Best TV Shows of the Year: 2021

From gifted teen doctors to otherworldy gods, grumpy ghosts to curious spiders, spooky thrills to catchy musicals and more, there was no shortage of excellent TV shows the whole family could enjoy this year. Loki makes the top of Senior Editor of TV Polly Conway's list for its adventure, philosophy, and super-cool production design. It's a great pick for families with teens trying to figure out their place in the world. Editor of TV and Streaming Marina Gordon loves that families of teens can enjoy Schmigadoon! as a send-up of musical-genre cliches or just as a musical itself. Celebrate the year with these and the rest of the picks on this list with your family.

Don't miss the rest of our 2021 favorites: Movies | Books | Video Games | Apps

Ada Twist, Scientist Poster Image
TV

Ada Twist, Scientist

age 3+

Fun series sparks preschoolers' interest in science.

Network: Netflix (2021)
See full review
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TV

Alma's Way

age 3+

Sweet show celebrates Puerto Rican culture, problem solving.

Network: PBS Kids (2021)
See full review
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TV

Lucas the Spider

age 3+

Adorable spider and friends teach positive lessons.

Network: Cartoon Network (2021)
See full review
Waffles + Mochi Poster Image
TV

Waffles + Mochi

age 4+

Funny puppets explore food with Michelle Obama and celebs.

Network: Netflix (2021)
See full review
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TV

City of Ghosts

age 5+

Cute animated docuseries teaches the history of Los Angeles.

Network: Netflix (2021)
See full review
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TV

Super Sema

age 5+

Fun Africa-set STEM superhero series has great role models.

Network: YouTube (2021)
See full review
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TV

The Ghost and Molly McGee

age 7+

Funny ghost-girl buddy story has mild ghoulish scares.

Network: Disney Channel, Disney+ (2021)
See full review
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TV

Secrets of Sulphur Springs

age 8+

Chilling mystery series is lots of fun, has some scares.

Network: Disney Channel (2021)
See full review
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TV

We the People

age 8+

Modern Schoolhouse Rock makes great bops from U.S. civics.

Network: Netflix (2021)
See full review
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TV

Wolfboy and the Everything Factory

age 8+

Fab fantasy adventure with great lessons about empathy.

Network: Apple TV+ (2021)
See full review
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TV

Maya and the Three

age 9+

Teen warrior princess fantasy tale is funny, has violence.

Network: Netflix (2021)
See full review
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TV

Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.

age 10+

Teen doc's adventures are poignant, funny in great reboot.

Network: Disney+ (2021)
See full review
The Wonder Years (2021) Poster Image
TV

The Wonder Years (2021)

age 10+

Gentle nostalgia, keen insight in race-flipped reboot.

Network: ABC (2021)
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Loki Poster Image
TV

Loki

age 11+

Charming romp through time has lots of action violence.

Network: Disney+ (2021)
See full review
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TV

Rutherford Falls

age 13+

Fresh, winning sitcom has unique characters, sharp humor.

Network: Peacock (2021)
See full review
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TV

Schmigadoon!

age 13+

Colorful, surreal musical theater spoof is teen-friendly.

Network: Apple TV+ (2021)
See full review
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TV

The Great North

age 14+

Occasional rude humor on sweet animated family show.

Network: Fox (2021)
See full review
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TV

We Are Lady Parts

age 15+

Brilliant comedy rejects stereotypes; swearing, smoking.

Network: Peacock (2021)
See full review