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The Best Drama Shows Of 2021

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If there's one thing the world has needed so far in 2021, with the pandemic still raging, it's distraction. And what better way to distract yourself than becoming fully immersed in good TV? Luckily, while COVID-19 has delayed production on many films and shows, the year so far has still seen a fair amount of good television to keep us occupied and engaged. 

Arguably, the most engaging genre out there is none other than drama. A good drama will keep you sucked in, itching to see what happens next and ready to hit "next episode," as soon as the previous one rolls credits. While everyone has been stuck at home, streaming services have really come through by providing compelling content for viewers to consume in bingable format. From It's a Sin on HBO Max to multiple shows from Netflix, here is a breakdown of some of the best drama shows to come out of 2021 so far.


This French mystery drama stars Omar Sy as Assane Diop, a professional thief in the mold of the classic French character Lupin. After his father, who was framed for stealing an expensive necklace, kills himself in prison, Assane vows vengeance. He goes after Hubert Pellegrini (Hervé Pierre), his father's former employer, who is responsible for framing him. The first part of season 1 was released in January, and the second part will be out sometime this year.

With a very high Tomatometer score of 98%, critics have pretty much nothing but good things to say about Lupin. Slate is already calling it an "early front-runner" to be one of the best shows of the entire year, adding that it "doesn't waste a single minute, packing each and every moment full of suspense."

More than anything though, Lupin is exciting, captivating, and an escapist series that surprises viewers along the way. According to RogerEbert.com, the show is "an addictive, clever puzzle" that is reminiscent of the best mystery dramas.

Losing Alice

In the Israeli psychological drama, Losing Alice, the titular protagonist (Ayelet Zurer) is a middle-aged filmmaker who feels she has lost herself in the midst of raising her family, and now feels stuck in her work life. She is awakened out of this trance when she meets Sophie (Lihi Kornowski), a 20-something screenwriter who first introduces herself as a fan of Alice's. Soon, Alice develops an obsession with Sophie.

The show has been praised for the ways in which it fully dives into the psychological drama of the story, with characters and relationships intricately and patiently explored. IndieWire notes, "Losing Alice can take an evocative color palette, a well-placed camera, and a few gentle moves to unlock some genuine uncertainty and anxiety."

The performances have also been given ample praise, with Zurer racking up the majority of the acclaim. Decider insists that Zurer "pulls off [the central] crisis masterfully," of a woman who feels lost in her own life despite a successful career and a loving family. This is one suspense drama that's not to be overlooked.

It's a Sin

Set in London, the series begins in 1981 and, over the course of five episodes, takes the characters through one decade of their lives. It focuses on a group of gay men, as well as their friends, as they deal with the impact of AIDS on the queer community.

If a show is going to tackle a historical period as intense and harrowing as the beginning of the AIDS crisis, it must do so with care and thoughtfulness — which It's a Sin undoubtedly does. The Atlantic writes that the series brings an intimate portrayal to the event, and "offers the simple yet potent reminder that history is not a Wikipedia page, but real people's lives and deaths."

The ensemble — made up of Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West, Nathaniel Curtis and David Carlyle, among others — brings ample depth to their characters. IndieWire writes, "As harrowing as the show may be in moments, it's never an excruciating watch, and that's largely thanks to the cast." 

Despite the difficult subjects handled, it seems as though It's a Sin is too good to pass up.

Ginny & Georgia

Georgia (Brianne Howey) is only 15 years older than her daughter Ginny (Antonia Gentry). Yet, 15-year-old Ginny often feels more mature than her wild, unpredictable mother. When they move to a new city, with Georgia on the run from a mysterious past, Ginny is hoping for normalcy — but that elusive past of Georgia's might get in the way.

Despite many comparisons to Gilmore Girls, Ginny & Georgia is much more than a wholesome mother-daughter drama; it has elements of action, mystery, and crime woven into its foundation. According to Detroit News, this mix of genres hits the mark: "Surprisingly, it pretty much all works. The dark secrets (there are many) balance with the apparent fluff, making for an engaging, never-dull series."

Meanwhile, despite the intensity of the drama, there are still plenty of more muted, personal moments, especially when it comes to Ginny's storyline, which is fraught with teenage angst. NOW Toronto writes of the "thoughtfulness" given to issues such as sexuality, as well as race and parenting. If that sounds up your alley, you should definitely check it out.


One show that has gotten a ton of well deserved attention so far this year is WandaVision. The first MCU series  to debut on Disney+ blends drama with mystery, action, adventure, and romance. The show follows the characters, Wanda a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) who are, at least on the surface, living a normal suburban married life, full of sitcom tropes and antics. Of course, there is much more going on within their world. This is Marvel we're talking about.

NPR writes in its review of the series, "WandaVision's commitment to confounding expectations might offer something few franchises as hoary as this one ever do – a fresh, surprising way in." 

Many critics have pointed out how different this series is to other Marvel projects, specifically the attention it gives to its characters' inner lives; The Atlantic calls it "revolutionary" for its attention to Wanda's psyche. Further, the performances have received an abundance of praise as well, with Olsen especially dominating the conversation. NPR goes as far as to say that WandaVision is unlikely to work as well as it does "without Elizabeth Olsen's indelible central performance."

Whether you're watching to see something new from the MCU, for Olsen's performance, or for the talented supporting cast — which includes Kathryn Hahn, Evan Peters, and Kat Dennings, just to name a few — there is undeniably plenty to tune in for.