Daily Arts has taken the time to assess and determine the best pieces of art of 2021. From Red (Taylor’s Version) to “Squid Game” to “Dune,” we’ve figured it all out so you don’t have to. Keep reading to hear from our Film, Books, TV, Music, Digital Culture and Campus Culture writers and discover 2021’s greatest hits.
— Lillian Pearce and Sabriya Imami, Managing Arts Editors
Top 10 Films of 2021 by Daily Film Writers
Last year, the slow return to movie theaters coincided with the Streaming Renaissance, making movies more accessible than ever. From long-awaited returns from two of Hollywood’s foremost Andersons (Paul Thomas and Wes), to boundary-pushing international features you may have missed, to stage-to-screen adaptations (good and bad), 2021 was a great year for movies. In no particular order, here are the Film Beat’s ten favorite movies of 2021.
Read more from Daily Film Writers here.
Top 10 TV Shows of 2021 by Daily TV Writers
The Golden Era of TV is underway, and 2021 was no exception. From “Squid Game” to “WandaVision,” the TV gods awarded us a range of suspenseful, addictive shows that kept us going all year long. Some shows provided refuge from the complex world of politics and our day-to-day troubles, while others provided the poignant social commentary we needed to process it all. Although we all have markedly different tastes here at TV, favorites emerged that allowed us to declare unequivocally that these are your must-watch TV shows of 2021.
Read more from Daily TV Writers here.
The Best Books of 2021 by Daily Books Writers
After an almost iterative year of unpredictability, the Books Beat continues to read to ground ourselves. Our favorites are divided into four categories: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction and Fantasy, Romance and Nonfiction (although our picks tend to fall into more than one category). Mostly released in 2021 (with a few from the tail-end of 2020), these titles defined our year — we laughed, cried and reflected more than we thought humanly possible while reading these books. The list includes titles from veritable literary giants like Sally Rooney, Kazuo Ishiguro and Hervé Le Tellier, TikTok-famous romance novels and critical nonfiction that brings light to American contributions to the War on Terror — we’ve read through it all this year. Without further ado, here is a list of books that got us through 2021.
Read more from Daily Books Writers here.
The 10 Best Albums of 2021 by Daily Music Writers
2021 was the year artists pulled out the big guns. Some of the industry’s heaviest hitters released albums that will undoubtedly become classics in the years to come. In addition, many new and lesser-known artists exploded onto the scene last year with groundbreaking releases. While in no particular order, here is a short list of what The Michigan Daily’s very own music writers believe to be the ten best albums released in 2021.
Read more from Daily Music Writers here.
The 10 Best Songs of 2021 by Daily Music Writers
Found on this list are boisterous anthems played the world over; beautiful, intimate ballads and boundary-pushing, underground hits. Although the songs featured in this article are of great diversity, they all share a common thread – excellence. There’s no doubt each of the songs on this list will end up in the music history books. In no particular order, here are the 10 songs the writers in The Michigan Daily Music Beat believe to be the best of 2021.
Read more from Daily Music Writers here.
The Ins and Outs of 2021 by Daily Campus Culture Writers
Campus Culture is committed to serving the students of the University of Michigan and providing them with everything they need to know about student culture. Needless to say, we have opinions that need to be aired out like Necto at two a.m. (so damp…). An Ins and Outs list is a necessity for the culture — Campus Culture, that is. Yik Yak barely begins to flesh out the essential details of what’s hot and what’s not. We are trying to do the historical work of documenting why Doc Martens are essential for the preservation of student social life (or at least mine).
Read more from Daily Campus Culture Writers here.
The 12 Months of Digital Culture by Daily Digital Culture Writers
It’s incredible just how much happens in one year. It’s not something that you think about while living your daily life, but trying to track all the ups and downs, all the trends and cancellations and all the unexpected memes of a year is tiring. Social media is a whirlwind of things being thrown at a wall and only the most impactful things stick. I love it. The chaos of the digital sphere means that anything and everything — my favorite being #NancytheThroatGoat — is fair game. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world as unhinged as that?
The only thing I can say about 2021 without second-guessing myself is that it was most definitely a year, and things happened. Armie Hammer was outed as a cannibal. I started writing for The Michigan Daily. Azealia Banks said a lot of things via her Instagram story. Trisha Paytas retweeted my article. The Carters looked really tiny next to the Bidens. Not all of these things are of equal importance to me, but they hold a special place in my brain. Here’s to Digital Culture, for scratching my itch for the niche, inconsequential knowledge I tend to collect, and to another year of things happening!
Read more from Daily Digital Culture Writers here.