As is the usual tradition here, it’s the year’s end and already time to discuss favorites or the “best of year” entertainment. I almost coupled this with my favorites in books this year because honestly, my book list is pathetic. However the organizational part of me just cannot marry the two lists and so here we are with a favorite movies and TV shows of 2021. We’ll also let this act as our edition of “pop culture news” this week since, well, there’s probably not much to feature anyway.
I’ve had some interesting opinions in this last year about entertainment. This means I didn’t watch many things I normally would have in year’s past. Plus there are things on places like Disney+ I’d like but I refuse to buy another streaming service when the goal is always to cut back not add to. That said, none of this is bad, it just gives me new perspectives on entertainment and I’m actually glad about it. However we’re pushing onwards and I’m going for it because why not? Let’s go..!
FAVORITE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS 2021
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FAVORITES OF 2021: THE BEST MOVIES, TV SHOWS, BRITISH DRAMA + MORE! #BESTINYEAR #BESTOF2021 #BESTMOVIESOF2021 #FAVORITEMOVIES #GOODMOVIES #BESTOFYEAR #NEWYEAR #NEWYEAR2022 Click To Tweet
Favorite Films of 2021
Like reading, I’m having this interesting new opinion about entertainment and I’m not sure I’ll ever feel the same about it. At the end of the day, it’s not a bad new experience, just one that limits my interest which then translates into my not loving as much. Again… not a bad thing.
As is the normal “rule” of each Favorites list, I’m only counting films (features or Netflix) and TV shows because I talk about TV movies already – a lot!
The remake of the 90s rom-com from Netflix is actually pretty solid. Different than I thought, but I played it one night when my mom and I were having a sort-of girl’s night and it was fun. Made me laugh. Stream on Netflix
2: LOVE SARAH
Slow moving and bittersweet, Love Sarah is a British drama about a woman and her granddaughter who each must mourn the loss of the woman who tied them together. Amazon or check Hulu
3: MYSTIC PIZZA
Weird to include this one since it’s years old, yes, but I finally watched it this year and did think it pretty good. The famous drama features Julia Roberts as a sister and best friend in this film about a trio of girls, their friendship and loves. (R) Amazon
This 2009 indie film surprised me in all the right ways. It’s imperfect and not exactly what I’d expect but I appreciated its ultimate message (to honor commitments and to choose your person every day) and it has a good cast, including a young Will Estes (from Blue Bloods). Amazon
For some reason or another (I think I thought this had a dreaded talking animal) every time I’d see this film show up on my streaming “tiles,” I’d skip it. I finally watched this older indie film and OHMYGOSH! It’s too cute for words. Just know, you’ll probably laugh out loud more than once. Amazon
6: RED NOTICE
Splashy and high tech, this Netflix original (a caper film) is ALL KINDS OF FUNNY. Loved it and wish we had more like it. Stream on Netflix
Have to include the book (above) and of course its Netflix adaptation on our favorite list! This film is darling and sweet and really, quite charming to watch. Varies slightly from the novel, but overall, Netflix does a good job in keeping true and thankfully allows us to root on Lara Jean and Peter (as a couple) by films end rather than break our hearts. Stream on Netflix
8: TRUST FUND
Another of the independent films I saw, this one has its production flaws however it also has a swoony end and is really quite a sweet film. It re-tells the Biblical Prodigal Son story and does a pretty good job in spite of what it overcomes. Amazon
9: WHAT IF
An indie title with Daniel Radcliffe, it’s also one from 2015 that I only just watched. Follows best friends who start to wonder what if they missed an opportunity at true love. Amazon
I feel kind of “obligated” to include this one. I don’t hate this sequel, but I didn’t love it either. The plot feels like a near replica of the first film only in a different setting. Obviously there are things that ARE different, but just the scope of it and certainly the emotional payoff is the same. Needless to say, I loved much of the plot, but wish there’d been a different conclusion. Amazon
BONUS SHOUT-OUT: AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT
I know I said no TV movies, but I do have to shout out this Hallmark film because it features Allen Leech (Downton Abbey) + Joanna Garcia + is set in Ireland. Three very good things indeed! Amazon
IN A “COPY + PASTE” SCENARIO What’d I Miss? I still haven’t seen 2019 titles like Five Feet Apart; The Sun is also a Star; Tolkien; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Yesterday; Where’d You Go, Bernadette?; 2020 tiles I haven’t made time for The New Mutants; A Rainy Day in New York; Plus now the 2021 titles include F9: The Fast Saga; Free Guy; Ghostbusters: Afterlife; Jungle Cruise; Sing 2; Spider-Man: No Way Home; The Tomorrow War; and others were on my high-priority list. Alas, I just didn’t seem to make time for them. I’m not sure why, but when it comes to box office films, I missed a lot this year. What should I start with in 2022??FAVORITES OF 2021: THE BEST MOVIES, TV SHOWS, BRITISH DRAMA + MORE! Click To Tweet
Favorite TV Shows of 2021
Again, slim pickings… but the ones I liked, I really like!
I cannot remember if I watched this in 2020 or 2021 honestly. I think it was this year, but either way, this remake of the British classic is wonderful. So warm and feeling. I cannot tell you how much I would choose (DAY AFTER DAY) this type of drama over something like Bridgerton. Doesn’t have to be in this time period, but the warmth and charm, yes! Here’s hoping the writers don’t ruin that same feeling in season two. Amazon
From the creator of Leverage this one casts a star of the show, Christian Kane, in a role of a former DEA agent who is looking to retire on a secluded island. Of course that doesn’t go quite as planned. Amazon
Sadly this adorable Netflix show only got one season but I wish it had more! Katharine McPhee stars as a country star hopeful dumped by her boyfriend who then finds herself nannying for a handsome widower. It’s just dang fun and cute. Stream on Netflix
4: THE NANNY
A 90s sitcom I never watched until this year. This Fran Dresher led comedy is hilarious, and definitely led to her feature film The Beautician and the Beast; so many similarities between them. This also tells the story of a woman from New York who falls into the job of nanny to a wealthy widower. Only real difference here is Mr. Sheffield has no nobility. Amazon
Pretty sure I just watched this one at the start of 2021. But don’t quote me. Either way, I watched almost the whole first (shorter) season and I did like what I saw. Doubtful I’ll continue to because TV shows are disappointing me left and right, but hey, it was good when it was good. Amazon
Super interesting Acorn TV mystery about a woman who, after raising her son as a single mom, focuses on running a restaurant and a side business of private investigating. She becomes involved in the case of the new police detective when she discovers the body. LOVE the interesting dynamic between the two characters and cannot wait for the already greenlit season year after the heartbreaking finale. Amazon
Your turn! What new favorite movies and TV shows 2021 did you discover? Have you seen any of these? What are your thoughts? Did you like or hate them? What did you like about the ones you’ve seen? Which cinematic stories made YOUR favorites list of the year? Do you have favorites lists? (Let me know if so… you know I want to see them, too!) Comment all the comments down below – let’s get our cinematic fan conversations on!
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