For most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant a lot more time at home, and with that comes a lot more time in front of the TV. Streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO Max have been dominating our time at home, so it makes sense that they would also dominate the 2021 Emmy Awards as well.
Held on Sept. 19 in Los Angeles, the 73rd Emmy Awards highlighted the best U.S. television programming of the year. The show was hosted by comedian Cedric the Entertainer and was attended by some of the most famous faces on TV. The top awards of the night all went to shows from streaming services, with Netflix receiving 11 nominations and taking home seven wins and Apple TV+ winning four of the 13 awards it was nominated for. HBO Max also had a big night, winning four top acting awards as well as Outstanding Writing and Directing for a Comedy Series.
The Emmys provide a great starting point if you’re looking for a new show to binge. Dubbed the “best” TV of the year, the Emmy-winning shows provide a variety of genres that you can get excited about. VALLEY is also here to help, with suggestions about which Emmy-winning shows you need to watch first!
“Ted Lasso” is an American sports comedy-drama that premiered on Apple TV+ in 2020. The series, developed by Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence and Brendan Hunt, stars Sudeikis as the titular character. The show revolves around Ted Lasso, an American college football coach hired to coach an English soccer team. What makes this show special is that you don’t need to know or understand football to enjoy it; it has a broad appeal that focuses on friendships, relationships and being part of a team, as well as soccer!
Another big Emmy winner was Netflix’s “The Crown.” This historical drama chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II, focusing on the political rivalries, relationships and events that shaped her life. This show is unique as each season focuses on a different period of her reign, with the cast changing as we progress through her life. If you’re interested in the history of the British royal family, this show is definitely for you. Other reasons to include “The Crown” on your Netflix watchlist are the amazing acting, timely fashion and the close attention to detail and location.
You might not have heard of this new show from HBO Max since it only premiered last May, but “Hacks” was a hit for Emmy voters. The comedy-drama follows the dark mentorship that forms between Deborah Vance, a legendary Las Vegas comedian, and her new comedy writer Ava, an entitled outcast who’s a little down on her luck. Featuring Jean Smart in the role of Vance, “Hacks” explores not only the relationship between the two main characters but also women in general, and how various generations view the world differently. It also sheds light on the tough situation of being a woman in a male-dominated industry, something that a lot of the audience can relate to.
Mare of Eastown
Another big winner for HBO Max was “Mare of Easttown” which stars Kate Winslet, Evan Peters and Julianne Nicholson. The American crime-drama features Winslet as the titular character, a small-town detective investigating a murder while also trying to keep her own life from falling apart. The miniseries includes stellar acting from not only Winslet but also Nicholson, who plays Mare’s best friend, Lori. There are also tons of twists, turns and sub-plots that are sure to keep you interested.
The Queen’s Gambit
One of the highlights of quarantine was “The Queen’s Gambit,” a Netflix miniseries that premiered back in October 2020. The series follows Beth Harmon, an orphaned chess prodigy who’s on a quest to become the best chess player in the world while also struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. After only four weeks of being released, the series became the most-watched scripted miniseries on Netflix, and it has since received critical acclaim, with particular praise going to the cinematography, production and Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance as Beth.
I May Destroy You
One last show that wasn’t a huge winner last night but deserves recognition nonetheless is “I May Destroy You,” a British drama created for BBC and HBO. The series centers around Arabella, played by Michaela Coel, whose life is changed after being sexually assaulted in a nightclub. The show centers around Arabella as she questions and rebuilds every aspect of her life. Coel has been praised for her writing, acting and directing of the series with critics calling it “one of the best TV shows of the year.”
What were your favorite shows of the year? Be sure to let us know by tagging us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter!