Last year right around this time, I had just put the finishing touches on Gothamist's best albums of 2020 list and started working on the best TV of 2020 when my wife went into labor early. Suffice to say, I was a little too busy to complete that list. And while I had plenty of opportunities to revisit some old classics throughout that year of social distancing, I never got the chance to sing the praises of the best series, including I May Destroy You, Unorthodox, Better Call Saul, The Good Lord Bird, Better Things, How To With John Wilson, I Hate Suzie, and What We Do In The Shadows. I'm truly sad I never got to write an ode to my favorite character of the year, regular human bartender Jackie Daytona.

So I made sure I got started on this year's TV list early just in case there were any more surprises in store for me this winter, like say, coming down with pneumonia after waiting on a LabQ line for three+ hours last weekend, hahahaha.

A few notes: if I were being really honest, my sentimental favorite show of the year was probably Bluey, a brilliant Australian kids show that I often watch with my son early in the morning. He loves it because he's obsessed with the theme song (and with dogs in general); I'm happy because the show is never condescending to viewers, constantly has inventive ideas on how to engage your child's imagination, and also occasionally makes me weep (season two is truly the Season Of Bingo).

I also left off two of my other standout viewing experiences of the year, because both fall into a nebulous realm of not-quite-TV, not-quite-movies that doesn't quite seem fair to put side-by-side with regular shows. The first was Bo Burnham: Inside, one of the few intense pandemic relics that I think could hold up over time. And the other was The Beatles: Get Back, which was perhaps the most beautiful, honest and fashionable depiction of what it's like being in a band and hanging out with your friends ever captured.

But otherwise, there are plenty of other great shows to recommend, and below, you'll find ten dramas and ten comedies I really, really enjoyed. Maybe you'll discover something you haven't heard of, maybe it'll inspire you to finally watch a show you've been putting off, maybe you'll have your own recommendations, or maybe you'll just want to argue in the comments section.

(A few notes on methodology: I didn't include any late night programs or talk shows, no reality shows, no web series, no specials, and no docuseries.)

Some Honorable Mentions in drama: if you told me a year ago that the third season of the batshit nuts You would be one of the best dramas of the year, I would have had no choice but to stalk you, frame you for a bunch of murders, and then move to Paris. Netflix's Maid was a sober look at domestic abuse and the nonstop stress of poverty. Mostly-ahistorical farce The Great leveled up in season two. Invincible turned out to be a good adaptation of Robert Kirkman's beloved comic series about what happens when you find out your superhero dad really sucks. And my sweet Billions boys were up to their usual financial hijinks in the delayed second half of season five. [Ed. Note: Actually, Maid was the best series of the year.]

Without further adieu, here are the DRAMAS that moved and compelled me:

10. WandaVision/Loki/Hawkeye (Disney+)

After several slightly underwhelming partnerships with other studios to put out their television material (including Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Iron Fist/Punisher/Luke Cage on Netflix, Agents Of SHIELD/Inhumans/Agent Carter on ABC), Marvel Studios took control of their TV output and extended the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the small screen with a whopping five shows this year. While The Falcon And The Winter Soldier wasn't very good and What If? was just fine, the other three were all among the best things Marvel produced this year. WandaVision was a surreal remix of television sitcom history that greatly expanded the characterization for Scarlet Witch and Vision; Loki was a time-hopping sci-fi series with a multiversal bent and a fantastic Tom Hiddleston performance; and Hawkeye was the most grounded Marvel offering, perfectly casting Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, bringing back a fan-favorite bad guy from Daredevil, and throwing in a few great set pieces, like episode three's car chase.

9. Impeachment: American Crime Story (Miniseries, FX)

After tackling the OJ Simpson trial and the murder of Gianni Versaci, this Ryan Murphy-produced true crime anthology series took on the mother of all '90s scandals: the Clinton-Lewinsky saga. There was a lot of complicated time-hopping necessary to try to give the scope of this scandal—encompassing the birth of the modern right wing media, the Ken Starr investigation, Bill Clinton's multiple affairs, Hillary Clinton's behind-the-scenes role, and more—but the heart of the series was the relationship between Monica Lewinsky (a producer on the series) and the monstrous, misunderstood Linda Tripp. In a series filled with recognizable people played by recognizable actors— Beanie Feldstein as Monica, Edie Falco as Hillary, Clive Owen (!) as Bill—nobody transformed more than Sarah Paulson, who turned the maligned, much-mocked Tripp into a three-dimensional character, all without sanding down her edges.

8. Mare Of Easttown (Miniseries, HBO)

Mare Of Easttown was at its core a very solid HBO detective series, less existential than True Detective, more exciting than Perry Mason, and slightly less haunting than Sharper Objects. But what separates this series wasn't the by-the-numbers murder mystery, rather the specificity of the world around it. Unlike many similar shows, Brad Ingelsby’s series was as invested in the side stories of the thick-accented locals, looking at the toxic underpinnings of the town on a whole and how loss connected them all. And what ultimately elevated this series to something really special was the masterful performance by Kate Winslet, who puts her everything into portraying the frustrating, perpetually exhausted, and vape-loving local cop who remains just out of reach despite all the time we spend with her.

7. Yellowjackets (Season One, Showtime)

About a decade ago, television was filled with Lost imitators, in which groups of mysterious people were stranded in remote places and had to deal with slightly supernatural occurrences, all while the show jumped between multiple timelines. These shows almost all sucked, favoring the mystery boxes over the characterization, which is probably why the genre isn't as ubiquitous anymore. But Yellowjackets, which follows a girls’ high-school soccer team whose plane crashes in the woods in the 1990s and may or may not resort to cannibalism to survive, gets the balance right. Led by the mighty quartet of Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, and Tawny Cypress, the show is an examination of how trauma lingers far longer than we care to admit. And while there are plenty of mysteries to hook you in, the show also slowly reveals that most of the horror lies within the characters. It's surprisingly scary at times and a little bit like Lord Of The Flies, but with teenage girls and tons of tasty '90s needle drops.

6. For All Mankind (Season Two, AppleTV+)

For All Mankind, the best original drama on AppleTV+, started out with a relatively simple sci-fi premise: what if the Soviet Union beat America to the moon? While the first season took a few episodes to really get going, the second season jumps ahead a decade to really explore just how much the world has changed as a result, with the Cold War now turned into a never-ending battle to control the moon. This was as good as scripted TV can get, with multiple characters and plotlines getting attention until everything converged in the batshit crazy final two episodes, which involved three simultaneous space missions, and were among the most thrilling and insane episodes of television this year.

5. The Underground Railroad (Miniseries, Amazon Prime)

Barry Jenkins' powerful, ambitious adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel follows Cora (Thuso Mbedu) as she goes on a cross-country journey to escape from slavery and find freedom along a literal version of the Underground Railroad, featuring conductors, tunnels, and hidden stations. It was a brutal story at times, dealing unflinchingly with abuse, cruelty, and the white supremacy at the heart of America; it also wasn't helped by Amazon Prime dropping the entire series at once, instead of giving the audience a chance to take it in piece by piece. But it is one of the most gorgeously-shot series ever, filled with haunting and beautiful images that will linger with you, including a series of shots of Black men and women staring directly into the camera.

4. Station Eleven (Miniseries, HBO Max)

This adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel’s bestselling novel is going to be a hard sell for many: the show is about the fallout from a flu-like virus which wipes out most of the population, skipping between multiple time periods including before the virus, the immediate aftermath of it, and the people trying to keep culture alive 20 years in the future. The first episode is not easy viewing, especially coming out this month as omicron has spread quickly through the city. But the story is far less cynical than other post-apocalyptic narratives, with a generous view of humanity that is sure to cause some tears to be shed; it's also better shot than almost any other show on TV, with a visual template set by Atlanta director Hiro Murai (it's never confusing, despite all the time-jumps). Ultimately, if you were a fan of The Leftovers, you won't want to miss out on this incredibly special show.

3. The White Lotus (Season One, HBO)

Mike White is one of our most under-appreciated auteurs, who has ping-ponged between mainstream hits (School Of Rock), critical masterpieces (Enlightened), misunderstood personal projects (Year Of The Dog, Brad's Status), and weird reality show side hustles (The Amazing Race, Survivor). Almost all those sides of White collided in The White Lotus, an addictive social satire of selfish rich folks set at a Hawaiian resort. The entire ensemble was masterful, but special kudos to Jennifer Coolidge as the oblivious and vulnerable Tanya McQuoid; Jake Lacy as a privileged brat obsessed with getting the Pineapple Suite to his new wife's horror; and especially Murray Bartlett as the Basil Fawlty-esque resort manager trying to keep everything running while going through his own existential crisis.

2. Shtisel (Season Three, Netflix)

After years of having people urge me to watch this Israel drama about an ultra-Orthodox Haredi family butting heads with the modern world, I finally found the time to bingewatch the entire series this year, coinciding with the long-awaited release of the third (and likely final) season. I'm happy to say everyone was right: this is one of the finest dramas of the last decade, an intelligent and sensitive peek inside an insular community. Through the stories of the Shtisel family—including the artistic Akiva, the overlooked Zvi Arye, the unstoppable Ruchami, the struggling couple Giti and Lippe, and most of all, the stubborn patriarch Shulem—it gives that insular world nuance, and approaches it with empathy without ignoring the darker aspects.

1 Succession (Season Three, HBO)

Mergers, DOJ investigations, sibling rivalries, fake CPAC, UTIs, dick pics, relevant donuts, doomed proposals, and existential breakdowns disguised as birthday parties. A lot happened this season on Succession, even as the main family members all continued to circle round each other stuck in familiar toxic patterns. This reminded me of some of the middle seasons of The Sopranos, where certain members of the audience kept complaining there weren't enough mob killings while overlooking the incredibly rich, tragic character work being done. The show has found the perfect balance between corporate shenanigans, profane comedy, and Shakespearean heft. Succession is now operating on another level from almost every other ongoing American television drama currently on TV, topped off with an all-time great finale that completely upended the show's status quo.

Now for some comedy Honorable Mentions: it blows my mind that It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia is still so acidic, meta and funny even in its 15th season on air. Over on HBO, Insecure finished its five season run with an earned romantic flourish, while the vastly underrated Betty, the vibiest show on TV, was sadly canceled after two seasons. After a slightly scattered second season, the third season of Sex Education was a huge step up; the fifth season of Big Mouth also dealt with sexual education, as well as "hate worms," bisexual love triangles, and the many layers of Nick Kroll.

There were A LOT of great comedies this year, so much that I considered expanding this list to 15. If I had done that, these are the five shows that I would have included: the second season of Ted Lasso had some pacing problems, but when it was good it was as charming and undeniable as season one. Starstruck was my favorite romcom of the year, a ridiculously charming and easy six episode bingewatch. Peacock's We Are Lady Parts, a new six episode series about an all-female Muslim punk band, was charming, funny, inclusive, and catchy ("Bashir With The Good Beard"). It is a credit to how funny and ambitious the second season of Dave was considering that it revolves around a completely unlikeable main character. And Reservation Dogs was a revelation, about four Indigenous teenagers in Oklahoma, told through the prism of magical realism and Quentin Tarantino.

And here are the COMEDIES that cracked me up:

10. Pen15 (Season Two Part Two, Hulu)

Sometimes it feels too painful watching co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play themselves as middle schoolers, excavating the most heart-wrenching and embarrassing parts of their own puberties for TV gold. There were times during this final season I wanted to hold my hands over my eyes watching the girls navigate their first relationships, say cruel things to their parents, and deal with a family member dying. But at its best, it was a potent mix of silly and tender comedy about friendship and growing up—and in series highlight "Yuki," a love letter to Erskine's mother.

9. Girls5Eva (Season One, Peacock)

With all due respect to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Peacock's Girls5Eva was the best Tina Fey/Robert Carlock produced series since their masterpiece, 30 Rock, and it contained much of the older show's signature rapid-fire joke delivery. Created by Meredith Scardino, Girls5Eva is about four former members of a 1990s girl group trying to restart their musical career; Renée Elise Goldsberry is the constant scene-stealer, but huge props to the entire ensemble, including Sara Bareilles, Busy Phillipps, and especially the under-appreciated Paula Pell. In addition to being reliably funny, it also contains some of the best parody songs of any show this year, especially the insanely-catchy "Famous 5eva" and my personal favorite, the Simon & Garfunkel send-up "New York Lonely Boy."

8. Only Murders In The Building (Season One, Hulu)

Steve Martin and John Hoffman’s mystery/comedy series is a very good satire of true crime fandom and podcasting culture, and the way some people choose to obsess over the past instead of taking painful steps to move forward. But where it really stands out is in its depiction of NYC weirdos coming together and bonding over their shared love of historic apartment buildings and Gut Milk. And what made this series one of the best of the year is the core trio of Selena Gomez, whose deadpan delivery makes her sound straight out of the 1930s; Steve Martin, who holds back for so much of the series before delivering some of the funniest physical comedy work of the year; and best of all Martin Short, who puts on a comedic tour de force as the most neurotic and recognizable New Yorker on TV in 2021.

7. How To With John Wilson (Season Two, HBO)

How To With John Wilson was one of the most joyful, unexpected shows on television in 2020, a poetic ode to the enduring weirdness of NYC. The second season of the show added comedian Connor O'Malley and journalist Susan Orlean to the writer's room, and was just as compelling, hilarious, and probing as the first. Wilson explored the complexities of becoming a landlord; drew out the connection between a cappella and cults; learned about the balletic chaos and choreography of NYC parking; got drawn into an Avatar support group; and came out as an energy drink enthusiast. And he was willing to expose himself as well, excavating his own past for personal anecdotes about his disastrous first film as well as his run-in with a notorious upstate New York cult.

6. Hacks (Season One, HBO)

Jean Smart has been on a roll in recent years with meaty parts in critical favorites including Fargo, Legion, Watchmen and Mare of Easttown. But she got to take the spotlight as an aging, Joan Rivers-esque comedy legend in Hacks, in which she gets paired with recently "canceled" writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder) to try to reinvent her staid Las Vegas act. The funniest parts of the show see the two women bouncing off each other to hilarious and emotional effect, especially when they go off on a cosmetic surgery retreat or hit up a local comedy club. Smart is masterful at walking the line between acerbic and vulnerable, wringing pathos out of Deborah Vance's lifelong frustrations. And huge shoutout to co-creator Paul Downs and Megan Stalter, whose double act steals every scene they're in.

5. Mythic Quest (Season Two, AppleTV+)

While the first season of this workplace comedy about life inside a video game company went through a certain amount of trial-and-error, things started to click into place with its final episodes, hitting a peak with the brilliant "Quarantine" pandemic special. Everything was really humming in season two, with the show juggling multiple storylines which paired off various characters to increasingly hilarious effect. Australian Charlotte Nicdao is the show's MVP as the brilliant and arrogant Poppy Li, but the entire ensemble shined, especially co-creator Rob McElhenney, who got to tap into an emotional side he almost never gets to use in It's Always Sunny; F. Murray Abraham's bitter sci-fi writer C.W. Longbottom (who was locked in a rivalry with a character played by William Hurt); Jessie Ennis as the conniving and ambitious Jo; and of course David Hornsby as the perpetually beleaguered David Brittlesbee, who finally got to be a wolf in highlight "Please Sign Here."

4. Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season Eleven, HBO)

There's no doubt that Curb has been a bit more hit-and-miss in its later seasons, but when it's good (like with season ten's spite store storyline or Jon Hamm slowly morphing into Larry David), it is still among the funniest things on TV. And season eleven has been remarkably consistent, gifting the world with several unforgettable Larryisms—who else could base an episode around being courteous to a Klansman? Among the many highlights were Hamm yelling "It's a shonda!" at COVID hoarder Albert Brooks; Larry and Jeff's mockery of Susie's dinner cheering; Leon's forbidden love for watermelon; Larry's obsession with mini bar snacks; and Susie's increasingly unhinged outfits. But the two biggest additions that mark season eleven as special were Keyla Monterroso Mejia as Maria Sofia, whose every acting decision makes no sense in the best way, and Tracey Ullman as Irma Kostroski, Larry's nemesis and possible soulmate.

3. The Other Two (Season Two, HBO Max)

No matter how smart or original it is, a comedy ultimately lives or dies by how much it makes you laugh. And few shows made me laugh as much as The Other Two, Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider brilliant comedy about siblings Cary and Brooke Dubek (played by Drew Tarver and Heléne Yorke) struggling to break into Hollywood after their younger brother Chase Dreams becomes internet famous. Season two sees their indefatigable mom Pat, played by Molly Shannon, become mega famous in her own right as a daytime talkshow host, as Cary and Brooke slowly but surely find some traction in the industry, along with a lot of roadblocks and indignities. The ninth episode, "Chase & Pat Are Killing It," is among the funniest episodes of 2021, and will have you proudly declaring, "I stand with you and your hole."

2. I Think You Should Leave (Season Two, Netflix)

Some people's love language is physical touch. Other people crave words of affirmation. My love language is quoting I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, which is filled with aggressively weird, brilliantly silly sketches that barely last a couple confusing minutes before jumping to the next idea. Season one was among my favorite seasons of comedy I've ever seen. Even if season two wasn't quite as consistent—what could be!—it still contained 15 or so sketches that were as good as, or perhaps even better, than anything from season one. There is nothing else like the sublime, surreal comedy of Coffin Flop or Dan Flashes; the college professor who is going to eat your burger; Bob Odenkirk taking a white lie too far; Brian who wears a fedora with safari flaps; the woman on Shark Tank who was sewn into the Charlie Brown balloon at the Thanksgiving Day Parade and likes wine; the guy on the ghost tour who isn't actually breaking any rules when he asks about the ghosts' sex lives. If you see me eating sloppy steaks at Truffoni's with the Dangerous Nights crew, don't say hello. Tell me you don't even want to be around anymore.

1. What We Do In The Shadows (Season Three, FX)

What We Do In The Shadows, an adaptation of the brilliant 2014 mockumentary which is now about vampire roommates living on Staten Island, remains the best "sitcom" on TV right now. There's something incredibly comforting about this goofy, no-stakes series, in which the leads encounter other supernatural creatures and struggle to understand modern life while bickering with each other. Kayvan Novak, who plays Nandor the Relentless, had a standout season in which Nandor looked for love and tried to escape his life as a vampire; he also showed he could do incredible impressions of his other castmates in "The Cloak of Duplication." Other highlights included the Twilight-style kickball game with the werewolves in "Gail;" Atlantic City heist story "The Casino;" Laszlo's (Matt Berry) encounter with Best Buy in "The Siren;" everything about "The Wellness Center" and its use of Barenaked Ladies' "One Week;" and the surprisingly, dare I say, emotional final two episodes, which saw a big change for Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch).