The best TV shows of 2021, as recommended by the MiNDFOOD team

The best TV shows of 2021, as recommended by the MiNDFOOD team
From breakout Netflix hits to charming hidden gems, add these top shows of 2021 to your watchlist. 

The MiNDFOOD team share their top picks of the best TV shows of 2021.

Sex Education

“There’s nothing quite like Sex Education on TV. Returning for its third season in 2021, the show once again hits it out the park with its sharp humour, diverse storylines and exceptional costume design.” – Kathryn Chung, Concierge Editor

Where to watch: Netflix


“I loved Deborah Vance in Hacks. The 10-part series provided wonderful entertainment and a complete escape when we were in lockdown.” – Donna Duggan, Managing Editor

Where to watch: Amazon Prime


“This 10-episode series is a tender and heartfelt drama that gives an eye-opening look at the flaws of the American welfare system. It follows 23-year-old mother Alex (Margaret Qualley) as she leaves an abusive relationship and tries to make a better life for herself and her daughter. Qualley’s real-life mother Andie MacDowell does an incredible job playing Alex’s eccentric, unstable artist mother and Qualley is a real force I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of.” – Kathryn Chung, Concierge Editor

Where to watch: Netflix


“WOW. What a show. Fantastic script-writing, luxurious locations, high production values with no expense spared, make Succession one of the best TV shows of 2021. Fast-moving with fast corporate-speak (took me back to the corporate media worlds I have worked in over the years), but with plenty of sharp wit, stomach clutching humour and drama. Kieran Caulkin (brother of Mccaulay) is a firm favourite who delivers some absolute zingers with the cheeky face of a 10 year old.” – Janine Bourke, Account Director

Where to watch: Neon, Stan

Made for Love

“A hidden gem and one of the best shows of 2021, fans of Black Mirror will enjoy this dark comedy, which is about a woman escaping her billionaire tech husband after he implants a device in her brain that lets him read her emotions (yikes!) Cristin Milioti is phenomenal in the lead role, playing it with a kind of defiant erraticism that seems fitting for a woman in her situation. The lovable Ray Romano also does a great job as her father and I loved the dynamic between them.” – Kathryn Chung, Concierge Editor

Where to watch: Neon, Stan


“Kevin Costner is great as the family patriarch trying to protect his land against the forces of progress. Kelly Reilly is also fantastic.” – Charles Purcell, Sub-Editor

Where to watch: Neon, Stan

This Way Up

“This Way Up was another favourite for 2021. Aisling Bea played the lead character Aine – a woman who had “a teeny little nervous breakdown” – and she did it beautifully. The whole six-part series was smart, funny, heartwarming and heartbreaking.” – Donna Duggan, Managing Editor

Where to watch: Stan

Blown Away 

“Another unexpected family hit, this reality competition based around glass blowing likewise held the attention of all of the age groups in our family. It’s not brand new, but new to us, which meant there were two seasons for us to binge this year, with a Christmas special just launched as well. I explain it to others as ‘Project Runway’ for glass blowing.” – Meghan Bedford, Beauty Editor

Where to watch: Netflix


“This three-part drama series follows Mark Cobden (Sean Bean), a teacher who is jailed for killing a cyclist while drink-driving; and Eric McNally (Stephen Graham) a prison officer forced to make a difficult decision when a dangerous inmate identifies his weakness. It’s a gripping storyline, but the highlight for me was undoubtedly the acting. Sean Bean, in particular, delivers one of the most moving and memorable performances I have ever seen.” – Ashley Wallace, Culture Editor

Where to watch: Neon, Binge, Foxtel

Midnight Mass

“I’m usually not one for ‘scary’ shows, but Midnight Mass completely captivated me. Set on a remote island, the story follows the arrival of a mysterious priest and a series of supernatural events. While heavy at times and full of lengthy monologues, it builds to a thrilling end and I found it utterly addictive, compelling and unsettling.” – Kathryn Chung, Concierge Editor

Where to watch: Netflix

The Newsreader

“Set in the 1980’s with so much referencing to the times with world events, old fashion thinking and dialogue the show is set around the cutthroat world of TV. An excellent cast,  Anna Torv as Helen Norville, Sam Reid as Dale Jennings and William McInnes as Lindsay Cunningham are complex characters that are for the most part ambitious and flawed. A standout for 2021.” – Michael McHugh, Editor-in-Chief

Where to watch: ABC

My Name

“In 2021 the Squid Game phenomenon was incredible. If that was your first taste of Korean drama and you’re keen for some more, check out My Name. I was blown away by this series. It’s about a drug cartel and the daughter of one of the cartel who goes undercover with the police to hunt down her father’s killer. If it sounds like not your cup of tea, don’t worry – it wouldn’t usually be mine either. But the acting, writing and production values are all top notch and the two leads (the daughter and the leader of the cartel) are brilliant. The best fight scenes I have ever seen on screen, as well as some stunning sets.” – Gill Canning, Chief Sub-Editor

Where to watch: Netflix

The White Lotus

“This was hands down one of my best TV shows of 2021, if not my #1. Set in a luxe Hawaiian resort, the dysfunctional Mossbachers are here to take a family holiday – only predictably, everyone is after something different from the holiday and they rarely align. Also in the mix are a honeymooning couple whose marriage may already be on the rocks. Hotel manager Armond (Murray Bartlett) is darkly hilarious, while Jennifer Coolidge (as a lonely, rich neurotic woman come to the island to scatter her dead mother’s ashes) is, as always, a delight. Whip-smart writing and characterisation, especially the three ‘challenging’ teenagers who, I can attest from personal experience, are disarmingly true to life!” – Gill Canning, Chief Sub-Editor

Where to watch: Binge, Neon, Foxtel

Total Control 

“Deborah Mailman, who is fantastic, plays new Indigenous senator Alex Irving and finds herself at the center of media attention weeks into her political career in Canberra. The great story lines, acting, writing and Australian landscape are standouts. Rachel Griffiths plays the double crossing Prime minister who is brilliant and evil all at the same time. With a host of support actors that are believable and talented this is a must watch, I thoroughly enjoyed it.” – Michael McHugh, Editor-in-Chief

Where to watch: ABC, Acorn TV

Designated Survivor

“This has me on the edge of my seat as FBI try and stop criminals from attacking the President. It’s old fashioned goodies vs baddies which is keeping me preoccupied as somehow the President and his team scrape through to fight another day!” – Michelle McHugh, Food Director

Where to watch: Netflix


“Given the time spent at home this year, my TV watching was dominated by what my 7-year-old would also enjoy. If you’re not familiar, Bluey is an Australian animated television series for preschoolers (!) about the daily life of a family of anthropomorphic blue heeler dogs that has grown into a global smash hit. That’s thanks to it’s on-point, laugh-out-loud wit and relatable humour relevant to anyone that has ever been a child, or raised children. What makes it such a joy – and something makes it beloved by everyone in my extended family from toddlers to pre-teens – is that plenty of the jokes tend to be lobbed well over the heads of young viewers straight to their parents and fellow adults, who in turn laugh (and cry) at their accuracy. It also handles some poignant experiences in life with beautiful delicacy, like the death of an animal, aging grandparents, premature birth, children’s hospital stays, neurodivergent peers and more.” – Meghan Bedford, Beauty Editor

Where to watch: TVNZ, ABC


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