2021 may have been a tough year in terms of COVID restrictions; seeing us spend significant parts of time indoors, in isolation or simply not mixing with others. To pass the time we took up numerous activities and hobbies, but let’s be real, often we found comfort in some quality television. Television helped us get through this year, and it was a pretty good year for TV to be fair. We saw the introduction of some incredible shows, shows that were meme-worthy, that went viral. As 2022 begins, it is only fair that we quickly reflect on the best shows of 2021, to see if 2022 can surpass the quality that 2021 brought us. So which shows made the list?
When you hear of a show about a soccer coach, you might automatically become bored and think that it isn’t for you. However, Ted Lasso is certainly an exception. If you wanted a show about heart, friendship but still having story arcs of betrayal, repressed trauma and other significant themes, Ted Lasso is definitely for you. The series follows Ted, a divorcee who has moved to the U.K. from the U.S. in order to coach struggling Premier League side AFC Richmond. Intense rivalries, jealousy and some pretty awesome characters drive this show and make it ever so entertaining for the viewer; you will truly be sat on the couch binging from start to finish. Jason Sudeikis takes to the role of goofy Lasso excellently, while supporting characters Hannah Waddingham (Rebecca), Juno Temple (Keeley), Brett Goldstein (Roy) and Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard) are just a handful of names among a star cast that has developed incredible chemistry working alongside each other. A great show that boasts an IMDB rating of 8.8.
This one surprisingly took the world by storm. We aren’t sure how popular K-Dramas (Korean-Dramas) were before this was released, but now they have surged in popularity! The premise of the show was simply extraordinary. Watching grown adults play childhood games doesn’t sound so interesting on paper, but the twist is what catches you. Imagine a game where you lose, but instead of simply being told to leave the game, you’re shot dead. This gives the players something more to play for, while the sub-plot of policeman Hwang Jun-ho complements the main story (focusing on the life of Gi-Hun) all the more. Each character has a unique story that is worth following. The more we become attached to our favorite characters, the more the betrayal hurts us. A fantastic piece of television that must be seen by all. Watch it in Korean with English subtitles for the full experience, though.
In Sex Education season 3, Otis and Maeve’s will-they-won’t-they relationship comes to a dramatic conclusion, but not before reaching a crescendo of all kinds of turmoil. Sex Education hasn’t been what people expected from the start; despite it begins as a cacophony of juvenile clichés, the show rapidly evolves into something larger, a symphony of individualism that sees even the most despicable characters becoming tragic stories with time. Season 3 of Sex Education amps up everything that made the first two seasons so memorable. Of course, it all comes down to sex, but the series’ approach to its subject matter — adolescent sex lives — is progressive and, in the end, may be a better type of sex education than many people would find in more formal settings.
It’s A Sin
People don’t want to be reminded of an epidemic that happened years ago during a pandemic, yet It’s a Sin is required viewing in 2021, and it’s about so much more than the AIDS disaster. Even if it was just about AIDS, it would be a fantastic series. It’s a Sin is a victory of human expression, especially among the younger generation. Everyone has wished to set out on their own and live the life they’ve always imagined; the main protagonists of It’s a Sin do just that. However, the show is plagued by the inhumanity that surrounded the crisis in the first place, so it’s not all about optimism and freedom. It’s a Sin, in the end, reminds audiences of the dangers of underestimating an illness, as well as how communities and governments around the world failed the LGBTQ+ community in the 1980s. There’s no denying that the series is harrowing, but viewers would be negligent if they didn’t give it a chance since it’s one that will stay with you for a long time.