It’s fairly safe to say that there are probably hundreds of actors on television that don’t receive the credit that they deserve. There is more scripted programming than ever before; yet, there are limited spots on awards shows and they often go to the same actors year after year. Many actors are doing a fantastic job, and yet they don’t get the nominations or the acclaim. Maybe it’s because they appear on a network show, which often have a tendency to get ignored; or, maybe they are on a show that has been around for a while and they’ve lost that new-car smell that voters tend to crave. We like to recognize some of these awesome performers, just so they have a reminder that their work is more than just appreciated — it’s invaluable!
Below, you can see the eight actresses we deemed most worthy of the Underrated Actress category in the 2017 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 remain 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 the staff nominations for CarterMatt’s Underrated Actress of 2017.
Alycia Debnam-Carey, Fear the Walking Dead (AMC) – Season 3 of Fear the Walking Dead was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of the best for Alicia Clark. She persevered through hard times, found love, lost love, and strengthened herself as a leader and a fighter. We knew from seeing her on The 100 that Debnam-Carey was capable of incredible performances, and while there were many great moments the first two episodes of season 3 allowed her to bring her performance to another level.
Meredith Eaton, MacGyver (CBS) – While MacGyver was a good show before Eaton joined midway through season 1, she’s been the x factor to bring the series to that next step. She adds a layer of fun to the show thanks to her wit and her back-and-forth with Jack and other characters. Yet, she also brings a lot of heart to Matty Webber. She’s tough on the team, but you know she still cares about them. It’s the perfect mix to what you would want out of the Phoenix Foundation leader and her performance is outstanding.
Chyler Leigh, Supergirl (The CW) – The entire Alex – Maggie relationship was so important to many fans of the show, and Leigh’s performance was a big part of that. She showed that you can be a tough, strong character and also still be vulnerable. We went on an incredible journey of discovery with her the past year and felt every bit of Alex’s heartache. The first five episodes of season 3 are Leigh’s best work on the series so far.
Mary McDonnell, Major Crimes (TNT) – McDonnell is consistently fantastic as Sharon Raydor, and over the years (dating even back to the end of The Closer) one thing feels constant — she’s never gotten enough credit for leading this show and giving it is own identity. She’s made Sharon into a strong leader and an inspirational figure for the way that she’s managed to tackle every hurdle thrown at her … and there’s been a lot over the years.
Candice Patton, The Flash (The CW) – Whether it be during the whole Savitar plot to her being a team leader at the start of season 4, there have never been more opportunities for Patton to shine than in this past year. It’s been a joy to see this character grow and for Candice to be able to give her more of an identity. Dimension is something that we always look for in our nominees, and we’ve seen that from her in between her being a friend, a fiancee, a fighter, a heroine, and a reporter within a very short span of time.
Daniela Ruah, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) – You could just look back at her first run of episodes in early 2017 and say that Ruah is a worthy nominee; beyond that though, her performance in “The Silo” was on another level. You had a chance to see the full extent of Kensi’s confidence, but then also some of her fears as she realized she was separate from Deeks and afraid that she may not make it out of her mission alive. She’s provided us with many fun moments, but also some fantastic drama.
Katee Sackhoff, Longmire (Netflix) – Just go back and watch season 6 episode 4 of the Netflix drama if you haven’t already. It’s Sackhoff’s finest episode of the show as Vic tackles a wide array of emotions — we don’t want to spoil it here but the character is lost in a sea of what could’ve been. It was perfectly portrayed by Katee in a way that was both tonally perfect and emotionally devastating. As the show on Netflix reaches its end we’re grateful that we got to see so much from her over time.
Caterina Scorsone, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – Finally, we turn to the reigning champ in this category. Scorsone was certainly underrated last year for playing Amelia Shepherd; somehow though, she may be even more so in 2017. When you think about everything from the brain tumor to the multiple sides of this character she had to play, why hasn’t there been more love thrown in her direction? Scorsone has routinely shown us a stellar array of emotion and layers to her work; season 14 is no exception.
Now … we turn this over to you!
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