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The Year in Entertainment 2021: TV viewers binge ‘Squid Game,’ ‘Ted Lasso’ and more


TV viewing choices ran the gamut in 2021, from the wholesome Ted Lasso to the brutal Squid Game. Here are some of the highlights:

— Red light, green light — if you didn’t watch Squid Game this year, really, what were you doing with your life? The addictive Korean Netflix series — in which needy people were kidnapped and forced to compete in children’s games for money, with death the punishment for losing — was all anyone was talking about following its September release.

— Disney+’s Marvel series offerings also had a big year, starting with the release of WandaVision, followed by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, then Loki, the animated What If…?, and then the Christmas-themed Hawkeye closing out the year.

— The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit won big at the 73rd Annual Emmy Awards in September, with each series earning 11 awards. Saturday Night Live followed behind with eight trophies, while Ted Lasso and The Mandalorian won seven. Kate Winslet’s buzzy HBO miniseries Mare of Easttown picked up four awards.

The Emmys weren’t without controversy, however. #EmmySoWhite began trending after the winners were counted, and not a single Black, Brown or Asian actor won an acting award.  This, despite heading into the night with the most diverse nomination field in the show’s history, with 49 people of color up for acting and reality competition awards.

— After tons of hype, Friends: The Reunion Special aired on HBO Max in May, featuring the entire core cast and special guests including Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

— The Sex and the City sequel, And Just Like That…, debuted on HBO Max in December and pretty much immediately sparked fan ire for how it handled the absence of Kim Cattrall’s Samantha, and for killing off Chris Noth’s Mr. Big. Following his departure from the show, Noth was soon after accused of sexual assault by multiple women and was dropped from his other show, CBS’ The Equalizer.

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