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Underrated and Overrated TV Shows of the 2000s

The 2000s were a transitional period for television, with new genres and formats popping up alongside traditional programming. With the advent of streaming services and a greater willingness to experiment with storytelling, the 2000s gave rise to some of the most beloved shows of all time. However, not every show that debuted in the 2000s was great, or deserving of the hype that it received. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the overrated shows of the 2000s and why they didn’t deserve the accolades they received.

The O.C.

The O.C. is a prime example of a show that was overrated in the 2000s. It was a teen drama that centered on wealthy, attractive families living in Orange County, California. The show was marketed as an edgy portrayal of California’s elite, complete with surfboards, designer clothes, and forbidden love affairs.

However, in reality, The O.C. was a shallow and unrealistic depiction of California life. The characters were one-dimensional and predictable, with the show relying on tired tropes and cliches to drive the plot. The dialogue was stilted, the writing was lazy, and the acting was wooden. Despite its flaws, the show was phenomenally popular in the 2000s, with millions tuning in to watch each week.

One reason why The O.C. was so overrated was its lack of substance. The show was marketed as being bold and daring, but in reality, it was just a soap opera with pretty people. The showrunners relied on tired plot devices like love triangles, affairs, and secret babies to keep viewers engaged, rather than focusing on nuanced character development or thought-provoking storylines.

Another reason why The O.C. was overrated in the 2000s was its cultural impact. The show’s immense popularity launched the careers of its young cast members and spawned imitations and copycats like Gossip Girl and 90210. However, the show’s influence was largely superficial, with its depiction of California life reinforcing tired stereotypes about the rich and beautiful. The O.C. did little to advance the cultural conversation or contribute to meaningful social change.

Other Overrated Shows of the 2000s

While The O.C. was one of the most egregious examples of an overrated show in the 2000s, it was far from the only one. Other shows that received a disproportionate amount of hype, despite their flaws, include:

Desperate Housewives

This show was marketed as a satirical take on suburban life, but its writing was often heavy-handed and clumsy. The constant plot twists and melodramatic cliffhangers wore thin quickly, and the show’s treatment of serious issues like domestic abuse and mental illness was often tone-deaf.


Lost was a groundbreaking show in many ways, featuring a diverse cast and a complex mythology that kept viewers guessing. However, the show suffered from inconsistency and a lack of clear direction, with many of its plot threads leading nowhere. The show’s controversial series finale was largely unsatisfying, leaving many fans feeling cheated.


Heroes was hailed as a groundbreaking show, featuring a diverse cast of characters with unique superpowers. However, the show quickly became mired in convoluted storylines and tedious exposition. Many of the characters were underdeveloped or thinly drawn, and the show’s attempts to be socially relevant often felt forced.


In conclusion, the 2000s were a mixed bag when it comes to television. While the decade gave us some of the most groundbreaking and influential shows of all time, it also saw its fair share of overhyped and underwhelming programming. The O.C. is a prime example of a show that was overrated in the 2000s, due to its lack of substance and cultural impact. Other shows like Desperate Housewives, Lost, and Heroes suffered from similar problems, making them forgettable entries in the annals of television history. As viewers, it’s important to be discerning and critical of the shows we consume, and to demand high-quality programming that challenges us and enriches our lives.