YEAR IN REVIEW: Top TV Series of 2021

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top TV series of 2021

It’s the end of the year as we know it and television has been booming. Looking across streaming platforms and genre, there was just a lot to take in and watch, and not just from the United States. For this top TV series of 2021 list we asked our writers to select their favorite series.

Now, to make the top TV series of 2021 list it had to have been a live-action series (you can find out animated series list here), aired in the calendar year of 2021, and had to be considered a “series” by the platform it aired on. Thanks to such widely available international series on platforms like Netflix, we didn’t restrict by country and we didn’t limit by number of episodes of all.

15. Love Life – Season 2

Love Life Season 2 Episodes 4-6 - But Why Tho

Stars: William Jackson Harper, Jessica Williams, Christopher Powell, Keith David, Arian Moayed
Where to Watch: HBO Max

Love Life is an anthology series that follows a different person each season from their first romance until their last romance. Season 2 follows Marcus Watkins, a book editor married to Emily, a restaurant worker. At Darby’s wedding to Magnus (Season 1), Marcus meets Mia Hines. They quickly bond and Marcus sends a book to Mia he thinks she will like.

14. Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth

Showrunner: Jim Mickle and Beth Schwartz
Stars: Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Stefania LaVie Owen, Dania Ramirez
Where to Watch: Netflix

Ten years ago “The Great Crumble” wreaked havoc on the world and led to the mysterious emergence of hybrids — babies born part human, part animal. Unsure if hybrids are the cause or result of the virus, many humans fear and hunt them. After a decade of living safely in his secluded forest home, a sheltered hybrid deer-boy named Gus unexpectedly befriends a wandering loner named Jepperd.

Together they set out on an extraordinary adventure across what’s left of America in search of answers— about Gus’ origins, Jepperd’s past, and the true meaning of home. But their story is full of unexpected allies and enemies, and Gus quickly learns the lush, dangerous world outside the forest is more complex than he ever could have imagined.

13. Gentefied – Season 2

Gentefied Season 2 - But Why Tho

Showrunner: Linda Yvette Chávez and
Stars: Joaquín Cosio, Joseph Julian Soria, Karrie Martin, Carlos Santos, Annie Gonzalez, Julissa Calderon
Where to Watch: Netflix

Netflix’s half-hour dramedy Gentefied returns for its second season in a more raw and poetic form, while still cracking jokes about culo-nary experiences. This season, the Morales cousins fight alongside Pop on his arduous battle to stay in the country, all while dealing with new love, new babies, estranged fathers, and of course, tracking down Bad Bunny at a Halloween party. They’ll fight to thrive, but along the way will question where they truly belong in a world made up of borders, family separation, and the potential loss of their beloved taco shop, Mama Fina’s. Because what’s life without free tacos?

12. The Witcher – Season 2

Stars: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra, Mimi Ndiweni, Anna Shaffer, Joey Batey, Royce Pierreson
Where to Watch: Netflix

Convinced Yennefer’s life was lost at the Battle of Sodden, Geralt of Rivia brings Princess Cirilla to the safest place he knows, his childhood home of Kaer Morhen. While the Continent’s kings, elves, humans and demons strive for supremacy outside its walls, he must protect the girl from something far more dangerous: the mysterious power she possesses inside.

11. Only Murders in the Building

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Showrunner: and
Stars: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Aaron Dominguez
Where to Watch: Hulu

From the minds of Steve Martin, Dan Fogelman & John Hoffman comes a comedic murder-mystery series for the ages. Only Murders in the Building follows three strangers (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez) who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building, the trio suspects murder and employs their precise knowledge of true crime to investigate the truth. As they record a podcast of their own to document the case, the three unravel the complex secrets of the building which stretch back years. Perhaps even more explosive are the lies they tell one another. Soon, the endangered trio comes to realize a killer might be living amongst them as they race to decipher the mounting clues before it’s too late.

10. Star Trek Discovery – Season 4

Star Trek Discovery Season 4 - but Why Tho

Showrunner: and
Stars: Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Oyin Oladejo, Wilson Cruz
Where to Watch: Paramount+

After following Commander Burnham into the wormhole in the second season finale, season three of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY finds the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery landing in an unknown future far from the home they once knew. Now living in a time filled with uncertainty, the U.S.S. Discovery crew, along with the help of some new friends, must work together to restore hope to the Federation.

9. Cobra Kai – Season 3

Cobra Kai Season 3

Showrunner: , , and
Stars: Xolo Maridueña, Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Mary Mouser and Tanner Buchanan
Where to Watch: Netflix

Cobra Kai takes place over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the inescapable conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).

8. WandaVision

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Stars: Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Kathryn Hahn, Teyonah Parris
Where to Watch: Disney+

Blends the style of classic sitcoms with the MCU, in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision – two super-powered beings living their ideal suburban lives – begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.

7. Ragnarok – Season 2

Top TV series of 2021 - But Why Tho

Showrunner: and
Stars: David Stakston, Jonas Strand Gravli, Theresa Frostad Eggesbø, Danu Sunth
Where to Watch: Netflix

Ragnarok is a coming-of-age drama building on and contributing to a new and surprising angle on Norse mythology. The series is set in the small, fictitious town of Edda, situated in the grand, breathtaking Norwegian nature. The story revolves around the inhabitants of Edda, who are perhaps not all who they claim to be. With them, we experience a drastically changing world: melting poles, warm winters, violent downpours. Some might say we’re headed for yet another Ragnarok. Unless someone intervenes in time…

6. Lupin – Part 2

Lupin Part Two

Stars: Omar Sy, Ludivine Sagnier, Soufiane Guerrab, Hervé Pierre
Where to Watch: Netflix

This isn’t a game anymore. Assane’s quest for revenge against Hubert Pellegrini has torn his family to pieces. With his back to the wall, he now has to think of a new plan, even if it means putting himself in danger.

5. Doom Patrol – Season 3

Doom Patrol' Season 3 - Episode 7 “Bird Patrol”

Stars: Diane Guerrero, April Bowlby, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Riley Shanahan, Joivan Wade
Where to Watch: HBOMax

Part support group, part crimefighting team, DC’s unlikeliest band of heroes take on evil and otherworldly forces to help protect the world – even if it wants nothing to do with them.

4. Mythic Quest – Season 2

Mythic Quest - top TV series of 2021

Showrunner: , , and
Stars: , F. Murray Abraham, Charlotte Nicdao, Ashly Burch, Jessie Ennis, Imani Hakim, Danny Pudi, David Hornsby
Where to Watch: AppleTV+

With the quarantine finally over, season two of “Mythic Quest” finds everyone back in the office (well, almost everyone), attempting to build upon the success of Raven’s Banquet by launching an epic new expansion, but Ian and the newly promoted co-creative director, Poppy struggle with the game’s direction. Meanwhile, C.W. reconciles some unresolved issues from his past, the testers test the bounds of an office romance, and David loses yet another woman in his life as Jo leaves him to assist Brad.

3. Loki

Loki - top TV series of 2021

Showrunner: and Kate Herron
Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Owen Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku
Where to Watch: Disney+

Marvel Studios’ “Loki” features the God of Mischief as he steps out of his brother’s shadow in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”

2. Squid Game

Squid Game

Showrunner: Hwang Dong-hyuk
Stars: Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-Joon, Jung Hoyeon, Oh Yeong-su, Heo Sung-tae, Anupam Tripathi
Where to Watch: Netflix

A mysterious invitation to join the game is sent to people at risk who are in dire need of money. 456 participants from all walks of life are locked into a secret location where they play games in order to win 45.6 billion won. Every game is a Korean traditional children’s game such as Red Light, Green Light, but the consequence of losing is death. Who will be the winner, and what is the purpose behind this game?

1. Ted Lasso Season 2

Ted Lasso Season 2 - top TV series of 2021

Showrunner: , , and Bill Lawrence
Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift
Where to Watch: AppleTV+

Jason Sudeikis is Ted Lasso, an American football coach hired to manage a British soccer team—despite having no experience. But what he lacks in knowledge, he makes up for with optimism, underdog determination…and biscuits.

Our Top TV Series of 2021 showcases the diversity of genre of talent available on streaming platforms whether its through episodic releases or season ones, the love is there. From drama and sci-fi to comedy fantasy, 2021 had a lot to love. Just missing the top TV series of 2021 list are our honorable mentions: CHUCKY, For All Man Kind, Hellbound, and YOU (Season 3). Did your favorite make out top TV series of 2021 list? Let us know on social media; @butwhythopc.

Synopsis for the Top TV Series of 2021 list were taken from then media pages for each series’ platform.

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