Fave New TV Shows of 2021

This is part two of the #AMonthofFaves on the screen post from last week and officially my last A Month of Faves post.

Figuring out what new TV I watched this past year was a lot harder than figuring out the movies I watched. For one, there is no Letterboxd for TV. For two, there are no real TV seasons anymore! And for three, last year was seriously like two years; it was so long. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s get on with the TV.

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Z is for Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Let me tell you the story about a girl named Zoey who goes for an MRI and comes out with a superpower–the ability to hear people’s “heart songs” aka the songs that express what they’re really thinking and feeling. For, lo, that is what Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC/Peacock/Hulu) is about.

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X is for X-Men #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Full disclosure: The is the one time I’m breaking my self-imposed rule and posting about something I’ve already used before for an A to Z Challenge. I think the reason is obvious but just in case it’s not: X IS A HARD LETTER. The only thing I have watched that starts with an X is X-Men. I have read no books that start with an X. So it is what it is.

And what it is, is the X-Men…cartoon from the ’90s.

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U is for Ugly Betty #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Here’s where I admit that I never finished watching Ugly Betty. It’s not the show’s fault, honestly. It’s just that I was working on my PhD and felt immensely guilty when I watched anything I actually enjoyed on television. So, this was just one of many TV casualties. It was a dark time.

Anyway, the point is that every time I see that Ugly Betty is streaming on Hulu, I think now would be the perfect time to actually revisit the show and finish watching it.

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T is for To Tell the Truth #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Some time last summer I posted on FB asking people what was a dumb show they were watching to get them through the pandemic. Some people took umbrage to that, so I redacted and changed it to silly show, and, well, either way, I was asking because I had discovered To Tell the Truth (ABC/Hulu), which I like but think is kind of dumb but don’t mean it in a mean way. Not that being called dumb is ever nice, but whatever. I know what I mean.

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S is for Schitt’s Creek #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Originally, I was going to pick a different show for S because, of course, lots of things start with S. (This is the problem with the A to Z Challenge: there’s an embarrassment of riches for some letters and a dearth of choices for others. But I digress.) However, I figured since I just put four Schitt’s Creek (Netflix) stickers on my laptop that came with the four Schitt’s Creek themed potholders I bought AND that I’m considering just going on ahead and making my whole kitchen Schitt’s Creek themed (I have my eye on an apron and a soap dispenser)…well, it might just be a good fit for the theme.

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R is for Reba #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

Reba is currently streaming on Hulu, and it is the perfect comfort watch. I know because before she left to go back to school, my daughter started a rewatch of the show, and it made both of us so happy.

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O is for One Day at a Time #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

May I suggest spending some time with the Alvarez family (and Schneider) during the pandemic?


When this show first came out on Netflix, several friends asked me if I had watched it. For some reason, they thought a show about a single mom with a gifted (and headstrong) teenage daughter as well as a pre-teen son would work for me. Perhaps it was also that the grandmother lived with them and had lots of interactions with the teens? The focus on mother-daughter relationships? What I’m saying is I have no idea why my friends who know about my life as a single mother, my interest in YA, and how much I love senior + teen combos would be something I would dig.

But they were right. Dig it I do.

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M is for The Masked Singer #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

This show is bananas.

Listen, I tried to resist the siren call of The Masked Singer (FOX/Hulu). My best friend asked me way back at the start of season one if I was watching. “The show with the weird dog thing?” I scoffed. “Absolutely not.” And I didn’t watch it. I was one hundred percent uninterested. I don’t think I even knew or cared what the premise was, but I just kept seeing the dog costume billboard around town and was like HARD PASS.

But, as often happens in my house, I was tricked into watching, which is to say my daughter was watching it in the living room, and I happened to catch an episode. And then I had to watch more.

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L is for Living Single #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

I rewatched Living Single (Hulu) over the winter, and I regret nothing.

For one thing, I couldn’t remember if I had seen all of the episodes before or not, and it turns out that–much like with The Bernie Mac Show–I had seen almost all of them. I went to college before the last couple of seasons aired, which is why I have less memory of them, but DON’T YOU WORRY. I can still quote the pilot episode almost verbatim. There are so many great lines and exchanges in the first episode alone. I mean, it’s really solid.

“What do you think the world would be like without men?”

“A bunch of fat, happy women and no crime.”

“And he just up and left, just packed his raggedy old duffle bag and left…

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