We earn commission if you purchase items using an affiliate link. We only recommend products we trust. See our affiliate disclosure.
There might not have ever been a better time than right now when it comes to watching TV for free. Yes, you need an internet connection and you’re going to deal with ads, but even if you don’t pay for a single streaming service, you’ll find plenty to watch.
Finding something you actually feel like watching is a different story. Once you’re done wading through the sea of reality shows from the late 1990s and early 2000s, you might be a little tired out. That’s why we’ve hand-picked some shows to appeal to your nerdy side.
Based on concepts by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Andromeda is another slice of spacefaring sci-fi. No, even the series high points don’t reach as high as the best of Star Trek, but you’ll find plenty of people who would watch it over Voyager. Much more campy than anything Star Trek other than the original series, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Lexx is also set in space, but that’s about all it has in common with Andromeda. This Canadian / German co-production starts off really weird and just gets seriously stranger from there. If you’re looking for some completely off the wall sci-fi, there aren’t many better places to start.
A sci-fi sitcom featuring Cornetto trilogy mainstay Nick Frost? If you bet that this series is British, well, you’re right. This is parody sci-fi done as only the British can do. Of course, this also means that by law, no more than 12 episodes of this show could possibly exist.
4. The Addams Family
Whether you’re coming to The Addams Family from the recent movie, the 1990s movies, or the animated series also made in the 1990s, it’s worth revisiting the original series to see why it got so popular in the first place. Wednesday and Pugsly don’t have as much to offer as they did in later takes on the formula, but otherwise parts of it still hold up rather well.
5. The Dead Zone
Loosely based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Dead Zone stars Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, a teacher who gains psychic powers after an accident leaves him in a coma. In the series he uses these powers to solve crimes, so it’s part sci-fi drama and part procedural.
6. Robin Hood
There have been plenty of versions of the Robin Hood story. This British TV show initially slotted into a gap left open by Doctor Who, which was between seasons. This should give you a decent idea of the audience that the creators of the show were aiming for. No, it’s not Doctor Who, but if you’re looking for that sort of take on this story, this is it.
7. The Incredible Hulk
This series main claim to fame at this point is its famous parting shot at the end of each episode, during which the song “Lonely Man” plays over a shot of David Banner (yes, it’s not Bruce here) walking down the road and hitchhiking. This isn’t up to the standards set by the Marvel Universe in the last decade, but it’s still fun to take a look at.
8. Dragon Age Redemption
Originally a web series, this six-part miniseries stars geek icon Felicia Day as Tallis, a character from the game Dragon Age II. Though that game didn’t end up living up to the bar set by the previous entry in the series, the miniseries is a surprisingly fun watch, even taking the quite obviously low budget into consideration.
Either you’re going to like a series about a wisecracking alien whose name stands for Alien Life Form or you’re not. Either way, you might want to hide your cat. This stands up about as well as most sitcoms from the 1980s, which is to say, well, it doesn’t. At this point, that’s half the fun of watching the series in the first place.
10. Flash Gordon
Like Robin Hood, there have been plenty of versions of Flash Gordon over the years, though the source material isn’t nearly as old. This is the 2007 live action series, which offers a fair amount of camp and cheese, but this property has always had that in spades anyway.