From Marvel spin-offs to Netflix documentaries, 2021 has started off on a fabulous note for television.
Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for Netflix, and television in general, we would’ve all been pretty lost in 2020. Somehow despite the garbage fire events of last year, heaps of brilliant productions and varied genres have continued to grace our screens. Even though we’re just about three months into 2021, a bunch of amazing television shows have already managed to make a mark. Here are a few you need to catch up on if you haven’t already. (Featured image: Jonas Leupe via Unsplash.)
2020 was the only year Marvel didn’t have a release on the big screen and boy did we miss the madness of the MCU. Thankfully, WandaVision gave us just that and more. Simultaneously chaotic, exciting and original, the Disneyplus series follows Wanda Maximoff’s journey after the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019). Exploring themes of grief, confinement, heartbreak and general comic book mayhem in a sitcom setting, this was just the fix we needed after that year-long dry spell. With brilliant performances by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany and some terrific storytelling, this is one show you can watch and love even if you’re not a Marvel fan (although if you are, the experience is just delightful.)
2. The Serpent
What’s better than a Netflix original? A Netflix/BBC One collaboration. The eight-part limited series follows the life and crimes of notorious serial killer Charles Sobhraj. Sobhraj was nicknamed ‘The Serpent’ and was known to prey on vulnerable travellers from the West in the mid-70’s. Branded in pop culture for being a master of disguise and a charming psychopath, à laTed Bundy if you will, this series is addictive and disturbing, but an unmissable watch for crime documentary enthusiasts.
3. Pretend It’s A City
A personal favourite on the list, Pretend It’s a City is a nostalgic ode to New York or what New York was before the pandemic hit. Reuniting formidable duo Martin Scorcese and Fran Lebowitz who collaborated on the documentary Public Speaking (2010), this series is replete with dry humour and wit. The title comes from Lebowitz herself who says she would use these words as a piece of advice for people coming to NYC.
4. Can’t Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World
BBC is certainly a master at its game. But what they do particularly well are the originals. Journalist and Bafta award-winning filmmaker, Adam Curtis is at the helm of this six-part series that explores themes of money, power, drugs, love and everything in between. You might think it’s a lot to take in, but it’s so well put together and captivating that it makes for absolutely essential viewing especially for those with an inclination towards topics like politics and history.
5. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
It definitely looks like Disney Plus is primed to give its contemporary streaming services a serious run for their money. Marvel is set to unleash an onslaught of television shows and movies and no one is complaining. Although Falcon and The Winter Soldier is only half-way through, it is beginning to pick up with familiar action sequences and fan-favourite characters. The show is following the journey of Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie and Steve Rogers’ old buddy Bucky Barnes played by Sebastian Stan respectively.
6. For All Mankind (Season 2)
Created and written by Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi, this Apple TV+ produced sci-fi series explores an alternative version of the events of 1969. The USSR gets to the moon first beating the US, consequently leaving the Americans to do the chasing instead. The show has grown by leaps and bounds in the second season and it is fast paced and exciting enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.