The 5 Best of 2021 TV:
Even with the pandemic shutting down the production of many current shows, 2021 still managed to pull off some darn good TV. Give it up for streaming services that totally blew cable television out of the water.
Here are 5 TV shows you NEED to add to your watchlist.
1. Hacks (HBO Max)
HBO Max’s Hacks deserved every Emmy it received and every Emmy it didn’t receive. The talented Jean Smart stars as Deborah Vance a fading comedian who teams up with canceled comedy writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder). An unlikely pairing eventually finds their connection and their way in this hilarious series.
The show manages to be everything and more even though the concept is pretty basic. So, despite what you might think from the trailer, you won’t be disappointed.
2. Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
It’s been forever since Steve Martin and Martin Short teamed up together to bring quality entertainment. And this time they’ve teamed up with Selena Gomez on Only Murders in the Building! Truly an unusual group, but one that works surprisingly well.
In this comedic mystery, the three come together to create a podcast in which they work to solve a murder in their building. When they dig deeper, stories are unraveled, and trust wavers. Although, the one thing that stays constant is the humor and overabundance of Steve Martin’s dad jokes.
3. Mare of Easttown (HBO Max)
Kate Winslet. Need I say more?
In this murder mystery, Mare is the police officer tasked with solving a murder in her small Pennsylvanian town. The twist at the end will leave you speechless, and reeling in awe. Mare of Easttown has A+ acting and a storyline that will have you coming back for more.
4. Squid Game (Netflix)
You’ll have to put subtitles on for this one unless you speak Korean, but I promise it’s more than worth it. Squid Game received widespread recognition over Tik Tok and is now No. 1 on Netflix’s trending list and potentially its biggest show ever.
It is gory and well-produced. And you’ll want to binge it all at once! A group of people who are in debt fight to stay alive and to win the grand prize of ₩4.5 billion. Who will prevail and who will die?
5. Firefly Lane (Netflix)
This one might be an unpopular opinion since Rotten Tomatoes didn’t like it, but I did. Two best friends Kate and Tully have known each other since high school. Kate has lived in the shadow of Tully their entire friendship but is living the life Tully ultimately wants.
Drama ensues throwing a wrench into their decades-long friendship. Firefly Lane is an easy watch and verges on cheesy, yet it’s entertaining and you’ll be left wanting a season 2 to answer important questions.
The 5 Worst of 2021 TV:
And while there is good TV, there is certainly bad TV. Many of these either had unbearable plots, endings that tanked the entire show, or were downright boring.
Here’s a list of 5 shows you should avoid at all costs.
1. Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu)
Ouch, even Nicole Kidman couldn’t save this show. Nine Perfect Strangers is based on the book of the same name, but in order to provide a fresh and new perspective, it refrains from repeating the novel’s storyline.
Each episode dragged a bit, and while the characters were interesting and given depth, the plot and resolution failed. And sorry, but Nicole Kidman’s attempt at a Russian accent made everything a bit tacky. In short, it’s about a healing retreat that strives to help a group of visitors heal from their past traumas.
2. Cruel Summer (Freeform)
Initially, this show had great potential. However, its ending completely ruined everything it was doing right. Cruel Summer is a thriller about a young girl who goes missing and the nuances within her abduction.
It plays into some obvious tropes and many of its twists are predictable. Watch at your own risk!
3. Genera(t)ion (HBO Max)
There were some good characters and decent storylines, but altogether this show just didn’t work. A majority of the characters were unlikable and it tried too hard to push the boundaries.
Genera(+)ion brings to life a group of high schoolers, some of whom are figuring out their gender and sexual identities. It attempts to dig deeper into the lives and minds of Gen Zers and how the internet affects and shapes their adolescence.
4. Gossip Girl 2021 (HBO Max)
Let’s just say the original Gossip Girl deserved to stay untouched. The Gossip Girl 2021 reboot was terrible and so obviously created by an out-of-touch group of adults that were trying to appeal to Gen Z.
The only thing I can applaud is the diversity within the casting. But other than that, the storyline about teachers creating a troll Instagram account to try and keep their students inline? Implausible and downright ridiculous.
5. Solos (Amazon Prime)
With big names like Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and Constance Wu, you’d think this show would’ve done better. But, Solos goes to show that good actors can’t save bad writing.
Each episode of this seven-part series attempts to provide a groundbreaking meaning behind humanity. Almost like it tried to one-up Black Mirror, but got it all wrong. Since it was shot during COVID it kept every character isolated to one room, which was a cool concept in theory. However, the monologues were dry making the length of each episode excruciating to sit through.
Pat Sajak Kicks Off Final Run on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Season 41
The beginning of the end is officially upon us!
Wheel of Fortune Season 41 was set to kick off today, September 11, 2023, with a momentous premiere marking Pat Sajak’s final spin with the game show. Unfortunately, due to the Monday Night’s NFL Kickoff, the episode will not be airing in its regularly scheduled slot of 6:30 p.m. CT in some markets. Instead, episode 401 was preempted and scheduled on the lineup to air at 3:07 a.m. CT, while the second episode of the season, is set to air normally on September 12th at 6:30 p.m. CT.
The article has been updated to reflect this schedule change.
The longtime host announced his departure this summer. He has helmed the game show for 40 years alongside Vanna White, who is also set to return for the 41st season, though she will be away for a week as she came down with COVID-19 while filming, forcing her to miss a handful of episodes.
Still, it’s going to be a season to remember as things will never be the same again once Ryan Seacrest takes over, replacing Sajak in 2024. Sajak first joined in 1981, filling the spot previously held by Chuck Woolery and making the game show an American staple.
However, Sajak was ready to close this chapter of his life, previously declaring, “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months.”
Fans aren’t looking forward to the change, with many commenting that it’s the “last” season they will watch on the WOF Instagram and Twitter posts promoting the premiere.
Guess who's back?
Back again (for the 41st time)? pic.twitter.com/11U14KQjIk
— Wheel of Fortune (@WheelofFortune) September 5, 2023
Wheel of Fortune Season 41 will kick off with the theme “European Vacation,” airing episodes every night of the week at 6:30 pm CT on ABC.
It’s unclear if White, who hasn’t gotten a raise in 18 years, will continue on with the show once Seacrest takes over, but since she’s so iconic and integral to the show’s success, we hope that she gets what she deserves!
And we hope everyone enjoys the final season with the iconic duo of Sajak and White!
2023 Fall TV Schedule—Here are the 17 Shows That Need to Be on Your Radar
The 2023 fall TV season is going to look slightly different this year than in previous years amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
Networks have been working overtime to overhaul the schedules and lineups to present the best content possible, so while new productions are currently paused, there are plenty of already-completed shows in the pipeline that are ready for their premiere, along with some “new-ish” shows that are either coming from streaming or Canada directly to your primetime network.
We’re breaking down all of the must-watch and highly-anticipated shows—new and returning—for the fall TV season below! You don’t have to look far to find something to enjoy, so let us know what’s making your list this season.
Wilderness – Sept 15 on Prime Video
Based on the 2017 novel of the same name written by B.E. Jones, the series focuses on a seemingly perfect couple who have it all whose dream vacation swiftly turns into a nightmare fueled by heartbreak and revenge. The cast includes Jenna Coleman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Ashley Benson.
All Rise – Sept. 16 on Own
If you’ve been with All Rise since its CBS days, you’re going to want to catch the final third season for a proper goodbye and to see how it all ends following the shocking cliffhanger, while also digging into the last legal cases on the series.
American Horror Story – Sept 20 on FX
AHS: Delicate, the 12th installment of the horror franchise, arrives just in time for spooky season. And for the first time ever, a season is based on a novel by Danielle Valentine titled Delicate Condition, which gives plenty of Rosemary’s Baby vibes. The talk of the town is the casting, which includes Emma Roberts in the lead role alongside Kim Kardashian, The Resident’s Matt Czuchry, and Cara Delevigne. It will be split into two parts, with the first arriving on Sept. 20 on FX and streaming the next day on Hulu. There’s currently no premiere date for the second part, however, the AHS spinoff American Horror Stories will also return with a four-episode Halloween event on Hulu on Oct. 26. Get ready for the thrills.
The Irrational – Sept. 25 on NBC
Alec Mercer is “the science guy,” who knows a thing or two about psychology and what makes people do certain things, which is particularly useful when trying to solve difficult and high-stakes cases and murders. Not only is the premise catchy and appeals to procedural fans, but its also got a stacked cast with Jesse L. Martin, Maahra Hill, Travina Springer, Molly Kunz, and more.
Sullivan’s Crossing – Oct. 4 on The CW
The Canadian series is making its way to The CW, and fans of small-town shows like Virgin River are going to love it!
The series, adapted from the bestselling novels by Robyn Carr (who also penned the aforementioned Netflix hit) stars Morgan Kohan, One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray, and Gilmore Girl’s Scott Patterson as it follows the journey of a neurosurgeon named Maggie Sullivan who rediscovers her past after leaving Boston for the refuge of her childhood home in Sullivan’s crossing following some legal trouble.
Goosebumps – Oct. 13 on Disney+ and Hulu
Re-live your childhood with the Goosebumps live-action series based on R.L. Stine’s bestselling books. The first five episodes will drop on Friday, Oct. 13 (fittingly) as part of Disney+’s “Hallowstream” and Hulu’s “Huluween” celebrations, with the remaining 5 episodes premiering weekly. The first two episodes will also hit Freeform for “31 Nights of Halloween.”
Ghosts UK – Nov. 16 on CBS
Before there was the U.S. version of Ghosts, the U.K. version was the talk of the town. The critically acclaimed series, which inspired the CBS adaptation, will be filling the void this season as the network has acquired the episodes for a November premiere. See how it all started—and compare versions to figure out which one you like better, though I’ve heard the original is bloody brilliant. Ghosts UK ran for a total of 4 seasons, kicking off in 2019.
Virgin River Holiday episodes – Nov. 30 on Netflix
Virgin River Season 5 just hit the streaming giant on Sept. 7, but fans will be getting a holiday present in the form of two bonus episodes that will have you spending the Christmas season in your favorite scenic small town. Find out what’s in store—spoiler, it’s likely plenty of cozy vibes with a dash of drama.
Sex Education – Sept 21. on Netflix
The wait is almost over. Following a two-year hiatus, Sex Education is back and better than ever for its final season, consisting of eight total episodes, including a final that clocks in at 83 minutes. You can get all the necessary closure on Sept. 21.
The reboot of the popular 1990s drama is leaping back to NBC this October with two new faces joining the team—Queen of the South’s Peter Gadiot and The 100’s Eliza Taylor—as series regulars. It’s one of the few scripted projects hitting broadcast amid the strike and will feature plenty of incredible guest stars along the way Manifest’s Melissa Roxburgh and Blindspot’s Francois Arnaud.
Chucky – Oct. 4 on Syfy
The famous foul-mouthed killer doll is back to bring more nightmares straight to your screen. Jennifer Tilly and Brad Dourif will be reprising their roles in the slasher as Chucky infiltrates the nation’s capital in an attempt to take over the first family for murderous reasons.
— Chucky (@ChuckyIsReal) July 24, 2022
Lupin – Oct. 5 on Netflix
It’s been 2 years since we’ve last checked in on Assane Diop, now in hiding as he’s known as France’s most-wanted fugitive, but we’ll finally get to catch up with him this October when the third season drops. And a teaser revealed plans for his biggest, boldest, and most “insane” heist to date, setting his sights on the Black Pearl, which becomes the source of many problems after kidnappers take hold of his mother in exchange for the gem. The escapades will stretch a total of 7 episodes.
Loki – Oct 6. on Disney+
It’s an MCU world and we’re just living in it. You know when McDonald’s throws a whole promotion behind your show, it’s a big deal. The second installment will find Tom Hiddleston’s character trying to make sense of everything that transpired at the end of season 1. And don’t worry, he’ll still be slipping through time and space, pulled between the past, the present, and the future, as evidenced by plenty of trippy visuals.
The Fall of the House of Usher – Oct. 12 on Netflix
Netflix is taking a bite out of the horror genre with a series inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s work, an 1839 short story of the same name. Roderick Usher (played by The Resident’s Bruce Greenwood) is, fittingly, the CEO of a corrupt pharmaceutical company, who has to face his past when his children, the heirs, begin to perish mysteriously. There are elements of pure horror mixed with dark comedy for an offering perfect for spooky season.
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Frasier Revival – Oct 12. on Paramount+
Original series star Kelsey Grammer is Dr. Frasier Crane and embarks on a new chapter in a different city that forces him to face new challenges, relationships, and more. There’s definitely a nostalgia angle at play, but it’s nice reconnecting with a familiar face after all these years.
Fear The Walking Dead – Oct. 22 on AMC
The Walking Dead spinoff is gearing up to air its final set of episodes, with a focus on the core original characters including Madison and Strand’s reunion. And there’s even a resurrection for a character long presumed dead as a teaser shows Tory Otto is very much alive and ready for sweet revenge. I guess it’s to be expected for a show about zombies, right? See how it all ends this October.
NCIS: Syndey – Nov. 13 on CBS
NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i may be on hiatus, but NCIS: Sydney, the highly anticipated spinoff series, will be entertaining fans this fall. The franchise is expanding, offering plenty of gorgeous new scenery for fans to take in, while keeping in line with what they’ve come to expect in terms from the elite group, including signature uniforms and action. The cast will include Brit Olivia Swann, leading the NCIS part of the team as NCIS Special Agent Michelle Mackey, with Aussie Todd Lasance as her 2IC AFP counterpart, Sergeant Jim “JD” Dempsey.
When Will the Holiday Episodes of ‘Virgin River’ Premiere? See the Trailer Now
Virgin River is giving a holiday gift of two bonus episodes.
After all 10 episodes of the fifth season arrive on Sept. 7, fans can look forward to two additional holiday-themed episodes streaming a few months down the line as “part 2” on Thursday, Nov. 30. It will be the show’s first-ever Christmas offering, bringing the episode count to 12 in total for season 5.
The 10th episode, the unofficial “season finale,” even included a time-jump four months into the future, setting the scene for the additional episodes as Mel and Jack can be seen gearing up for Christmas by decorating their cabin with wreaths and lights.
Mel is chatting with her sister, Joey, as Jack asks if she and the kids are excited for their first Virgin River Christmas.
A few days after the fifth season premiered, Lauren Hammersley, who plays Charmaine, shared the first look at the holiday episodes, revealing what fans can expect—and yes, Christmas in Virgin River looks just as magical as you’d expect.
As the town goes all-out for the Christmas tree decorating competition (the grand prize is a Yule log and bragging rights), Mel, who is sporting some chic new bangs, explains that she’s looking for her biological father as she wants to know “what happened.”
By the end of the brief trailer, she informs Jack that they’ve located him, with Preacher noting that he’s “still in Virgin River.” There are a handful of possibilities as to who it could be, which we break down in full right here!
Lizzie’s pregnancy is also addressed as she has doubts about whether she’ll be a good mom as Hope (likely) gears up to give her some incredible advice.
And speaking of pregnancies, one of the longest in TV history is finally coming to an end as Charmaine begins experiencing contractions at Doc’s practice and Mel jumps in to help.
As for Brady and Brie shippers, there may still be hope for their reconciliation after all as she approaches her ex and accidentally meets him right under the mistletoe. One fan in the comments suggested that she’s now doing the chasing, though a later scene, which seems to be a holiday dinner with everyone in town, sees her cozying up to Mike, so it seems she’s still very much conflicted on matters of the heart.
The only upsetting storyline includes Preacher, who may have found love with Kaia, but whose life might also blow up now that they’ve located Wes’ body after the fire.
“This thing is about to blow,” Mike tells him over the phone as Kaia inquires if he can clue her in on anything.
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We have to wait till Nov. 30 to see how everything unfolds, but remember, despite the drama and love triangles, it’s still the most wonderful time of the year!
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