CarterMatt Awards 2017: Chicago Fire, Outlander, Power, more up for Show of the Year

Show of the YearCarterMatt readers, we’ve made it to the end of a really-fun road: Today marks the final category of the 2017 CarterMatt Awards, and it’s a big one. We’re here to discuss Show of the Year.

What are we looking for here? That’s pretty easy: The best show of the year, or at least the one that had the biggest impact on all of us here at CarterMatt as well as the television industry at large. Many of these are shows we cover regularly, ones we are thrilled to watch, and ones that have people talking. We’re going to look back at all of them fondly for what they’ve given us in 2017, and we hope that all of them are gearing up for a great 2018.

(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 Sunday, December 31 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 the nominations.

The Blacklist (NBC) – This is the single best year for The Blacklist since the start of the series. In the spring, you had the excellent arc with Mr. Kaplan potentially spilling the beans on Red. Following that, you had a really entertaining arc this fall with Red rebuilding his empire. With the death of Tom Keen in the fall finale you had arguably one of the biggest moments in the history of the show. 2017 was huge for The Blacklist and it was compelling every step of the way.

Chicago Fire (NBC) – This was a heck of a year for One Chicago in general, but Chicago Fire to us remains the crown jewel of the franchise. While it is dramatic and at times heartbreaking, there’s a sort of comforting nostalgia that goes along with life at Firehouse 51. The firehouse family starts to feel like your family the more you watch it; few shows do a better job of creating this sort of atmosphere where you feel so personally involved with what you see on a weekly basis.

Game of Thrones (HBO) – While we may have had only seven episodes over the course of 2017, what an outstanding seven episodes they were! This is the show above all others that really signifies the cinematic nature of television in the modern era. It has a budget and a scope unmatched almost everywhere else, and its immersive and fantastically-orchestrated. The discussion time between episodes is another reminder of why not all television should be binge-watched. The Game of Thrones viewing experience is almost unparalleled.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) – It’s rare that we have a variety series included in the field, but if you think about 2017 Last Week Tonight had an immeasurable impact on the television landscape. They acquired wax Presidents, got sued by Bob Murray over an offensive squirrel / some other comments, and along the way provided some significant education about everything from North Korea to Brexit to Net Neutrality. While it may be a hilarious show, it’s also one of the most informative out there.

Outlander (Starz) – The reigning champion is looking to see if they can take the Show of the Year title two years in a row, and it’s got a strong case after watching the third season. Like Game of Thrones watching Outlander weekly is an engrossing experience — it’s a stunning, passionate, and wonderful adaptation of a beloved book series anchored by unparalleled performances and heartfelt writing. It will break your heart one moment, only to leave you standing and cheering the next.

Poldark (PBS) – It’s romantic, action-packed, emotional, and one of the best period dramas on TV. Poldark never seems to get the love that it deserved — possibly because it’s a remake, or possibly just because viewers in America haven’t quite caught onto it like they should. Season 3 was clearly some of the series’ best work; the story of Ross and Demelza remains compelling, but writer Debbie Horsfield did an equally-remarkable job bringing in characters like Drake and Morwenna into the world.

Power (Starz) – Another fantastic series that seems to get no awards-show love for reasons that are hard to figure out. We can pinpoint two Power episodes right now that are among the year’s finest — the trial of James St. Patrick and the penultimate hour which contained one of the most shocking deaths of the entire year. We’re not saying anything more here just because we don’t want to ruin the gut-wrenching impact of it for those still planning to watch.

Vikings (History) – The start of season 5, coupled with the end of season 4 were both wonderful reminders of what makes this show so great. Michael Hirst continues to deliver powerful, thought-provoking writing and the action sequences are some of the best on TV. It’s a political drama, a war story, and a historical epic. Vikings weaves so many different themes and ideas into its story that it leaves fans talking about it long after a season has ended.

Now … we turn this over to you!

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