The Best TV Shows of 2021—and How to Watch Them – WIRED

The Best TV Shows of 2021—and How to Watch Them – WIRED

It wasn’t that long ago that very few people would ever think to utter the terms “quality original content” and “streaming” in the same sentence. In fact, the first streaming-only series to win the Emmy for Best Drama—The Handmaid’s Tale—only did so in 2017. Now, there’s amazing content on nearly every streaming service, from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon to newcomers like HBO Max and Apple TV+. It’s almost daunting. Actually, it is daunting. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know what to watch, we’d like to suggest you start with these—our favorite shows of 2021. 

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The Great

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Though most of us know the story of how Catherine the Great’s marriage to Peter III ended, The Great doesn’t bother much about historical accuracy, which is part of its outrageous charm. The first season did a wonderful job of setting up Nicholas Hoult as a rather dumb and kind of dangerous frat boy of an Emperor who acts on his every impulse, and Elle Fanning as a self-assured young woman who isn’t afraid to seize upon any opportunity that can get her closer to the kind of power she desires. (When she’s not rolling her eyes at her husband.) With their characters and motivations (or lack thereof) firmly established, creator Tony McNamara created additional space for more characters to enter the picture—the better to help Catherine maneuver and manipulate.

Hacks

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Jean Smart has always been just about the best thing in any TV show she’s ever been in, though she’s typically been the standout member of an ensemble cast. With Hacks, she’s able to take center stage—quite literally—as Deborah Vance, an aging Las Vegas legend whose handlers are pushing her to add some edge to her act. That “edge” comes in the form of a cynical twentysomething (Hannah Einbinder, daughter of Saturday Night Live legend Laraine Newman) who has been blackballed by Hollywood because of a bad-take tweet that went viral. While the series is about an apathetic “mentorship” that turns into more of a natural partnership, there’s never any doubt that it’s Vance who is in charge, and Smart who’s at the top of her game. The 70-year-old actor won her fourth Emmy for the role—her first for Lead Actress.

Only Murders in the Building

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It was only a matter of time before someone took society’s collective true-crime podcast obsession and found a way to make that the basis of a full-fledged series. While, on paper, Only Murders in the Building sounds like it could easily paint itself into a …….

Source: https://www.wired.com/story/best-tv-2021-streaming-guide/

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