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Top Ten Tuesday: Best TV Shows Of 2021


The competition stemming from the streaming wars has led to some great television. 2021 is almost over, and Top Ten Tuesday returns to count down the best TV shows of the year. Honorable mention goes to 1883 (not enough episodes yet), Dexter, The Witcher, Yellowjackets, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and The White Lotus.

 

10. Hawkeye (Disney+)

 

 

Maybe it’s the Christmas spirit that gets Hawkeye on the list, but it was nice to have a holiday-themed Marvel series to close out 2021. Jeremy Renner is great in the title role, and there are plenty of twists and turns to make Hawkeye a fun watch.

 

9. Loki (Disney+)

 

 

Everyone that has followed the MCU knows that Loki is an interesting grey-area character, and Tom Hiddleston again delivered in his own series on Disney+. Loki also places an emphasis on the all-important multiverse—potentially opening more doors to explore in the MCU for both movies and shows.

 

8. For All Mankind (Apple TV+)

 

 

Part of the good news about all the streaming services to keep up with is that televisions have increased in quality, too. Case in point: For All Mankind. The series follows space exploration and looks stunning in 4K UHD on screens that rival cinemas, and the second season was a successful follow up to Season 1. Apple TV+’s Foundation—another sci-fi—also gets a nod here.

 

7. Billions (Showtime)

 

 

Billions picked back up for Season 5’s final five episodes in the fall after breaking June 2020 for COVID and found a way to incorporate the real-life situation into the show. The Showtime series might not be comparable to another elitist-following show we’ll get to later, but it’s still among the best of the year.

 

6. Mare of Easttown (HBO)

 

 

As you’d expect, Kate Winslet was fantastic in HBO’s miniseries Mare of Easttown, but she was not alone—the entire cast was top-notch. And along with the stellar acting, Mare of Easttown gave us a gritty Pennsylvania setting and a memorable plot.

 

5. The Morning Show (Apple TV+)

 

 

The Morning Show had a tough act to follow after Season 1, but the series did an excellent job of hitting on real-world situations and following the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the world. Season 2 included critical show-altering moments, and it also struck a fair and balanced tone when it came to things like cancel culture and redemption.

 

4. WandaVision (Disney+)

 

 

This might be a little too high for WandaVision, but part of why it lands in the top five is because it was the first original Marvel series on Disney+. WandaVision kicked off Phase IV of the MCU, and it did it with a bang via the quirky and mysterious story.

 

3. Yellowstone (Paramount Network)

 

 

Yellowstone has found a loyal and hardcore following in Middle America, and the Paramount Network crown jewel drew over 14 million viewers for the Season 4 debut—an episode that many believe has been the best in the series to this point. Kevin Costner as John Dutton leads one of television’s best ensemble casts.

 

2. Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

 

 

Ted Lasso is a comedy first and foremost, but the super-popular Apple TV series delivers drama and realism, too. We don’t want to give away too much here in case you haven’t seen it, but Season 2 has an arc that most actual dramas could only hope for. And Ted Lasso’s second season gives an all-time classic Christmas episode.

 

1. Succession (HBO)

 

 

Finally, there was little doubt about No. 1. In a post-Game-of-Thrones television landscape, Succession has emerged as the reigning king of TV for HBO, which has consistently produced first-class series for over two decades. Succession is a show that just keeps getting better and better, and the Season 3 finale again capped off the season in a way that has you thinking about it for days.

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