Best of TV 2021: Ten Honorable Mentions

Orrin Konheim
8 min readFeb 5, 2022

AP Bio (Peacock) Season 4

Premise: Disgruntled Harvard exile gets stuck in his hometown teaching biology and vows never to teach his kids anything. Despite this attitude, life lessons and bonding ensues.

Pros: The show still has great momentum and a deep bench. The fan fiction episode shows just how adept the show is at playing with genre.

What Kept it from Making the Cut: A Lynette-less season can only take the show so far. That was a pairing for the ages. Another of my faves, Stephanie Duncan is a little less sassy during her pregnancy.

The Chair (Netflix) Season 1

Premise: In the world of academia, Sandra Oh can’t win as the English dlit epartment chair at an Ivy Light college. If it isn’t the new wave of political correctness, it’s the conflicting demands of the colleagues underneath her or the demands to keep up enrollment or justify soft skills to her students.

Pros: Sandra Oh kills in this (props to wardrobe too, she always looks like someone who’s too busy to shop f), despite my frustration at the students who rap about Herman Melville’s illegitimacy for being too white, the show does its best to humanize every side in the debate.

What Kept it from Making the Cut: This was my #12 before I watched the Great so it came pretty damn close. There are a lot of six-episode seasons this year, but this one suffered the most from its brevity as a lot of plot movements didn’t have room to breathe.

Cruel Summer (IFC) Season 1

Premise: Two girls at the same high school have divergent paths. One gets kidnapped and held hostage in a predator’s basement for several months while the other is accused as being aware of it and being silenced.

Pros: The editing, for one. Being able to tell a coherent story with this many time jumps, damn! It also has impressive young actors who mirror each other quite well and handle those time jumps equally adeptly, and then there’s all the fun this show mines from the unreliable narrator trope.

What Kept it from Making the Cut: Ehh, it was a competitive year.

Ghosts (CBS) Season 1

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Orrin Konheim

Freelance journalist w/professional bylines in 3 dozen publications, writing coach, google me. Patreon: http://www.patreon/com/okjournalist Twitter: okonh0wp