Best of 2013: ‘Hell on Wheels,’ ‘Hannibal,’ ‘Whodunnit,’ ‘Supernatural’ among Most Underrated (Vote!)
You know that 2013 is a great year of TV when you have so many stellar shows to put into the Most Underrated Show category. Many of these programs five or six years ago would probably be at the forefront of every awards show out there, and it goes to show you the breadth of quality that exists now thanks to cable and competition.
This edition of our CarterMatt Best of 2013 Awards series looks specifically at eight programs that went above and beyond this year, and delivered something that either made our jaw hit the floor at times, laugh our face off, or simply have us mesmerized by the storytelling. These are also shows that still need support in the ratings, and don’t often see Emmy nominations. As a matter of fact, only one one our list has ever been in a major category, and it was over a year ago.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox) – It may or may not be as underrated when awards season arrives, but it still feels like not enough people are talking about just how funny this new entry into the schedule is. Andy Samberg is pretty great in the lead role, but the real winner here has to be Andre Braugher as Capt. Holt, who is serious enough for the premise to work, but just funny enough to keep you guessing.
Hannibal (NBC) – Oh look, it’s a new “Hannibal” adaptation! Do we really need that? This is the question that we imagine many asking themselves when NBC first put this show on the air. What came from it, though, was one of the most well-acted (see Hugh Dancy), most artistic drama series to be on a major network in some time. Bryan Fuller may just be in general one of the most underrated showrunners of the past ten years, and his work shines through here from the haunting visions to the character interactions.
Hell on Wheels (AMC) – It airs on Saturday, and maybe that’s why not enough people in the industry are talking about it, but “Hell on Wheels” is fast-paced, thrilling entertainment that reminds you that Westerns can be relevant and engaging in 2013. There really is nothing else like it on TV, and with the shocking finale that put Bohannon in a most unusual position earlier this fall, we’re left eagerly awaiting the premiere of season 4.
Suits (USA) – The only nominee returning from 2012 in this category, mostly because it was underrated then, and it’s still underrated now. The acting and writing here is pretty impeccable, and we wonder if the only reason that it gets ignored is because it airs on USA, a network long known for having fluffy shows that don’t always deeply leave a lasting impression.
Supernatural (The CW) – This is one of those shows that you can question how underrated it is, given that it’s been around for nine years thanks to a loyal, devoted following. But the truth is, if you go outside that following there are still those who have no idea what the show is about. It’s arguably been one of the most iconic, imaginative shows of the past decade or so that has some elements of both “The X-Files” and “Doctor Who.”
The Americans (FX) – This is a network where underrated shows frequently live. Almost any one of their dramas qualifies here save for maybe “American Horror Story: Coven,” and the only reason that there is no “Sons of Anarchy” here is because we’re trying to focus this on shows that don’t pull huge ratings. This is a show that quietly debuted early this year, and it wasn’t until near the end when folks started to realize it was awesome.
The Bridge (FX) – The best new show of the summer, and if you didn’t get a chance to watch it I highly suggest that you do. Anchored by some strong performances and very creepy storytelling, this was probably as intriguing a portrayal of life on the Mexico – U.S. border as there is. Plus, it had some of the best guest stars of the entire year, including Matthew Lillard.
The Killing (AMC) – “The Killing” season 3 was excellent. It’s just a shame that fewer people didn’t know about it after what happened at the end of season 1. This was a fresh start for the series, and it delivered thanks to people like Peter Sarsgaard stepping up to the plate and bringing a whole new dimension to Linden and Holder’s world. Anyone who watched some of the later episodes likely found themselves in a heap of tears, and that’s due to the emotional investment you formed to this series and its characters. It’s how you knew they were doing something right.
Whodunnit? (ABC) – The sad thing about this murder mystery / reality hybrid is that unlike the other shows on this list, its fate has not yet been decided. But “Whodunnit?” was one of those summer obsession shows that had everything you could possibly want. It was funny, it was suspenseful, and it had contestants and twists you could get behind. Finding a good reality competition show is a near-impossible task, but this one pulled it off and filled a void in the lineup. It’s too bad now that the biggest mystery of all is the show’s future.
The way that our CarterMatt Best of 2013 works is as follows: Vote for your favorite below, then come back on December 20 to view all of the results. Be sure to also click here if you want to see all of the other categories, and vote for some of your favorites.