Favorite TV of 2021

Until these last few cautious, difficult weeks of 2021, I was definitely enjoying the return of semi-normalcy in the world, and that included marathoning less television. I even went through phases of just not having the patience for much TV. This will likely change amidst colder weather and the current Omicron surge, but when I came across something this year that really clicked with me, I went all in.

As always, this isn’t limited to TV released just this year.

  1. Dash & Lily

I initially thought this love letter to a New York City Christmas would be too difficult to watch in December 2020, when the dimmest light of hope was that a COVID vaccine was officially ready. After friends insisted it was right up my alley, I watched the entire season on New Year’s Day. It’s delightful and occasionally heartwrenching, and if you know New York, you’ll recognize plenty of settings and slight inconsistencies with real life (my nitpick: the characters drink holiday cocktails at McSorley’s, which actually only serves light or dark ale).

2. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Season 2

This show was one of my favorites in 2020. Its balance of grief alongside joy continued to impress in Season 2 despite handling its main love triangle a little sloppily at times. After the finale ended on a cliffhanger, I loved how the Roku Christmas movie tied up loose ends in light of NBC canceling the series. I don’t know enough about Roku to gauge the likelihood of it picking up the story for more episodes, but Zoey‘s two seasons and movie would be perfect for a cozy winter binge.

3. Starstruck, Season 1

Available on HBO Max and already renewed for a second season, this series is basically like a gender-swapped Notting Hill. A struggling “normal” woman unknowingly hooks up with a famous actor, kicking off a hilarious, relatable journey of her questioning her worth in their relationship. With only six episodes for now, this is another show you could get through in a day before watching more of the yummy Nikesh Patel in Hulu’s Four Weddings and a Funeral.

4. Schmigadoon!

I mentioned that my patience with television ran thin this year, right? Although we didn’t plan it, two friends and I ended up watching all of Schmigadoon! in one go together. I’ll watch anything with Aaron Tveit, but this show’s homage to the golden age of musicals went beyond my expectations. It’s just a funny, lighthearted watch with plenty of Easter eggs for theater fans, and knowing that it was filmed in mid-2020 when no live theater was happening makes you appreciate it even more. I’ll definitely shell out money for whenever Cecily Strong headlines a Broadway musical.

5. Manhattan

This had been on my Hulu watchlist for years before its expiration notice finally appeared this fall. That was my motivation to zoom through its two seasons, and it did not disappoint. Loosely based on the scientists who built the atomic bomb and the remote area they and their families lived in during World War II, Manhattan showcases an incredible cast (including a pre-Mrs. Maisel Rachel Brosnahan and a pre-Stranger Things David Harbour) with a wide range of satisfying storylines. John Benjamin Hickey is the closest thing to a leading man in this ensemble, and although a lot of people may know him as an “oh, that guy” actor, I feel that his work here is a real standout.

6. Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, Season 1

I missed this when it initially aired, so after my late fall viewing, I’m still exclaiming to everyone I know, “Have you seen the Stanley Tucci series?”. I’m one of those twenty-something women who finds Tucci intriguingly sexy, so throw that in with my own Italian roots and this docuseries was a pure treat for me. Top off your viewing with Tucci’s memoir and the abundance of podcast interviews he did in promotion of both the series and the book.

Other TV Watched in 2021

  • Beecham House
  • Bridgerton, Season 1
  • The Long Song
  • All Creatures Great and Small, Season 1
  • Miss Scarlet & The Duke, Season 1
  • Love Life, Season 1
  • WandaVision
  • The Bachelor, Season 25
  • Atlantic Crossing
  • This Is Us, Season 5
  • Younger, Season 7
  • Us
  • Jamestown, Season 1
  • Resistance (2014)
  • The Bachelorette, Season 17
  • The Great Fire
  • 9/11: One Day in America
  • First Dates Hotel, Seasons 1 & 2
  • Call the Midwife, Season 10

One thought on “Favorite TV of 2021

  1. Pingback: Favorite Movies of 2021 | Bookworms and Fangirls

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