Although we celebrate returning series as long as the quality keeps up, some newer shows often don’t find a place to fit in amongst the big hitters.

Here are our picks for the Best New TV Series from 2021, which includes a wrestling/family drama, a dramatic spin on a battle royale and a competition reality show, as well as the animated adaptation of one of the most famous indie comics.

5.) Heels (Starz)

The best thing about Heels is that you don’t need to be a wrestling fan to enjoy the show. Sure, it’s rooted in wrestling, especially territory wrestling and the small indie shows that aren’t as much a thing now as they were in the ’70s-’80s. But at the heart of the show is a family story about brothers, husband and wife, father and son. The way Jack Spade relates to his own family, the way he thinks about his father, the way he treats his brother, and the way he lets his marriage hang in the event floating balance: that’s why you watch Heels. However, the wrestling parts are good too.

– Dylan Blight

Heels: Season One, Episode One Review

“Kayfabe” hits all the right notes as a series premiere”

4.) Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

Only Murders In The Building was a delightful surprise this year, coming out with little fanfare despite featuring a core cast of Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez. It won me over with the incredible chemistry between the trio, the aesthetic of the show and its fun take on podcasts and those who make them. Add on top a fun mystery that takes a number of twists and turns and has Sting as a genuine suspect, and you have one of the best new shows of 2021.

– Ashley Hobley

3.) Squid Game (Netflix)

I’m not sure if making this more than a limited series will pay off, but it has been confirmed by Netflix to be getting another season. The first season had massive success, so I can see why in the bigger picture. We get this bloody, brutal and haunting story about rich people playing with the lives of the poor and in need in the first season. We may not have all of the questions answered at the end of the series, but it didn’t matter. Squid Game cemented itself as one of the years best new series in a combination of memorable performances, an impossible forget the story, and the highly detailed sets and designs of the games themselves.

– Dylan Blight

Squid Game Review

“Hwang Dong-hyuk crafts a gripping and well-paced narrative that deals with questions of inequality and humanity.”

2.) Invincible (Amazon Prime Video)

In an incredibly oversaturated superhero market, Invincible managed to stand out from the crowd and make a space for itself this year. Based on the acclaimed comic book series from Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley, the series sticks true to the source material with Kirkman as showrunner but does make some improvements where needed.

Featuring fantastic voice performances from Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh and J. K. Simmons as the core Grayson family and a impressive supporting cast, the show captures the emotional elements of the story perfectly. It’s also violent. Incredibly violent. Violent in a way that can only be done in animation, but isn’t violent just for the sake of being violent. Invincible is one of the best comic book adaptations this year and we can all look forward to its bloody return in 2022.

– Ashley Hobley


Invincible – Season One

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

1.) Bump (Stan)

An Australian series about a young girl unexpectedly having a baby is thrown through several “I feel like I’ve seen this before” hoops before striking out on its own become one of the most surprising shows of the year. With a fantastic cast that all felt real, and like someone you’ve probably met before, I couldn’t wait to watch each new episode and was very happy when Stan announced a second season.

– 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.