CarterMatt Awards 2015: ‘Outlander,’ ‘Longmire,’ ‘The Flash,’ ‘The Blacklist’ up for Show of the Year

After over a week of announcing categories, we’ve made it: Today is the grand finale for the CarterMatt Awards nominations, and we’ve saved the most encompassing one for last: Show of the Year. This is, simply, all about the shows we think best exhibit what TV in 2015 is all about. The only criteria we’re working with here are the personal preferences of the people who work on the site.

Below, we’re presenting you with our six favorites for voting, and as always, be sure to pick your favorite! The results will be announced on December 31 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, right as we are starting to formally close the door on this year and look ahead to what 2016 will bring.

Past winners – “Sons of Anarchy” (2014, 2013), “Game of Thrones” (2012). Neither of these shows is nominated this year, so we’re guaranteeing a new winner!

The Blacklist (NBC) – The unfortunate thing about the show having a little bit of a down year in season 2 is that it is diverting attention away from how fantastic season 3 is. This is a show that has in many ways reinvented itself from a crime procedural with almost comic-book elements to an escape caper and government thriller. Raymond Reddington is one of TV’s best characters, and with James Spader more in the spotlight this season the writers have been able to tell more layered and interesting stories than ever before.

The Flash (The CW) – It’s pure fun. There may be shows out there that make you laugh hard and cry until your eyes dry out, but “The Flash” is the one you look forward to watching the most every week because it can do both. It’s superhero escapism in a way that even most movies fail to get right. You care about the characters and their journey, you love the performances, the battle sequences look as realistic as they can given the technology, and more than anything you get the sense even in the smallest moments (take the King Shark cameo) that the producers love the property as much as you do.

The Leftovers (HBO) – At the end of the first season, we have to admit that we weren’t too excited about the future of Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta’s series about a Rapture-like event. What a difference a year makes. “The Leftovers” was stellar in season 2, thought-provoking television accented by brilliant performances from Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Christopher Eccleston, and others. It made you think about faith, fear, and hardship in ways that you never did before. A tremendous achievement.

Longmire (Netflix) – We admit that for several seasons, “Longmire” was the perfect popcorn show that we’d enjoy, but would not often show up in any of our end-of-year awards. Season 4 changed that by adopting more of a serialized feel, getting the freedom courtesy of Netflix to tell riskier stories, and also having seemingly more flexibility to do precisely what they wanted to do. The cast as always was tremendous, and to go along with that we feel like the show celebrated more of what makes it special: The setting, the characters, and telling stories related to Native American life.

Outlander (Starz) – We’re not sure television several decades ago would’ve been able to do this story justice, but with partners like Starz and executive producers like Ronald D. Moore, the Diana Gabaldon series has firmly come to life in a stunning, shocking, and at times even devastating way. Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, and Tobias Menzies should be scoring nominations across the board for their performances, but the rest of the cast is equally great. It makes you believe that such things as time-travel are plausible, as is surviving in even the most precarious of circumstances.

Penny Dreadful (Showtime) – One of the few shows that manages to be creepy, engrossing, terrifying, and even at times heartfelt. “Penny Dreadful” is what most other shows with scary tendencies want to be, and it does so without focusing on all the nonsense like casting big names or trying to play off of shock value. It gets you invested in people like Ethan and Vanessa, and unfolds the story in a way that completely grabs you and makes you want to keep watching. It’s story does all of the talking instead of the headlines.

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