Underground: Season 1 (2016)


Season 1

Critics Consensus

Underground blends credible terror with enough compelling thrills to overcome the storyline's occasional cliches.



Critic Ratings: 30


Audience Score

User Ratings: 253

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Air date: Mar 9, 2016

The epic escape story of the Underground Railroad is told through the point of view of a group of plantation slaves who band together for the fight of their lives in the series premiere.

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Air date: Mar 16, 2016

At the same time John and Elizabeth step into a strange new world, a plantation dance becomes the perfect distraction for a heist.

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Air date: Mar 23, 2016

The timetable for escape is agreed upon; and Rosalee is tasked with the most important part of the plan.

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Air date: Mar 30, 2016

The runners find themselves being tracked down by a notorious slave hunter, while John and Elizabeth are confronted by a lethal predicament.

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Air date: Apr 6, 2016

The Macon slaves face questioning over their plans; at the same time, the mad dash to catch a train heading north comes with complications at every turn.

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Air date: Apr 13, 2016

The road takes its toll on August; at the same time, the runners are trapped in a floating coffin; and Ernestine struggles to maintain her influence.

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Air date: Apr 20, 2016

Innocence is lost when children are forced to face the harsh realities of the world.

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Air date: Apr 27, 2016

In the face of near-certain death, the runners decide their only hope is a suicidal attempt to hide in plain sight. Meanwhile, Ernestine confronts her worst fear.

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Air date: May 4, 2016

Rescuing a member of the Macon 7 turns into a deadly mission; John and Elizabeth challenge each other's choices.

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Air date: May 11, 2016

Everyone must pay for their sins when the day of reckoning arrives in the Season 1 finale.

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News & Interviews for Underground: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Underground Season 1

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (14)

"Underground" celebrates the small, exceptional group of black and white heroes who risked it all for the sake of freedom. It's that story, the amazing cast and the accurate writing behind the drama that make this series worth the investment.

Aug 7, 2018 | Full Review…

Underground occasionally clunks through these proceedings but usually not for too long. Vivid, strong performances by Hodge and Meloni help to keep the story on its toes... The attention to detail can be gruesome at times -- as it must be.

Mar 9, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

The characters of the slaves are sharply drawn, the action riveting and the mood not always grim. Hodge and Smollett-Bell are magical together. All that makes Underground an important series that doesn't feel like medicine going down.

Mar 10, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It is hard to imagine a more inherently gripping premise than escaping slaves, but Underground tosses in pop music, lurid sex scenes, and a breakneck pace, undermining its own ambition.

Mar 9, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The essence of Underground is both wrenching and eye-opening.

Mar 9, 2016 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Underground is a thriller, an adventure yarn, before it's a Brussels sprouts message drama. Perhaps that's why Underground may not find itself an Emmy contender, but why it ought to be able to attract an enthusiastic audience.

Mar 8, 2016 | Full Review…

Underground will give you a frenetic and dramatic history lesson that will have your heart pulsing.

Jan 23, 2017 | Full Review…

It's an escape drama... with all the tension and action-show drama that comes with it. But it's also about the lives of African-American slaves in the antebellum American South...

Aug 16, 2016 | Full Review…

Underground makes palpable the fear, frustration and rage of those trapped in a system denying them any control over their lives.

Mar 9, 2016 | Full Review…

Underground seems to have hit the sweet spot between quality and commercial potential, and between being respectful of the time it's depicting while finding a way to function as ongoing entertainment.

Mar 8, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Underground is not a perfect show, but it's one that makes me want everybody else to be better.

Apr 18, 2016 | Full Review…

Though patchy and overly familiar in parts, especially in its first two installments, the 10-episode drama offers enough insights into plantation existence to make the journey worth it.

Apr 12, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Underground: Season 1

  • Jun 25, 2018
    Intense, powerful, shocking, but necessary to show all walks of life the truth of 450 years of hell! Amazing show, showing all sides of everyone involved during this devastating time. I cannot believe it's been cancelled! American racism at it's finest!!
  • Dec 29, 2017
    Best drama series ever based on African American history.
  • May 11, 2017
    Legit show gonna start Season 2 soon & judging by Season 1 I'm confident they'll keep it goin in da right direction in order to keep us interested & more........
  • Mar 07, 2017
    This is an excellent show with some real surprises in the plot. The mood and the authenticity is really ruined by the use of contemporary music during the montages. Not sure why this decision was made but it bring you out of the period.
  • Sep 17, 2016
    Such a good show! On the 6th episode and I can't stop watching. It's so much more than a slavery show and showcases betrayal and the harsh reality of the way things needed to be done.
  • Aug 17, 2016
    I like how this series shows us the STRENGTH of the slaves - something you don't see to often. Also shows the sacrifices that common white people made to get rid of something they knew was not right. Great show!
  • Jul 22, 2016
    I absolutely loved season one can't wait on season 2
  • Jun 08, 2016
    Absolutely amazing first season!
  • May 27, 2016
    Absolutely love this series. Can be a bit difficult to watch at times because of the violence and blatant disregard for common decency that occurred during that period. I think it shines a true light on what it was like to live during that period from a variety of viewpoints: house slaves, field slaves, rich whites, poor whites as well as that of children from those various viewpoints. This show should NOT be missed.
  • May 17, 2016
    Very captivating!!!!

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