2021 in TV

Even though I grew up watching too much television in general, I never thought to do a year-end TV recap until the end of last year, when it suddenly became an obvious gap in my year-end recaps! Movies and books but no TV, when I know I spend a ton of time watching TV? (Maybe it was denial about how much of it I was watching…)

Below are the full seasons of shows released in 2021 that I watched this year! To see every show (and movie and book etc.) I watched this past year, including older seasons, you can check my 2021 Media Log.

Posters for 2021 seasons of TV I watched this year
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2021 Media Log

Inspired by my friend Ben Hong (no longer media-logging), who got the idea from Jen Myers, I am continuing the practice of tracking my media consumption this year.

Past media logs: 2020 | 2019

Key: (B) = book | (F) = film | (T) = television series (completed season) | (L) = live performance (theater, music, comedy, etc.) | (A) = album (music) | (G) = video game | (C) = stand-up comedy special | [R] = reread/rewatch

Logged during the month I completed the unit. For example, I logged a full season of a TV show after watching the last episode of the season, whether I began the season that day or years earlier, I logged a game or album when I completed the entire thing, etc.

J A N U A R Y

  • Wonder Woman 1984 (F)
  • Ratatouille: The Musical (F?)
  • Ratatouille (F)[R]
  • King of Scars (B)
  • Promising Young Woman (F)
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 (G)
  • Bridgerton (T)
  • Homegoing (B)
  • Bend It Like Beckham (F)[R]
  • Pride and Prejudice (2005) (F)[R]

F E B R U A R Y

  • Enter the Dragon (F)
  • The Mummy (F)[R]
  • The Mummy Returns (F)[R]
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (F)[R]
  • To All the Boys: Always and Forever (F)
  • Desperados (F)
  • History of Swear Words (T)
  • You’ve Got Mail (F)[R]
  • Coming to America (F)
  • Love Wedding Repeat (F)
  • Underworld (F)
  • Underworld: Evolution (F)

M A R C H

  • Je ne suis pas un homme facile (F)
  • WandaVision (T)
  • Moxie (F)
  • Two Weeks Notice (F)[R]
  • Raya and the Last Dragon (F)
  • Coming 2 America (F)
  • Blood of Elves (B)
  • Serendipity (F)[R]

A P R I L

  • Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex (B)
  • While You Were Sleeping (F)[R]
  • Warrior S1 (T)
  • Warrior S2 (T)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (F)[R]
  • The Big Boss (F)
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (T)
  • Castle Crashers (G)
  • Shadow and Bone S1 (T)
  • Life in Color with David Attenborough (T)

M A Y

  • When Harry Met Sally (F)
  • Loathe at First Sight (B)
  • Mortal Kombat (2021) (F)
  • David Attenborough’s The Great Barrier Reef (T)
  • Kingdom Hearts 2 (G)
  • Stardust (F)
  • Song of Achilles (B)

J U N E

  • Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet (F)
  • Inside (F? C?)
  • Black Lady Sketch Show S2 (T)
  • In the Heights (F)
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal part 1 (F)
  • Exhalation (B)
  • Ted Lasso S1 (T)

J U L Y

  • Ted Lasso S1 (T)[R]
  • The Time of Contempt (B)
  • Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth (F)
  • Black Widow (F)
  • Loki (T)
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy (F)
  • Never Have I Ever S1 (T)[R]
  • Rule of Wolves (B)
  • Never Have I Ever S2 (T)
  • Project Hail Mary (B)
  • Crying in H-Mart (B)
  • Red, White, and Royal Blue (B)

A U G U S T

  • Demon Slayer S1 (T)
  • The Year Earth Changed (F)
  • Transcendent Kingdom (B)
  • In the Moon for Love (F)
  • Solutions and Other Problems (B)
  • The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (F)
  • The Ingenuity of the Househusband (T)
  • God of War (G)
  • Invincible S1 (T)

S E P T E M B E R

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (F)
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (F)
  • The Way of the Househusband S1 (T)
  • Over the Moon (F)[R]
  • Brittany Runs a Marathon (F)

O C T O B E R

  • Star Wars: Visions (T)
  • The Lightning Thief (B)
  • The Sea of Monsters (B)
  • The Titan’s Curse (B)
  • What If? S1 (T)
  • Ted Lasso S2 (T)
  • Star Wars: Visions (T)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (F)
  • Hocus Pocus (F)[R]
  • It Takes Two (G)
  • Casper (F)[R]

N O V E M B E R

  • Luca (F)
  • Coco (F)[R]
  • The Resistance (A)[R]
  • Eternals (F)
  • Closing Down the Pattern Department (A)[R]
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service (F)[R]
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (F)[R]
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Original Soundtrack (A)[R]
  • Paddington (F)
  • Arcane S1 (T)
  • Love Hard (F)
  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (F)[R]
  • John Wick (F)

D E C E M B E R

  • John Wick: Chapter 2 (F)
  • The Art of Showing Up (B)
  • Wicked (L) (!!)
  • Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (B)
  • George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (L)
  • The Witcher S2 (T)
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (F)
  • Hawkeye (T)
  • Die Hard (F)
  • Elf (F)[R]
  • Molly’s Game (F)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (F)[R]
  • Insecure S5 (T)
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales (G)

That’s everything I read, watched, listened to, and played — in their entirety — this year!

Of note is that this year is the first that I actually played these video games to completion on my own. In past years, I marked a game as “complete” via backseat gaming, as in little to no actual controller-in-hands time for me. But this year, my partner encouraged me to try to play them all the way through on my own, with minimal help on some of the difficult boss fights for God of War (it was supposed to be “just give me the story” mode…) and then refusing to help me beat any of Miles Morales so that I could fully own beating AND 100%-ing that game. I have a long way to go as a gamer but I feel less like the Fake Gamer Girl™ label that I have embraced for the past several years. Not sure I’ll be able to start streaming like my partner thinks I can, but at least I can hold my own on these easier difficulties of games. (Plus, God of War taught me so much about being a father… I’ll never forget it.)

You can follow along with my 2022 media logging at sipofstarrshine.com/media-log, which is kept up to date throughout the year!

2020 Media Log

Inspired by my friend Ben Hong, who got the idea from Jen Myers, I am continuing the practice of tracking my media consumption this year. This will now be replaced with a 2021 media log, which I will update regularly on its dedicated page. Here are all the movies, shows, books, albums, games, and more that I logged this year.

Read More »

Media Log 2019

This year, I was inspired by my friend Ben Hong (who himself got the idea from Jen Myers) to track nearly all of the media I consumed, as a supplement to my movies and books recap. As I’ll be resetting the Media Log page on this blog, here is what I logged in 2019.Read More »

87th Academy Awards

Ahhh the Oscars. The only awards show that I care about in any industry. I look forward to them all year long!

This year, I made a true effort to watch more of the Best Picture nominees although I still missed several. (Hey, there have been years where I’ve seen NONE of the Best Picture nominees.) Of course, that didn’t stop me from having opinions based on other folks’ reviews of those movies. (Boyhood? I was very surprised at how much buzz it was getting considering how much critics disliked it when it was released.)

I’m not professing to be any sort of film expert or critic. I’m an enthusiast at most, and I read a lot of what other folks think. So I had leanings for which movies and people were going to win awards.

Going into the awards, I was already a bit surprised by a few things. Of course, the Lego Movie snub was pretty surprising. I was also surprised that Interstellar got so little love outside of visual effects and sound work. I have zero idea how sound mixing and editing are judged (or even what the precise difference is… between the two?) but I was counting on Interstellar to win visual effects. I mean, it was such an accurate portrayal of cosmic phenomenon that have never been seen that 2 academic paper were written based on the work in the movie. But I did expect more nominations for Chris Nolan’s latest.

I didn’t watch the red carpet, because it’s just not a priority to me what everyone is wearing. I do have to say something though: These interviewers are awful. They are not very charismatic, and you’d think that was the only real job requirement? Interviewers are supposed to be charismatic and easy to talk to? But I felt so uncomfortable watching, the actors looked VERY uncomfortable, the interviewers were very forced. Add this to the several incompetent interviews we’ve been seeing of late (e.g. calling Rashida Jones “tan” when she is, in fact, half-black) and I feel like no one would be upset if Hollywood just completely overhauled all of their red carpet interviewers. Can we do that please?

ONTO THE ACTUAL AWARDS SHOW.

Let’s talk about this year’s host, Neil Patrick Harris. Now, I love NPH, I truly do, with all my heart, I think he’s fantastic and wonderful in every way. That being said, he is not going to go down as one of the best Oscar hosts. What happened? He’s so charismatic usually, and we know he’s a great host for so many other awards shows. What happened while they were doing the writing for the Oscars this year? The show wasn’t terribly exciting for most people (I liked it) and so many of Neil’s jokes fell really flat. I was really saddened by how disappointed I was. Especially because I think that the jokes just didn’t plan very well? ESPECIALLY that stupid black briefcase gag. Why was that a thing. It would only have been redeemed if he had done some actual illusions (NPH is an actual magician and is often asked to incorporate magic tricks into his roles)  rather than lame “predictions”. I hated that running gag the most, it was the biggest flop by far and Neil was trying so hard to make it funny but even he seemed exasperated by it.

neil patrick harris animated GIF

He did lead with a fantastic musical opening number written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (aka the duo behind the Frozen soundtrack). Even though at this point, it’s not novel or exciting when NPH does a musical number, it was still a great number. I liked the homages paid to cinema and how creatively it was done. (I can’t help but think of 10-time host – Billy Crystal – who I remember put himself in movies when he last hosted in 2003. I remember it being 2003 because he donned a Legolas wig the year Return of the King was nominated.) I liked Anna Kendrick showing up in her Into the Woods Cinderella dress (and she was more animated on that stage than she was in the movie, in my opinion) although I think I actually winced when she sang a spoiler for Gone Girl. (“… spoiler alert.” – NPH) (NPH was in Gone Girl, just to clarify) I was really really confused about Jack Black joining in on the number (“Screen in your jeans!”) because I just don’t know what he has been doing lately? As in why he is relevant in 2014-2015 film culture? Anyway, it was a fun number.

I want to first do a shout-out for two folks who got their first wins. Every year, I am surprised by people whose names are so respected in the industry but somehow don’t have Oscars. In fact, we often hear their names at the Oscars and only realize when they win that they’ve just been nominated several times. (For example, when Christopher Plummer won his first Oscar, he became the oldest first-time recipient in Oscar history. Seriously!)

  1. Alejandro González Iñárritu, who was previously nominated 4 times, won 3 awards for Birdman. (Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture) Well-deserved, that movie was fantastic.
  2. Alexandre Desplat, who was previously nominated 6 times, won his first Best Original Score award for Grand Budapest Hotel. Strangely, he was actually nominated TWICE in this category this year; his second nomination was for The Imitation Game. I was stunned that this was his first win, considering how many stellar soundtrack’s he has done.

Also, can we talk about the amazing speeches that were given? Oscar movies are getting at very real issues and winners are using their speeches as a platform to say something real and not just thank their agents and the studios. To name a few memorable ones:

  • Patricia Arquette (Best Supporting Actress, Boyhood): feminism

    Which gave us this beautiful moment
  • Common & John Legend (Best Original Song, “Glory” from Selma): race and social justice
  • J.K. Simmons (Best Supporting Actor, Whiplash): loving and calling your parents
  • Graham Moore (Best Adapted Screenplay, The Imitation Game): gay right and suicide prevention
  • Eddie Redmayne (Best Actor, Theory of Everything): ALS
  • Julianne Moore (Best Actress, Still Alice): Alzheimers

It’s easy to be cynical and say that these speeches don’t change anything but you know what? It’s also easy for these folks to thank their agents and their parents and be on their merry ways. I, for one, am really pleased that they are using their speech time for a cause greater than themselves. Because at the end of the day, people’s parents and coworkers know that they were important to these winners; audience member and folks at home (like me!) don’t always know about the issues that the movies touch on. Especially with arthouse films that don’t receive a wide release, I think it’s crucial to drive the point of your film home if you are honored with an award.

OF COURSE I NEED TO SAY that it was a problem that a) we had so little racial diversity in our nominees this year (and even with our presenters) and b) that all of the Best Picture nominees that weren’t Selma were about a white man’s struggles. Most of these stories were really worth telling, but are others not? It was a problem. We need to address that and I hope that Hollywood and the Academy take note.

I had so many thoughts during the Oscars so, at Christine‘s prodding, I live-tweeted again this year. There were a lot of moments I couldn’t even capture through my live-tweeting, but I really enjoyed the Oscars this year. I’ve put together a little Storify with my Tweets in chronological order if you’re curious to see what kind of manic episode I was in last night.

Do you usually watch the Oscars?
Did you predict the winners correctly?
What were your favorite moments?