‘The Carrie Diaries,’ ‘iZombie’ & More CW Shows That Deserve More Love

The Carrie Diaries Life Sentence CW Shows
Patrick Harbron / The CW; The CW

From period pieces and the 1980s to southern belles and zombies, the CW has had it all. Don’t get us wrong; we love Riverdale and Supergirl just as much as the next person, but we can’t help but rewatch some of our favorite, lesser-known programs from the network from time to time.

Scroll down for some CW shows that we think are underrated and are deserving of a lot more love, even in 2020, like Hart of Dixie, The Carrie Diaries, and iZombie. (Thanks to Netflix and the CW Seed, all of these shows are available to be streamed right now, so what are you waiting for?)

Hart of Dixie - Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart, Wilson Bethel as Wade, and Tim Matheson as Dr. Brick Breeland
Michael Yarish / The CW

Hart of Dixie (2011-2015)

Quite possibly one of the most visually pleasing shows to have hit our TV screens, Hart of Dixie had it all: a talented cast featuring the likes of Rachel Bilson and Tim Matheson, stunning “Alabama” sunsets, and outfits fit for the most pristine of southern belles (Thank you, Jamie King). The four-season dramedy captured the hearts of fans near and far, and not just for its beauty, but for its witty banter, down-home musical sequences, laugh-out-loud pop culture references, and more than enough will-they-won’t-they relationship drama to have lasted at least another fifty episodes. Life in Bluebell, Alabama is fun and nostalgic.

Available to stream on Netflix

Hellcats - Aly Michalka as Marti, Robbie Jones as Lewis, Ashley Tisdale as Savannah
Jack Rowand / The CW

Hellcats (2010-2011)

Following in the footsteps of the uber-popular Bring It On franchise, Hellcats featured the rollercoaster rise and fall of being a cheerleader in the late 2000s. The lifestyle of a college cheerleader is exhausting, almost as much as it is peppy, and this show captured that in the most realistic, but still entertaining, ways. Both former Disney Channel stars, Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale led hellcats in a way that many couldn’t. These two allowed the show to have perfect timing with comedic one-liners and musicality that shone through cheer routines rather than fell flat. Everyone wanted to be on the top of the pyramid, whether during a cheer routine or just in life, which this CW dramedy covered without a hitch.

Available to stream for free on CW Seed

containment, kristen gutoskie, 2016, the cw
The CW

Containment (2016)

Containment was a CW limited series that, looking back, was ahead of its time. The singular season that graced our television screens depicted a pandemic in Atlanta, Georgia where people were doing anything that they could to find a cure for a mysterious, deadly infection… all while stuck in quarantine. You saw relationships torn apart, people fighting for their lives, CDC labs working overtime, conspiracies about the virus spreading just as fast as the virus itself. Hits close to home, doesn’t it? Although many felt like the show was a drawn-out disaster movie at the time, nowadays it’s real life set in a fictional world. While we can’t binge watch the show and take anything too useful away for our own global pandemic, we can sympathize with the characters even more now and approach the show less like an over-the-top science fiction program and more like a dramatized reality show.

Available to stream on Netflix

Elliot Knight and Lucy Hale - Life Sentences
The CW

Life Sentence (2018)

Lucy Hale has had some bad luck with CW shows post-Pretty Little Liars. She starred in both Life Sentence and Katy Keene, which were both stellar dramas that were fan favorites in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Life Sentence, though, followed Hale as she navigated life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Although that sounds like a very dark show to be watching, we got to see a young woman having as much fun with as little consequences as possible, which was entertaining and lively every week. Unfortunately, consequences did rise as the main character’s supposed terminal diagnosis gets miraculously cured and she’s left to pick up the fragments of her life and go back to normalcy. It wasn’t a tough show to chew, regardless of the subject matter, so it was easy to turn on every week and is even easier to binge watch. It was uplifting, joyful and yet still left you on the edge of your seat. For a CW drama, that’s a success to many.

Available to stream on Netflix

annasophia robb, the cw, the carrie diaries, 2013
Patrick Harbron / The CW

The Carrie Diaries (2013-2014)

Fans are still wondering why The Carrie Diaries was canceled after just two seasons, as it not only had a new, young fan base behind it, but it also had all of the lifelong Sex and the City fans following along every week. The show, in all of its fashionable and dramatic glory, was the prequel to Darren Star’s series and followed a young Carrie Bradshaw and her New York City journey as a high school student in the mid-1980s. Starring AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie herself and Austin Butler as a young Sebastian Kydd, the cast was stacked, while the plot was charming and the overall feeling of the show was romantic and nostalgic. To this day it is one of the most binge-watched CW shows and one of the most beloved. Teens, young adults and everyone in between could find some aspect to be head over heels for, whether it be the cast, the fashion, the era or even just the connection to the incomparable Sex and the City.

Available to stream for free on the CW Seed

Ben Guenons, Adelaide Kane - The CW, Reign, 2013
The CW

Reign (2013-2017)

Romance, conspiracies, social class evaluations, backstabbers, marvelous costume design, and accents galore, Reign had everything you wanted out of a period piece. Set in France, the show is loosely based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Although not completely historically accurate, there is enough influence of real life to make this so perfect for a history buff but light-hearted enough for a casual viewer. Reign was up for multiple awards over its four-year run but is still surprisingly one of the lesser-known shows off of the CW. It’s a beautiful, inspiring fantasy program with its heart set on telling the story of female empowerment and the struggle that comes with true character development. Adelaide Kane portrayed Mary with fierce strength but her heart on her sleeve, making her performance just as memorable as the entire show itself.

Available to stream on Netflix

iZombie, 2015 - Rose McIver and Tongayi Chirisa
The CW

iZombie (2015-2019)

One of the highest rated CW programs, iZombie, was equal parts crime drama and fantasy, with hints of comic relief in between. Its fans’ passion for this so not only proved how much of an impact it made on audience members, but just how worthy it was for a well-deserved conclusion. The show follows Rose McIver‘s Liv, who, while once a doctor, was a zombie working right alongside the Seattle Police Department to solve questionable, heart-racing, and often highly publicized murders. Rather than zombies in a dangerous predicament or violent outburst, iZombie took their likelihood and put it in a casual setting, giving even the most anti-fantasy TV watchers a chance to fall in love with a fantasy show.

Available to stream on Netflix.