What makes a show underrated? Within the context of the 2017 CarterMatt Awards, the definition is simple: A show that, while beloved by fans, doesn’t get a whole lot of love elsewhere. We’re talking about shows that have not been nominated for the Emmys or the Golden Globes over the past few years, but ones who have great stories to tell, brilliant performances and loyal fan followings. Some of these shows have fans who’ve battled to save them from cancellation, whereas others have managed to last for a decade or even longer without a lot of attention. These are the shows you tune in to in order to get away from the world, the ones you binge-watch on a rainy day, and the ones you have fond memories of many years into a future. Some of them make you nostalgic.
Below, you can see the eight shows we deemed most worthy of the Underrated Show category at the CarterMatt Awards this year. The staff here loves them all for a wide array of reasons, and we do our best to spell that out for you below. Then, at the bottom of this article we have a poll for you to choose your favorite. (Note: If you are on mobile and cannot see the poll, scroll to the bottom of the article and click to view the non-AMP version.)
Voting for this category is going to remember open from now until Tuesday, December 26 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time (1:00 pm. Pacific), when the results will be posted in a separate article. To see more categories / results and view official voting rules, check out our CarterMatt Awards landing page.
Now, without further ado, let’s get to sharing our nominations for Underrated Show this year.
Call the Midwife (PBS) – A heartfelt, lovely period drama that is about so much more than just welcoming babies into the world. It’s about accepting change, having faith, and persevering through difficult times. It’s hard not to get through a season without a sobbing spell or two; yet, in spite all of the tears, this show does a wonderful job offering up hope. It’s the perfect British drama.
The Fosters (Freeform) – Despite airing on a network catering largely to teens and young adults, The Fosters is braver and bolder than almost any other show on TV. It addresses difficult subjects and tackles newsworthy headlines; yet, it does all of this while still being a heartfelt drama about a family trying to find a way to make their unorthodox life work. It’s a story about real, honest characters — they may be flawed, but that’s a part of why you root for them.
Gotham (Fox) – If you pictured the perfect live-action Batman TV show years ago, Gotham season 4 would be it. You’ve got compelling heroes, a ton of great villains, and a story that gets increasingly crazy every week. Even if it takes some liberties from the comics it really gives you the essence of that Gotham City world and precisely how topsy-turvy and crazy it can be. You never know what’s going to happen on a given week!
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) – This certainly has been a wild year for the crime drama, in between losing two great performers in Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, bringing on board Meaghan Rath / Beulah Koale and promoting others to series regular spots. Despite all of the changes, Hawaii Five-0 has never forgotten why its fans love it so much — the geography, the writing, and the performances. It’s the perfect Friday-night escapism and it keeps finding creative new ways to break the mold.
Longmire (Netflix) – In its final season the Netflix drama delivered many powerful moments and straddled the tough line between offering closure and still hope for more in the future. (Longmire movies, anyone?) The writers adapted the Craig Johnson source material with grace, and this season especially we had a beautiful story told about legacy, about fear, and about determining your identity in what can often be a very challenging world. It’s a show like no other and we’re going to miss it dearly.
Major Crimes (TNT) – We can say the same exact thing about Major Crimes — it’s hard to say that a show is gone before its time when it has 100 episodes (or more than 200, when you include The Closer), but that feels like it’s the case here. Couple some of the best crime cases on TV with great characters and interesting twists and you’ve got a show that remains memorable after many years on the air.
NCIS (CBS) – Is NCIS on its way back to prominence? Through the first handful of season 15 episodes, we would say that the drama is delivering some of its best entertainment in the past couple of years. Maria Bello is delivering a heck of a performance as Jack Sloane, and to go along with that recent additions like Duane Henry and Wilmer Valderrama are infusing the long-running show with both high-octane action and energy.
The Originals (The CW) – While the age of vampires on television is clearly dying down, The Originals was one of the best. It was unflinching, dark, passionate, and still somehow fun. Joseph Morgan and the cast delivered some of their best drama yet during the fourth season — you had a creepy adversary with The Hollow, great relationship conflict, and a fantastic performance by young actress Summer Fontana as Klaus and Hayley’s daughter Hope.
For those wondering, the reigning champion in this category is NBC’s The Night Shift.
Now … we turn this over to you!
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