2021 TV in Review

Amanda Combs, Reporter

2021 was a brilliant year for television. Dozens of shows were released and many popular shows delivered new seasons this past year. The industry experienced production and release delays due to Covid-19, but still managed to deliver many amazing shows. Now that 2021 has come to an end, it’s a good time to highlight some of the fan-favorite releases.

Starting off with a majorly popular show; Grey’s Anatomy. While the first season of this medical drama was released in 2005, the show is still producing new seasons. Most recently released was the majority of seasons seventeen and eighteen, both in 2021. The show follows the drama of a hospital’s doctors, as well as the patients, and has collected a large fanbase over the years.

Another popular series is Lucifer. The show released both the second half of season five and the entire sixth, and final, season on Netflix in 2021. The drama follows Lucifer, the devil, who decides he is tired of ruling Hell and takes a vacation in Los Angeles where he finds himself involved in being a consultant for the LAPD. The show follows his bantering romance with the head strong detective, Chloe Decker, while they solve crime cases in Los Angeles, California.

The well-loved series, Outer Banks, received a second season the summer of 2021 and fans of the Netflix series went wild. The drama series follows a group of teenagers, living in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, who go on a hunt searching for a treasure with a connection to the disappearance of main character, John B’s, father. 

Another extremely popular show that was released on Netflix in 2021 is the Korean survival drama, Squid Game. The show follows a contest in which 456 financially struggling contestants play deadly versions of children’s games for a 45.6 billion dollar prize. This show blew up as soon as it was released and is still being referenced quite often.

Though Netflix had many great releases this past year, Disney Plus had its own fair share of successes. One major success being WandaVision, a Marvel Studios sitcom following the well-known Marvel characters, Wanda and Vision, as their idyllic suburban life takes a trip through different decades and movie tropes.

Many book fans rejoiced when Netflix released a series adaptation of the Shadow and Bone books by Leigh Bardugo, featuring favorite characters from the spin-off duology, Six of Crows. Fans of the popular book series loved watching the main character, Alina Starkov, come into her newfound power on screen while the beloved Six of Crows characters engaged in a new heist for her and the power she holds.

One of the highlighted releases from HBO Max this past year was the post-apocalyptic drama mini-series, Station Eleven. This mini-series follows a cast of characters, all survivors of a flu outbreak, over multiple timelines as they try to reestablish their lives after losing a lot. The series is based on the bestselling novel, Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel and is one of HBO Max’s star releases from 2021.

Towards the end of 2021, Netflix released yet another major crowd pleasing series. Arcane is an animated series that was released in three acts throughout the month of November and follows sisters Vi and Jinx as they get caught in between opposing sides of a growing civil war. The sisters, accompanied by a great cast of characters, navigate through a world divided among the people from the utopian society of Piltover and those from the undercity of Zaun.

Finally,  Cobra Kai, a Netflix show that marked both the beginning and end of 2021, Cobra Kai released its third season on the first day of the year and closed off the year with season four on December 31st. This very popular Netflix original is a follow-up series to the popular film saga, The Karate Kid. The show takes place thirty-four years after the last installment, and follows some of the nostalgic characters as they bring back old rivalries alongside a newer addition of younger cast members.

2021 surprised streaming and tv fans everywhere with its amazing releases. These shows, and more, made the year memorable and increased the anticipation for more cinematic masterpieces to follow in 2022.