Year in Review: The 5 Best New Shows of 2021

This year, there were so many fantastic new shows. From science fiction to historical dramas and comedies, each one was special in its own way. Taking into account creativity, entertainment value, writing and performance, here are the five best new shows of 2021, according to TV Tea.

5. “Schmigadoon”

Courtesy of Apple TV+.

When wandering from their couples retreat in the woods, Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) and Melissa (Cecily Strong) stumble upon the land of Schmigadoon, a small town where every day the people burst into song and dance as if they are in a musical. And just like the story told in any musical, there must be a villain and a problem for the protagonist(s) to solve — before they can find their happily ever after. Despite some predictable story arcs, by seamlessly combining modern television and comedy with classic musicals, “Shmigadoon” is one of a kind.

4. “The Sex Lives of College Girls”

Courtesy of HBO Max.

Mindy Kaling’s most recent success, “The Sex Lives of College Girls” is a hilarious and relatable series following four freshman roommates on their vastly different journeys at the same elite college — which is fictionally known as Essex. Between Leighton (Reneé Rap), the conservative closeted lesbian, Bela (Amrit Kaur), the funny free spirit with strict Indian American parents, Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott), the senator’s daughter and Essex’s greatest soccer star and Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet), a rule-following scholarship student, there is enough drama to go around and fun to be had.

“The Sex Lives of College Girls” is available to stream on HBO Max.

3. “Hacks”

Courtesy of HBO Max.

What happens when, in order to save her career, an experienced comic is forced to take advice from a young, “woke” writer? You can only imagine. In this HBO Max original, Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and Ava (Hannah Einbinder) create the perfect duo as they constantly fail to understand one another and make us laugh in the process. Despite their differences, the fight to achieve both personal success and success for all women in an industry long-run by men may just mean them working together. 

“Hacks” is available to stream on HBO Max.

2. “Dopesick”

Courtesy of Hulu.

While the opioid crisis has been a cause of concern for several decades now, most of us didn’t know the whole story until “Dopesick” arrived on Hulu. Following a number of lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family, we finally got to see just how despicable their actions were in this limited series. Starring Kaitlyn Dever, Michael Keaton, Will Poulter and Rosario Dawson, “Dopesick” blew us away.

“Dopesick” is available to stream on Hulu.

1. “WandaVision”

Courtesy of Disney+.

The first of several MCU shows to hit Disney+ this year, “WandaVision” captured an all-new audience, luring people of all ages to the streaming platform. Starring Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, “WandaVision” follows the powerful witch as she creates a televised universe in an attempt to save her family. Due to the success of the series, a spinoff “Agatha: House of Darkness” is already in the works at Disney.

“WandaVision” is available to stream on Disney+.

By Blair Krassen

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