Many Americans were glued to their TVs this year as they found themselves caught in another year of the pandemic. Netflix’s Squid Game had a record number of viewers, while the HBO drama Succession continued to rack up critical acclaim.
Here are our choices for the Best TV Shows of 2021.
While many of us avoided the office this year, Succession brought tense moments in the boardroom to new heights. Fans love to hate Logan Roy. And many of the actors have been nominated for Golden Globes.
By showing the ugly side of the rich, Succession exposes the gritty side of family and corporate dynamics. Who said the rich have it all?
Squid Game (Netflix)
This Netflix TV show proved to be the 2021 pandemic favorite. The dark series features fascinating actors like O Yeong-su who has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Television for the 2022 Golden Globes.
The dystopian TV show became an international success and broke Netflix records. According to the streaming services’ statistics, Squid Game was watched by over 140 million subscribers and ranked number one in over 97 countries. Creator Hwang Dong-hyuk said in a recent interview that he is currently talking to Netflix about bringing back Squid Game for Season 2 and 3.
It wouldn’t be a Best TV Shows of 2021 list without this Disney classic. When WandaVision was first announced on Disney+ many Marvel fans worried that a streaming service would not do the Marvel universe justice. WandaVision proved them wrong.
This imaginative series showed fans that it deserved a place in the Marvel cinematic universe. Starring Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlett Witch and Paul Bettany as Vision, the TV show was able to examine the Scarlett Witch’s grief over the loss of her husband.
Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
With the all-star cast of Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin, this Hulu comedy series gives viewers a different take on a classic murder mystery. The show follows three main characters as they try to solve a murder in their New York apartment building. Like classic mystery thrillers, each of the characters is keeping secrets from each other, and it takes until the very last episode for all the clues to come together.
What makes Only Murders in the Building special is the way the writers add humor to the thriller. Murder should not be something to laugh about, but with the incompetent skills of the three main detectives, viewers can’t help but laugh.
Kevin Can Fuck Himself (AMC)
While many fans were excited that this show is scheduled for a second season, they were very upset to learn that Season 2 will be the last for Kevin Can Fuck Himself. Annie Murphy, from Schitt’s Creek, plays the traditional sitcom wife, always the butt of her husband’s jokes. She doesn’t seem to have much else going on besides for her jokester of a husband, played by Eric Peterson.
What makes this show different than the traditional one-camera sitcom, is that every time Annie’s character walks off stage the show turns into a dark comedy, where we see that the sitcom wife is actually struggling to hold everything together.
One fan wrote, “Kevin Can Fuck Himself is one of the best releases this year and more people need to talk about it.”
It’s a Sin (Channel 4)
This British TV show proved that you don’t need many episodes to make an impact on viewers. With just five episodes, It’s a Sin showed viewers the AIDS epidemic through the eyes of four friends. While a topic like AIDS could be depressing, writer Russell T. Davies was able to balance the tear-jerker storylines with moments of comedy and friendship.
It’s a Sin gave a voice to those who we lost to AIDS and HIV. One fan wrote, “Important and groundbreaking. Speaking as a person who is HIV+ and was hospitalized with AIDS related illnesses and fortunate enough to pull through, this superb show educated and entertained a new generation about our lost friends.”
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
During 2021, viewers couldn’t help but be charmed by Ted Lasso and the unassuming success of this soccer comedy. The show has gotten over 20 Emmy nominations. The lack of conflict allows viewers to sit back and fall in love with the show’s characters. While some were upset about how Season 2 ended, fans can’t wait for Season 3.
One fan wrote, “Jason Sudeikis is great in everything. But if you haven’t seen “Ted Lasso” you’re missing something special. Writing. Acting. Editing. All of it. Funny. Smart. Heartwarming.”
Based on a true story, Maid‘s success was a surprise to many members of the show’s cast and crew. The show, which covers heavy topics like domestic abuse and poverty, was not easy to watch at some points, but viewers didn’t shy away.
Many viewers appreciated an honest look at the poverty system that is difficult to break out of. One fan wrote, “I’m watching The Maid on Netflix, and one thing I love about it is how it shows that yes, social services exist, but they’re difficult to access and come with so many strings and exceptions. Like having to be interviewed by the police before you can access emergency shelter.”
The show proved to be a star-making series for Margaret Qualley, who plays the lead role of Alex. When asked about the show’s fans, she said, “I don’t think anybody really expected it to reach the audience that it did.”
What’s on your list of Best TV Shows of 2021? Let us know in the comments section below!