Best of 2021 (So far…)

Good. Better. (Not the) Worst? Unlike this time last year, 2021 is off to a much better start than 2020. Vaccines are available, masks might be coming off and live events are back in vogue. Sure, going out to concerts, movie theaters, restaurants, sporting events and more will mean less time spent binging tv shows, powering through books or lying on the floor while listening to REM’s “Everybody Hurts,” but hey, this is good news, especially if you’re like me and you live and (for now) remotely work in a smallish city apartment.

Personally, I can’t say I miss the threat of loud talkers at a movie theater or the possibility of a giant standing in front of me at a concert, but at least the choice to be in these situations is back. It’s too soon to tell how much behaviors have changed and what is to come, but what is clear is that the continued richness of artistic creation is alive and well. From weekly new music to a million streaming services to old and instant literary classics (I’m looking at you CIRCE) there is almost too much out there to enjoy and not enough of you to know where to divide and conquer.

Fear of missing out (FOMO!) on the next “it” show or movie or artist might help guide your choices, especially as your forced free time in isolation is seemingly near an end, but hopefully the lists below that outline what I have found to be the best of 2021 (so far…) in film, television, music, books will be helpful as well. Peruse wisely, time is a precious commodity… 


Best of 2021
1a. Saint Maud

1b. Minari 
3. Nomadland
4. The White Tiger
5. Things Seen and Heard

Just Missed: Below Zero; I Care A Lot; Judas and the Black Messiah; The Woman in the Window; Wrong Turn 
Most Disappointing: Malcom & Marie; The Little Things; Godzilla vs. Kong; The New Mutants
Most Looking Forward To: DUNE; Nightmare Alley; The French Dispatch; Antlers; The Eternals; Candyman



1. Gomorrah, HBO Max
2. Made For Love, HBO Max
3. WandaVision, Disney+
4. Search Party, HBO Max
5. Resident Alien, SyFy

Just Missed:
Superstore, NBC; Cobra Kai, Netflix; Married At First Sight, Lifetime; RuPaul’s Drag Race, VH1; The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Disney+; Them, Amazon Prime; Shadow and Bone, Netflix
Most Disappointing:
The Nevers, HBO Max; The Walking Dead, AMC; Gangs of London, AMC; Flack, Amazon Prime
Most Looking Forward To:
Ted Lasso, Apple+; Atlanta, FX; Mosquito Coast, Apple+; The Book of Boba Fett, Disney+; DEXTER, Showtime; Cowboy Bebop, Netflix; Nine Perfect Strangers, Hulu; Foundation, Apple+



1. Paradigmes, La Femme
2. Daddy’s Home, St. Vincent
3. The Battle at Garden’s Gate, Greta Van Fleet
4. if i could make it go quiet, girl in red

5. KIDS, Noga Erez

Just Missed:
Ignorance, The Weather Station; Welfare Jazz, Viagra Boys; TROPIXX EP, Jesswar; OK Human, Weezer; Sympathetic Magic, Typhoon; Twixtutwain EP, Sorry; Bills & Aches & Blues (40 Years of 4AD), Various Artists
Most Disappointing:
Chemtrails Over the Country Club, Lana Del Rey; When You See Yourself, Kings of Leon; Delta Kream, The Black Keys
Most Looking Forward To:
Kendrick LamarMiguel; Slothrust; Rosalía; Pusha T; Ruen Brothers; Vince Staples; JID; The War on Drugs; Cherry Glazerr; TORRES; The Voidz; La Doña; Billie Eilish


1a. “Cranium,” Slothrust
1b. “Cool Colorado,” La Femme
3 “To The Country” Viagra Boys
4. “Serotonin,” girl in red
5. “Venom,” Jesswar

Just Missed: Atlantic,” The Weather Station; Jungle Mantra,” DIVINE, Vince Staples, Pusha T;Ooh Ahh,” Miguel; VACCINATED ATTITUDE,” Marc Rebillet; Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in My Head,” TORRES;a m a r i,” J. Cole;Like A Lady,” Pom Poko;Here Comes Comus!,” Arab Strap;Where They Perform Miracles,” Clap Your Hands Say Yeah;Holy Rose,” Fruit Bats;Goosebumps – Remix,” Travis Scott, HVME; Apricots,” Bicep; A Volar,” Muerdo, Lido Pimiento;Hey Michael,” Wallice, marinelli;Skegee,” JID;My Baby Wants A Baby,” St. Vincent

BOOKS (Read in 2021)


1. CIRCE, by Madeline Miller
2. There There, by Tommy Orange
3. Think Againby Adam Grant
4. Leave the World Behind, by Rumaan Alam
5. The Vanishing Half, by Britt Bennett

Just Missed: Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novak; Daddy, by Emma Cline
Most Disappointing:
Empire of Wild, by Cherie Dimaline; The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel
Most Looking Forward To:
Beartown, by Frederik Backman; D (A Tale in Two Worlds), by Michael Faber; Milk Fed, by Melissa Broder; The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller; The Locked Tomb Trilogy, by Tamsyn Muir

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