The only thing I love more than a quirky indie movie, or a quirky indie-style book, is a quirky television show.
I don’t know about you, but a lot of what’s out there to watch just bores me. I need me some oddballs, some weird plots, and something to keep my imagination working overtime.
If you’re like me, and need that quirk-factor in your life, here are 35 quirky shows you might enjoy!
We’ll start with the dramas, but if it’s comedy gold you’re looking for, just scroll down a bit.
Quirky TV Drama Shows
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When it comes to strange and unusual, this show leads the pack.
At the end of season one, I literally had to sit back and ask myself, “Self, was that simply very weird, or was that the best show I have ever seen?“
The O.A. stars Brit Marling (who also wrote and created the show), and Jason Isaacs. Marling plays a young woman named Prairie, who disappeared seven years ago as a blind teenager. Now she’s returned; but from where? And why can she see now?
If you like dark mysteries, a bit of the supernatural, suspense, and brilliant writing, this will be a treat for you.
And bonus: Phyllis Smith from The Office has an absolutely brilliant performance in the first season. She knocked my socks off in this role.
Rated M for Mature audiences. I believe it is only available on Netflix.
Dark is a supernatural thriller that is breathtakingly clever and suspenseful.
It’s also in German, so get your subtitles ready!
Don’t let that discourage you from watching; you’ll find yourself sucked into this strange journey about a small town brought together – and torn apart – by the disappearance of two children.
History is doomed to repeat itself in this time-travel paradox that will satisfy even the most genius/educated/smartypants of watchers.
(Yes, you can watch it dubbed in English, but don’t.)
Dark is a Netflix Original rated M for Mature, and stars Karoline Eichhorn, Louis Hofmann, and Jordis Triebel.
Based on the much loved book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens is an Amazon Original which stars David Tennant and Michael Sheen along with many other recognizable names and faces.
The apocalypse has never been so fun!
Rated M for Mature.
The Returned (Les Revenants)
There is a more recent American version of this truly bizarre television show, but you want the French one. Trust me.
The Returned tells the story (well, lots of stories) of what happens when people begin one by one to return from the dead.
Not quite a zombie show, but more of a slow burn, quietly addicting, mesmerizing horror fantasy. Some of the undead and their families are overjoyed at their reunions, others provide worry and instability.
And they all will be forced together when a serial killer strikes again. Extremely eerie mystery.
Rated M for Mature, and stars Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Frédéric Pierrot.
The iconic show from 1990 (it has been rebooted if you just can’t get enough), Twin Peaks stars Kyle MacLachlan as FBI agent Dale Cooper as he investigates the strange murder of Laura Palmer in a small (and very weird) Washington state town.
The characters are bizarre, the soundtrack haunting, and the storyline like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Both the original series and the new reboot are rated M for Mature. The original is a true classic.
Stranger Things was a huge hit for Netflix, due in part to its ode to all things ’80s, astonishingly good child actors, and crazy odd story.
It’s a little like E.T. but more terrifying. Plus, it’s fun watching the kids (Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, among others) grow up each season.
Stranger Things is rated TV14 for language and violence.
What starts as a quirky crush turns into a crime-ridden obsession when a charming young man (Penn Bagdley) inserts himself into the life and loves of the woman he fixates on (played by Ambyr Childers).
You is rated M for Mature.
Living With Yourself
Starring the always good Paul Rudd, Living With Yourself is the story of a bored (and boring) man who undergoes a procedure to transform himself, but things go awry when he ends up with a clone.
The clone (who’s better at everything and whom everyone loves more) begins to take over his life, replacing him everywhere.
This is a clever and witty show, and I’m hoping it gets picked up for a season two.
Rated M for Mature.
Known as La Casa de Papel in its original Spanish, Money Heist is the story of the attempt to steal 2.4 billion euros from the Royal Mint.
Rated M for Mature.
Wanted tells the tale of two women, Lola and Chelsea, who see each other everyday at the same bus station but who have never spoken to one another.
That all changes when they witness and are framed for a murder and have to flee together in order to clear their names.
This is a really fun show that stars Aussie actors Rebecca Gibney and Geraldine Hakewell. It’s got plenty of heart and laughs and isn’t too predictable, which is perfect for when I want something that is a little lighter than your typical crime drama.
I can’t find a rating for this, but it’s pretty tame.
Orphan Black stars Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, and Tatiana Maslany.
Haha, just a little clone humor there.
No really, Maslany plays eight different roles (actually more, but you’ll get to know the original eight the best) in this edgy, dark thriller.
It all starts when a young woman witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her, and she takes on her identity.
And it won’t end until all the clones (or the ones who survive) solve the mystery of who they are and who created them.
Seriously, it’s legit one of the very best series I have ever watched.
Rated M for Mature.
The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is a weirder version of a superhero show. Marvel-esque, but more bizarre!
This quirky show follows the story of a family of heroes, raised by an evil billionaire to save the world, only… life keeps getting in the way.
Reunited after the patriarch’s death, the group of oddballs and eccentrics (along with their various powers) begin to band together to fight evil.
It’s a clever, well-written and well-acted show, starring Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castenada, and Robert Sheehan.
Rated TV14. A Netflix Original.
Quirky TV Comedy Shows
Sometimes, it’s best to laugh. Here are some oddball shows that might be perfect for your quirky tastes.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Created by Tina Fey, and starring Ellie Kemper, this Netflix sitcom revolves around Kimmy, who spent several years in an underground bunker, held there by a cult leader.
I know, it doesn’t sound like a comedy, but it’s very funny.
Poor Kimmy finally gets to join the outside world, and modern day New York City is completely foreign to her.
She navigates it all with enthusiasm, delight, and peppy energy, which is why this quirky show works: Kemper’s wide eyed charm and zest for her new life are addicting.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
While not strictly a comedy, since it definitely has a grungy, dark feel, and can get violent, the oddball humor sets Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency apart from other crime shows.
Starring Elijah Wood, Samuel Barnett, Hannah Marks, and Fiona Dourif (as Bart, the Holistic Assassin in a tour de force performance), the show is based on the books series by Douglas Adams, of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame.
So you know it’s going to be delightfully odd!
Rated TV14. There’s also a slightly earlier 4-episode version from the UK here.
Santa Clarita Diet
Santa Clarita Diet is a quirky Netflix show starring the always-charming Drew Barrymore and the equally-always-just-as-charming Timothy Olyphant.
They play a simple married couple, Shelia and Joel, real estate agents, who are in a bit of a pickle.
She’s dead and needs to eat people to stay alive.
I mean, dead.
I mean … you know what I mean.
It’s a hilariously funny romp but, as with most zombie-type shows, it will also make you gag, so if you’re squeamish this is not the show for you!
My hubby couldn’t make it past the first episode. Let’s label it horror comedy and leave it at that.
Rated M for Mature.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the brainchild of the star, Rachel Bloom, and she shines in this series.
Do you like spontaneous musical numbers in your comedies? Then you’re gonna love this.
My favorite is My Sexy French Depression, and I Have Friends, I Totally Have Friends!
Word to the wise though: it’s a comedy with a LOT of bite. It’s going to tackle issues like depression, suicide, sex, mental health, and abortion.
So, while it’s hysterically funny, it’s also deep. We quit watching after a couple of seasons when it got a little too heavy, but man, those first two seasons were amazing!
Starring doe-eyed Zoey Deschanel as Jess, New Girl follows her quirky journey as she moves in with three men in an apartment after a breakup.
It’s clever, light-hearted, and flat-out funny.
Jane the Virgin
You can’t get much quirkier than a devoutly Catholic girl who accidentally is artificially inseminated at a routine doctor’s checkup. Hilarity ensues.
Freaks and Geeks
A show about high school that actually felt real, directed by ’80s legend, Judd Apatow, and starring Linda Cardellinni, Seth Rogan, James Franco, Busy Phillips, Sam Levine, among other now-stars (they were all newcomers at the time).
Cardellinni plays high school mathlete, Lindsay, who starts hanging out with a group of burnouts. Her little brother (John Francis Daley) is having his own set of troubles and adventures in high school as well.
It only had one season but that was enough to give it a cult following, and us fans are still hoping one day Netflix or someone will give it another go (or a movie).
You want quirky, we got quirky for you!
When you base a show around a city known for being weird, you get comedy gold. This sketch comedy series stars Fred Armisan, and Carrie Brownstein.
Somehow I missed this one when it was running, but it was my mama’s favorite show at the time so I feel confident recommending it (she’s picky and has a great sense of humor. Hi, Mom!).
Pushing Daisies stars Kristin Chenoweth (of Broadway fame), Lee Pace, Anna Friel, and Chi McBride, and is about a pie-baker who has the ability to bring back the dead and solve mysteries.
You said you wanted quirky!
The Mighty Boosh
You want bizarre, out-of-the-box, over-the-top, clever, witty, never-been-seen-before humor? We got you, with The Mighty Boosh.
Starring Noel Fielding (of The IT Crowd, and judge from the newer seasons of The Great British Baking Show, among other roles), and Julian Barratt, The Mighty Boosh is the story and adventures of two men working at a zoo (and yep, there are plenty of talking monkeys for your viewing pleasure), under a deranged boss.
Oh, and they’re musicians.
Oh, and also? There’s Old Gregg.
Not rated (but it’s mature).
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
You can’t get much higher in quirk-factor than a young woman who suddenly hears the innermost thoughts of people.
In song and dance.
Choreographed by Mandy Moore, of So You Think You Can Dance fame, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is an hour-long dramedy will make you laugh.
And then it will pull your heart out and stomp on it while you cry.
It took me weeks to get up the nerve to watch the season finale because I knew where it was going. Sob.
We had BETTER get a season two or I will be writing a strongly worded letter! Such a great show.
Fast-paced, fast-talking Canadian show that brings to mind dry, crass British humor, but delivered with American gusto.
I know. That only makes sense if you watch Letterkenny.
Small rural town with a lot of heart and a lot of laughs. Stars Jerod Keeso, Michelle Mylett, Nathan Dales.
Rated M for Mature.
If you like wicked smart comedy with perfect timing and a perfect cast, then you have to quote Arrested Development as much as I do.
“Has anyone in this family ever even SEEN a chicken?”
“And that’s why you always leave a note.”
“There’s always money in the banana stand.”
“It’s an illusion, Michael!”
Stars Jason Bateman, Portia deRossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale, Jessica Walter.
The original three seasons are the best, but the reboots is worth watching if you’re a die hard fan.
Set 20 minutes in the future always, turning off your television is illegal and roving reporter Edison Carver is copied into a computer as a talking head.
This series from 1987 was ahead of its time!
A beloved cult favorite, Doc Martin is played Martin Clunes, and follows the story of a curmudgeon surgeon who moves to a small English village to set up practice.
What We Do In The Shadows
It’s created, written, and directed by Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor: Ragnorock, JoJo Rabbit) and Jemaine Clement (1/3 of the creators of Flight of the Concords), so how can you not check out this horror comedy?
Especially when you hear the plotline: It’s about vampire roommates living in Staten Island.
Starring (fake) vampires Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou.
Rated M for Mature.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
A housewife, newly divorced, decides to try her hand at stand-up comedy in 1950s Manhattan.
Her adventures and misadventures give her all sorts of material and will have you cracking up along with her audience.
Rachel Brosnahan gives vibrant life to the character of Midge, and her parents (played by Tony Shalhoub and Marin Hinkle) are my favorite parents to date. Alex Borstein, as Susie, Midge’s manager, is also hilarious.
Rated M for Mature.
The Red Green Show
Canadian comedy starring Steve Smith, The Red Green Show shows you what life is like at the Possum Lodge, where he airs his home improvement show with his zany sidekicks and misadventures.
This is the show where we get The Man’s Prayer:
I’m a man. But I can change. If I have to. I guess.
Galavant is another quirky show with hysterical songs for all you fans of musicals. This show is for everyone – from the kids to the grandparents.
It’s absolute comedy gold when you follow Galavant, his friends, and his frenemie, the King. Oh, and the King’s pet bearded dragon, Tad Cooper, who we super, super believe in.
Incidentally, I drive a Mini Cooper named Tad.
Flight of the Concords
Two New Zealanders, Bret and Jemaine (played by Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie), live in New York and try to get their band, the Flight of the Concords, to make it big.
This is one of the quirkiest television shows you’ll ever find, with some of the most hilarious banter and songs.
Do you like deadpan humor? Yes? Well… This is your show.
Rated TV Mature.
The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd is a British show (and it IS quintessentially British with its over-the-top, super-dry humor) that follows the basement office of two (wait, three, I always forget Richmond even though he’s my absolute favorite) IT workers, Roy and Moss, and their boss, Jen.
These actors play off one another so well and there are some great one-liners and plots.
Stars Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, Matt Berry, and Noel Fielding.
Personally, I don’t think this is necessarily quirky, but when I was asking for opinions on quirky shows, this one got the most votes.
The cast is eccentric, I’ll give you that! Schitt’s Creek revolves around the Rose family, a wealthy socialite group who loses their fortune and is forced to move to the only thing they still own: a town they bought as a joke, Schitt’s Creek.
It stars the always hilarious Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, plus Levy’s real-life son, Dan Levy, and Annie Murphy. Plus Chris Elliott.
Another British comedy, this one going all the way back (from 2000-2004), Black Books is the story of a small bookstore, run by a man who absolutely despises customer service.
Paired with his only friend (who runs the Nifty Gifty gift shop next door), and his new employee, Manny, all sorts of hilarity ensues. This is droll, dry British humor at its best.
Now you’re set for when you grab that remote! No more endlessly scrolling and then re-watching The Office for the upteenth time.
Not that I do that. Ahem.
The Office, now that I think about it, was pretty quirky…
Did I miss your favorite quirky gem on television? Leave it in the comments.
Aaaaaaand…. be sure to bookmark or pin this post to save it for later!
Karlyne M says:
Ok, so about the only ones I’ve heard of are Pushing Daisies, which I cry for, and Doc Martin, which I can actually find on Roku.
June 4, 2020 — 7:24 pm