Docuseries mushroomed in 2021 as streamers increased their offerings and viewers benefited. The wide range of series spanned from investigation to rumination, sports, crime and music. At their best, they stood up against the best TV series of the year – Variety Television critic Caroline Framke chose Netflix’s “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America” as her favorite, while Peter Jackson’s “The Beatles: Get Back” was hailed as one of the best. rock documentaries of all time.
Documentaries frequently blur the categories between film and television, so it’s no surprise that there is an overlap in the realm of non-fiction as well. Variety Staff questioned whether “Get Back”, originally planned as a feature film, should be considered a feature film or a series of documentaries, but the fact remains that it aired for three nights. as a mini-series. Likewise, “Listening to Kenny G” debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and received kudos as a feature film, but was shown on HBO as part of its new series “Music Box” by Bill Simmons. . This series also included a provocative documentary about Alanis Morissette that the singer disowned before her debut at the same festival, as well as a preview of the disastrous Woodstock Music Festival in 1999.
Other selections on this list, arranged alphabetically by title, examine a pivotal year in rock history, a pyramid scheme, and a cursed fashion brand. They represent a fraction of the docuseries offerings available for viewing on the small screen.