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Year in Review

2021 in Review: The 20 Best Shows

Best TV Shows 2021

It’s been a(nother) weird year. But the TV has been excellent.

In fact, even though we can venture outside more these days, the top-notch television of 2021 kept our couches as tempting as ever, thanks to addictive dramas like Paramount+’s Evil and breezy, one-sitting binges like HBO Max’s Starstruck and Peacock’s We Are Lady Parts.

As TVLine’s annual Year in Review officially gets underway, we’re kicking things off by revisiting the 20 best shows of 2021, including freshmen gems like HBO Max’s Jean Smart vehicle Hacks and CBS’ endlessly delightful comedy Ghosts. But not every series on our list is brand-new to the TV landscape: We’re also recognizing returning shows like Apple TV+’s For All Mankind, HBO Max’s The Other Two and Hulu’s The Great, which came back creatively stronger than ever for their most recent episodes.

Which series claimed the No. 1 spot on our list, though? And does it match your pick for the best TV show of 2021? Scroll down to see our 20 honorees, then drop a comment with the shows you’ve loved in 2021.

Still to come in TVLine’s Year in Review: Worst Shows of 2021, Biggest Plot Twists, Sexiest Scenes, Character Deaths That Nearly Killed Us, Shocking Cast Exits and much, much more!