Post reshared from: https://mashable.com, 2021 gave us some truly fantastic movies and TV shows, but it also gave us a ton of specific onscreen moments to obsess over. We highlighted these entertainment standouts every week in our “Thanks, I Love It” series, discussing everything from stellar animation to Marvel musicals.Now it’s time to shine the spotlight on some of our favorite entertainment moments of the entire year, including jaw-dropping dance scenes, scene-stealing performances, and no less than two fights involving public transit. Here, in no particular order, are the very specific things from film and TV this year that made us go, “Thanks, I love it!”1. The Shang-Chi bus battle
Simu Liu, welcome to the MCU.
Credit: Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings may have culminated with classic Marvel CGI spectacle, but the first two acts include some of the best hand-to-hand combat and action Marvel has ever seen — including the iconic bus battle.Shang (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) are minding their own business when they’re attacked by members of the Ten Rings who want Shang’s pendant. After Katy’s desperate “Does he look like he can fight?” (yes), Shang unleashes his years of martial arts training upon the attackers. The sequence has almost too many brilliant beats to count: A rider immediately broadcasting the fight (Zach Cherry, in his second Marvel cameo), the brakes giving out so the whole thing turns into Speed, the bus splitting in two while Shang manages to save all the passengers. Watch this one over and over (and broken down in Marvel’s Assembled on Disney+), and you’ll always find something new to love. — Proma Khosla, Entertainment ReporterHow to watch: Shang-Chi is now streaming on Disney+.2. Connie Britton’s “hatchet job”Where does one even begin with Mike White’s The White Lotus? The music was maddening, the finale buildup was jaw-clenchingly stressful, and performances from actors like Murray Bartlett and Hollywood treasure Jennifer Coolidge were masterful. It was a wild ride filled with twists, turns, and truth bombs, but four months after the shit show of a finale aired (sorry), one scene still plays on a loop in my head. Calm down, it isn’t a NSFW one. I’m obviously talking about Connie Britton’s character Nicole obliterating Alexandra Daddario’s character Rachel by the pool with the iconic, unforgettable line, “That was a hatchet job!”Britton is queen. I mean, her range! Somewhere out there, Eric Taylor is shaking. Not many scenes can leave me simultaneously giddy, giggling, and genuinely scared for my life, but her fierce and unforgiving delivery was so on the mark that I nearly spiraled into my own career crisis from secondhand mortification. It remains a standout scene of the year and of Britton’s career. — Nicole Gallucci, Senior Editor, Editorial OperationsHow to watch: The White Lotus is now streaming on HBO Max.3. Sex Education’s raunchy a capellaYou know you’re in for a ribald ride the second Moordale Secondary’s choir begins singing “suck-a, suck-a, suck-a.” Still, it’s no less shocking when they launch full-tilt into a spirited rendition of Peaches’ “Fuck the Pain Away.” The song appears twice over the course of Sex Education’s third season, and both times it is an absolute joy. The juxtaposition of the cutesy choir singing and the song’s lyrics? Hilarious. The performers’ enthusiasm? Infectious. Mr. Hendricks’ (Jim Howick) pride in his students? Adorable. “Fuck the Pain Away” (Moordale’s Version) is a perfect anthem for “sex school” Moordale, and for Sex Education as a whole. My only complaint is how catchy it is: This is not the kind of song you want to be caught singing absentmindedly in public. I speak from experience. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment FellowHow to watch: Sex Education is now streaming on Netflix.4. Daniel Radcliffe’s fabulous dance scene in Miracle Workers
Go, Daniel, go!
Credit: Photograph by Tyler Golden / Warner Bros.
This wildly irreverent comedy series has moved from heaven to the hell of the Dark Ages to the wild terrain of the Oregon Trail. On each venture, Daniel Radcliffe has played a reliably lovable clown. Yet the dynamic actor/executive producer took on a bold new challenge in “What Happens in Branch Water.” There, pious Reverend Ezekiel Brown chugged snake oil (literally), shed his skin (metaphorically), and took to the saloon stage like 1844’s’ answer to Ziggy Stardust. He vogued, twerked, and shimmied with pride, all while singing a bangin’ dance remix of “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.” It was outrageous. It was hilarious. And look, I’m not going to lie, it was hot. — Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment EditorHow to watch: Miracle Workers is now streaming on HBO Max and TBS.5. Ben Affleck in The Last DuelColor me surprised: When the first trailer dropped for Ridley Scott’s epic about a rape and the resulting true story about the last legal duel in France, watching it sounded exhausting. But the film — named one of Mashable’s best of the year — is excellent, a smart satire of toxic masculinity featuring great performances by Adam Driver and Jodie Comer. But I was most delighted by Affleck’s supporting turn as Pierre d’Alençon, the layabout cousin of the king. Affleck is having a blast in this thing, and he looks it, too, whether he’s having a late-night orgy at the palace or conferring with his bestie, Driver. Each line reading? Spectacular. The terrible hair? Inspired. A knowing smirk to the audience in each background shot? Playful perfection. Let the Oscar campaign begin. — Erin Strecker, Entertainment EditorHow to watch: The Last Duel is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon Prime, and more.6. Y: The Last Man’s Radiohead vigilThis haunting scene, featuring a candlelit a capella version of beloved all-male band Radiohead’s “Karma Police,” is one of the few where Y: The Last Man stops fixating on the overwhelming political, social, practical (and yes, occasionally positive) effects of all cis men dying, and provides a place for the survivors to grieve for something else that is lost in almost all fictional apocalypses: the space we make in our lives for art and music. In a year where I vowed never again to take for granted the magic of live music, it hit hard.In amongst the horror of all the cis men loved and lost by our surviving main characters, as well as the ever-present loss of so many literal men in the street, the show only once addresses the fact that also on the billions-long list of dead dudes are the famous ones whose art and work meant something to people.Yes, we’re all absolutely sick to death of mournful, dark covers of classic songs — but here, it made perfect sense. — Caitlin Welsh, Australia EditorHow to watch: Y: The Last Man is now streaming on Hulu.7. Raya and the Last Dragon’s fight scenes
Let’s get ready to rumble!
Every time a weapon is drawn in Raya and the Last Dragon, you can expect epic action with heavy personal stakes. The movie’s best fights are between friends-turned-enemies Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) and Namaari (Gemma Chan). You feel the animosity in each encounter, with the fighters holding nothing back. Seriously, this is the first time I’ve watched a Disney movie and thought, “Wow, they might actually kill each other.” The fight choreography, which incorporates several Southeast Asian martial arts, is phenomenal and beautifully animated, and the end results are among the best combat scenes put to film this year. — B.E.How to watch: Raya and the Last Dragon is now streaming on Disney+.8. Wild Bill Hancock’s eloquent potty mouth on HeelsAs a writer, I love an elegantly dirty line. The syllabic beauty of naughty words strung together with panache packs a bigger punch than standard taunts, and no television character’s potty mouth punches harder than Wild Bill Hancock’s on Heels. Heels’ family drama is as quality as it gets, but when the Spade brothers are off screen, it’s Wild Bill’s show.To Bill, all the world’s a stage. The bombastic, performatively cruel showmanship that made him a top-tier heel in professional wrestling is just who he is— and that cruelty comes out with an intelligence that transforms wrestling ring low-blows into a symphony of biblical references, Shakespearean syntax, and X-rated content. Whether he’s politely informing a woman of the three places men daydream about putting their…well, you know, or declaring with aplomb that he must fake his own death to avoid the shame of pooping his pants, Bill speaks like his every word should be written down as a dirtbag commandment. With Heels renewed for Season 2, I can’t wait to hear what comes out of his mouth next. — Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment ReporterHow to watch: Heels is now streaming on Starz.9. The magical women of Dune and The Wheel of TimeDune and The Wheel of Time were two of 2021’s biggest science-fiction and fantasy adaptations, and both feature orders of women with extraordinary abilities: the Bene Gesserit and the Aes Sedai. As a big fan of Frank Herbert’s Dune and a new reader of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see both groups come to life onscreen this year. Dune’s Bene Gesserit are strong yet sinister, with their commanding use of the Voice and weird way of fighting instantly landing them in the sci-fi film hall of fame. The Aes Sedai are similarly powerful, with The Wheel of Time’s showrunner Rafe Judkins smartly expanding on their storyline in Season 1. As a result, we see more of their use of the One Power and learn more about their relationships and in-fighting. Both projects take time to develop these groups of strong, fascinating, flawed women, and they’re better adaptations for it. — B.E.How to watch: Dune is in theaters and available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon Prime, and more. The Wheel of Time is now streaming on Amazon Prime.10. The shadow puppetry in Candyman
Don’t say it.
Credit: Universal Pictures
We’ll say it five times: Nia DaCosta’s Candyman was an exceptional, multidisciplinary piece of art. Notably, the director wielded a traditionally child-like storytelling form to present harrowing events from the past. Handcrafted by Chicago’s Manual Cinema (none of it CGI), shadow puppetry is used to recreate past vignettes of racist violence and injustice toward Black people, connected to the Candyman urban legend but inextricably linked to real events.The shadow puppetry, stark and sinister, appears when William Burke (Colman Domingo) tells artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) the tragic origin of Candyman: artist Daniel Robitaille (Tony Todd, from the original film). In the end credits, puppetry also conjures subsequent manifestations of Candyman, each reminiscent of the real (and ongoing) history of white supremacy, systemic violence, wrongful accusations, and atrocities against Black people in America. Each tale’s consistent aesthetic forges chilling connections between past and present. In fact, the shadow puppetry was so crucial to the film, the title font and marketing material employed the same visual theme. — Shannon Connellan, UK EditorHow to watch: Candyman is available for rent and purchase on iTunes, Amazon, and more.11. Mike Faist in West Side StoryThe tragic love story at the center of West Side Story is a main reason the show has remained so beloved for 60+ years. But watching Steven Spielberg’s remake, I came away with a new appreciation for Riff, the tough-talking, doomed leader of the Jets. Played to heartbreaking perfection by Broadway vet Mike Faist (Dear Evan Hansen), he is just one example of the highs movie musicals can reach when they cast, you know, actual Broadway performers. He’s wildly charismatic, and whether he’s rumbling or singing, you can’t tear your eyes away. — E.S.How to watch: West Side Story hit theaters Dec. 10.12. My YA crush getting an Indian love interestStarting in 2003, I devoured the Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz. I ended up inevitably developing a crush on the troubled teen super spy at their center, and was weirdly jealous of his fictional crush, Sabina — a name too suspiciously South Asian for me to not imagine myself in the role. My cousin and I would joke that I could play her in a movie, because back then casting an Indian girl as romantic lead in a YA adaptation was indeed laughable.Fast forward to 2021, when IMDb TV’s Alex Rider Season 2 cast Sabina as none other than British-Indian actress Charithra Chandran. Chandran brings a much-needed three-dimensionality to the character, and it was genuinely moving for me as a fan to see her in the role. I realized that my teen “jokes” about inserting a South Asian actress into this story were actually what I desperately wanted to see, and I’m grateful that Alex Rider came into the world at a time when we can have that. — P.K.How to watch: Alex Rider is now streaming on IMDb TV.13. Invincible’s subway scene
The worst father-son bonding experience ever.
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon Studios
Amazon’s Invincible, adapted from Robert Kirkman’s superior comics about a kid superhero living in a very real and unforgiving world, is like an eight-episode-long gut punch. For my money though, the subway moment — a scene that never even happened on the page — hit the hardest.The season-long crumbling of Mark Grayson’s relationship with his father, Nolan, finally boils over in “Where I Really Come From.” As father — who we’ve now learned is a secret alien conqueror — and son brawl their way around the planet, a late rally for Mark finds them at a temporary standstill in a subway tunnel. It doesn’t last, though.Nolan suddenly seizes the upper hand, grabs his son by the head, and holds him suspended in the air, facing forward, as a train barrels toward them both. He’s only able to watch as his own indestructible body rends the crowded train in two, spilling gallons of blood as every passenger on board is killed. If Nolan ever possessed a shred of humanity, it’s clearly long gone. It’s a wrenching scene that fully sells the enormity of Nolan’s betrayal, and it’s a moment that is sure to ripple outwards through the rest of the series. — Adam Rosenberg, Senior Entertainment ReporterHow to watch: Invincible is now streaming on Amazon Prime.14. The big reveal in MalignantI’ll admit, Malignant is controversial. The latest sci-fi thriller from James Wan, released in September, landed itself in the hot seat over a ridiculous, finale plot twist. But it’s one that I personally loved. Spoilers ahead.When Madison Mitchell (Annabelle Wallis) first discovered she had a conjoined twin, I was annoyed. At that point, the reveal that our hero had some kind of parasite, and in fact was not being haunted, seemed obvious. But later, when she learned that conjoined twin had been living in the back of her skull for 27 years — then finally grew strong enough to hijack her body, manipulate her limbs, and enact his revenge but BACKWARDS — I laughed so hard I cried.The fun of Malignant’s not-so-surprise ending is the tremendous commitment Wan brings to it. The unique combat, gory kills, and spinning cinematography make the big battle against its main monster one of the most flat-out entertaining things I saw all year. It’s a ludicrous finish to a really fun film that I’m still yelling about. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment ReporterHow to watch: Malignant is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon Prime, and more.
Transform your living room with these impressive speakers
15. Alessia Cara is here!Yes, Brooke Dubek (Heléne Yorke) kept talking about Alessia Cara all throughout The Other Two’s second season, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that the pop star would actually show up. So imagine my astronomic excitement when she appeared in the season’s ninth episode and asked Brooke to be her manager.Brooke’s obsession with Alessia Cara is my favorite running gag of Season 2. It is so random yet so specific, and Yorke’s commitment to the bit is Emmy-worthy. Alessia Cara’s cameo is the cherry on top of a perfect joke, and the greatest comedy wish fulfillment of 2021. Also, Alessia Cara is a great actress — props to you, Alessia Cara, you smashed it. — B.E.How to watch: The Other Two is now streaming on HBO Max. Source: Read More