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.


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.


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 Top 5 TV Shows of 2020

This month I’ve been joining Kim and Tanya of Girlxoxo.com for their annual event A Month of Faves, at least for a few topics and throwing in a few of my own. At the beginning of the month, I posted “My End of Year Bookish Plans.” Two weeks ago, I posted “These are a few of my favorite moments in 2020“, “These are a few of my favorite things (at home) in 2020,” and “These are a few of my favorite (Christmas) things.” Last week, I posted my favorite fiction books read this year and then my favorite nonfiction books read this year. In between those two posts, I threw in my own topic “The Series That Didn’t Stick For Me In 2020,” with series either I read the first one or abandoned in the middle of the first or sometimes second one. Now I finish up with my top 5 TV shows from this year.

This year, five shows stuck out for me, either ones we returned to again and again or ones that were “one-offs” and just fit the mood at the time. My first pick at No. 5 was one of those…

5. Teenage Bounty Hunters, Season 1

Sadly the show has been canceled by Netflix but the first season is worth a watch.

4. Staged, Season 1

This is one of the few shows shot during, and peripherally, about the pandemic that actually was good. And a second season is coming out next week. It also had great cameos as evidenced below (just be warned, it is uncensored).

3. The Last Dance

As a huge Chicago Bulls fan, I looked forwarded to this ESPN documentary when it came out on Netflix and it didn’t disappoint. It also didn’t shy away from a less than flattering portrayal of Michael Jordan, which made it all the more real. Yes, there were some glaring omissions, but all in all, it was worth the watch. I even got my wife, who isn’t into “sportsin'” as she calls it, to watch a few episodes.

2. Schitt’s Creek, Season 6

I won’t lie. I was a latecomer to this show, but once my wife showed me the last episode of the second season, I was all in.

1. What We Do in the Shadows, Season 2

My wife and I both loved the movie, but a TV show based on the movie? YES! That is the answer, especially after this second season, which has seen the vampires, shall I say it? yes, I shall, soar to new heights. Watch the movie and stick with the series.

So what are your favorite shows from this year or ones that you discovered this year? Please share in the comments.