2021 TV Lineup: A Guide To The Best TV Shows Streaming In 2021

two things I'm keen for in 2021? a vaccine and ALL THE TV SHOWS!


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You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking all tv for 2021 is cancelled, considering 2020 and all. But as a matter of fact, 2021 has some great new TV in store for us. Without much more ado, here are some of the best and returning series to look forward to bingeing in 2021 (well, at least I will be). 

Copping it Black

Coming to SBS as a limited drama series in late 2021, Copping it Black will follow detective Toni Alma, who is assigned to investigate a suspicious car accident in Perdar Theendar, the Indigenous community she left as a child, and never looked back on until now. Clues will lead back to her own family, leading to Toni to navigate her way between past and present, the complexities of the Indigenous art world and her own self-doubt. The series is directed by Erica Glynn and Steven McGregor. A Bunya and CAAMA production for SBS and SBS on demand. 


Clarice is a spin-off of the iconic film, Silence of the Lambs.  It will star Aussie actor, Rebecca Breeds (The Originals, Blue Water High) as FBI agent Clarice Starling who is returning to her work at the FBI only a year after her encounters with Hannibal Lector. The series launches on CBS in February over in the USA. There is no word yet on whether Ten will air the series in Australia, but as a die-hard fan of CBS’ prior Hannibal Lector spin-off, Hannibal, I sincerely hope it airs here soon. 

Dickinson (Season 2)

The punk-pop Apple original series starring Hailee Steinfeld as famed American poet Emily Dickinson is back streaming for a second season on the 8th of January. The incredibly gay, tongue-in-cheek period “drama” comedically examines gender and society in Emily’s time through her eyes as someone out of time. If you haven’t caught up on season 1, it’s an easily entertaining series of ten 30 minute episodes to indulge in while you rest up for 2021. 

Euphoria (Special Episodes)

As glittering as it is triggering, Euphoria season 1 starred Zendaya as Rue, a teen struggling with addiction and her relationship with the love of her life, Jules (Hunter Schafer), and everything in between. While there is no word on exactly when a full season 2 is going to air,  showrunner Sam Levinson is blessing fans with two special episodes to tide us over. The first special, “Trouble Don’t Last Always” aired earlier in December, unfolding as a sprawling, devastating conversation between Rue (Zendaya) and her sponsor, Ali (Colman Domingo), that ranged from discussion of movies to social justice to suicide. The second special focusing on Jules (Hunter Schafer) is titled, “F–k Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob,” and airs on the 28th of January on Foxtel. 

It’s A Sin

This five-part British drama is penned by Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk, Doctor Who), and tells the story of a household of young members of the queer community, living large in the ’80s as the AIDS crisis looms. Starring Stephen Fry, Olly Alexander (Years & Years), and Neil Patrick Harris, It’s A Sin is coming very soon to Stan


Like all Marvel Disney+ projects, the exact details of the upcoming series centring on the timey-whimey adventures of Thor’s trickster brother, are strictly confidential. The trailer for Loki sees Tom Hiddleston once again relishing his role as he hops all about and between strange planets and inexplicable times. I guess we’ll find out what’s in store for us all when the series premieres on Disney+ in May of 2021. 

New Gold Mountain

Yoson An and Alyssa Sutherland lead an exciting ensemble cast in SBS’s four-part murder mystery, New Gold Mountain. The series tells the untold story of the Australian gold rush from the perspective of Chinese miners who risked everything for a chance at unlikely fortune in a new land. It follows a group of compelling characters brought together by a mysterious murder and takes an unprecedented look into the wild west era of the Australian gold rush. Let me just say, as a kid who was obsessed with Australia’s gold rush history, I am beyond keen to see this. The series is currently in production and will premiere on SBS On Demand sometime in 2021. 

Nicolas Cage’s History of Swear Words

Feels incredibly strange to use the phrases, “excited to see” and “Nicholas Cage” so close in the same sentence, but I am excited to see Nicolas Cage’s new wholesome Netflix documentary series, Nicolas Cage’s History of Swear Words. The series will look at the history of swear word usage, how certain words came to be swearwords and why some worlds stopped being swearwords. What can I say, but shit, sign me up. 

Nine Perfect Strangers 

Big Little Lies’ Nicole Kidman stars in yet another adaptation of a Liane Moriarty bestseller in Nine Perfect Strangers. Nine Perfect Strangers follows a group of troubled grown-ups who are pitched together at a remote health resort led by an enigmatic, cult-like figure. The series was shot in Australia in mid-2020 and is also confirmed to star Melissa McCarthy. It is due to premiere sometime in late 2021. 


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A six-part series for the ABC from writers Nakkiah Lui (Kiki and Kitty) and Gabe Dowrick (Skin Trade). This comedy follows young Aboriginal woman Charlie (played by Lui), who experiences her own personal cataclysmic event when her life crumbles around her. Escaping the fallout, Charlie finds herself at the centre of a hilariously mismatched community of doomsday preppers. Preppers will premiere on the ABC in 2021. 

RuPaul’s Drag Race 

HAPPY RU YEAR FOR 2021, QUEENS! The new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race has been announced, and it’s positively SICKENING. Season 13 will be here to devour January 2nd, exclusively on Stan with a host of incredible queens, including the show’s first-ever transmasculine contestant.

Search Party (Final Season) 

Search Party lovers make some noise (so I can make some friends)! The fourth and final season of the messy millennial murder mystery dramedy starring Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Whip It) premieres on Stan in January 2021. I am NOT ready!


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Shadow and Bone

A live-action series based on Leigh Bardugo’s fantasy-adventure series titles, Shadow and Bone is set to be released in April 2021 with Eric Heisserer serving as showrunner. Heisserer wrote screenplays for such productions as the Oscar-nominated Arrival, and Bird Box. The story is set in a world that is split in two by a massive barrier of perpetual darkness, where unnatural creatures feast on human flesh, and follows Alina Starkov, a young soldier and a citizen of the Russia-inspired Kingdom of Ravka. She unexpectedly uncovers a power that might save her best friend and finally unite her country. Catch it on Netflix this coming April. 

Snowpiercer (Season 2)

Perhaps this one is just me too, but I’ve been busting for a season 2 of the post-apocalyptic thriller, Snowpiercer, and we’re finally getting the next season in January 2021. Set on frozen Earth in the not-too-distant future, the train, Snowpiercer, carries the last of humanity. Also starring Jennifer Connelly (Pan’s Labyrinth), the series stars Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Black-ish) as Andre Layton, the train’s only detective and notorious revolutionary. When he’s called to solve a First Class murder, it could be the spark the revolution needs. I highly recommend bingeing season one before season two comes to Netflix on January 26th. 

Staged (Season 2)

The second season of David Tennant and Michael Sheen’s pandemic comedy stars the Good Omens pair as themselves as they continue hilariously fail at attempting to practice a play they were meant to be in together over Zoom. Filmed during, and taking place over, London’s lockdown, series one is on ABC Iview and featured cameos from Samuel L Jackson, Judy Dench, and many others. Series 2 premieres in the UK on January 5th, and is coming soon to the ABC in Australia. 

Total Control (Season 2)

The ABC and Screen Australia announced that in 2021, two of Australia’s most popular stars Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths, return to the corridors of power, in the hit drama Total Control. In series one, political newcomer Alex Irving (Deborah Mailman) engineered a remarkable coup, unseating the Prime Minister and the woman who betrayed her, Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths). Producer, Darren Dale from Blackfella Films says, “Season 2 will take the story to new heights that both reflect and define the extraordinary social and political challenges of our times. Get ready for drama as we have never seen on our screens before.” Season 2 will premiere on the ABC and ABC iview in late 2021. 

The Unusual Suspects 

SBS’ fun yet gripping four-part heist caper is a tale of female friendship and empowerment is set in Sydney’s glamorous Eastern Suburbs. When a $10 million necklace is taken in an elaborate heist, women from vastly different walks of life come together to ensure justice is served. Aina Dumlao (Sanzaru, Ballers, MacGyver), AACTA award-winner Miranda Otto (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Michelle Vergara Moore (Condor, The Time of Our Lives) headline the main cast. The Unusual Suspects will premiere on SBS in 2020.  


Last but certainly not least is WandaVision, premiering on Disney+ on the 15th of January. Much like Loki, the details we know are the ones we deduce from the trailer. WandaVision sees Marvel’s Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Vision (Paul Bettany) trapped in a Truman Show-esque sitcom tv reality from which they must escape. WandaVision will be the first of Disney+’s live-action Marvel series. After a year without a peep from the MCU, it’s exciting to see what this new era has in store for the franchise. Catch WandaVision on Disney+ January 15th.

I don’t know about you, but I know exactly what I am going to be sitting inside watching while I wait for the Covid-19 vaccine next year.

Merryana Salem is a proud Wonnarua and Lebanese–Australian critic, teacher, researcher and podcaster on most social media as @akajustmerry. If you want, check out her podcast, GayV Club where she gushes about LGBT rep in media with her best friend. Either way, she hopes you ate something nice today.