Best TV Shows 2021

One series reigns over all the others, and that’s the Marvel series about Scarlet Witch Wanda Maximoff and her Mind Stone–powered husband, Vision. Be it superhero, drama, comedy, horror, or any other genre, WandaVision conjured a 91% Tomatometer score (as of year-end 2021) on 194 reviews over its nine-episode run and bested them all. That’s more than all of its competitors in this category, many of which top other categories in this Golden Tomato contest — like the perfect-scoring first season of Hulu comedy Only Murders in the Building, which has 96 reviews — and including season 1 of WandaVision’s fellow Disney+ title Loki, with its 92% score on 127 reviews.

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.

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Part loving homage to TV history, part off-kilter mystery, WandaVision is a wonderfully weird and strikingly bold step into the small screen for the MCU - and a perfect showcase for Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany.
Directed By: Jac Schaeffer, Kevin Feige

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Only Murders in the Building's silly approach to true crime obsessives is at once hilarious and insightful, thanks in large part to its extremely charming central trio.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Grounded by a career-best Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown's ambitions at times exceed its reach, but its central mystery is supported by such strong sense of place and character it hardly matters.

Loki: Season 1 (2021)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A delightful diversion from the MCU as we know it, Loki successfully sees star Tom Hiddleston leap from beloved villain to endearing antihero -- with a little help from Owen Wilson -- in a series that's as off-kilter, charming, and vaguely dangerous as the demigod himself.

Hacks: Season 1 (2021)
100%

#5
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A prickling debut that pulls few punches, Hacks deftly balances its sharp critiques of the comedy world with more intimate moments, all the while giving the incomparable Jean Smart a role worthy of her talents -- and an excellent partner in Hannah Einbinder.

Ted Lasso: Season 2 (2021)
98%

#6
Adjusted Score: -1%
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.

#7
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: With bold animation, bloody action, and an all-star cast led by the charming Steven Yeun, Invincible smartly adapts its source material without sacrificing its nuanced perspective on the price of superpowers.

#8
Adjusted Score: -1%
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.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: It may be too much of a good thing for some viewers, but The Beatles: Get Back offers a thrillingly immersive look at the band's creative process.

#10
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Propelled by an exquisite cast, empathetic writing, and a distinct visual style, It's a Sin is an incredible feat of small-screen magic.

#11
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A genre mashup that blends smoothly, Yellowjackets presents an absorbing mystery with plenty of sting.

#12
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Emotionally engaging, superbly acted, and incredibly entertaining, Sweet Tooth will satisfy fantasy fans of all ages.

#13
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Infectious energy, great songs, and a magnetic cast come together to make We Are Lady Parts a rocking comedy that is as subversive as it is hilarious.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Aimless afternoons yield absurd delights in Reservation Dogs, a low-key comedy that deftly captures the malaise of youth and Rez life thanks in no small part to its impressive central crew.

#15
Adjusted Score: -1%
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: -1%
Critics Consensus: With a superb ensemble and Barry Jenkins' singular eye, The Underground Railroad delicately translates its source material into a powerfully humane series that is as challenging as it is necessary.

Starstruck: Season 1 (2021)
100%

#17
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Starstruck doesn't rewrite the rom-com datebook, but with a quick wit and a star-making turn from the dynamic Rose Matafeo it's easy to fall for anyway.
Directed By: Karen Maine

Adjusted Score: -1%
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.

Lupin: Part 1 (2021)
98%

#19
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Omar Sy effortlessly hits every mark in Lupin, an engrossing espionage thriller that lives up to its source material and then some.

Pose: Season 3 (2021)
100%

#20
Adjusted Score: -1%
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.

#21
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: The rare adaptation that exceeds its source material, Blindspotting deftly takes on complicated social constructs with comedic flair, crafting a show that's as funny as it is poignant while giving its incredible ensemble --- led by the captivating Jasmine Cephas Jones -- plenty of room to shine.

The Great: Season 2 (2021)
100%

#22
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: The Great continues its revisionist reign stronger than before thanks to its addictive wit and marvelous cast -- huzzah!

LuLaRich: Season 1 (2021)
100%

#23
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: With lurid twists, wild characters, and tons of spandex, LuLaRich is oh-so-good.

The Expanse: Season 5 (2020)
100%

#24
Adjusted Score: -1%
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: -1%
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.

Girls5eva: Season 1 (2021)
98%

#26
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Smart, funny, and just nostalgic enough, Girls5eva's intelligent insights are brought to brilliant life by its talented quartet, whose individual gifts come together to make sweet comedic harmony.

Time: Season 1 (2021)
100%

#27
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Time's heavy load can be challenging, but strong writing and a magnificent performance from Sean Bean make for an incredible, thought-provoking watch.
Directed By: Lewis Arnold

#28
Adjusted Score: -1%
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.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A celebration of art and life through the eyes of a delightful curmudgeon, Painting with John is a surprising, intimate feat of TV joy.
Starring: John Lurie

Cobra Kai: Season 4 (2021)
95%

#30
Adjusted Score: -1%
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.

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