2021 was the year Marvel gave us live-action TV shows with the characters we love from the Marvel universe. Ted Lasso gave us another great season, New CW shows brightened our year, and a returning one shook us. In its 17th season, Grey’s Anatomy gave us a brutal season about covid 19. This show has been around so long, and it sure knows how to pivot to meet the moment.
There was once again so much good TV this year, but with so much to watch, how do you narrow it down to 10 shows? It wasn’t easy, but these are the ones that have stayed with me.
Wanda Vision dropped in January, and it still stands out as one of the best shows of the year. While a Marvel show, it had such a fresh take. It looked at grief in a very different way. It was incredible watching Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) lose it through the episodes. What began as this quirky comedy looking at sitcoms through the ages was such a complex view of grief. We got the great commentary but also got a lot of laughs. It was creatively one of the best shows ever. It’s a shame that it doesn’t appear that we will get another season. It’s a world that I would love to go back to, and Elizabeth and Kathryn Hahn had such outstanding performances. It’s a shame none of the big awards recognized them for their work.
I didn’t hop on the Ted Lasso train until this year, but it was right when I needed it. Both seasons give you so much joy. While there are some issues with the second season, mainly how could they do that to our Nate (Nick Mohammed)? It’s still an incredible show. I love how it permits men to be more vulnerable. The second season also brought awareness to mental health in sports when it was so important. This season also gave us a wonderful Christmas episode that will be a must-watch every year.
The Falcon & Winter Soldier
While The Falcon & Winter Soldier wasn’t the most talked about Marvel show on Twitter, it was still one of the best Marvel shows of the year and deserved more love. That speech at the end by Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson was incredible. I teared right up. It’s about time we got more African American superheroes. Besides the crucial messages, every episode was like an action movie, and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes was hilarious. We can’t ask for much more from a Marvel show.
I planned on watching Hawkeye before I’d even seen a promo for it. I have a thing for heroes with bows and arrows. I wish I could say I was all in because of Hailee Steinfeld, I know that was why many people were excited about this Marvel show, but I am a fan of Jeremy Renner, even more after this show. And I will definitely be checking out Hailee in other projects now. She was so much fun to watch and even made Clint Barton funny. They had fantastic chemistry that brought out a different side of Barton. I’m hoping for a second season because six episodes are just not enough to follow these two around. Plus, let’s talk about that incredible girls’ night between Kate Bishop and Yelena Belova. Florence was also hilarious with her appearance. And the finale brought epic fight scenes and a cute moment between Kate and Clint. I feel like this won’t be the last we see of this duo. And hopefully not of Kate and Yelena too.
Superman & Lois
I was all in on Superman & Lois because I love Tyler Hoechlin, but I fell in love with the show because of Bitsie Tulloch’s Lois Lane. It’s no secret that I love a badass female character, which she is one of them. She rivals my love for Emily Bett Rickards’ Felicity Smoak, and that’s saying a lot. This take on Superman and Lois blends the family dynamics with the action so well. We’ve also got two young actors, Alex Garfin and Jordan Elsass, bringing their A games for the Kent twins. There’s so much to love, and I’m so excited for season two!
Walker is another show that seamlessly brings together the family moments with the action. It’s a shame that Lindsey Morgan has left the show, she was the badass female character in this one, but there are so many actors to love in this series: Jared Padalecki, Keegan Allen, Odette Annable, Mitch Pileggi, Molly Hagan and Austin Nichols was even in the first season. I’ve also fallen in love with Trey Barnett, played by Jeff Pierre. The Walker kids are also a lot of fun to watch. I’m glad we got Jared back so quickly. It makes me miss Supernatural a little less. Now, if we could only get the next season of The Boys, we would have Jensen Ackles back too.
I was obsessed with season one of Hightown, and they have delivered with season two as well. Jackie Quiñones (Monica Raymund) is back on the case. This time as an official detective! We have almost all the people we love from the last season, RIP Junior, but they are in different places on the playing field this time. Ray Abruzzo (James Badge Dale) is left out in the cold after Renee Segna (Riley Voelkel) chose Frankie Cuevas (Amaury Nolasco) over him. Frankie is released from prison because of it, and Renee is sitting pretty for a while as his fiancee until she realizes she can’t live this life anymore. I loved Riley in The Originals, and I love her in this too. She has a seriously raw performance in Hightown. And let’s not forget our leading lady Monica. She also brings it this season. I also love how Alan Saintille (Dohn Norwood) is trying to protect new Drug Queen Charmaine (Imani Lewis) from herself, even if she’s too stubborn to save herself before it’s too late.
Roswell New Mexico
This season of Roswell, New Mexico, was on another level. It’s the most exciting and intense season to date. The writers had us panicking about Kyle Valenti (Michael Trevino) constantly. Jones (Nathan Parsons) was always two steps ahead, and what incredible acting from Nathan to be playing two drastically different characters. The character dynamics are outstanding on this show. There were so many moments between characters to love. Kyle and Liz Ortecho (Jeanine Mason) are always great together. There were several moments with Isobel Evans (Lily Cowles) and Rosa Ortecho (Amber Midthunder). Isobel and Maria DeLuca (Heather Hemmens) were also great together, not to mention our fave ship, Malex, Michael Guerin (Michael Vlamis) and Alex Manes (Tyler Blackburn). I’m excited to see more of the characters’ moments and where the show takes the storyline next.
The Morning Show
Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston are incredible in The Morning Show. Reese got deep with Bradley Jackson this season as she’s dealing with her brother’s addiction and being outed. Jennifer’s Alexy Levy isn’t exactly the most likable of characters, but you can’t say you don’t respect the performance. Her life is spinning out of control, and you can feel every moment of it. The one downside to this season is that some people might not be ready to relive the beginning of the pandemic. I had major flashbacks as we approached March and saw what was happening outside of the U.S. and how everyone thought it wouldn’t affect them. Until Alex tested positive, it was more of a backdrop for all the drama The Morning Show delivered this season.
I know many people weren’t here for the Covid storyline of Grey’s Anatomy, but I loved it. I was in tears every single week. The actors were on their A-game, and in some way, it was cathartic. Sadly, we lost Jesse Williams this year, but they gave him a wonderful send-off with Jackson Avery and April Kepner reuniting and going to Boston together. But, of course, April wasn’t the only former Grey’s character we got to see. We also got Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh). Yes, that was this year. Now, Grey’s is in a post-covid world where we wish we could all join them.
What were your favorite shows of the year? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.