Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. TV
7 December 2021

The best TV of 2021

The best TV of the year, from Succession to It's A Sin.

By Rachel Cooke

The New Statesman TV critic Rachel Cooke chooses her top ten shows of the year.

Succession (Sky HBO)
Roy story: Jesse Armstrong’s media monsters make their comeback, and every single line fizzes and pops.

Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution (BBC Two)
The Alien vs Predator remake that induced a disturbing nostalgia for snow-washed jeans and rising taxes.

Help (Channel 4)
The hard-to-watch but very necessary film by Jack Thorne about a care home during Covid, starring Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer.

The White Lotus (Sky Atlantic/HBO)
Mike White’s blissful, satirical hotel drama. Think Agatha Christie with tiki torches and a rolling prescription for Xanax.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Hemingway (BBC Four)
Book me on the next train to Pamplona!
A masterclass in biography from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Content from our partners
Building the business case for growth
“On supporting farmers, McDonald’s sets a high standard”
City of London Corporation brings stakeholders together to drive climate action

Time (BBC One)
Has Sean Bean ever been better?
Jimmy McGovern’s exquisite prison drama was a huge word-of-mouth hit for the BBC.

Gods of Snooker (BBC Two)
Back to the Eighties with Alex and Jimmy and Steve: the Nijinskys of the baize in all their frilly-shirted glory.

Motherland (BBC Two)
Nit infestations and mini Babybels, catchment areas and divorce lawyers: still the funniest, most lacerating show on television.

Mare of Easttown (Sky Atlantic/HBO)
The Peyton Place reboot from hell. An utterly bleak, pitch-perfect Rust Belt crime story starring Kate Winslet.

It’s a Sin (Channel 4)
Closet encounters: Russell T Davies’s gorgeous, soapy drama had as much to say about the nature of shame as about the Aids epidemic.

Topics in this article :