Best Returning Series 2021

Season 2 of Apple TV+’s original comedy Ted Lasso outperformed its first season with a higher Tomatometer score (97% compared to 92%) and more reviews (118 compared to 73), propelling this fan favorite to the top of our Best Returning Series category. Ted Lasso’s performance is even more impressive considering some of its competition in the category, including No. 2 on the list, HBO’s critically-acclaimed drama Succession, which also has a Certified Fresh 97% Tomatometer score, but on 88 reviews. The titles in third through tenth place actually all have perfect 100% scores, but with significantly fewer reviews, they are unable to challenge the lower-scoring top two of the category.

The order reflects Tomatometer scores (as of December 31, 2021) after adjustment from our ranking formula, which compensates for variation in the number of reviews when comparing movies or TV shows.

Ted Lasso: Season 2 (2021)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 113844%
Critics Consensus: As comforting as a buttery biscuit from a friend, Ted Lasso's sophomore season is a feel-good triumph that plays into the show's strengths while giving its supporting team more time on the pitch.

#2
Adjusted Score: 109312%
Critics Consensus: Fans already buying what Sucession is selling will be pleasantly surprised to find its third season in crackling form - even if it gets a little too real from time to time.

#3
Adjusted Score: 103347%
Critics Consensus: Smartly written, sharply performed, and sentimental without losing its sense of humor, Mythic Quest's stellar second season solidifies its place as one of TV's best workplace comedies.

Adjusted Score: 102802%
Critics Consensus: Carried on the wings of its cast's incredible chemistry and the strongest writing of the series so far, What We Do in the Shadows' third season is scary good.

The Great: Season 2 (2021)
100%

#5
Adjusted Score: 103752%
Critics Consensus: The Great continues its revisionist reign stronger than before thanks to its addictive wit and marvelous cast -- huzzah!

Pose: Season 3 (2021)
100%

#6
Adjusted Score: 102939%
Critics Consensus: Though it's entirely too short, Pose's final season is a joyously entertaining celebration of life that is not to be missed.

Insecure: Season 5 (2021)
100%

#7
Adjusted Score: 102532%
Critics Consensus: Issa's future remains uncertain, but Insecure enters its final season a fully confident comedy with plenty left to say about friendship, love, and self-esteem.

Cobra Kai: Season 4 (2021)
95%

#8
Adjusted Score: 99567%
Critics Consensus: Cobra Kai still delights in a fourth season that mines great fun from shifting alliances, chiefly the uneasy truce between Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso.

The Expanse: Season 5 (2020)
100%

#9
Adjusted Score: 102583%
Critics Consensus: The Expanse's many threads come to a head in an excellent fifth season that expertly capitalizes on everything that makes the show work while setting the stage for an epic final season.

Adjusted Score: 103075%
Critics Consensus: A triumph of sketch comedy, I Think You Should Leave's sophomore season dives deeper into Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin's strange minds with manically delightful results.

#11
Adjusted Score: 101717%
Critics Consensus: Tuca & Bertie's superb second season is as vivid and sparkling as the first, diving deeper into its dynamic leads without losing any of its singular humor.

Dickinson: Season 2 (2021)
100%

#12
Adjusted Score: 102668%
Critics Consensus: With stronger writing and a never-better Hailee Steinfeld, Dickinson finds surer footing in its second season without losing any of its strange delights.

Dickinson: Season 3 (2021)
100%

#13
Adjusted Score: 102260%
Critics Consensus: Authentically itself to the very last, Dickinson's final season delivers elegant closure like a well-structured stanza.

#14
Adjusted Score: 102668%
Critics Consensus: For All Mankind's sophomore flight isn't without its hiccups, but compelling character work and a renewed sense of wonder make for thrilling viewing.

Feel Good: Season 2 (2021)
100%

#15
Adjusted Score: 101983%
Critics Consensus: Feel Good's second season is at once sharp and soft, a bittersweet examination of love and life that will leave viewers wanting more from Mae Martin ASAP.

#16
Adjusted Score: 102841%
Critics Consensus: With a seemingly endless desire to dive deeper into its characters paired perfectly with its talented ensemble, Sex Education's third season is a masterclass in brutally honest, brilliantly heartfelt comedy.
Directed By: Jamie Campbell

Lupin: Part 2 (2021)
96%

#17
Adjusted Score: 98803%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sexy, and stylish, Lupin's highly bingeable second season is perfect summer viewing.

#18
Adjusted Score: 98396%
Critics Consensus: In Treatment returns with a solid fourth season that captures the spirit of the original while giving its new ensemble - led by an outstanding Uzo Aduba - plenty of room to shine.

You: Season 3 (2021)
93%

#19
Adjusted Score: 100147%
Critics Consensus: You takes its thrilling saga to the suburbs with superb results, made all the more delicious by Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti's committed performances.

#20
Adjusted Score: 102558%
Critics Consensus: The Witcher's second season expands on its first in all the best ways -- and most importantly, it remains a whole lot of fun.