12 Great Netflix Shows You Might Have Missed in 2021

William Zabka and Ralph Macchio reunite in Cobra Kai.
William Zabka and Ralph Macchio reunite in Cobra Kai. / Guy D'Alema/Netflix

Despite all of the major production challenges in 2020 and early 2021, Netflix still had a phenomenal year, and it’s not over yet. There are some good Netflix shows on the way in late November and December 2021. As we head into the holiday season and the year's end, let's take a look back at some of the bingeworthy Netflix shows that dropped in 2021.

1. Cobra Kai

Cobra Kai season 3 premiered on Netflix on January 1, 2021. This is the first season of the show as a Netflix original. The series originally aired on YouTube before moving to the streaming platform after season 2.

Cobra Kai is an extension of the Karate Kid stories. In the series, Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence resume an old feud in the valley, and this time, their kids are involved. Ralph Macchio and William Zabka star in the Netflix original series, along with Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, Martin Kove, Vanessa Rubio, and Peyton List.

Cobra Kai season 4 premieres on Netflix on New Year’s Eve 2021, which means fans can both start and end the year with the show. Season 5 is currently in the works right now and is expected to hit Netflix in 2022.

2. Arcane

If you’re a fan of League of Legends, this is the Netflix show for you. Arcane, also known as Arcane: League of Legends, premiered on Netflix on November 6, and it’s one of the platform's rare weekly releases. New episodes will be added to Netflix throughout the rest of November 2021.

Arcane is an animated fantasy series that has an incredible voice cast, including Hailee Steinfeld, Ella Purnell, Kevin Alejandro, Katie Leung, Jason Spisak, Toks Olagundoye, JB Blanc, Harry Lloyd, and Mia Sinclair Jenness.

As of now, it’s unclear if Arcane season 2 is happening on Netflix.

3. Virgin River

The first two seasons of Virgin River were released on Netflix in the fall of 2019 and 2020. For most, this Netflix original series feels like a fall show. The platform surprised viewers by announcing that Virgin River season 3 would premiere on the streaming service in the summer of 2021. As such, casual Virgin River viewers might have missed the July release.

Virgin River season 4 is already in the works on Netflix. Filming started this summer and is expected to wrap soon, meaning we could see the season 4 release date as early as spring 2022.

4. Locke and Key

Locke and Key premiered on Netflix way back in early 2020. Then, the world changed.

Locke and Key season 2 was delayed, but the new season finally hit Netflix in October 2021. In the second season, the Locke kids are dealing with the fallout of the events of the finale. Things don’t quite feel the same. When weird things start to happen, they realize things might have not have gone down the way they thought.

Locke and Key season 3 is already in the works on Netflix. Production started last spring and ran through the end of summer 2021.

5. Gentefied

Gentefied season 2 premiered in early November 2021. It follows three cousins who try to help out their grandfather as his restaurant goes through tough times. Joaquín Cosío, J.J. Soria, Karrie Martin Lachney, and Carlos Santos star in the Netflix original series.

6. Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone is one of the biggest fantasy shows on Netflix right now. It premiered in April 2021 and is based on the books from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, which starts with the Shadow and Bone trilogy. The series also includes characters from Bardugo’s other books set in this world.

Set in a fantasy world during an Industrial age, the series follows Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a mapmaker with the Ravkan Army, who discovers she has powers that could save her country and change the world with the help of General Kirigan. Alina, then, becomes the target of foes both foreign and domestic. Its cast features Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young, Ben Barnes, and Zoë Wanamaker.

7. Lupin

This French Netflix original series premiered in January 2021 and the second season (or second part, rather) was added to Netflix in June. Lupin is one of the most popular international Netflix shows. The series tells the story of Assane Diop, a con man of sorts and jack of all trades inspired by the gentleman’s thief, Arsene Lupin, to pull off various heists.

Lupin season 3 is already in the works on Netflix, though Netflix has not officially announced a release date.

8. Sweet Tooth

Although the apocalyptic drama gets off to a slow start and is a bit weird for some viewers, it’s definitely a must-watch on Netflix. It premiered in June 2021, and it was one of the best Netflix shows of the summer. The series tells the story of a Deer Boy named Sweet Tooth who tries to survive the apocalypse with the help of friends. It’s based on the DC comic of the same name.

9. Narcos: Mexico

Narcos: Mexico season 3 premiered on Netflix on November 5, 2021. Prior to the release of season 3, there were five seasons of Narcos on Netflix. The first three seasons of the series focused on Colombia and Pablo Escobar’s story. Then, the next three seasons focused on the Mexican drug trade and the relations with the U.S. Narcos: Mexico season 3 takes the story into the ’90s and continues to explore U.S. intervention and the rise of various cartels.

10. Atypical

Atypical premiered in 2017. Its fourth and final season was released in July 2021.

The series tells the story of the Gardner family. It focuses on Sam, a teen on the autism spectrum played by Keir Gilchrist. The show explores the family dynamic, Sam’s friendships, and relationships. The series was created by Robia Rashid and also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Amy Okuda, and Michael Rapaport.

11. The Chestnut Man

The Chestnut Man's first season premiered on Netflix in September 2021. It's a Danish Netflix original series. Danica Curcic, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, David Dencik, Esben Dalsgaard Andersen, Iben Dorner, Lars Ranthe, Liva Forsberg, Louis Næss-Schmidt, and Ali Kazim star in the series.

More than a decade after a murder where chestnut figures were left at the crime scene, it starts happening again. The show follows the authorities who are trying to find this serial killer.

12. On My Block

On My Block originally hit Netflix in 2018. The fourth season premiered in October 2021 after major delays caused by the pandemic. The series tells the story of four teens growing up in Freeridge, a neighborhood in Southern California. Sierra Capri, Jason Genao, Brett Gray, Diego Tinoco, Jessica Marie Garcia, and Julio Macias star in On My Block.

On My Block season 4 was the final season of the series. But while these characters are moving on, Netflix is staying in Freeridge. Following the fourth season, Netflix has ordered an On My Block spinoff that will feature an all-new cast.

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