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TV Technica 2021: Our favorite shows and binges helped us combat pandemic fatigue

Ars staffers picked their favorite must-watch TV shows of 2021.

Enlarge / Ars staffers picked their favorite must-watch TV shows of 2021. (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Warning: Although we’ve done our best to avoid spoiling anything too major, please note this list includes a few specific references to You, Midnight Mass, Resident Alien, Post Mortem, Snowpiercer, Lupin, His Dark Materials, and Wellington Paranormal, among others.

Months of lockdown in 2020 meant fewer films but more quality TV content than ever before—much of it from streaming platforms rather than traditional broadcast television. Many of those shows were already in the pipeline, however. We feared the inevitable production shutdowns would result in fewer offerings for 2021, as the industry reckoned with rising production costs and the continued fallout from a pandemic that just keeps dragging on. And on.

Fortunately, while there were indeed some hiccups, we still had plenty of fantastic television on hand to take our minds off the grim daily reality, ranging from established franchises and quirky newcomers to imaginative adaptations and several foreign offerings that proved to be surprise breakout hits. With apologies to the many great series we just didn’t have room for on this year’s list, here are our favorite TV watches and binges for 2021, in no particular order:

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