Fetch’s Favourite TV Shows of 2021

Andrew Buckle,

The editors at Fetch watched a lot of television in 2021. Below is a glimpse into their favourites of the year. Take a look and see if any strike a chord with you, then seek out ones you may have missed.

Adam

  1. The White Lotus
  2. Succession S3
  3. Mare of Easttown
  4. Midnight Mass
  5. Mr Inbetween S3
  6. Squid Game S1
  7. 9 Perfect Strangers
  8. Coyote
  9. War of the Worlds S2
  10. Ted Lasso S2

I loved the diverse genres of my favourite television in 2021. Drama, Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Action…it’s all there.

The White Lotus was a jaw dropper that offered a funny, sad and shocking look at white privilege through a cast of pretty horrible characters, all oblivious to their behaviour. Speaking of horrible people, Succession and the dastardly Roy family delivered the best season yet, and 3 seasons in has cemented itself as another HBO classic.

Mare of Easttown was simply brilliant filmmaking. A riveting story with twists and turns, a downbeat tone and of course, Kate Winslet at her very best. You either loved or loathed the slow burn pacing of Midnight Mass, but the story was compelling enough to keep me riveted throughout, while Squid Game was fun, high-concept exploitation that never got boring.

Mr Inbetween could be my favourite Aussie show of all time and it was sad to see it end, and just when I was thinking 9 Perfect Strangers was silly and self-indulgent, it pulled me back in with some uniquely original and strangely surreal storytelling.

Coyote on Paramount+ was my hidden gem of the year, a Breaking bad-esque nail-biter that is pure entertainment. War of the Worlds continued to be the most frightening adaptation of the famous story, and despite being continually frustrated by the more contrived second season of Ted Lasso, I still found myself looking forward to each episode week to week.

Andrew

  1. The White Lotus
  2. Midnight Mass
  3. Squid Game S1
  4. Sex Education S3
  5. Mare of Easttown
  6. The Expanse S5
  7. The Third Day
  8. The Chestnut Man
  9. Jaguar
  10. Last Chance U: Basketball

From the opening credits of The White Lotus I was hooked, and throughout this funny, tragic and completely unpredictable (and unclassifiable) social interrogation the theme score was used brilliantly. A very timely encapsulation of the ignorance of white privilege, what kept this genuinely entertaining was the tinge of sympathy that ran hand-in-hand with the plight of these largely-unlikable people.

Who hasn’t yet watched Squid Game? This insanely addictive and brilliantly orchestrated ‘event series’ flooded living rooms across the world. I had to see what all the fuss was about, and that fuss was gorily and gloriously justified.

After a bit of a misfire with The Haunting of Bly Manor (IMO) Mike Flanagan returned for his strongest work yet – Midnight Mass. Featuring an extraordinary cast (get Kate Siegel and Zach Gilford their own movie ASAP) the mysteries do unfold at a modest pace but the intense climax is well worth the investment.

Mare of Easttown, driven by wonderful work from Kate Winslet, was a riveting Philadelphia-set police procedural. Though not as grisly as something like True Detective the drama within Mare’s family and her relationships with the townsfolk made her a very personable character.

Sex Education returned for a third season on Netflix, proving it is indisputably one of the funniest and most honest portraits of high school life on TV.

My wife and I have been watching The Expanse together for years and the fifth season had certainly no dip in quality. This shows is the gold standard for intergalactic conflict and diplomacy mixed with fun rag-tag piracy adventure. Season 6, the final one I believe, has just been made available on Prime Video too.

The second season of The Witcher sadly remains unwatched at the time of conception, but as a fierce defender of the first season (I don’t know why, it is very good) I am pleased to hear that this one has had a stronger reception.

You won’t be seeing the The Undoing here. After a stellar opening episode, the plot got increasingly ridiculous. A shame to sully Hugh Grant’s recent gold streak. As a proponent of the International options on Netflix – I wrote about some of the greatest series to date hereThe Chestnut Man and Jaguar are well worth seeking out.

Drew

  1. Maid
  2. Succesion S1-3
  3. Brooklyn Nine Nine S8
  4. Squid Game S1
  5. The Witcher S2
  6. Chapelwaite S1
  7. Chucky S1
  8. Rick and Morty S5
  9. Invincible S1
  10. Love, Death + Robots S2

HM: The White Lotus

With lockdown there was no better time to catch up on all your TV shows. Well, that’s what I did at least!

It was a great year for TV with new seasons for fans of long-running hits as well as new series taking the world by storm. Korean thriller Squid Game came out of nowhere to become a phenomenon – Netflix’s most watched show – and personally introduced me to the amazing content created in Korea. I was late to the party with Succession, but I started it in preparation for the new season. Watching the terrible human beings of the Roy family empire quickly became a guilty pleasure of mine. But, what took the top spot for me was Maid, a limited series on Netflix. I quickly grew attached to the amazing main character, portrayed by Margaret Qualley, and the emotionally intense story line. 

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