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?

#AMonthofFaves 2018: Favorite TV series and movies

Again today, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and  a link-up on all their blogs. Today’s topic is 
 “On The Screen”.

Favorite TV series

These are some of my favorites, with some overlaps with my wife, but not all:

  • Aggretsuko
  • Alone Together
  • CSI
  • Father Ted
  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries
  • Kim’s Convenience
  • The Kominisky Method
  • Letterkenny
  • Miranda
  • Mozart in the Jungle (Season 4)
  • Psiconautas
  • Vicious

These are, or were, available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. The highlights for me were the two Canadian shows: Kim’s Convenience and Letterkenny. If you’re offended by language, skip Letterkenny. But if you’re not and like quirky and offbeat, then watch. Unfortunately, if you’re in America, only the first two seasons are available (so far) on Hulu. 
Also quirky and offbeat are Alone Together and  Psiconautas. The most joyous of all of them is Miranda and both Kim and I loved all of the episodes.

Favorite movies

These are our favorite movies from this year in alphabetical order:

  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Black Panther
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Deadpool 2
  • Eighth Grade
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Love, Simon
  • Mission Impossible: Fallout
  • Paddington 2
  • A Star is Born
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The ones I enjoyed watching the most were Deadpool 2 and Paddington 2, two movies on the opposite end of the spectrum, highlighted by this exchange on Twitter:

The ones, though, that I think were the most important were BlacKkKlansman and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the latter of which my wife and I cried through most of. The former solidified my love of the actor Adam Driver, whom I loved in Logan Lucky, and introduced us to a new love of John David Washington, Denzel Washington’s son, a formidable actor on his own.

What were your favorite TV series and movies that you watched this year?

#AMonthofFaves: Our Favorite Book to TV Adaptations

I’m joining hosts Girlxoxo, Traveling with T, and Estella’s Revenge for their 4th annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” – during the month of December. Today’s topic is “Favorite Book to TV or Movie Adaptations” from this year.

My (and my wife’s) favorite, without any question was, and is:

I only read the first book in the series and made it through about a quarter of the second before giving up. I wasn’t that interested in the series, plus we don’t have HBO. However, when our library director started getting the series on DVD and a couple of coworkers started watching it and saying how good it was, we finally caved…and we fell hard. We binge-watched the first six seasons and then couldn’t wait for the seventh season to come out on DVD so we bought it on streaming.

Honorable Mention

I haven’t read the book by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker…yet, but I did buy an ebook copy that I hope to get to in the new year. My wife and I both enjoyed Season 1 of the Netflix Original series, and we look forward to seeing the second.

What were/are some of your favorite book to TV or movie adaptations from this year?

Kim’s favorite Amazon show

Bryan & Kim's FaVThe plan was every Wednesday in May, my wife Kim and I would do a post as part of a series on our favorite Netflix and Amazon Prime TV shows. The first week I picked my favorite Netflix shows; four weeks ago, Kim, her favorite Netflix shows; three weeks ago, our favorite Netflix shows, the ones we watch together; two weeks ago, my favorite Amazon Prime shows, and then last week was to be the finish with her favorite Amazon Prime shows. However, that didn’t happen with I guess the four-day holiday weekend throwing us off schedule, so here we are with…

Kim’s Favorite Amazon Show: Transparent

I must admit I was equally intrigued by and apprehensive about what this show would be. I’ve been a fan of Jeffrey Tambor since childhood, from Jeffrey Brookes III on the Ropers to George “There’s always money in the banana stand” Bluth. But I couldn’t picture him as Maura Pfefferman, a transwoman who decides that it is not too late to live her truth.

Tambor is funny, heartbreaking, and incredible. The character is not caricature and far from perfect: Maura has blind spots to navigate like everyone else in the family. And everyone else, it seems, has an equally complex journey to their authentic selves. Maura’s revelation causes each of them to reexamine their own identities and make some significant changes. Raw, funny, sad, and beautiful, this show is worth your time.

Tell us some of your favorite TV shows wherever you watch them, whether Amazon, Netflix, or other sources? What are some of your favorites?