Gizmodo Movie Night: The Best New TV Shows Of 2021

Gizmodo Movie Night: The Best New TV Shows Of 2021
Image: Phil "CM Punk" Brooks in Heels (Starz)
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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to play havoc on life plans, we all have one thing we can still rely on: the world of entertainment. Despite a relatively slow year in the ‘new TV’ stakes, the later half of 2021 has brought some excellent new shows to the menu. Between body-slamming hits like Heels and the horror vibes of Brand New Cherry Flavor and Chapelwaite, there’s been plenty for genre and drama fans alike.

If you’ve got room in your heart for new forms of escapism, there are so many great 2021 TV shows you can check out over the weekend. Stan has managed to snap up a bunch of them from the U.S., but every local Aussie streaming platform has something new and exciting.

Here’s the Gizmodo Australia picks of the bunch.

Kevin Can F*** Himself

kevin can f himself amazon prime video australia
Image: AMC

Kevin Can F*** Himself is basically a vehicle for Annie Murphy to show off her acting chops, and she really does an excellent job in this cross-genre tale about a wife looking for an escape from her sitcom-stereotype husband. While the show has been compared to Marvel’s WandaVision because it plays around with similar ideas of what ‘home’ is, it’s far darker and more intriguing as Murphy’s Allison descends down rabbit hole after rabbit hole.

With each episode, Allison spirals further into her ‘perfect wife’ fantasies — making for a must-watch exploration of how marriage can shake entire worlds.

You can check out the trailer here.

Kevin Can F*** Himself is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video in Australia.

Heels

heels tv show 2021
Image: Starz

On paper, Heels seems like it’ll be a cheese-fest filled with wrestling tropes, but like GLOW before it, the show manages to carve a beautiful line between high drama and wrestling antics. While wrestling is a massive part of the plot, Heels mostly focusses on the action behind the scenes, the relationships between every performer, and the struggle of surviving in harsh, money-strapped conditions.

Stephen Amell’s Jack Spade finds a brilliant foil in his brother Ace Spade (Alexander Ludwig), and their drama plays out on an impressive, wrestling-filled backdrop. Even if you don’t watch wrestling, you’ll find something to love about this show — and if you do like wrestling, you can look forward to future tongue-in-cheek appearances from stars like Phil “CM Punk” Brooks.

You can check out the trailer here.

Heels is currently streaming on Stan in Australia.

Brand New Cherry Flavor

brand new cherry flavour australia streaming
Image: Netflix

This horror-filled romp stars Rosa Salazar as LA hopeful Lisa Nova, who travels to the city in the hopes of making it big as a director. Instead, she gets way more than she bargained for when all manners of terror come out to haunt her in the night.

Brand New Cherry Flavor isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re a big fan of surrealism you’ll fall in love with this stylish, over-the-top show. Expect everything from kittens to zombies and cursed tattoos, and you won’t be disappointed.

You can check out the trailer here.

Brand New Cherry Flavor is currently streaming on Netflix in Australia.

Reservation Dogs

reservation dogs tv show 2021
Image: FX

Reservation Dogs is one of the funniest new TV shows of 2021, and a must-watch for fans of Taika Waititi’s work and comedy fans. It follows a group of young Indigenous teens as they attempt to escape rural Oklahoma for the brighter shores of California. Along the way they get into various hijinks, and connect with their personal histories.

The strength of this show lies in the writing, but it’s also buoyed by absolutely stellar performances from its young cast. Paulina Alexis is particularly good as pseudo-leader Willie Jack, but everyone shines bright in this delightful, heartfelt tale.

You can check out the trailer here.

Reservation Dogs is currently streaming on Binge in Australia.

Chapelwaite

chapelwaite tv show
Image: Epix

If you’re in the mood for some more spooky, horror-themed antics you should check out Chapelwaite, the latest Stephen King adaptation. While the name may be unfamiliar, this 2021 TV show actually adapts Jerusalem’s Lot, a short story about a man who goes to live in his ancestral home with his servant. But of course, this is a horror story, so the house is haunted, and there’s a presence living underneath it.

Chapelwaite explores many familiar horror tropes, but it’s also delightfully gothic and features some appropriately haunting performances from Adrien Brody and Schitt’s Creek‘s Emily Hampshire. It’s definitely not one to watch at night, but you should still watch it regardless.

You can check out the trailer here.

Chapelwaite is currently streaming on Stan in Australia.

Hacks

hacks jean smart streaming australia
Image: HBO

Jean Smart (Watchmen, Legion) eats up the scenery in Hacks, a story about a washed-up Las Vegas comedian trying to stay at the top of the game in a new era. She’s joined by Hannah Einbinder as Ava Daniels, a young writer struggling to break into comedy in a time where anybody can be ‘cancelled’ for tweets.

While it would’ve been easy for this show to descend into stereotype, it instead chooses to interrogate what comedy is in the modern day and creates a spectacular, clever story in the process. Hacks is a great ride, and one of 2021’s best new TV shows.

You can check out the trailer here.

Hacks is now streaming on Stan in Australia.


Gizmodo Movie Night is our fortnightly roundup of movie and TV recommendations for the weekend. If you’re ever stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our list and see what’s in store.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the column, or check out our last one!