Media provided from Squid Game & Outer Banks Netflix posters, Planet Her & Red (Taylor Version) Album Covers, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Trailer Thumbnail, and Spider Man: No Way Home Movie Poster.
Caution: Some of the embedded recordings below contain language that some listeners may find objectionable
2021 had a panoply of great media, especially when it comes to TV shows, movies, and albums. But what are Grace’s top picks?
Of the 89 people who voted on the Gazette’s school-wide survey, 25.8 percent of them dubbed Squid Game their favorite show of the year. Jasmeilly A. ‘22 remarked, “This show was so entertaining and had everyone in a chokehold!” It is no surprise that the Korean thriller, which recently claimed the title of “Most Streamed Netflix Show” according to CNET, claimed the number one spot. (CNET 2021)
Grace’s second favorite show of the year was season two of Outer Banks, amassing 14.6 percent of the votes. Outer Banks follows the story of teenagers living in North Carolina on a treasure hunt and was initially released in the spring of 2020. The show has recently blown up and made many of the actors household names.
Tied for the third spot are Marvel’s Wandavision and the Netflix original Lupin, with 7.9 percent of total votes each. Wandavision follows the romantic lives of two superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU): Wanda, known as the Scarlet Witch, and Vision, hence the name. Lupin follows the story of Assane Diop, a master thief, throughout his calculated thievery and disguise.
Of the 82 people who voted for their favorite movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings had the most votes, gaining a total of 17.1 percent of votes. Jayanth C. ‘25 reasoned, “The way martial arts were showcased in the movie was amazing.” As the top grossing domestic movie of 2021, it seems natural for Shang-Chi to be the most popular (Box Office Mojo 2021 ).
Following Shang-Chi, the second most popular movie was the newly-released Spider-Man: No Way Home. As the third movie of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy, Peter Parker is exposed to a multi-verse of villains from movies of the previous Spider-Man movies. Spider-Man is expected to make hundreds of millions of dollars on its opening weekend (Dec. 18 & 19), and to possibly exceed Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in gross profit.
Grace’s third favorite movie of 2021 was a draw between Dune and Luca– each claiming 7.3 percent of votes. HBO’s Dune, featuring a star-studded cast with Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet, tells the story of Paul Atreides and his interstellar travels. Ronan J. ‘24 loved the movie, gushing that it was “so mesmerizing.” Luca, presented by Pixar, is a lighthearted movie for the whole family. It joins Pixar’s arsenal of beloved, heartwarming movies.
The Gazette polled 81 students on their favorite album of 2021. Grace voted Doja Cat’s Planet Her as their number one pick of the year, receiving 16 percent of total votes. Doja Cat’s third album, released on June 25th, is a skillful blend of pop, R&B, and hip hop styles. The album spent four weeks at number two on the Billboard 200 chart and smashed Spotify records for the biggest opening day for an album by a female rapper (Billboard 2021).
Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift earned second place in favorite albums, collecting over 11 percent of responses. This album, released on November 12th, is a re-recording of Swift’s fourth studio album, Red. The album featured a 10-minute-long version of “All Too Well” accompanied by six new “vault songs” (songs that were recorded but not released at the time). The album topped charts across the world as well as broke several commercial records including both the Spotify record for the highest single-day streams for an album by a female artist as well as breaking the record for the highest vinyl LP sales on release week (Billboard 2021).
Call Me If You Get Lost by Tyler the Creator, the sixth studio album by the American rapper and producer, was a close third, receiving exactly 11 percent of total votes. This grammy-nominated mixtape debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 (Billboard 2021). The album is a mix of styles, featuring Tyler the Creator’s signature storytelling and soulful musical signature with hints of the raw attitudes of his early work.