The 11 Best TV Shows of 2021
2021 was a lot - not as much as 2020, perhaps, but still A Lot.
Thankfully, though, we had our good pal TV to get us through it - and boy, was there some good TV this year. For a period of time that also marked some of the most difficult shooting conditions in history, there certainly was some quality entertainment - proving once again that even when the chips are WAYYYYY down, humans can and will still find ways to amuse each other and create joy. (The MCU alone launched FIVE television series this year, most of which did extraordinarily well.)
However, in this year of awesome television, there were still some standouts. These are Enstarz eleven picks for TV Shows Of 2021 - let us know what you think.
If You aren't watching You then I'm not sure what YOU have been doing. Netflix's stalker-murderer series starring Penn Badgely leaves everyone's skin crawling and everyone wanting more.
This third season, which was released this year, shows Joe Goldberg and Love Quinn, played by Victoria Pedretti, in the throws of an intriguing modern-day-Bonnie-and-Clyde-style romance. We know there is a season four of this tension-building show on the way - is it too soon to add it to a 2022 End of Year list?
In a time where representation in entertainment is so important, creator Taika Waititi puts Indigenous Americans front and center with Reservation Dogs. The show tells the story of four lifelong friends who live in a rundown reservation town, where running schemes and committing a petty crime is the only way to get by. Told as a dramedy, the moments of comedy are as brilliantly written as the moments of dramatic reflection.
Starring Devery Jacobs, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Lane Factor, and Paulina Alexis as the titular Reservation Dogs, their hijinks, although hilarious, help the show to delve deeper into the issues that affect the grossly underfunded reservations the United States have forced Indigenous people to endure since the taking of sacred lands and the decimation of their culture. Showcasing a group that has been marginalized and nearly forgotten, Reservation Dogs is one of the first steps towards telling their important story to the world.
One of the most well-written limited series to come out of 2021 is Netflix's Maid, starring Margaret Qualley and her real-life mother, Andie MacDowell. After Alex (Qualley) escapes an abusive relationship with her daughter Maddy, she is quickly thrust into navigating the broken system of women's crisis centers, shelters, and menial labor in order to provide for herself and her child.
Alex soon finds out that being on her own can be just as perilous as being with an abuser. The courts are no help. Her job as a cleaning lady costs her more than she makes, and the only person she can turn to is her mother, an undiagnosed bipolar artist (MacDowell, in truly her best role to date). Seeing how the other half lives, Alex finds that the rich folks she cleans for are sometimes just as broken as herself.
Maid deals with a myriad of issues, from domestic and emotional abuse to mental disorders; from failing public help systems to alcoholism. Smart, witty, and honest, this limited series is an eye-opening drama with heartfelt moments of levity.
The watershed sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine had its final season this year, and after eight seasons, you'd better believe this conclusion was essential 2021 viewing. As is the case with any show Mike Schur touches, Brooklyn Nine-Nine only got better with time, as its kooky cast of characters grew up and grew together.
This season saw Jake and Amy wrestle with the concept of parenthood, but even bigger, they also chose to grapple with the conversation surrounding the police force and Black Lives Matter, rather than shy away from it. It ALSO saw the completion of that intense Andy Samberg glo-up from adorkable goof to Absolute Hottie.
Popularly known as Netflix's biggest series ever upon launch, no end of the year best in TV list would be complete without Hwang Dong-hyuk's runaway hit Squid Game. Starring Lee Jung-jae, Squid Game follows debtors who compete in life-or-death children's games to win vast sums of money.
Drawing on the tradition of debtor desperation paved by Japan's Liar Game, the South Korean series struck a chord with worldwide audiences for its stinging critique of capitalism by pointing out how the poor literally competing in games to the death gives them a fairer shake at fortune than the capitalist society outside.
Originally a YouTube rapper from Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, Dave Burd (AKA Lil Dicky) has had an insane come-up story. He quit his steady job to spend time pursuing his rapping career, and he was pursuing a rapping career because he wanted an acting career...and now he's got one.
Season 2 of Dave was the solidifaction of everything Season 1 set out to make it - a funny but real show about life as a young, struggling artist, and the characters you meet as you go through it - and while it's got tons of ridiculous situations to laugh at and fun raps to jam out to, it's also got a lot of heart.
The Queen's Gambit
Anya Taylor-Joy shines in this limited series from Netflix, the powerhouse of awards season. The Queen's Gambit is about introverted chess prodigy Beth Harmon, who, after she was orphaned at age 9, mastered the game with the help of the orphanage janitor in 1969.What follows is her rise in the male-dominated world of competitive chess, addiction issues, and finding peace with her past.
Expertly written, acted, and directed, this drama makes chess as exciting as any sport played on or off the field. If you are looking for a solid binge-watching experience, then look no further. Perfect to watch after the gifts have been unwrapped and the relatives have headed home, The Queen's Gambit will definitely get you through until the New Year. One of the most talked-about shows of 2021, you will not want to stop watching once you begin.
Flatbush Misdemeanors is the surprise hit of the year. While it might be a few seasons away from being a big time show, the potential is there. It's unlike anything you've seen on television, and its uniqueness and authentic New York point of view gives this show an edge on every other comedy on TV.
If you know you know, and if you don't know you can watch this hilarious, gritty, and raw tv show on ShowtimeAnytime App.
Only Murders In The Building
This is the funniest, quirkiest, most intriguing murder-mystery TV show of, well...EVER! Only Murders in the Buidling, starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez, takes us along a fascinating mystery led by this eclectic trio. The show is not only captivating, but has become the number one original Hulu comedy series of all time.
You definitely need to watch Only Murders in the Building and answer the age old "whodunnit?" question before midnight strikes on the 31st.
Ted Lasso is an obvious addition to our Best of 2021 End of Year list! It is unquestionably the feel-good hit of the year. Jason Sudeikis brings a fresh breath of optimism, forgiveness, and kindness in a time in which it's easy to be won over by hate, negativity, and pessimism.
This Apple TV+ series, following an American Football coach moving to London to coach the Richmond Football Team, reminds us to BELIEVE! It is an unmissable instant classic that it is quite literally IMPOSSIBLE not to love.
The first MCU series to release on Disney+ was also undenaibly the best. Wandavision came in with a boom and captured the hearts of seemingly the whole US. As a television show that was literally a tribute to television and the sitcom itself, it was beautiful, and as a character exploration of Wanda it was incredibly in-depth (special thanks to Elizabeth Olsen's stellar performance for that one.)
It also could not have come at a better moment, as Wanda's feelings of grief and isolation and her desire to escape into fantasy was at peak relatability in the spring of 2021.