The best TV performances of 2021

Clockwise from left: Park Hae Soo, The Squid Game (Image: Netflix);  Charlotte Nicdow, Mythic Quest (Photo: Apple TV+);  Christina Ricci, Yellowjackets (Photo: Paul Sarkis/Showtime);  Paulina Alexis, booking dogs (Photo: Shane Brown/FX);  Thoso Mpidou, The Subway (Photo: Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios);  Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short, the only murders in the building (Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/Holo)

Clockwise from left: Park Hae-soo, squid game (Photo: Netflix); Charlotte Nicdow, Legendary Quest (Photo: Apple TV +); Christina Ricci, yellow jackets (Photo: Paul Serkis/Showtime); Paulina Alexis, booking dogs (Photo: Shane Brown/FX); helps, Underground railway (Photo: Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios); Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short, Murder in the building only (Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/Holo)

As we enter the final days of 2021, we can all breathe a heavy sigh of relief, and let go of the long debate over whether television is back in full force. Looking at all of this year’s returning premieres and series, we had many compelling reasons to stay indoors like the scary ones. Great adaptations, touching new comedies, and whimsical sketches have drawn us all year round, led by a cast of actors from both the big and small screens (and a few recurring posts in between).

Some performers have given new life to the role they have embodied for years, while others have found the role of a lifetime. One of Christopher Guest’s favorite collaborators has made its way to the top of the iconic cast, as two comedian icons welcome a third into the folded apartment block/Manhattan. A magnetic young actor holds the gaze of Barry Jenkins and we look up. And the star of the HBO Max comedy series and the HBO limited series made us consider giving her two spots on our list.

In compilation of the best TV shows of the year, AV . Club Always looking to highlight groups and individuals. But when the nomination process began, we once again found ourselves sorting out strong clients, active in supporting roles, and those climbing the ranks. So groups will (mostly) have to wait until next year.


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