Our Favorite TV Shows & Movies We Watched in 2021

Last Sunday I shared My Favorite Books of 2021. This Sunday, I’m sharing the favorite TV shows and movies that both my wife and I have watched this year, and then next Sunday, December 19, I’ll share my favorite albums of 2021. Finally, on Sunday, December 26, I’ll share my favorite moments of 2021 in photos.

TV

This past year Kim and I watched a lot of TV. We didn’t watch as many movies. Speaking for myself, I didn’t have the attention span for longer things. I think it’s probably true for both of us, as we watched a lot of YouTube clips too.

Among our favorites this year in both TV and movies were both the expected and the unexpected.

The expected:

  1. Castle (Hulu)
  2. Home Movies (HBO Max)
  3. Reservation Dogs, Season 1 (Hulu)
  4. Ted Lasso, Season 1 (Apple+)
  5. True Detective, Season 1 (HBO Max)
  6. What We Do in the Shadows, Season 3 (Hulu)

The must-see of these is Ted Lasso, if you don’t mind getting yet another streaming service. As for the others:

  • I always wanted to watch Castle after we had the first couple of seasons at the library. I think I watched a couple episodes, then stopped because I knew there were more seasons I couldn’t see since we didn’t, and don’t, have cable. Finally, it’s come to streaming and we can watch it. We’re in Season 2 and enjoying it so far.
  • Home Movies is another older show of which we had watched some episodes but not all.
  • Since we loved What We Do in the Shadows , we had a feeling we’d like Reservation Dogs too, since Taika Waititi is involved with both. We weren’t wrong.
  • True Detective is one of those shows I’ve always wanted to see. Both Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were great in it.

The unexpected or we tried on a whim:

  1. Doom Patrol, Season 1 (HBO Max)
  2. Joe Pera Talks with You (Adult Swim/HBO Max)
  3. Tacoma FD (TruTV/HBO Max)
  4. Ghosts (the British version) (BBC America/HBO Max)
  5. Schmigadoon, Season 1 (Apple +)
  6. Only Murders in The Building, Season 1 (Hulu)

We were pleasantly surprised by all of them, especially Only Murders in the Building, with Steve Martin and Martin Short not a complete surprise but Selena Gomez did surprise us. As for the rest:

  • If you like musicals, you probably will like Schmigadoon.
  • If you like British shows, try Ghosts.
  • If you don’t mind your comedy on the raunchy side, then Tacoma FD is a good choice.
  • Don’t be put off that Doom Patrol is part of the DC Universe. Yes, it has its dark moments, but it’s lighter than most set in that universe. That is the only one Kim has given me the go-ahead to watch on my own, although I do (try to) make her watch some because I find them so intriguing.
  • The hidden gem absolutely is Joe Pera Talks With You. The episodes are short, about 11 minutes each, but they all pack a punch, a very light punch but as I told my sister, “It’s like it’s perfect for this time. Slow down, relax, let Joe talk to you” about a variety of subjects…in this case, sleep.

Movies

There only was one unexpected surprise for us in the movies category.

  • Dune (HBO Max)
  • Summer of Soul (Or…When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (Hulu)
  • Hamilton (Disney+)
  • King Richard (HBO Max)
  • Free Guy (DVD)

The surprise was Free Guy. We both saw the trailer and figured that the best parts were in there. We were wrong. It probably was my favorite movie of the year, because not only did it exceed our expectations, but it also was the funniest movie of the year.

In the cases of Hamilton and Dune, we basically got Disney Plus and HBO Max for them. Well, Kim did anyway. Myself, I was on board with Disney Plus already for the MCU and enticed Kim with The Simpsons, which we both have been enjoying the early seasons of. With HBO Max, we decided with Dune, King Richard, and The Matrix Resurrections, that it was worth it, but we’ve discovered (again) it’s home to much more than movies. Summer of Soul is a documentary by Questlove, drummer for the band The Roots, about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival and if you like soul music, it is a must-watch.


We also have to give a special shout out to:

  • Rifftrax
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000

They both are available on various platforms, including their own apps and channels. If you don’t know what they are, Google them to find out more on each or find clips. But basically they both give funny commentary on movies. With Rifftrax, we bought all three commentaries of The Lord of the Rings movies that they did, which we enjoyed immensely. Meanwhile, with Mystery Science Theater, we purchased access to the Gizmoplex, an online virtual cinema that will have Season 13 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that begins in March of next year.

So, what were some of your favorites from TV and movies this year?

My Favorite Books of 2021

So far this year, I’ve read 27 books. At this point, I’ll be lucky if I read three more, and probably they will be from two murder mystery series I’ve been reading throughout the year. So I’ve decided to go ahead and share my favorite books of 2021.

Without further ado, here they are:

  • Broken: In the Best Possible Way by Jenny Lawson
  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.

I both read and listened to Lawson’s book. I found it to be the perfect salve to the continuing craziness of this year. I had heard Weir’s book was very good, but I was still very surprised.

I also have two honorable mentions. They are:

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • Invisible Differences: A Story of Asperger’s, Adulting, and Living a Life in Full Color by Julie Dalchez and Mademoiselle Caroline.

I enjoyed Haig’s book very much, but I thought it was a little long. I don’t read many graphic novels, but I made an exception for Invisible Differences, and I’m glad I did.

As for the rest of what I read this year, other than one biography and a few books of poetry, I read mostly two murder mystery series with the characters of Inspector Montalbano and Rabbi Small. I also read two books in the Murderbot Diaries, a science fiction series, a series that I have yet to finish.

I know many of you bloggers who are reading this probably will do your list of favorites during the last week of the year. So I’ll ask instead what were your most-read genres this year? For those of you who don’t care about revealing the closely-guarded secret of your favorite books of the year, what were your favorites?

Next Sunday, December 12, I’ll share my favorite TV shows and movies I’ve watched this year, and then the following Sunday, December 19, I’ll share my favorite albums of 2021. Finally, on Sunday, December 26, I’ll share my favorite moments of 2021 in photos.