7 Underappreciated Sci-Fi Shows to Stream Right Now

Every year, we all patiently await for the newest season of our favorite streaming shows. Stranger ThingsThe Handmaid’s TaleBlack Mirror, any of the Marvel properties (except Iron Fist)—each posted online and each binged within a week. How can we possibly handle the seemingly infinite amount of time until we get our next taste? Luckily, there are a number of fine shows you may have never heard of that can fill the void! Here are seven hidden gems you can watch right this second.

Man looking right

Eric McCormack in Travelers. Courtesy of Netflix

1. Travelers, Netflix (2 Seasons, 26 Episodes)

Eric McCormack is enjoying his popular renaissance, now that Will & Grace has once again returned to the airwaves. But outside of drinking wine with Karen, Jack, and Grace, McCormack heads a Netflix original about time travel. Far in the future, society has collapsed after the turmoil of global wars and a lack of resources. The mysterious “Director” can send the minds of people from the future into the unwitting bodies of people in our current time, but only ones who are about to die. Travelers follows a group of these future-minds as they complete missions in an attempt to change the chaos of the future. Of course, time-travel plans never go as smoothly as one would hope, forcing them to deal with sabotage, politics, and the lives of the souls they now inhabit. Season 2 was just added in December; no word about season 3 just yet.

Three people with weapons

Future Man. Hulu

2. Future Man, Hulu (1 Season, 13 Episodes)

Hulu has been steadily adding some quality shows to its original lineup, but you may have overlooked the Josh Hutcherson comedy Future Man. If you’ve seen the trailer and are anything like me, your first reaction might have been, “Meh.” But you and I could not be more wrong. The show begins with a vibe admittedly similar to The Last Starfighter: burn-out janitor Josh manages to beat an outdated video game, calling two warriors from the future looking for their savior. It is an absolute blast of raunchy humor, great costuming, and an implausible amount of ’80s and ’90s pop-culture references. One of the most hilarious bits is a bottle episode inside a certain ’90s mega director’s mansion, where the team attempts to find a crucial component for their time-travel needs. The under-half-hour episodes go fast, but season 2 has already been confirmed for sometime in 2018.

Group of young survivors

The kids of 3%. Pedro Saad/Netflix

3. 3%, Netflix (1 Season, 8 Episodes)

If you ever wondered what it would be like if a lot more kids had to go through Hunger Games–esque torture, then 3% is the show for you! This Brazilian-made dystopian original series has a lot of heart and a lot of hell for the contestants. In this society, only 3 percent of the population is allowed through to the resource-rich “civilized” city, where they are guaranteed a better life. Unfortunately, in order to make it there, every teenager must pass, and survive, a serious of rigorous tests designed to determine who is the very best (like no one ever was). The emotional range from these actors is truly superb, and the suspense will leave you wanting more—which you’ll get quite soon.

Group of people looking forward

Syfy/Showcase

4. Continuum, Netflix (4 Seasons, 42 Episodes)

Unlike the other shows on this list, Continuum is not a Netflix original—this Canadian-made science-fiction show aired on Syfy (before its super abbreviation) to little fanfare. But it contains enough fun and mystery to satiate your appetite between the big shows. A terrorist group from 75 years in the future stages an escape from execution by time-traveling back to the present era in order to carry out their plans with ease; unfortunately for them, a future cop named Kiera Cameron gets sucked into the time vortex and can now hunt them down, hopefully before they are able to change much. Kiera teams up with the younger version of the richest genius of 2077 (think a teenage Bill Gates) and a mostly clueless cop to help her along the way. Continuum’s future tech and present-procedural style will keep you busy for a good chunk of time.

Two superheroes stand atop a building.

The Tick. Amazon.

5. The Tick, Amazon Prime (1 Season, 6 Episodes)

Faithful fans of the blue bug who shouts “Spooooooooon!” have been missing the TV presence of The Tick since Patrick Warburton‘s short-lived version was canceled all the way back at the start of this millennium. Last year, Amazon made a new pilot of the show and put it out for voting as part of their pilot season, eventually being picked up for a full go. Resident deadpan funnyman with a tongue-twister name Peter Serafinowicz dons the blue antennae this time around, complete with all the bouncing about and shouting unnecessarily. Tick, naturally, teams up with sidekick Arthur to defeat a crime syndicate rampaging their waterfront town. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and silly lines from the cast, and at around 25 minutes a piece, these episodes can be watched in a single sitting. The back half of the first season promises to be released soon.

Group of people look frightened

Glitch. Courtesy of Netflix

6. Glitch, Netflix (2 Seasons, 12 Episodes)

This Australian-made thriller airs Down Under but is licensed by Netflix for viewing in the US. The premise: a small-town police chief discovers a number of people who have suddenly come back to life—we’re talking crawling out of their graves, but in perfect condition. The no-longer-deceased have no idea what has triggered their sudden revival and struggle to adapt to their current surroundings, with some of them now over a hundred years old. As the group investigates the mystery, the police chief must also deal with his dead wife coming into contact with his new wife . . . and her former best friend. Glitch is a slow-paced show that spends as much time on the mystery as it does on its relationships. Take it on if you’d like a more emotional geeky ride.

Three people prepare for battle

Crazyhead. © Steffan Hill 2016/Netflix

7. Crazyhead, Netflix (1 Season, 6 Episodes)

If you’re eager to fill a Buffy-shaped hole in your heart, look no further than the demon-bashing action/comedy Crazyhead. Raquel and Amy both have the ability to see demons hiding within human bodies, but both have spent their lives thinking they are, oh, what’s the phrase . . . crazy in the head? That is, until they run into each other and manage to take one of these demons down. An amusing and touching friendship forms as they try embrace their inner bad-asses and vow to destroy the demon threat to their town. Each character in the show, including the demons, is jam-packed with hilarious lines and dirty humor; it’s definitely not for a younger audience. Crazyhead had such incredible potential, but alas, we won’t be getting any more—so enjoy these six episodes over and over again.


By my calculations, these shows will take up over 4,400 minutes of your life waiting for 2019’s Game of Thrones final season or any of the other usual geekery! Have fun with your next set of bingeing and let us know if there are any hidden gems out there we’ve missed.

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