List

2021 Staff Picks: TV Series

By Skokie Staff Adult Services

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

  • All Creatures Great and Small: Season 1

    2021

    This reboot TV series based on the books by James Herriot about a veterinary practice in 1930s Yorkshire is a sentimental favorite, because my mother and I read all the books and together viewed all the original episodes. I couldn’t be more pleased with the new series. The cast is on target (including the pampered pup Tricki Woo), the scenery is breathtaking, and the gently thoughtful stories still manage to provide escape and comfort. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Call the Midwife Season 10

    2021

    Truth be told, I’ve been teary-eyed watching every episode, but I always feel a lot of joy by the end. Set in the East End of London in 1966, the series is not just about midwifery. It tackles medical/social/economic issues of the time, and also focuses on community, hope and compassion, with top-notch writing that extends beyond the historical fiction border. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Castlevania: Seasons One & Two

    2021

    This is probably one of the best video game adaptations out there (there are very few). With its final season releasing on Netflix earlier this year, I can say it also has one of the most satisfying conclusions—while being able to leave bread crumbs for future possibilities. If you’re a fan of dark, suspenseful, action-packed stories with interesting characters and phenomenal animation, I strongly recommend this series. Recommended by Penny.

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  • Dead to Me: Season Two

    2021

    This darkly humorous show is suspenseful and endearing. Throughout the season, I found myself vacillating between excitement and sadness as Jen and Judy deal with the repercussions of some of their life choices. Recommended by Michelle.

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  • Grantchester: The Complete Sixth Season

    2021

    Although this British period piece crime drama had a major cast member leave in season 4, the show found its footing and continues to be a compelling whodunit series. Season 6 takes place in 1958, with local vicar Will Davenport pairing up with police detective Geordie Keating to solve murders in a Cambridgeshire village. I love the acting and the direction of the story arcs, which cover such issues such as feminism, civil rights, student protests, and homophobia/same sex relationships (illegal at the time). Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Emily in Paris: Season One

    2021

    Sugary in all of the right ways; I loved this show because of how over-the-top it is. The colors pop without hesitation--whether it's the outfits or the Paris lights--and the show finds a way to sneak in meaningful questions: do you live to work or work to live? Recommended by Paul.

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  • Mare of Easttown

    2021

    Watching Kate Winslet in a new miniseries is a no-brainer for many admiring fans, and this show does not disappoint. Mare of Easttown is a community-driven story as each community member adds a layer to the overall mystery; what you think will happen probably won't. Winslet seamlessly embodies strength, vulnerability, and duty as she solves not only the mysteries plaguing the community but also confronts her own personal demons. Recommended by Katie and Rummanah.

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  • Miss Scarlet & the Duke

    2021

    If you missed this well-written historical series on Masterpiece Mystery, be sure to catch it now on DVD before the highly anticipated season 2 airs. The chemistry between Miss Scarlet and the Duke sizzles, and their banter with one another is incredibly witty and entertaining. One also can appreciate how the show tries to address some of the horrible conditions of Victorian England, with its pollution, gender and class inequalities, and poverty with a modern lens. Recommended by Rummanah and Lynnanne.

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  • Small Axe: Collection of 5 Films From Steve McQueen

    2020

    A tour-de-force of cinematic storytelling from filmmaker Steve McQueen, whose personal connection to this project is obvious throughout. All five films focus on London's West Indian community, looking at the 1960s through the 1980s. It is a vivid and authentic narrative of the people, time, and place--social, political, and historical. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Staged

    2021

    When the West End play in which David Tennant and Michael Sheen are to headline is put on indefinite hold during the pandemic, the director convinces them to keep rehearsing online in hopes to salvage the situation. This hilarious COVID-19 lockdown comedy TV series makes the most out of showbiz shenanigans and celeb egos, though much of the cast are playing fictional exaggerated versions of themselves and you'll be wondering what’s real and what isn’t. Everyone filmed from home, often with their partners or relatives (all actors as well) joining in on the fun. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Unforgotten: The Complete Fourth Season

    2021

    I love the Unforgotten series and can't recommend it enough for patrons who love mysteries with well developed, complex characters and intricate cold case mysteries that have held my attention. Season 4 had twists that I did not anticipate, and I am curious to see what happens next to this great cast of characters. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • You: The Complete Second Season

    2021

    With the addition of a new setting and new funny-yet-intriguing supporting characters, season 2 of You had me guessing all the way up until the final episode. We get the same delusional, charming, and murderous character in Joe, but with an additional twist that opens the way for more intriguing storylines in the future. Recommended by Paul.

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