Pop Culture We’re Thankful For In 2021

BY EW Staff

From Ted Lasso to Loki and more, here are the shows, movies and songs EW staffers loved this year.

JULIAN BROAD FOR EW

The Sex Lives of College Girls

Mindy Kaling’s latest show hooked me from the very beginning with its hilarious portrayal of college life today. Add in the female friendships at its core, and what’s not to love?

JESSICA BROOKS/HBO MAX

Samantha Highfill

What We Do in the Shadows, “The Wellness Center”

Nandor accidentally joins a cult of aerobics-obsessed, self-hating vampires and the result is truly and hilariously bananas.

Russ Martin/FX

Lauren Morgan

Ted Lasso

It is knitted sweater kumbaya comfort that was somehow both cozy and clever. 

COLIN HUTTON/APPLE TV+

Mary Margaret

Loki 

For finally making Marvel a little bit sexy and making use of the gift that is Tom Hiddleston’s classical acting chops.

MARVEL STUDIOS

Maureen Lee Lenker 

Ayra Starr’s “19 & Dangerous”

The Nigerian singer-songwriter’s album gave the Afropop greatness that got me through this year. An incredibly strong debut for the young artist!

Mavin Studios

Alamin Yohannes

June Osborne made it to Canada

Grateful our favorite ex-Handmaid is still able to create problems for the Republic of Gilead from north of the border.

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Sarah Sprague

An Evening with Silk Sonic, Silk Sonic

Superduo Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak are masters of catchy hooks, treating R&B and funk music fans to a nostalgic mix of upbeat tracks and big-voiced ballads sure to cure your seasonal blues.

HARPER SMITH

Chanelle Berlin Johnson 

The Witcher

Henry Cavill's jawline and chest hair in the upcoming season of The Witcher.

Netflix

Lester Brathwaite

Gentified, 
"Sangiving"

It's probably the first time I got to see an "American" holiday story that was told by a Latinx family. It meant a lot to finally be able to see that!

Netflix

Yolanda Machado

In The Heights

I'm grateful for the opening number for reigniting my appreciation for my local New York City bodega, Anthony Ramos’ freckles, and tightly synchronized choreography. 

Macall Polay/Warner Bros

Ruth Kinane

The iCarly revival

Rather than stay a show for kids, this revival lets the subject matter mature with its original audience, providing the same zany laughs with some progressive (and sometimes suggestive) twists.

NICKELODEON

Marcus Jones

Dune

The immersive soundscape and gigantic sci-fi architecture are reminders of the unique power of movie theaters in an age of increased streaming, and I’m thankful for the officially-announced sequel for giving me something fun to look forward to again.

CHIA BELLA JAMES/WARNER BROS.

Christian Holub

Uggs

I am thankful that influencers and celebrity trendsetters have made Uggs cool again. Finally, my toes can be toasty warm again in cool girl style and my original trusty pair of Uggs that I’ve lovingly cared for since college have gone from relic back around to charmingly neo-vintage.

Gotham/GC Images

Brittany Kaplan 

Inside

Bo Burnham’s Inside was exactly the transmission I need to hear to know I was not going crazy, not alone with the free-floating anxiety.

Netflix

Joshua Rothkopf

Only Murders in the Building

Seeing Selena Gomez return to her comedic roots was a gift that kept giving. Not only was Gomez’s comedic timing spot on, but seeing her team up with Steve Martin and Martin Short gave us a collab we didn’t know we needed.

PEGGY SIROTA/HULU

Jessica Leon

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CHARLIE GRAY FOR EW