« Squid Game », « One Piece », « Koh-Lanta »… Les tops et les flops 2021

Are you fed up with 2021? That’s good, so are we. But before finally turning the page on this second year under the era of Covid (and before we say hello to the third one), let’s take a few minutes to review some of the big hits of the past twelve months.

Because there have been a few, yes – in the field of series, manga or music – which made us laugh, dream or shiver, and allowed us to escape for precious hours. There were also big failures, consequences of the health crisis for some, bad choices for others. 20 Minutes offers you a small overview (not exhaustive) of the tops and flops of the year.


« Squid Game » : Whether we liked it or not, it’s impossible to miss the phenomenon on Netflix. In the space of a few weeks, Squid Game has become the most watched series in the history of the platform, accumulating more than two billion hours of viewing in mid-November, reported the website of the Belgian newspaper The evening. Result, we ate all the sauces: costumes for Halloween, sales of sneakers, cupcakes,
fake news on script writing… It would not be lying to say that we did not get very far from the overdose. But the Korean series will at least have had the merit of fueling our conversations around the coffee machine throughout the month of September, a refreshing parenthesis before the epidemic rebound.

“Never show that to anyone” : “You saw the series on
Orelsan ? I loved ! “If this sentence has not been uttered at least once in your entourage, it is because you are probably stuck in a spatiotemporal fault (and that you will have to get out of it). Directed by Clément Cotentin, the rapper’s brother ,
the documentary series broadcast on Amazon Prime since October 15 conquered the crowds by retracing the twenty-year career of the Norman artist through episodes as funny as they are moving. A success to which was added, three weeks later, the release of Civilisation, Orelsan’s 4th album. Result: best start of the year and triple platinum record in one month, “never seen in French rap”, underlined
Mov a few days ago.

The packaging of the Arc de Triomphe : According to estimates from a report released in early November, nearly
six million people came to admire the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude at the beginning of autumn. For two weeks, visitors examined this Arc de Triomphe covered with every detail.
per 25,000 m² of fabric, held by 3,000 meters of red rope. The realization of a project imagined by the couple in the 1960s and a beautiful tribute to Christo, who died in the spring.

« One Piece » : What a remarkable year for Eiichirō Oda’s work. This cult manga reached the 1,000th episode of its animated series, and the 100th volume of its books, which sold more than 130,000 copies in just three days, topping the weekly book sales on its week of launch, rejoiced
his editor. More globally, One Piece remains the best-selling series in the world with 490 million copies since 1997, including 25 million in France. This success is also part of the growing enthusiasm of the French for manga. As reported
Slate in mid-December, one in two comics sold was a manga in France in 2021, a record.

Les NFT : Some still haven’t figured out what it is (and maybe never will), but it’s definitely the big digital revolution of the year. These “non-fungible tokens” (
NFT), non-fungible tokens in French, make it possible in particular to acquire works of art, memes or the first SMS in history, and open up new perspectives towards the metaverse. Booba, Adidas,
Melania Trump… Everyone is getting started, and some of the works are reaching sales records, like the American artist Beeple and his work of art which sold for $ 69 million last spring. And 20 Minutes is not left out. On October 19, one of
our supplements has been sold by the French auction house Piasa during the very first public sale of a digital work in France.

The flops

« The Artist » : Despite all the goodwill of its host and producer Nagui, the new France 2 program never found its place at the start of the September, nor its audience (less than 1.5 million curious at the launch). Change of time slot, jury … Everything has been done to try to revive The Artist, in vain. “Without making a joke, it is a negative result from a financial point of view since the moment you change boxes, you change prices”,
felt Nagui. “I believed and convinced everyone that there was room for creation and that the public needed something new. Obviously, he no longer needs to be comforted by benchmarks, ”he also added. Let’s say it will be for the next one.

Koh Lanta : Here is a program that promises to be heartwarming. This year, the adventure game celebrated its 20th anniversary, and for the occasion the channel organized a special edition bringing together “legends”. Everything was off to a good start until the first cheating affair revealed in November, then the story of the illegal dinners, then that of the potential compromising photo … In December, this edition full of promises ended with a final without counting and no winner, and a good dose of bitterness.
Will the program recover of these pranks to the code of honor of Koh-Lanta ? Answer next year with a new season of anonymous adventurers.

Festivals : Solidays, Hellfest, Rock en Seine, We love green… For the second consecutive year, many festivals could not be held this summer, again because of the damn Covid. The year was generally mixed for concerts and shows, gatherings being banned at first, then subject to gauges in a second. And while a beautiful clearing seemed to have broken through, the epidemic rebound is inviting itself again for the end of the year, presaging a gloomy and relatively unstable return to school. We wish good luck to the artists, musicians, turners, intermittents in the show … Until better times.

The comedies of the summer: If Kaamelott was a great success this summer, this was not the case with all French comedies. Small disappointment for OSS, Red alert in black Africa, which signed the worst start of the saga (685,878 admissions against 1,090,269 for Rio no longer responds, reported
Konbini early September), and a big flop for Mystery in Saint-Tropez. As pointed out The Parisian at the end of August, Nicolas Benamou’s film with Christian Clavier, Benoït Poelvoorde or even Thierry Lhermitte attracted only 178,000 spectators in a month and a half, a pretty plantade. If we cannot blame everything on the Covid, it should however be noted that the year was not particularly fun for cinemas. Curfews, gauges, introduction of the health pass… The sector has also been once again affected by the health crisis, and that could continue.

The separation of Daft Punk: Yes, it’s not really a flop, but this historic break deserved its place in the events of the year. Last February, barely the year started, we learned
separation from the group the most legendary French of the electro scene, closing a chapter of three decades of albums, each more cult than the last. Morale was already not at the top, as much to say that it frankly put us a blow. It is therefore high time to move on, to say bye-bye to this average year and to open our arms wide to the promising 2022. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.