with more mature and thought-provoking themes.
7 ‘The Boondocks’ (2005-2014)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%
Aaron McGruder‘s treasured animated series gives commentary on American politics from a black perspective. The show centers on two boys, Riley and Huey Freeman (the talented Regina King voices them both), as they move from Chicago to the suburbs to live with their grandfather.
Although some audiences may dismiss it because of its medium, The Boondocks is a poignant show. Often using satire to directly confront race and class in America, the 2005 TV series is definitely not for all viewers. However, there is no way to deny that it is an intelligent and, at times, moving one.
6 ‘Carnival Row’ (2019-)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%
Starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne as the leads, the Victorian fantasy crime drama Carnival Rowdepicts a growing population of mythological and immigrant beings struggling to coexist with the rest of humanity. However, it is when a string of murders reveals a big monster that the intolerant city collapses.
Featuring great, fantastical world-building, Carnival Row is a must-watch for fans of the genre, who will likely find it much better than initially expected (though not exactly the best out there, either). Even though it only features a 50% score, this entertaining and stylish series provides audiences with an immersive narrative that will certainly appeal to those who love diving into absorbing fantasy scenarios. It was created by René Echevarria and TravisBeacham and based on Beacham’s unproduced film spec script.
5 ‘Forever’ (2014-2015)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%
Matthew Miller‘s crime drama showForever follows medical examiner Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) as he pairs up with his partner Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) to solve a couple of criminal cases. Moreover, he also attempts to unearth the reason behind his immortality.
Unfortunately, like many other popular series, this character-driven series suffered an unfortunate, premature ending — it was canceled after the first season. Featuring a thrilling premise and great performances, the 2014 series combines several genres, making for a unique watch that is nonetheless worth checking.
4 ‘Your Honor’ (2020-2023)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%
Peter Moffat‘s crime drama centers on Bryan Cranston‘s New Orleans judge forced to come face-to-face with his own convictions and make a series of increasingly difficult decisions after his son (Hunter Doohan) is involved in a hit-and-run involving a family connected to an organized crime.
While some argue that Your Honor is a mixed bag that could benefit from better writing (some plot holes in the way), there seems to be one thing everyone can agree on: the performances, particularly from Cranston, are phenomenal. Despite its flaws, Your Honor also delivers a solid premise that will likely keep viewers engaged.
3 ‘The Offer’ (2022)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%
Possibly the best pick for fans of Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Godfather, The Offer follows Oscar-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy‘s (Miles Teller) untold experiences while creating one of the most influential gangster crime movies of all time.
While the TV miniseries features an almost positive Tomatometer score, it still fell short of some critics’ expectations. Nevertheless, The Offer is certainly one that fans of the film can not refuse. Featuring brilliant performances and a deeply intriguing storyline, this Leslie Greif and Michael Tolkin show pays a beautiful homage to the groundbreaking picture.
2 ‘Versailles’ (2015-2018)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%
In this compelling, though at times slow-paced Louis XIV biography, George Blagden steps into the shoes of one of the most influential and all-powerful historical figures of all time. Versailles depicts the creation of the most beautiful palace in the world and the political complications that stood in Louis XIV’s path at the time.
Possibly one of the most underrated series of its genre, Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroft‘sshow is assuredly a memorable one. While it is certainly not suited for those who do not appreciate historical dramas, Versailles is an addictive series that knows how to hook viewers invested in the genre. Additionally, it counts on astounding performances and breathtakingly gorgeous visuals.
1 ‘Them’ (2021-)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%
Created by Little Marvin, Them is an American horror anthology series. The first season follows a Black family who moves to an all-white 1950s L.A. neighborhood where malevolent forces taunt and threaten to destroy them.
Frequently compared to the talented Jordan Peele‘s critically acclaimed horror film Usdue to its marketing and visuals, Them also depicts a home invasion with Black people at its center. Captivating and unsettling in its own way, the 2021 series is scary because it shines a light on terrifying topics that are still relevant today.