Like last year, the television shows released in 2021 made up a big part of our entertainment. More so than usual, thanks to the continued pains of COVID-19, both keeping us insane, but also as movie studios chose to delay projects. Marvel, for instance, decided to remodel their entire years and pushed their stretch of Disney+ original shows to the forefront as they moved the theatrical releases to the backend. It was also a big year for new shows as 8 out of 10 of the shows on this list are brand new series, which says a lot about the calibre of programming is releasing.

Here are picks for the Best TV Shows of 2021.

10.) Arcane (Fortiche Production, Riot Games)

Created by: Christian Linke, Alex Yee

As someone who has put well over a thousand hours in League of Legends, I was very interested in watching Netflix’s anime series based on the video game. However, I did not expect it to become one of the most well-written and emotionally gripping series of the year. But the human element of the story of Power/Jinx and her sister Vi is something everyone can grab onto. The fictional setting of Piltover, the creation of magical elements and the political power struggle between the higher classes and those in the slums are all told so effectively. Every character in this series has something driving them, and it’s an understandable emotion. The animation is fantastic from Fortiche, and the music is top-notch, making for some of the years most memorable moments.

– Dylan Blight




9.) Squid Game (Siren Pictures)

Created by: Hwang Dong-hyuk

As if it appeared out of thin air, Squid Game seemed to take the internet by storm overnight, making the Korean series a worldwide sensation. The combination of a Battle Royale-like story and game show elements made for a unique set-up. But the reason the show works so well is its characters and the world-building. If we didn’t get anymore, I’d have said this is one of, if not the best-limited series that Netflix has produced, but we’re getting more, and it’ll be exciting to see how the second series moves everything forward.

– Dylan Blight

Squid Game Review

“A truly binge-worthy series, a world both so confronting and engaging that we peer through our fingertips to not only look on but ask for more.”

8.) It’s a Sin (Red Production Company)

Created by: Russell T. Davies

The cast of It’s a Sin is so damn loveable that it’s hard to watch; as you know, the series isn’t going to have a happy ending right from the start. It chronicles the lives of five friends living in a home together during the rise of the AIDS epidemic. Hearing characters shake off the idea of the disease — especially as people still believe that COVID-19 isn’t a thing hit hard — but as the young adult’s lives start to change, and some are taken away to hospitals, the harsh reality of everything sets in. 

The cast of It’s a Sin, especially with Olly Alexander and Lydia West in the lead, brings out the rest of the cast. Both are warm youthful personalities that bring charm and fireworks of appeal to the screen. The five episodes from Russell T. Davies are sharply written and insanely bingeable, even if it becomes hard to watch at times. 

– Dylan Blight

7.) Invincible (Skybound Entertainment, Skybound North, Amazon Studios, Point Grey Pictures, Wind Sun Sky Entertainment)

Created by: Robert Kirkman

It’s hard to imagine even the most jaded superhero fan not finding something to love from Invincible, especially after watching the end of the first episode. We have seen many a superhero origin story at this point but never one quite like this, where Mark Grayson is trying to prove to the world he can be a hero as Invincible while his father Nolan Grayson is trying to maintain the illusion that Omni-Man is still a hero.

The culmination of this story sees one of the greatest superhero confrontations we’ve seen to date, in live-action or animation. The show has an incredible knack to go from light-hearted to removed-hearted very quickly. Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh, and J. K. Simmons give great performances and the show features a ridiculous number of recognizable names and voices guest starring or playing recurring characters. With the creator of the comic book Robert Kirkman serving as showrunner, this series looks like it truly is [cut to title card].

– Ashley Hobley


Invincible Compendium

6.) Loki (Marvel Studios)

Created by: Michael Waldron

The Norse god with little brother syndrome finally got his opportunity to shine and Loki is truly a show fitting of the God of Mischief. With time travel and alternate timelines to play with, creator Michael Waldron and series director Kate Herron gave Tom Hiddleston the opportunity to explore every part of the character he’s played for a decade, from emotional moments like learning his mother will die due to his future actions to the comedic moments like interacting with an alligator version of himself.

With fantastic support from Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosak, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino and Sasha Lane and superb appearances from Richard E. Grant and Jonathan Majors, Loki was a must-watch for anyone who loves a little more sci-fi and fantasy in their MCU.

– Ashley Hobley

5.) Only Murders in the Building (Rhode Island Ave. Productions, Another Hoffman Story Productions, 40 Share Productions, 20th Television)

Created by: Steve Martin, John Hoffman

It is understandable why someone may have been sceptical about Only Murders in the Building based on the premise of three neighbours starting a true-crime podcast investigating a murder in their building. But then you add Steve Martin and Martin Short, two comedy legends, to the mix as well as Selena Gomez, and you have something that you need to give a chance. And that’s all this show needs to win you over.

The show perfectly utilizes its three stars who seem to bounce off each other effortless while telling a great whodunnit story that will have you guessing till the end. The show is a loving satire of crime fiction and true crime podcasts, poking fun but never in a mean way. The show also looks amazing, with each character having very impressive wardrobes, and sounds great with a score composed by Siddhartha Khosla. You won’t regret getting to know all the suspects living in the Arconia.

– Ashley Hobley

4.) WandaVision (Marvel Studios)

Created by: Jac Schaeffer

The first Marvel Cinematic Universe series on Disney+ set the bar high for the type of stories we’d be getting on the platform. But it’s more than just the deep-dive into a struggling Wanda Maximoff dealing with the loss of Vision in Endgame; it’s also the way showrunner Jac Shaeffer’s story was told — and it’s a way we wouldn’t have seen on the big screen. For the first two episodes, it’s like watching a parody of a 50’s sitcom, all for the layers and secrets to get pulled back and the truth revealed in such a spectacular way. 

WandaVision is a series full of laughs, but it’s the dramatic performances from both Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, giving it their all, that makes this series such a profound standout. It shows that Marvel can explore the deep-seated trauma that many of the MCU characters suffer while still moving the MCU storey forward in exciting directions with the addition of compelling new characters and revelations.

– Dylan Blight 

3.) Ted Lasso: Season 2 (Ruby’s Tuna Inc; Doozer Universal Television, Warner Bros. Television Studios)

Created by: Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly

After the near-unanimous praise of the first season of Ted Lasso, it would have been very tempting to make season 2 as close to a repeat as possible. Instead, the show looks to focus more on the wider cast of the show, with many episodes moving the spotlight from Ted to people like Sam, Higgins, Isaac and Coach Beard. That doesn’t mean Ted doesn’t have an important arch, with him finally addressing some mental health issues, that we had a glimpse of in season 1. The addition of Sarah Niles as Dr Sharon Fieldstone was a great addition to the cast and proves a fantastic scene partner for Ted, with many important moments together.

Then there is also the season arch of Nate which sets up a very interesting season 3 and two of the most divisive episodes of the year, “Carol of the Bells” and “Beard After Hours”, which you have to appreciate the boldness of. With all the things set up in season 2, I believe that season 3 is going to be great too.

– Ashley Hobley

2.) Sex Education: Season 3 (Eleven Film)

Created by: Laurie Nunn

Sex Education continues to be one of Netflix’s most surprisingly shows. It’s genuinely funny but filled with some of the most interesting, varied, and heartfelt characters in anything else you can watch now. 

The latest season saw Otis and Maeve dealing with the awkward fallout of their will-they-won’t-they, in part thanks to the interference of Issac, which, of course, the season gets around to tackling. However, the story between Eric and Adam was the standout this season, as Adam embraces his sexuality and generally tries to be a good person. At the same time, Eric looks to push into new sexual territories he hasn’t explored before. Jemima Kirke is also introduced as Hope Haddon, the latest principal at the school this season, and she brings a lot of surprises as she attempts to almost militarise the students into a perfect structure they simply won’t let fall into place. 

– Dylan Blight


Sex Education: A Guide To Life

Whatever it is, the way you tell your story online can make all the difference.

1.) Mare of Easttown (Zobot Projects, Mayhem Pictures, Juggle Productions, Low Dweller Productions, wiip)

Created by: Brad Ingelsby

I think the best way to describe Mare of Easttown is flawless. Flawless performances from Kate Winslet, Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, Evan Peters, Guy Pearce and the other supporting cast members. A flawless story from writer Brad Ingelsby that had just the right amount of twists and turns and left enough room for us to get to know these characters, to see their best and worst parts of them.

A flawless ending that we didn’t see coming, heartbreakingly fitting for Mare and the people around her. Mare of Easttown is so good that the prospect of another season will leave all viewers torn, as we came to love Mare and her family but this was so fantastic, how could they possibly make something so flawless again?

– Ashley Hobley


Dylan Blight and Ashley Hobley compiled the Top 10 Best Shows list. The TV shows nominated must have finished airing their selected season within November 15th 2020 – November 15th 2021 and have been released in Australia via network TV, VOD or a streaming platform.