8 TV shows you're not watching that you should be

Got it together and deserve a second chance

Drama does pick up the pace
The television landscape is wide and dense, especially these days. That's why a show needs to make its case in the first few episodes or it's off the DVR list. That's the hard truth.

But once in a while, a drama does pick up the pace or a comedy's cast finds its chemistry and the show becomes great. And, sometimes, a network exceeds expectations and delivers a great show.

It's like that awkward kid in high school who came back from college really attractive and put together. You would give that person another look.

So we suggest that these shows deserve the same.

Here are eight shows that got it together and deserve a second chance.

"The Leftovers" (HBO)

Was the pace of "The Leftovers" too slow for you during Season 1? Was it too dark and depressing? This season starts off in a less melancholy fashion and expands the world beyond those who lost loved ones in the "Sudden Departure."

But the mystery isn't solved, nor is it over — it's getting more thrilling.

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (ABC)

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." coasted on its connection to the comics and movies. But it wasn't long before we figured out that nothing was happening and its idea of a crossover is when an item from "Captain America" falls into an episode.

Fast-forward a couple of seasons and the world is way less dependent on its Marvel brethren. The characters have their own storylines, and it's nice to see them getting on with their lives.

"Grandfathered" (Fox)

While the critics were falling for the Rob Lowe comedy "Grinder," there always seemed to be more appeal in John Stamos' "Grandfathered." If you gave up after the pilot, come back. You'll find the chemistry has improved a lot and the show has genuine heart.

"The Affair" (Showtime)

The dual points of view in "The Affair" cleverly showed how the same scene could be different for two people. But as the first season went on, it sort of lost those cool details, and the device became another way of narrating the show. And you may have jumped ship like many others.

This season incorporates four points of view: the perspectives of Noah (Dominic West) and Alison (Ruth Wilson) plus their former partners Helen (Maura Tierney) and Cole (Joshua Jackson). And you'd think that if the creators lost their grip on two perspectives, four couldn't be an improvement. But you'd be wrong. This season is more entertaining, and nuanced for it.

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" (The CW)

This comedy-musical hasn't even been airing for a month — and it's on The CW — so you may have never even given it a chance to then quit it. But it's one of the most enjoyable shows on TV right now. Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) is a smart attorney, but loses all couth when it comes to her high-school ex, Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III). Plus, they break into random original songs written for the show — not like "Glee," which tried to make popular songs fit into situations. It's fun and no one's watching. You should be.

"Halt and Catch Fire" (AMC)

Yes, Season 1 of "Halt and Catch Fire" didn't feel sorted out and like a season-long "let's get a gang together." Apparently, that was all setup for this past summer's second season. The characters, especially the women, came into their own. The early internet made an appearance and the whole feel of the show became more urgent and alive.

Despite its ratings challenges, the show was renewed for a third season. So go catch up and you'll be ready for season three next summer.

"iZombie" (The CW)

Sure, the first few episodes of "iZombie" didn't quite make you feel like the producers knew where they were going. You were probably like, "Deuces." But it didn't take long for the show to find its procedural groove with episodic crimes to solve and the larger dilemma of zombies overtaking Seattle.

Liv (Rose McIver), a developing zombie, has carved a place where she can be effective in her crime-fighting and funny in her dealings with the rest of the world.

"Unreal" (Lifetime)

Constance Zimmer plays the executive producer of "Everlasting", the dating show portrayed on "Unreal."

Many people probably saw promos for "Unreal" and saw that it was on Lifetime and passed. Yes, Lifetime has a reputation for low-budget movies. It also doesn't have much of a track record for scripted series. But "Unreal" is good. It parodies the behind-the-scenes details of a dating show. (One of its executive producers used to work at ABC's "The Bachelor.") You will be shocked and entertained at what these producers will do to make a hit reality show.


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