Friday, December 24, 2021

My Favorite TV Shows I Watched in 2021

 Without further ado, I give you the TWENTY best TV shows I watched in 2021! (Please know that all these shows are definitely not for everybody.)

The Great (Season 1) - DVD
Atypical (Season 4) - Netflix
All Creatures Great and Small (Season 1) - DVD
The Sinner (Season 3) - Netflix
Imposters (Seasons 1-2) - Netflix
20. Mr. Corman (Season 1) - Apple TV
I immediately connected with Mr. Corman because it was about a male elementary school teacher. I connected more when I realized it was even more about a male elementary school teacher dealing with anxiety. Plus, Joseph Gordon Levitt… who doesn’t love that guy?
19. Sweet Tooth (Season 1) - Netflix
I am normally not attracted to fantasies like this one, but the inclusion of my favorite comedian, Will Forte convinced me to give it a try. The humor is there, but it is just a fun show. And very original.
18. Ted Lasso (Seasons 1-2) - Apple TV
While I didn’t totally buy into the Ted Lasso craze, I enjoyed it enough to rank it in my top 20. Plus, there was an episode in Season 2 entirely focussed on the assistant coach’s crazy night that has to be one of the greatest single episodes in television history.
17. Cobra Kai (Season 3) - Netflix
My childhood obsession with all things Karate Kid has now stretched - somewhat embarrassingly - into my mid 40’s! It helps that this is a well made show with plenty of intrigue.
16. Truth Be Told (Seasons 1-2) - Apple TV
The first season was ridiculously great. The second season really jumped the shark and seemed outlandish and at times, stupid. Adding Kate Hudson to the mix did not need to happen and only made things worse. Still gets ranked because of a strong season 1.
15. Perry Mason (Season 1) - DVD
I am not old enough to remember the original Perry Mason (again, mid 40’s), but there is no way it is filled with the twists, turns and fun as this Perry Mason. Matthew Rhys is also fantastic in the lead role.
14. The Salisbury Poisonings (Season 1) - DVD
The first limited series on the list is based on an unbelievable but intriguing true story that puts you in the center of spy culture in England during the scary events of 2018.
13. Physical (Season 1) - Apple TV
I am not sure why I liked this show so much. I guess call it a guilty pleasure. I suppose it might be because I love seeing chaos in normal, ordinary life circumstances.
12. Des (Season 1) - DVD
Another limited series. This one is based on the 1983 Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen. Kudos to David Tennett for a chicanery and shocking acting performance as Des (Dennis Nilsen)!
11. Mare of Easttown (Season 1) - DVD
I didn’t realize it was Kate Winslet in the leading role until about episode 3. Incredible performance by her. Murder detective story in small town Pennsylvania?? What’s not to love?
10. The Mandalorian (Season 2) - Disney+
Enjoyed season 1. Fell in love with season 2. It’s like a quiet Star Wars in that it’s not so busy and loud, but is still full of drama and fun.
9. Shameless (Season 11) - DVD/Netflix
I will say this again and again: this show is NOT for everyone. It’s crass and crude. But if you’ve stuck with it, like I have, for 11 seasons, and seen these kids grow up, this was a very nice way to wrap things up.
8. Only Murders in the Building (Season 1) - Hulu
It’s got my favorite actor/comedian on the planet, Steve Martin. It’s got his sidekick, Martin Short and it’s got a ton of absurd and droll lines to please. (Although I think my dad gave up on it because of all the swears). For most Steve Martin fans, like myself, it’s pure amusement.
7. The Undoing (Season 1) - DVD
My favorite actress, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant. This one kept me guessing from episode 1-8.
6. Your Honor (Season 1) - DVD
Bryan Cranston just continues to make refreshing television shows, and this one is no different. Went under the radar, but definitely worth your time.
5. I Know This Much Is True (Season 1) - DVD
I am not a huge fan of Mark Raffalo, but this limited series does highlight his acting chops. This true story will leave you absolutely baffled.
4. Schmigadoon! (Season 1) - Apple TV
If there is one thing I love more than musicals, it’s MAKING FUN OF MUSICALS! There are so many laugh-out-loud moments in this show, including Martin Short making an appearance as a singing leprechaun. Funniest show of the year!
3. The Shrink Next Door (Season 1) - Apple TV
I have mixed feelings about Will Farrel’s and Paul Rudd being cast in this show. But in the end, they brought a much needed element of comedy to the story to brighten up what would have been a very dark and depressing story.
2. Squid Game (Season 1) - Netflix
The dubbed voices were awful. If I had to do it again, I would have watched with closed captioning instead. The voices ALMOST ruined the entire thing for me, but I held strong and was treated to a show that had me thinking about it long into the night.
1. The Morning Show (Seasons 1-2) - Apple TV
I never would have guessed that a show about a network morning show would keep me on the edge of my seat for two full seasons, but here we are. In a huge surprise - especially to me - The Morning Show was the best TV show I watched this year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

My 10 Favorite Music Albums of 2021

 10. The Black Keys - Delta Kream

9. St. Vincent - Daddy's Home

8. tUnE-yArDs - Sketchy 

7. The Fratellis - Half Drunk Under A Full Moon

6. The Killers - Pressure Machine
5. Twenty One Pilots - Scaled And Icy

4. The War On Drugs - I Don't Live Here Anymore
3. CHVRCHES - Screen Violence

2. Manchester Orchestra - The Million Masks of God
1. Islands - Islomania 

1. Future Islands - As Long As You Are
2. The Killers - Imploding the Mirage
3. Plants And Animals - The Jungle
4. Surfer Blood - Carefree Theater
5. Tennis - Swimmer
6. Bahamas - Sad Hunk
7. Wolf Parade - Thin Mind
8. Grouplove - The Healer
9. The Front Bottoms - In Sickness And In Flames
10. CocoRosie - Put The Shine On

1. Andrew Bird - My Finest Work Yet
2. Metronomy - Metronomy Forever
3. The National - I Am Easy To Find
4. Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride
5. Tegan & Sarah - Hey, I'm Just Like You
6. Generationals - Reader As Detective
7. The Head and the Heart - Living Mirage
8. Mumford and Sons - Delta
9. Silversun Pickups - Widow's Weeds
10. Two Door Cinema Club - False Alarm

1. Matt & Kim - Almost Everyday
2. Chvurches - Love Is Dead
3. Death Cab for Cutie - Thank You For Today
4. Metric - Art of Doubt
5. Moon Taxi - Let The Record Play
6. The Decemberists - I'll Be Your Girl
7. Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises
8. The Rural Alberta Advantage - The Wild
9. Okkerville River - In The Rainbow Rain
10. Belle and Sabastian - How to Solve Our Human Problems

1. Manchester Orchestra - A Black Mile to the Surface
2. Future Islands - The Far Field
3. Mew - Visuals
4. Alt-J - Relaxer
5. The Shins - Heartworms
6. Portugal. The Man - Woodstock
7. Foster the People - The Sacred Hearts Club
8. The National - Sleep Well Beasts
9. Shout Out Louds - Ease My Mind
10. Arcade Fire - Everything Now

1. Radical Face - The Leaves
2. Cloud Cult - The Seeker
3. Islands - Taste
4. The Strumbellas - Hope
5. Tegan and Sara - Love You To Death
6. The Head And The Heart - Signs Of Light
7. The Avett Brothers - True Sadness
8. The Lumineers - Cleopatra
9. Frightened Rabbit - Painting of a Panic Attack
10. Empire of the Sun - Two Vines

1. Mowgli's - Kids In Love
2. Twenty One Pilots - Blurry Face
3. Matt And Kim - New Glow
4. Metric - Pagans In Vegas
5. Death Cab For Cutie - Kintsugi 
6. Belle And Sabastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
7. Walk Off The Earth - Sing It All Away
8. Mew - + - 
9. Decemberists - What A Terrible World, What A Wonderful World
10. Chvurches - Every Open Eye

1. Future Islands - Singles
2. Passenger - Whispers
3. Bishop Allen - Lights Out
4. Tokyo Police Club - Forcefield
5. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Mended With Gold
6. Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow
7. Spoon - The Want My Soul
8. Foster the People - Supermodel
9. Broken Bells - After the Disco
10. Manchester Orchestra - Cope

1. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
2. Radical Face - Family Tree: The Branches
3. Twenty One Pilots - Vessel
4. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
5. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
6. Shout Out Louds - Optica
7. Crystal Fighters - Cave Rave
8. The Sounds - Weekend
9. Tegan & Sara - Heartthrob
10. Little Green Cars - Absolute Zero

1. Radical Face – The Family Tree: The Roots
2. Passion Pit - Gossamer
3. Mumford And Son – Babel
4. Miike Snow – Happy To You
5. Imagine Dragons – Night Visions
6. Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon
7. Metric – Sythetica
8. Dr. Dog – Be The Void
9. Of Monsters And Men – My Head Is An Animal
10. The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter

1. Death Cab For Cutie – Codes And Keys
2. The Sounds – Something To Die For
3. Architecture In Helsinki – Moment Bends
4. Decemberists – The King Is Dead
5. The Strokes – Angles
6. The Head And The Heart – The Head And The Heart
7. Brett Dennen – Loverboy
8. Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math
9. I’m From Barcelona – Forever Today
10. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing

1. The National – High Violet
2. Vampire Weekend – Contra
3. Shout Out Louds – Work
4. Mumford And Sons – Sigh No More
5. Mates Of State – Crushes
6. Dr. Dog – Shame Shame
7. Rogue Wave – Permalight
8. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
9. Matt & Kim – Sidewalks
10. Tokyo Police Club – Champ

1. The Sounds – Crossing The Rubicon
2. Passion Pit – Manners
3. Metric – Fantasies
4. Animal Collective – Merryweather Post Pavilion
5. Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream
6. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns
7. Silversun Pickups – Swoon
8. We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls
9. Islands – Vapours
10. Mew – No More Stories Are Told…