It was a massive year for dramatic series, with most of the big hitters coming from streaming services. The launch of Marvel’s Disney+ shows has a big part of that, but that’s not all as one of our picks is the number one show on Netflix, while the other is a heartfelt project from a man who is now returning to Doctor Who.

Here are our picks for the Best Drama Series’ in 2021.

5.) It’s a Sin (Channel 4)

You probably don’t go into any story focused on the AIDS epidemic expecting to come out the other end without a few tears. It’s a Sin focused direction of just a few friends, and how they learn about AIDS, or the lack of accurate information and push to protect the gay community from AIDS is terrible to watch. The cast and the characters are so fantastic, full of life, and you quickly become attached to them within the five episodes that by the time AIDS has one of them bid-ridden, you feel like you’re about to lose a friend you’ve had for a lifetime.

– Dylan Blight

It’s A Sin [Blu-ray]

4.) Squid Game (Netflix)

Hwang Dong-hyuk’s takes elements you’ve seen before and ties them all up in one of the most engaging dramas of the year, and according to Netflix, one of their most viewed, most binged shows of all time. The harshest thing about Squid Game is knowing that the characters you begin to like over the first couple of episodes all have a chance of dying. There can only be one winner in this game, and it most likely isn’t going to be the one you want it to be.

– Dylan Blight

Squid Game Review

“The season draws you in by juggling a strong sense of cultural awareness, flawed yet charming characters, and the horrific yet gripping fresh take on a Battle Royale-style plot.”

3.) Heels (Starz)

It would be easy to describe this show as just Friday Nights Lights with wrestling, but it is more than just that. While the Duffy Wrestling League is a core pillar of the show, the show is about the struggle to follow a creative passion, whether that’s Jack trying to figure out his work/family balance or Krystal trying to break through the glass ceiling to do what she loves.

But wrestling is the main course, and we get it in spades, pun intended, with moments that highlight how difficult and how special it is. A must watch for any wrestling fan or anyone looking for a good story.

– Ashley Hobley

Heels: Season One, Episode One Review

“You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy Heels”

2.) WandaVision (Disney+)

Who would have expected this series about two secondary Avengers characters would give us one of the most poignant looks at dealing with trauma and grief of the year? Led by a fantastic Elizabeth Olsen and featuring a fantastic turn by Kathryn Hahn, the show follows Wanda as she finds a way to deal with the death of Vision in Endgame. Following along and trying to solve the mystery of what was happening was just as fun as experiencing this show that dealt with Wanda’s traumatic history while also being an ode to sitcom history. A truly remarkable feat that taught us “what is grief if not love persevering?”

– Ashley Hobley


1.) Mare of Easttown (HBO)

I remember thinking Brad Ingleby’s 2013 film Out of the Furnace, directed by Scott Cooper, was underrated and wondered why the screenwriter hadn’t tried something as dark again. Incomes Mare of Eastown, a small-town mystery with a dark underbelly. The limited series has some of the year’s best performances, all within its seven episodes, and some of the biggest twists you won’t see coming. The mystery behind a local murder being wrapped up within several other ongoing cases is addictive viewing. You’ll be more than happy to sit and watch from start to finish.

– Dylan Blight

Dylan Blight and Ashley Hobley compiled this Top 5 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.