Binge on our Top 5 Netflix shows of 2021


Photo courtesy of Quote Catalog (CC BY 2.0)

Netflix kept a lot of us entertained through quarantine in the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Their reputation lives on as they keep releasing exciting shows. Let’s take a look at one writer’s picks for the Top 5 best shows across all genres from 2021.

      1. “Squid Game”

South Korean projects have dominated the pop culture world for the past few years with famous K-Pop music to TV dramas. “Squid Game”, The South Korean dystopian sci-fi thriller about children’s games blew up out of nowhere, becoming Netflix’s single biggest series launch of all time with more than 111 million views. Even the culture of the show carried onto trends throughout the world, in college campuses, Halloween costumes and more. 

Everyone loves prizes; people are even more interested when money is at stake. Hundreds of players are invited to win loads of cash by playing childrens’ games, however, there is a twist: these once simple games have turned violent. Those chosen to compete are in financial trouble and more inclined to accept their invitation. 

The most iconic scene and once known as such a simple children’s game, red light-green light, turns violent after those who don’t follow directions are shot. Even the slightest movement causes the gun to be fired. What once seemed so simple, turns difficult with a catch. This scene, along with many just like it, captivated viewers till the end of the series. The whole show was genuinely enthralling. Viewers are able to follow along and try to figure out the game or puzzle themselves. I think this element really led to a lot of the show’s success. 

Besides the non-direct translation from Korean to English, with the obvious dub not matching mouth movements, the show barely has any faults. It was captivating till the end, with action-packed episodes always. Squid Game has definitely earned this number one spot. 

       2. “You” Season 3

Penn Badgley, who plays the character, Joe Goldberg, really nails his role as an obsessive serial killer. Throughout the whole series, he really adds to the appeal of the show, with his narration and inner thoughts changing the views of the audience.

What is most captivating about the show is the suspense throughout. Joe is constantly escaping authorities, due to his sneaky yet malicious crimes, along with his wife, Love Quinn. The serial killer duo lays their roots in an average, suburban family town with their newborn and the season focuses on how they “adjust” to this.

Viewers are always left on their toes with surprising plot twists. New murders and mysteries are presented in every episode; the ending is sure to leave viewers shocked and longing for more. 

Many are sure to get sick of the constant death and fighting throughout this season. It is definitely bloodier than the last two. The season strayed heavily from season 1, which in my opinion was the best, and focuses more on how Joe can better himself. This is ironic throughout, because he contradicts himself even more, with each episode. The decisions every character made were very impulsive and highly unrealistic, taking away from the realistic aspect of the show that was presented in the previous seasons. 

Overall, the show hooked me throughout and I couldn’t stop watching. The relationships and betrayals throughout keep the plot going. “You” is definitely worth a watch and will keep you up at night. 

       3. “Outer Banks” Season 2

After such a popular debut during quarantine and blowing up on social media, OBX made a fast return a year after the first season. John B and Sara Cameron were the talk of the summer. Season 2 was equally as successful.

The show follows a group of teenagers searching for gold. This season focuses on the Bahamas and Outer Banks; the two different settings and storylines between groups, really captivate viewers. In both settings, the mission for gold is exciting to watch unfold and encouraging for viewers to try and solve the mystery themselves. With this, there are many plot twists and new surprises. 

 There is constant action throughout the show along with astounding plot twists. Old relationships are ruined and new ones are formed. The drama aspect never gets old and leaves viewers longing for more. The storyline was original and exhilarating. 

The emotions I had throughout the series were ever-changing. When the pogues reunited, I felt joy, but then with various deaths I felt deeply saddened. This mix of emotions makes the show more personal for many.

At times, the show became a little unrealistic and cringe-worthy for teenagers. The language that it depicts tries to model after today’s slang, however, completely misses on that aspect. Some scenes were way too dramatic as well and not realistic in any sense. The frustration with impulsive decisions made by the teenagers in the show was something I felt, and I know others definitely did, too. 

The ending left us on a cliffhanger, with the audience begging for more. Just recently, Netflix announced the official renewal of Season 3.

        4. “Ginny and Georgia”

The show follows a young mother, Georgia, and her teenage daughter, Ginny. It is drama-filled, with secrets spilled every episode. Georgia is hiding her past life and secrets throughout, which are uncovered as the show unfolds. 

The 10 episode series was hard to put down; with so much betrayal and various love interests, it was addicting. With this came a cringy language that tried to encompass real-life teenage talk, yet like most television shows, it failed. The directors tried too hard to embody real-life high school drama and relationships; for example, Snapchat is used completely wrong, and viewers made fun of this aspect all over Tik Tok. 

The beneficial and significant part about Ginny and Georgia is the realistic issues covered that teenagers face on a daily basis. The show depicts things that many are too scared to talk about and sheds light on the topic. It gives off the message that it’s ok to feel a certain way, help is always around. 

       5. “Money Heist” Season 5 Part 2

The insanely popular show for all ages has finally come to an end, with the series finale. What made this specific season so distinct from the past was the twists and intensity. Viewers will not be able to look away, that’s for sure. 

The action-packed show has some emotional aspects tied in as well. The finale answers the money problem the “bad guys” have been facing the whole series. Unlike most endings, the show actually ends with an answer instead of a cliffhanger, leaving us with little speculation.