12 votes

What were the best shows you watched this year?

Any show you watched this year counts — not just 2021 runs.

What were the best shows you watched this year, and what made them so good?

26 comments

  1. [2]
    piedpiper
    (edited )
    Link
    Ted Lasso. Everything in the real world is so negative and gloomy that I find myself not wanting to watch darker more serious shows with lots of conflict. Ted Lasso is just so... nice. Very funny,...

    Ted Lasso.

    Everything in the real world is so negative and gloomy that I find myself not wanting to watch darker more serious shows with lots of conflict. Ted Lasso is just so... nice. Very funny, wholesome and light hearted. It's been a nice escape for me.

    15 votes
    1. callmedante
      Link Parent
      Every episode of Ted Lasso made me feel genuinely happy. I started watching the first season expecting the cynical turn of his character, like it turned out he was a cheat or something. But the...

      Every episode of Ted Lasso made me feel genuinely happy. I started watching the first season expecting the cynical turn of his character, like it turned out he was a cheat or something. But the show pleasantly defied my expectations, and eventually I realized that the cynicism was from me (it was coming from inside!). It's been a while since I have so thoroughly enjoyed a television show.

      6 votes
  2. [6]
    Autoxidation
    (edited )
    Link
    Arcane, Invincible, Loki, For All Mankind, The Expanse all come to mind immediately. Many others were watched (Foundation, Wandavision, etc) but the former ones listed best those. Edit: oh yeah...

    Arcane, Invincible, Loki, For All Mankind, The Expanse all come to mind immediately. Many others were watched (Foundation, Wandavision, etc) but the former ones listed best those.

    Edit: oh yeah how could I forget? I really enjoyed Season 2 of The Witcher as well!

    9 votes
    1. [5]
      Spyder
      Link Parent
      I went in to Loki expecting an okay show but some good episodes but mostly the same as WandaVision and was completely blown away. Loved all the episodes. I've heard lots about 'Arcane' and seen...

      I went in to Loki expecting an okay show but some good episodes but mostly the same as WandaVision and was completely blown away. Loved all the episodes.
      I've heard lots about 'Arcane' and seen snippets of its animation. I'll try and watch it at some point as it has piqued my interest and quite a few people have recommended it to me.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [2]
          Adys
          Link Parent
          NEVER!

          NEVER!

          3 votes
          1. Spyder
            Link Parent
            Haha well when I find time I’ll make sure to try it out :P

            Haha well when I find time I’ll make sure to try it out :P

      2. [2]
        Autoxidation
        Link Parent
        I felt similarly about Loki. Initially I just watched it since it's my wife's favorite Marvel character and, while I don't dislike the Marvel movies and the universe, it's gotten a bit formulaic....

        I felt similarly about Loki. Initially I just watched it since it's my wife's favorite Marvel character and, while I don't dislike the Marvel movies and the universe, it's gotten a bit formulaic. But Loki massively exceeded all my expectations and I found myself really looking forward to each new episode!

        And yes, Arcane was really great!

        3 votes
        1. Spyder
          Link Parent
          Exactly! I haven’t actually checked properly but I’ve heard season 2 is coming up, which is a cause of excitement

          Exactly! I haven’t actually checked properly but I’ve heard season 2 is coming up, which is a cause of excitement

          1 vote
  3. [3]
    lou
    (edited )
    Link
    I really enjoyed the super-hero deconstruction animation Invincible. Probably the only show to make me feel as excited as I was watching anime as a kid. It was tremendously fun, a wonderful homage...

    I really enjoyed the super-hero deconstruction animation Invisible Invincible. Probably the only show to make me feel as excited as I was watching anime as a kid. It was tremendously fun, a wonderful homage with everything I love about the Justice League, but better! And such a beautiful, raw, violence!

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      HotPants
      Link Parent
      You mean Invincible?

      Invisible

      You mean Invincible?

      5 votes
      1. lou
        Link Parent
        Indeed! Lol

        Indeed! Lol

        3 votes
  4. [3]
    Adys
    (edited )
    Link
    Arcane. I will get back to this post, and I’ve written about it before, but Arcane is so far ahead of anything else I’ve ever watched that it’s worth the immediate mention. Best animated series...

    Arcane. I will get back to this post, and I’ve written about it before, but Arcane is so far ahead of anything else I’ve ever watched that it’s worth the immediate mention.

    Best animated series ever.
    Stellar scoring.
    Top 3 best TV series.
    Ridiculously good.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Staross
      Link Parent
      The art and animation were next level but the rest was pretty average imo (with a good dose of cringe & clichés). Worth a watch for the art alone though. Dark was probably the best one I've watch...

      The art and animation were next level but the rest was pretty average imo (with a good dose of cringe & clichés). Worth a watch for the art alone though.

      Dark was probably the best one I've watch this year.

      1 vote
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        Yes I agree (though I’d still put “the rest” at well above average). But as you said Arcane is worth watching just for the animation and it alone is what brought that series to such a high ranking...

        Yes I agree (though I’d still put “the rest” at well above average). But as you said Arcane is worth watching just for the animation and it alone is what brought that series to such a high ranking for me.

        Found the post I meant to link above:

        https://tildes.net/~tv/z3x/arcane_discussion_thread#comment-6x9u

        2 votes
  5. JCPhoenix
    Link
    Probably The Expanse. Followed by the most recent season of Westworld. I didn't watch that many shows this year, really.

    Probably The Expanse. Followed by the most recent season of Westworld.

    I didn't watch that many shows this year, really.

    6 votes
  6. [2]
    Apos
    (edited )
    Link
    I watched a bunch of shows. My favorites that I'd rate 8/10, 9/10 or 10/10 were (I didn't include everything): Arcane C'est comme ça que je t'aime Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! Houseki no Kuni...
    6 votes
    1. tragique
      Link Parent
      If you liked C'est comme ça que je t'aime, check out Série Noire as well, by the same people. Amazing show, with a similar sense of (dark, twisted) humor.

      If you liked C'est comme ça que je t'aime, check out Série Noire as well, by the same people. Amazing show, with a similar sense of (dark, twisted) humor.

      2 votes
  7. BiscuitMuncher64
    Link
    Been binging sitcoms (kinda embarrassed about it). Really recommend New Girl if you're in a similar state of mind. It's very chill and basically a group of friends doing dumb stuff. Was watching...

    Been binging sitcoms (kinda embarrassed about it). Really recommend New Girl if you're in a similar state of mind. It's very chill and basically a group of friends doing dumb stuff. Was watching it alongside Seinfeld and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but ended up liking it most due to its wholesome-ness.

    6 votes
  8. [2]
    culturedleftfoot
    Link
    I didn't watch a whole lot this year, but what I did watch was good. Definitely taking the top spot was Gomorrah... good lord this show is fantastic. I watched it per @tomf's understated...

    I didn't watch a whole lot this year, but what I did watch was good.

    Definitely taking the top spot was Gomorrah... good lord this show is fantastic. I watched it per @tomf's understated recommendation, and it makes The Sopranos look like Sesame Street. Much like the criminal underworld it portrays, it initially seduces you in a nonchalant sort of way, but before you know it, it grips you and just doesn't let go. Apparently some Italian members of parliament even called for a boycott of the show because it was starting to make the public sympathize with some truly heinous criminals.

    I haven't gotten around to Arcane yet, but for all those claiming it's the best animated series ever, I humbly submit that it has to clear the bar that the Blade of the Immortal ONA set. It's the only anime I've ever given a 10/10, and while the violence might be too much for some, I'm on the verge of calling it a masterpiece. I posted about it in March during my initial watch, and rewatched it 3 or 4 weeks later - an absolute rarity for me. I give these above two series the highest of recommendations.

    An honorable mention goes to another anime - ODDTAXI. It's a smart, very well-written, character-driven show sort of in the vein of Crash, and I quite enjoyed it.

    5 votes
    1. tomf
      Link Parent
      I'm so glad you're loving Gomorrah as much as I do. :)

      I'm so glad you're loving Gomorrah as much as I do. :)

      2 votes
  9. HotPants
    Link
    If you liked Pulp Fiction & Breaking Bad, you might enjoy Mr Inbetween & Mirzapur. Mr Inbetween's third and final season came out in 2021, and it's about an Aussie criminal fixer who is a nice...

    If you liked Pulp Fiction & Breaking Bad, you might enjoy Mr Inbetween & Mirzapur.

    Mr Inbetween's third and final season came out in 2021, and it's about an Aussie criminal fixer who is a nice enough bloke, except for his tendency to resolve everything with violence.

    The show was created & written by the lead actor, who had been trying to get the show off the ground for over twenty years. Then after a wildly successful couple of seasons, he just decided to, you know, end it.

    After season two I kind of thought well, you know, it is probably time to wrap it up now.

    Mirzapur is a popular Indian series. Also wildly violent gangsta show. I think the third season might be out in 2022 or 2023, which is a bummer.

    Lastly, one of the most highly reviewed seasons of 2021 is the 1pm Daily Update.

    (Regular press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19, the reviews are worth reading)

    4 votes
  10. cloud_loud
    (edited )
    Link
    I don’t keep track of all the TV Shows I watch since I don’t log the ones that are available on Letterboxd, so from memory here are my favorite ones: Ted Lasso (both seasons), Hacks, Only Murders...

    I don’t keep track of all the TV Shows I watch since I don’t log the ones that are available on Letterboxd, so from memory here are my favorite ones:

    Ted Lasso (both seasons), Hacks, Only Murders in the Building, Mare of Easttown, The Queen’s Gambit, WandaVision, Hawkeye, Succession (all three seasons for the first time this year), The Underground Railroad.

    I’ve seen other shows including Girls5Eva, The Boys, Rick and Morty Season 5, Kevin Can Fuck Himself, What If..., Loki, but I wouldn’t describe any of them as my favorite. And I downright didn’t enjoy a few of them.

    I’m kind of like the inverse of the average person. Most people watch more TV than they do movies, but I mostly watch movies.

    Edit: I can’t believe that I forgot about Ghosts, one of my favorite shows ever probably.

    4 votes
  11. [2]
    hamstergeddon
    Link
    I didn't watch much this year that wasn't Marvel or Star Wars related. But the standouts for me were WandaVision and Loki. Both shows just really gripped me and had me obsessing over fan theories...

    I didn't watch much this year that wasn't Marvel or Star Wars related. But the standouts for me were WandaVision and Loki. Both shows just really gripped me and had me obsessing over fan theories for weeks. What-If was also really good, but not quite the same. FatWS was okay, but ultimately kind of underwhelming. The biggest thing it had going for it was that it setup a lot of interesting future stories (Power Broker, US Agent, and the Captain America baton hand-off)

    4 votes
    1. lou
      Link Parent
      I enjoyed Loki. They clearly took inspiration from Doctor Who.

      I enjoyed Loki. They clearly took inspiration from Doctor Who.

      2 votes
  12. Fal
    Link
    I didn’t watch too many shows, and most of the ones that I did watch were anime or animated (and not all of them good :p). One that super stood out though was Castlevania. It’s just so good, the...

    I didn’t watch too many shows, and most of the ones that I did watch were anime or animated (and not all of them good :p). One that super stood out though was Castlevania. It’s just so good, the story is great, the characters amazing, and the character interactions even better. My only minor gripe with the show is what appears to be a conscious decision to lower the frame rate during some combat scenes (which are excellent by the way), but it didn’t really affect my viewing. Definite recommend

    4 votes
  13. inwardpath
    Link
    I watch next-to-zero TV and movies and it's been that way my entire adult life (I'm mid-30s). Most of my media consumption has been YT, Twitch, and Podcasts for a long time. However, after reading...

    I watch next-to-zero TV and movies and it's been that way my entire adult life (I'm mid-30s). Most of my media consumption has been YT, Twitch, and Podcasts for a long time.

    However, after reading many positive things about The Expanse, and circumstances aligning where I needed something to watch for a bit, I started Season 1 of it, and I am really enjoying it.

    4 votes