Top 10 new shows of 2021: From 'Swagger' to 'Mare of Easttown'

Top 10 new shows of 2021: From 'Swagger' to 'Mare of Easttown'
(L-R) Stills from 'Foundation (Apple TV+), 'Swagger' (Apple TV+) and 'Mare of Easttown' (HBO)

As 2021 draws to a close, it's that time to make hard decisions to tell the world about some of the best content Television and streaming platforms that are worth the watch. The final months of 2020 saw productions in the entertainment industry resume and this year, there were enough shows that garnered immense attention.

That said, some of the shows on this list are maybe acceptable to some. Some might find some names missing, but at the end of the day, its content is in excess, and the truth be told, it's hard to leave out some shows that have managed to captivate the audiences with scintillating storylines. This list looks at some of the new and stirring shows that premiered in 2021.



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'Swagger' | Apple TV+

'Swagger' is all about the swagger. It's a pacy, crisp, adrenaline-pumping, and attention-demanding, and supremely confident visual treat for those heavily invested in basketball. The sports drama, inspired by NBA superstar Kevin Durant’s experiences is a breezy watch. 

A still from 'Swagger' (Apple TV+)

The series follows basketball phenom Jace Carson (Isiah Hill) who dreams big and is a definite NBA prospect. The series also touches upon some of the key topics, including the BLM and Covid-19 that took the world by storm over the past year.

'Dopesick' | Hulu

Heavy and hard-hitting, Danny Strong's Hulu miniseries is one of the must-watch shows. Based on Beth Macy’s non-fiction book 'Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America', the Michael Keaton-starrer gives a look at the drug war in the country with Keaton as Dr Finnix, a small-town Virginia doctor who's brought a novel, apparently non-addictive drug to help his patients called OxyContin.


Michael Keaton as Dr Finnix in 'Dopesick' (Hulu)

The series follows the medicine's making and its impact.

'Loki' | Disney+

'Loki' is the third show to premiere from a slew of Marvel standalone miniseries which sets up the stage for Phase four of Marvel films. It follows 'Wanda Vision' and 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier', and the events of the film take place after what Loki went through in 'Avengers: Endgame'.


A still from 'Loki' (Disney+)

He disappeared with the tesseract, through a portal never to be seen again. His fate, if he was alive or dead was undecided at the end of the film. The series follows his journey with the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and is comprised of six episodes with the second season in development.


'WandaVision' | Disney+

One of the biggest surprises of 'WandaVision' is how much of it is a genuinely fascinating sitcom in its own right. After watching the posters and various trailers it released that only heightened the anticipation for the first TV series of Phase 4, it would be easy to assume that 'WandaVision' would simply parody several eras of sitcom television before getting to the more familiar superheroes in the face of fragmenting reality.


A still from 'WandaVision' (Disney+)

The show also starred Kathryn Hahn, Teyonah Parris, and Randall Park in key roles.

'Foundation' | Apple TV+

'Foundation' will be Apple TV's most ambitious project to date (Apple TV+)

Isaac Asimov's 'Foundation' was one of those unfilmable movies largely due to the saga incorporating chapters, sub-chapters, convoluted plotlines, and spanned several centuries. It was complex and the writing in itself was a work of art that could not be tampered with. The series centers around Hari Seldon (Jared Harris), a mathematician and a psychologist, who uses the science of psychohistory to predict the future using math and historical patterns.


By his definition, psychohistory is a predictive representation designed to foretell the psychological and generic behavior of large populations. The model predicts the crumble of the Galactic empire following a lengthy period of barbarism that would ravage the civilization for a good 30,000 years.

'Mayor of Kingstown' | Paramount +

Jeremy Renner stars in this grim drama that Paramount + released this Fall. The crime thriller series was created by Taylor Sheridan and Hugh Dillon. It follows the powerful McLusky family who is power brokers in Kingstown, Michigan.


Jeremy Renner in 'Mayor of Kingstown' (Paramount+)

Incarceration is quite a lucrative business and the series also explores racism, corruption, and inequality as the key themes.


'Yellowjackets' | Showtime

Replacing Jeff Daniels' 'American Rust' was Kathryn Kusama's bone-chilling psychological thriller. 'Yellowjackets' revolves around a team of wildly talented high school girls soccer players who become survivors of a plane crash.

Christina Ricci in a still from 'Yellowjackets' (Showtime)

The traumatic events haven't really ended even after they're rescued as the past returns to haunt the four who made it through. The series features two timelines — one that shows the characters as teens, and the other as they're brought back as adults.

'Mare of Easttown' | HBO

Kate Winslet stars in this epic crime drama created by Brad Ingelsby for HBO. The English actress plays Marianne "Mare" Sheehan, a detective sergeant in Easttown, Pennsylvania, who is investigating the murder of one young girl.


Evan Peters as Colin Zabel and Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan in 'Mare of Easttown' (HBO)

Simultaneously, she also is on the lookout for another girl while combating her own life troubles. The star-studded cast also includes Guy Pearce, Sosie Bacon, and Evan Peters.


'Hellbound' | Netflix

The supernatural horror series is an original Netflix release and is about death angels whose main incentives are to condemn people to hell. 'Hellbound' stars Yoo Ah-in, Kim Hyun-Joo, Park Jeong-min, Won Jin-ah, and Yang Ik-June in lead roles, among others. The series tells the audience a story about supernatural beings who appear out of a portal to issue a decree, thereby condemning people who have sinned to hell.


A still from 'Hellbound' (Instagram/@hongsick)

The arrival of these beings inevitably causes chaos and destruction.

'Maid' | Netflix

Inspired by the New York Times best-selling memoir, 'Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive' by Stephanie Land, 'Maid' follows Alex, a single mother who turns to house cleaning to make ends meet as she escapes an abusive relationship and overcomes hurdles to create a better life for her daughter, Maddy.


Margaret Qualley as Alex in 'Maid' (Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix)

The drama shows shades of humor, determination, and grit and is a raw and inspiring exploration of a mother’s resilience.


What's on your list of the best 10 shows of 2021?

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