21 TV shows you need to binge-watch in 2021
There will never be a time like the coronavirus pandemic for binging some kick-ass TV shows! Between day-drinking and Zoom meetings, instead of simulating work progress (but staring pointlessly at the wall, or torturing that poor pet of yours) just enjoy some new and some everlasting TV series. Here are our suggestions:
If you haven’t seen “Friends”, you should probably reconsider your decision-making skills. This series managed to stay alive for 10 whole seasons without losing the audience. We praise Martha Kaufman and David Crane and thank them for the amazing work they and the whole team put together. The show captures the every-day problems so it is very relatable to the viewer. The humor is universal. You just grow to love the characters with every little quirk they might have.
Rachel’s character is spoiled, yet ambitious, Monica is the neat freak that is also very caring, Phoebe is the happy hippie with the most questionable past, Joey is the sweet, stupid, yet extremely charming Italian guy, Chandler is the awkward and sarcastic one and Ross is the neurotic father figure among them. All of them make a great bunch and make you realize how much of a family they become over the seasons. The show captures what it’s like to be twenty-something and the struggles you may encounter. Everything in the episodes is relevant to the events, as it should be, so it’s not a drag.
This is without a doubt the most successful TV series that has changed the TV world forever!
“Ratched” is a prequel of “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”, where Sarah Paulson plays nurse Mildred Ratched. Paulson is the best thing that could happen to this show, and all of her work is brilliant for that matter. Her collaboration with Ryan Murphy is amazing. Nurse Ratched was also played by academy award winner Louise Fletcher in 1975, when “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” by Milos Forman was filmed. The character of Ratched is built gradually until we get a sense of the monster she becomes and have yet to see.
You should give it a try, especially if you are into twisted plots.
3.That 70’s show
I guess that one might say that “That ‘70s Show” is to the 1990s what “Happy Days” was to the 1970s: a look at how cool things were twenty years earlier in Wisconsin. The cast: Topher Grace plays the main character – Eric Foreman – a high school student who is usually the host of his group’s gatherings in his basement; Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti – Eric’s neighbor since childhood and the future love of his life; Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso – their idiotic but sweet friend; Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart – their younger, shallow and self-centered friend; Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde – the cool rebel of the group; Wilmer Valderrama as Fes – a foreign exchange student. Get it. F-E-S. Foreign exchange student. Haha, anyway, moving on.
Fes always tries to be cool and to fit in, so the gang gives him a chance to do so. Kurtwood Smith as Red Foreman – Eric’s unbending father; and Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Foreman – Eric’s jolly mother.
Tommy Chong plays Hyde’s stoner boss – Leo. The show is about the life and problems the gang comes across. They usually end up emphasizing Kelso’s stupidity or Hyde’s distrust of authority. Whatever happens in the episode, it always comes down to one thing: someone is bound to be called dumb-ass by Red. That’s his signature phrase.
This show has quite a wide audience. It brings back the memory of simpler times for adults and, at the same time, gives very relatable situations for kids, such as dating problems, high school struggles, and… well… weed. Also, weed for adults. You know what they say: free will ‒ illegal substances. Okay nobody says that but they really should. But enough about drugs. If you want to see more just watch the show. It paints quite the picture of the ‘70s: drugs, love, rock, and disco.
The cast fits perfectly into the stereotypes of their characters. Fun fact: Mila Kunis was only 14 when she was cast to play Jackie and that was only because she lied to the directors that she was 18. Also, in the show, she is dating Kelso and there she has her first kiss with Ashton and her first kiss ever. That, because they are now married with children, is quite the romantic love story.
If you are a fan of the hippie movement you should check this one out.
4.Game of thrones
In case you haven’t heard of “Game of Thrones” it’s high time you crawled out of the cave you’ve been living in and join us in this adventure.
You know a show is going to be a good binge watch when you are left waiting in anticipation for the next episode to come out every week and the new season – every year. The series is based on the best-selling book series by George R. R. Martin and is adapted on screen by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. They’ve managed to capture the political schemes, the royal intrigue, and the fictional aspects of the book quite brilliantly. Funded by HBO, “Game of Thrones” is sensational and sets the bar so high that it changed the world of fiction completely.
The series is full of annoying cliffhangers that leave you wanting more. It’s so addictive it’s ridiculous. The show to the cinemaniac is what heroin is to the drug addict and it should be on your watchlist! I’m not even going to reveal the cast or any details about the plot because I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say there’s a lot of violence, incest, and dragons involved. Enjoy!
This Netflix series is about Geralt of Rivia (starring Henry Cavill), a solitary monster hunter, that struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove to be more wicked than beasts.
It’s a fantasy show – more “Lord of the Rings” than “Game of Thrones” – and it captures all aspects of fantasy storytelling and gaming, including fun side-quests, point-of-view battles, and even a bard who follows the main character around singing songs about his glories.
The first season follows three stories that are bound to meet at some point: The Witcher is a monster hunter who starts to wonder why so many princesses have been turning into creatures; Anya Chalotra, as Yennefer of Vengerberg, is a mighty witch in training and has trouble controlling her emotions; Freya Allan, as princess Ciri, keeps secrets of her own while being on the run because of her town being destroyed.
The Witcher is perfect to binge-watch, especially if you are into fantasy and brilliant movie effects.
“Supernatural” is created by Eric Kripke – a master of the genre – and starring Jared Padalecki as Sam and Jensen Ackles as Dean. Well, this series is obviously about supernatural and paranormal activities, as the name would suggest. It revolves around the two brothers – Sam and Dean Winchester – who become soldiers against demonic creatures. Their mother is a victim of the dark forces when Sam and Dean are only children and their father trains them to fight whatever evil they come across in this world. I’m talking about demons, monsters, ghosts, shapeshifters, etc. You name it – they have it.
If you have doubts whether you should give it a go just imagine how many shows have struggled to be renewed for a second season because of insufficient viewers or lack of funds, or whatever, well this show has 15 seasons! Also, if you hate finishing a series and contemplating life after everyone, and wonder what new show should get your attention, this one will keep you occupied for some time! I mean, who would pass on 21st-century ghostbusters with amazing visual and sound effects!
8.2 broke girls
“2 Broke Girls” is a CBC sitcom, produced by Warner Bros and created by Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings. Set in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, the plot follows the lives of Max Black (Kat Dennings) and Caroline Channing (Beth Behrs). Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs have undeniable chemistry, and this old-fashioned odd couple sitcom is rich with laughs. Both of their characters come from different economic backgrounds – Caroline, being the daughter of a billionaire, and Max who grew up in poverty – have very different views on life, but their paths cross, and they meet at a cafe they both work at.
Despite their differences, Max and Caroline share their dream of opening their own cupcake business. How they make ends meet, despite everything around them that’s falling apart, is very entertaining and heartwarming to watch. Caroline is a very challenging role to play because the character is supposed to be a little dulled down compared to her sassy counterpart. Beth did a wonderful job with it and her creativity evolved into a product of great quality.
Other key characters are Earl (Garrett Morris), Sophie (Jennifer Coolidge), Oleg (Jonathan Kite), and Han (Matthew Moy), without whom the show would just lack the charm and humor it has. So prepare yourselves for some harsh sarcasm and offensive jokes.
The series was nominated for 12 Emmy Awards and won in 2012 for its art direction. Unfortunately, it was canceled after 6 successful seasons, but it’s a definite MUST-watch!
No need for much introduction here. We all know it. We all love it.
If you’re looking for a binge-watch that could last you through 2021, you may want to buckle in for a “Simpsons” marathon of your own making. Though the long-running series just premiered its 32nd season, it shows no signs of slowing down. And its humor is just as topical and biting today as it was when the show first began.
9.Orange is the new black
Aaaaand then there are shows like “Orange is the new black”.
A series that would help you understand other aspects of life you wouldn’t have even thought about. The show points out political issues, feminism, problems in the correctional system, racism, disability, and many other topics that need to be more emphasized.
The Netflix series is created by Jenji Kohan and is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir “Orange is the new black: My year in a women’s prison”. The main character ‒ Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and her struggles in prison follow the true experience of the real Piper Kerman. Through this show, the author sends the message to all the viewers regarding all those problems buried deep somewhere for no one to find because of how inconvenient they are for those who have to partake and solve them.
The writing is genius. Every character has their specific qualities and evolves gradually throughout the seasons. The character of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” is my personal favorite. Uzo Aduba gave a jaw-dropping performance. She deserved every bit of that Emmy she won for the acting!
The HBO production “Westworld” is a science fiction Western, created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, based on the 1973 film “Westworld” and to a lesser extent, the 1976 sequel – “Futureworld”. The story starts in a fictional, technologically advanced Wild-West-themed amusement park, populated by android “hosts”. The “guests” can fulfill their wildest fantasies within the park without fearing the hosts, who are programmed not to harm people. Later on, in the series, people’s lives are driven and controlled by a powerful artificial intelligence named Roheboam.
This show is a masterpiece. It has an entertaining story that is sure to keep you on your toes. I never thought I would enjoy a show that deals with the artificial consciousness and the human mind but as soon as I watched the pilot, I was sucked in and had to binge it from the beginning. There are so many elements to the story and each element is as riveting as the next. Watching the story unfold, backstories explained, episode after episode and season after season explains the show’s true nature and is a must-watch for sci-fi fans.
Season one explored mind-blowing possibilities of AI and genetic engineering combined with thrilling visuals of the park. Next season was a bit of a drag but at the same time laid the groundwork for the upcoming seasons. Season 3 comes up with more original content and, as the older characters mature to their best and with the emergence of new “god’s” in real-world, Westworld undoubtedly keeps the viewer excitement higher than ever. Coronavirus has made the whole world stay at home and I must say HBO got the timing just right.
Disney+ original series “The Mandalorian”, starring Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Giancarlo Esposito, is created by Jon Favreau and is the first live-action Star Wars series. The story follows Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), a lonely and mysterious bounty hunter who traverses the outskirts of the galaxy just outside the New Republic’s reach.
The show is set five years after the “Return of the Jedi” and it is the best thing to happen in a galaxy far, far away in a very long time. “The Mandalorian” is a throw-back to the Star Wars universe and rejuvenates the aspects we’ve all loved about it. If you still have doubts about whether you should watch it, I’ve got two words for you, my friend: Baby. Yoda. This adorable, internet-famous creature that everybody loves is still a mystery, but everyone’s questions should be answered as the Mandalorian tries to uncover the young Jedi Master’s origins while having Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) hot on their trail.
“Stranger Things” is a Netflix sci-fi horror series, created by Matt and Ross Duffer. The first season revolves around the investigation of a missing young boy in the middle of all the extraordinary events that are happening around the town, such as the advent of a girl with psychokinetic powers. The show takes place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the ‘80s which makes it very convenient for many pop culture references of that decade. For some themes and directorial aspects, the Duffer twins found inspiration in the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Steven King, as well as in some strange experiments that were conducted during the Cold War and real-world conspiracy theories, involving secret government experiments. That is how the Duffer brothers managed to develop “Stranger Things” as a combination of investigative drama mixed with supernatural elements.
What is even more satisfying about this series is that it is perfect to binge-watch because “Stranger Things” has more of a movie nature than a TV series, not only because of the reduced number of episodes, but also the structure of each one. The episodes are connected and watching it feels more like reading a great novel in one day, rather than watching a lot of TV at once.
And last but not least, you will find a well-selected cast starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, and many more who will hook you up with enough cliffhangers. Enjoy!
“Breaking Bad” is a neo-Western crime drama show, created and produced by Vince Gilligan. When the series first aired on AMC, it received very positive reviews and by the time it was made available on Netflix, “Breaking Bad” was proclaimed one of the greatest TV series of all time and was among the most-watched American shows.
Binge-watching this unquestionable Golden Age series can feel like an emotional marathon, but it is worth your time. “Breaking Bad” is a series that steers in a different direction every time you think you are finally onto it and is never afraid to swing for the fences with repulsive human behavior and bad deeds.
The show was set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and it follows the life of Walter White (Bryan Cranson) – a high school chemistry teacher who is low on enthusiasm as well as on money. White is being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and turns to a life of crime by producing and selling crystal meth, partnering with one of his students – Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) – to provide a stable financial future for his family before he dies of his disease. Walter’s son – Walter, Jr. (RJ Mitte) – is a challenged child, struggling with cerebral palsy. Interestingly enough, the actor who plays Walter, Jr also suffers from this disease in real life.
“Breaking Bad” is a perfectly crafted show, each season feeling like both a tightly-contained unit of storytelling and a part of a bigger whole. It will keep your nerves till the end and put a pit in your stomach for a breathless rollercoaster of character drama through crime and punishment.
“Peaky Blinders”, created by Steven Knight, is a British historical crime drama television series which takes place in Birmingham, England. The series is about the Shelby crime family in search of money and power after World War I. The fictional family is inspired by a real urban youth gang of the same name, who was active in the city from the 1890s to the early 20th century.
“Peaky Blinders” is a captivating gangster drama full of various complicated characters. The fact that it is a crime series can mislead you into thinking that all characters are macho men, however, the series also includes many powerful female characters. It has an excellent cast and script. Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, is the main character. He uses his strategic intelligence and is not afraid to use violence to his ends. The soundtrack is a very strong highlight of the series, alongside Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy.
If you are into Victorian crime shows such as “Ripper Street”, “Whitechapel”, “Sherlock Holmes”, etc. then you will love this one as well. However “Peaky Blinders” stands out by its refreshing change of scenery, culture, and accent – set in Birmingham as a contrast to the others who take place in London. Another distinguishing feature is that it is from the criminal’s perspective. Despite all the terrible acts they carry out, there is fundamental decency buried somewhere deep inside Thomas Shelby.
Every season is as great as the previous one! If you are still having some doubts about the series just check out its ratings and reviews!
“Money Heist”, created by Alex Pina, is a Spanish heist crime drama show and it translates as “The house of paper” (“La casa de papel”). It is mainly set in Madrid, Spain, although some parts were shot in Panama, Thailand, and Florence, Italy. The show follows two well-planned heists – one of the Royal Mint of Spain, and another one of the Bank of Spain – both thoroughly planned by the Professor (Alvaro Morte). The series is told from one of the thieve’s perspective – Tokyo (Ursula Corberó) – and includes many time-jumps, flashbacks, and emotional setbacks to cloud their judgment and compromise an otherwise perfect plan.
It may seem as though this series is just a crime drama, but pay a little more attention to the detail. It is very strong on symbolism. For instance: the Dali masks are not randomly chosen. Dali is a genius painter who inherited a life that is contrary to popular morality and common customs. He has never accepted the imperatives from society and the right to wrong moral codes. The masks represent this irregularity.
Also: red overalls represent socialism and so does “Bella Ciao”; the Mint and the cops represent capitalism. In capitalism money sets everything. Even morals will set money. So when someone attacks the money, those people are declared bad. When attacked by money, capitalism is waging a war against the attackers with its armed and visual mechanisms.
The professor is a symbol of the scientific perspective and accounting. After all, scientific thinking and accountability overcome all kinds of problems. But love succumbs.
It’s a story of love, crime, and hidden messages. I recommend 10/10!
“Chernobyl” is a historical drama miniseries, an HBO production, created by Craig Mazin. The show won several Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. As you can imagine, it’s about the nuclear disaster of ’86 in Ukraine. The series was thoroughly researched, however, it is not a documentary and some liberties were taken for dramatic effect so you may come across certain inconsistencies as many critics have pointed out.
After watching closely, my loudest thought that I can express is simply “wow”. I’m having a hard time finding anything negative to say about the series, apart from some highly politicized opinions from Russia, claiming the series to be political propaganda hit job on the glorious Soviet Union. First, one must remember that this is not a documentary, therefore it should not be judged on the literal precision of accounting the events and scientific details. But having said that, I think the creators did get it almost as good as I think was practically possible.
We will never know the full truth about what had happened back then. The Soviet authorities put in a lot of effort to hide the truth and the main source we have to rely on nowadays is the witnesses and participants of the events. Some documentary reporting has been released after the series premiered to allow concluding that at least what has been shown is close enough to what happened.
“The office” is an American mockumentary series, adapted by Greg Daniels from the original British series of the same name. Both the American and the British show follow the same storyline – the everyday work lives of the office employees in a fictional paper company. It broadcasted on NBC in 2005 and lasted for 9 seasons. That being said, remember the analogy we made earlier: the more seasons a show has, the more viewers it has to keep it going. So if that doesn’t point you in the right direction, just check out the ratings and see for yourself.
“The office” has a few characteristic features that distinguish it from other shows: it was filmed with a single camera, which may seem a bit raw and unprofessional but you will come to discover that it adds a more real and personal experience. It also lacks the presence of a studio audience or a laugh track to give it more sense of an actual documentary. The main cast of the show includes Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and B. J. Novak. “The office” has won many awards for its humor and character play, some of which – Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, etc.
I still remember the first scene I saw of the show – it was a picture of Steve Carell in front of a whiteboard that had “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” written on it.
The series teaches you to embrace your weirdness and unique features. You can’t get everyone to like you, so you might as well be your awesome self and be true to your heart and everything will fall into place.
“True detective” is an HBO anthology crime drama created by Nic Pizzolatto. The series consists of 3 seasons – each one has its plot and cast. Season 1 is about Louisiana State Police detectives who are after a serial killer over 17 years and features Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts, and Tory Kittles. Next season 2 is about three detectives from three cooperating police departments who are convinced that a series of crimes are linked to the murder of a politician, featuring Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, Kelly Reilly, and Vince Vaughn. Season 3 is about two Arkansas State Police detectives who try to get to the bottom of a gruesome crime involving two missing children, featuring Mahershala Ali, Carmen Ejogo, Stephen Dorff, Scoot McNairy, and Ray Fisher.
The show is engrossing and surpasses your wildest detective dreams. So get comfy, put on your thinking hat, and start guessing who the killers are!
“Black Mirror” is a British dystopian science fiction anthology series created by Charlie Brooker. It studies modern society in relation to new technologies and the unexpected outcome of them. The episodes are self-contained, unattached, and usually take place in a parallel present or the near future.
The show was inspired by other anthology series like “The Twilight Zone”, only Brooker took a spin that is darker than dark comedy – it’s a disturbing parable that is more frightening than humorous and emphasizes topics about people’s interaction with technology, creating stories that portray “the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes if we’re clumsy.” However you view it, this three-part series is thought-provoking and very well written, with its final episode, “The Entire History of You”, a heartbreaking triumph.
The series has received positive reviews from critics and also many awards and nominations. It experienced a substantial rise in viewership when Netflix began to broadcast it.
“Twin Peaks” is an ABC mystery horror drama series, created by Mark Frost and David Lynch in 1990. The show is considered one of the best series of all time and a turning point for television drama. It is a unique combination of semi-traditional and propulsive genre and pure Lynch-brand surrealism.
The story is about an investigation, led by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and local Sheriff Harry Truman (Michael Ontkean) about the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). It takes place in a fictitious town called Twin Peaks. The series is a combination of supernatural elements and detective fiction, but also the depiction of the characters gives a sense of a horror drama to it. Emotionally affecting and deceptively deep beneath the glittering madness, if Twin Peaks isn’t quite Lynch at his best, it’s certainly at his most iconic.
“Twin Peaks” was canceled in 1991, after the second season, however, the show was such a success that it started a media franchise and a following 1992 movie: “Twin Peaks: Fire walk with me” – a prequel to the series. The show returned 25 years later when in 2017 a third season came out. It was written and directed by Lynch and the cast consisted of original (starring MacLachlan), as well as new members.
Who hasn’t heard the tales of Sherlock Holmes? Short stories, novels, stage adaptations, movies, television productions… We’re going to focus on the 2010 crime TV series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. Co-creator Mark Gatiss also appears as Sherlock’s brother – Mycroft Holmes. Other key characters include Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade (Rupert Graves), who is the main associate of Sherlock Holmes in solving brutal crimes; Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) – Sherlock’s mortal enemy; Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) – a pathologist who helps Holmes now and then in his mystery cases; Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) – the landlady.
Sherlock refers to himself as “consulting detective”, assisting the Metropolitan Police, mainly Lestrade. The series consists of four seasons, however, in January 2014, Moffat confirmed that a fifth season was plotted but still not in the production.
The writing is brilliant, clever, and builds a lot of suspense, so much that the anticipation leaves you on pins and needles. The actors portray their characters so well that you start to wonder whether Benedict is just as much a sociopath as Sherlock is, and if Martin is also the antisocial introvert, carrying immense baggage, much like Dr. Watson is with his Afganistan experience. The perfect detective thriller to binge-watch!
We hope you liked our 21 suggestions, if you have any of your own that we haven’t added to the list, we would love to check them out, so leave them in the comments below! Cheers!