CarterMatt Awards 2015: ‘Hannibal,’ ‘Hell on Wheels,’ ‘Longmire,’ ‘Galavant’ vie for Underrated Show

Welcome to the first category of the 2015 CarterMatt Awards! If you missed our announcement yesterday, we are now kicking off our annual December tradition by celebrating the best that the year had to offer.

Today, we begin with our first category: Underrated Show. Everyone has that show that they adore, they tell their friends to watch, and they campaign for it to be nominated for the Emmys, the Golden Globes, or something else. Yet, it never really works out. These are shows that are routinely snubbed, but are all fantastic and deserving of a little bit of love. Voting is open however often you want between now and December 26 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, when results will be announced.

Past winners – “Community” (2012), “Supernatural” (2013), “Hell on Wheels” (2014).

“Galavant” (ABC) – One of the funniest shows on television was one that unfortunately was stuck airing its episodes in a tiny January window, and against everything from award-show broadcasts to NFL football. It may be underrated only because some people don’t know that it exists; if they did, wouldn’t they love it? It’s a spoof musical that reminds us of some of the great Mel Brooks films, and it’s not enough here that you have both sharp writing and great performances. The music is legitimately catchy and worthy of being in any sort of stage production, and the choreography is sharp and silly. Everyone, please attend the tale of Galavant.

“Hannibal” (NBC) – The little engine that could, or could kill in the case of Dr. Lecter. For three seasons on NBC, Bryan Fuller’s adaptation was an artistic triumph. It boasted wonderful performances from Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, and content so visceral that it would be shocking on HBO, let alone network television. Despite being one of the most beautiful and well-crafted series out there, it has still been missing in action at many of the major awards shows over the years.

“Hell on Wheels” (AMC) – A Western with a variety of other influences, the show boasts more than great performances from Anson Mount and Christopher Heyerdahl. It tells a story that remains true to the story of the First Transcontinental Railroad, and also includes elements that most Americans are either unfamiliar with or have simply forgotten about (such as the heavy Chinese influence in the Central Pacific). Thanks in part to being both a summer show and one airing on Saturdays, it has unfortunately become an easy one for award shows to forget.

“Longmire” (Netflix) – To quote the great Obi-Wan Kenobi (sort of it), if you strike it down, it will only come back more powerful than you can possibly imagine. “Longmire” season 4 was incredible, heartfelt, shocking, and completely addictive to watch. Robert Taylor and Lou Diamond Phillips took their abilities to new heights, and as much as we enjoyed the first three seasons and lobbied for the show to find a new home, the first year on Netflix was its finest yet by a mile.

“Undateable Live” (NBC) – A show we adore, but also a show that seems to be ignored now for either airing on Friday nights or being a network comedy at a time where that is apparently no longer cool. The writing’s snappy and fun, and you’ve also got hilarious performers like Chris D’Elia and Ron Funches completely in their element, adding even more to that material. The show was very fun back when the episodes were pre-recorded, but going live has added that much more energy and unpredictability to something that was firing on all cylinders by the end of season 2.

“Vikings” (History) – There are some similarities between “Vikings” and “Hell on Wheels,” mostly in that they both rely on history to tell their stories, and they’ve also been perpetually overlooked for one reason or another. Maybe it is the heavy competition in the drama category, maybe voters just don’t love stories set more than a hundred years ago, or maybe they are just intimidated by the awesomeness of Travis Fimmel. Hard to say, but regardless “Vikings” is incredible entertainment.

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