It’s the time of the year where we get – and share – lists. Some of us make them. And I’m not talking about lists of gifts we want. I mean the annual line-up of best films, best books, best albums and so on…
Well, earlier I read TIME magazine’s 10 Best TV Shows of 2021. Pretty good list. Haven’t seen everything on it – kinda wish I had.
In fact, let’s go through it.
At number ten, they’ve picked You. I haven’t seen the current season – in fact, I went to watch it and realised there’d been a season two that I had missed entirely. That’s because season one was like a kebab or a Big Mac combo at the end of a night out. If you enjoy it at the time, you sure aren’t going to tell anyone about it. I started watching season two – and lasted about 20 seconds. I just felt like it wasn’t for me. I felt that way with season one, but I still watched the whole thing. Watching You is a bit like watching Bridgerton. You have given up. You’re letting the content watch you as it plays out in the background. So, I probably won’t get to season three of You. Ever.
Ninth on TIME’s list was I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson. I was pleased to see this get a mention. I loved season one. And maybe the second season is better, or has some bigger, better skits. This absurd sketch-comedy show is a perfect thing to arrive in this pandemic world. Short, short episodes. You can binge the whole thing in one go, or watch it in and around some other – more serious – TV.
At number eight on the list TIME ranks We Are Lady Parts! I caught up with this a couple of weeks after its early hype. And I’m glad I did. Watched the whole thing in one night. Loved it. And have threatened to re-watch it. And probably will. Quality TV – very funny, very cool.
TIME has Succession at number seven on its list. I’m never too worried about numbers, just like to see the thing mentioned – just like to know it’s there. But Succession probably should be higher on TIME’s list – or should I say, more accurately, it would be higher on my list. They’re all mugging it up, killing it with such great dialogue and the simmer is strong. I ate up seasons one and two as soon as I could. And it felt a long wait for the third set of episodes – thanks again Covid. Some people don’t like this show because they can’t find any characters to like. I think that’s profoundly missing the point of the show. But hey, we all have different takes. I reckon season three has been the best so far.
At number six is Yellowjackets. I have so far seen about half an episode. And already I love this show. I can tell it’s going to be great. I really want to chew through the rest of it a.s.a.f.p.
For number five, TIME chooses Reservation Dogs. And again, I’ve seen the first episode and nothing more but I already like it. I went in liking it. Not just the Taika connection – it was more a case of listening to co-creator Sterlin Harjo interviewed on Marc Maron’s podcast. Fantastic chat. And this made me smile at the thought of the show before I even watched it. Loved the first episode. Should really box on…
At number four, it’s a show I’ve only just heard of from reading this list. Exterminate All The Brutes has my vote though. I’ve been doing some reading about slavery this year, it’s one of my external research topics if you like (I’ll need to add the book of source material to my reading list), and this mini-series was created by Raoul Peck – and his involvement instantly makes me interested. Because I loved his documentary film, I Am Not Your Negro.
Number three is Work In Progress – all I know about this show is what I just read in the TIME list. But it looks great. And I reckon I’d like it. Adding it to my must find-and-watch list now…
At number two, we have The White Lotus. Which was probably my favourite show of the year. Big fan!
At number one, TIME picks The Underground Railroad. And I meant to watch this (see my point about my reading, above with regards Exterminate All The Brutes). But you can’t see everything. Not straight away. And I cancelled my Amazon Prime sub before I got to Underground Railroad. Right as I was waying up whether to read the book first or just watch the series. I can’t afford every streaming sub, and yet – for a while there – it felt like I was trying to do just that. So Underground Railroad will have to wait. But maybe I’ll binge this over summer – swapping out Apple for Amazon. Or whatever.
Anyway, I guess I’ve sampled half the entries on this list – only two were brand new to me. And they sound great.
But what do you think? And what is this list missing?