Hello Interwebs, and welcome to my Top 10 list of 2022 TV! Near-everything I followed brought their A-game. And I’m excited to share with you my favourites…
NOTE: Don’t go into this thing expecting a list of the objective BEST shows this year. I didn’t watch everything. These are merely my favourites. First up, some HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Westworld was finally on the up-swing again, just before WB cancelled it… Westworld S4 extended the show’s base concept to its logical end-game! I’m always down for good sci-fi tales.
The Witcher S2 improved upon its predecessor in a myriad of ways (specifically with its stripped-down timeline). Henry Cavil was in top form, as ever. And I enjoyed exploring more of this fantasy world– with its monsters, politics, and magic.
Oscar Isaac carries this surprisingly emotional series about mental illness. Ethan Hawke played one of 2022’s best antagonists. Some of these episodes rank among the best Marvel has ever produced!
The funny thing about this honorable mention is that I’m not even finished the show yet. But it’s good enough to earn a place on my list. Jenna Ortega is a revelation! Wednesday also scratches my itch for good dark humor.
Onto the main list now:
“Blasphemy!” I hear many a Star Wars critic cry. Back off. Obi-Wan Kenobi is my favourite Star Wars character, Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen returned. So yeah, I’m biased in the show’s favor. Obi-Wan Kenobi is extremely flawed, but the moments which landed for me hit my feels hard. There’s a great story in there underneath the padding.
I love me my period dramas! The Gilded Age features exceptional production values which let me revel in the extravagance of 19th century New York. These sets and costumes are some of the most impressive I witnessed in 2022. Beyond this: the characters are complex, and their societal politics endlessly fascinate. The dialogue is also sharp and witty.
8. Lower Decks (BELATED REVIEW COMING EVENTUALLY)
This is my feel good show. I can always count on Lower Decks to provide comfortable amusement, no matter my mood. It’s a hilarious animation (doubly so for Star Trek devotees). And it doesn’t mince on character work. The leads’ developments feel earned and well-paced within this season. Lower Decks‘ plots-of-the-week are also genuinely intriguing sci-fi (though more on the ridiculous side by design).
The Sandman resonated with me more than I expected. Its plots offered thought-provoking philosophy about the meaning of life, and our messy existence within it– delivered alongside visually dazzling and high quality effects. Tom Sturridge anchors a brilliant cast with his effortless charisma and enticing voice. This series left me pondering it for a good long while. Its episodes are memorable, and far from disposable entertainment.
This season featured what’s, for me, the best plot twist of 2022. The big reveals freaking blew my mind. But I enjoyed the suspenseful and mysterious story long before that point. Because Stranger Things’ writing has always been strong, and it features one of TV’s best ensemble casts! The actors imbue their roles with charm and all but force us to empathize with their plights. I genuinely feared for most of them at one point or another this year. Nobody felt (or was) safe!
5. Cobra Kai S5 (BELATED REVIEW COMING EVENTUALLY)
Cobra Kai is badass as ever. I come into every year expecting it’ll jump the shark. And it still hasn’t (barely). But S5 features the highest stakes yet in the ongoing karate drama. Cobra Kai expertly blends drama, comedy, action, romance, and adventure to create one of the most well-balanced and entertaining shows I’ve ever seen. It’s the worthy legacy continuation to a popular franchise, and I pray it goes on strong!
4. House of the Dragon (BELATED REVIEW COMING EVENTUALLY)
People who follow my podcast ought to know by now: I haven’t watched Game of Thrones. So House of the Dragon served as my introduction to Westeros– a good one at that. I loved to hate everyone on this series, and revel in the moral greys of their actions. This world is brutal and unforgiving, yet wondrous! The political sparring which rests at HotD’s heart is expertly written, and the dialogue proves exceptional. Go team Green!
Here’s the superhero show I didn’t know I needed. And I didn’t even want it at first! But James Gunn has yet to disappoint me with his comic book adaptations. Peacemaker is the story of a sociopathic American patriot who commits atrocities in the name of “heroism” (sound familiar?). And it’s also the funniest show I watched in 2022. Peacemaker features intense and gory action, alongside poignent character development. Its a shot in the arm for superhero media, just as I start to tire of the genre!
Live action Star Trek is good again! Strange New Worlds is a breath of fresh air after an abysmal couple years for Star Trek… We’re back to episodic instalments, unabashed optimism, thoughtful science fiction stories, primary colours, and brains before brawn. Captain Pike quickly became an all-time franchise favourite character for me, and a shining example of good leadership. Strange New Worlds gives me hope for humankind’s future, and for the Star Trek franchise.
Live action Star Wars is good again! Andor is, in fact, the best written Star Wars released within my lifetime. How could this level of quality derive from the spin-off for a supporting character in a spin-off movie that nobody wanted? It boggles my mind.
Andor makes the Empire scarier than ever, grounds Star Wars’ politics uncomfortably close to our own without blatant commentary, proved to be the best-looking show in YEARS, featured incredible twists and action, and invested me more than any other story from 2022. Most impressively: it breaks out of Star Wars’ shadow to deliver a quality drama independent of the greater franchise, which can stand alone as a brilliant work in its own right.
MORE IN-DEPTH ANALYSES OF THE ABOVE, AND MORE, ON THIS EPISODE OF CLOSE UP:
What are your Top shows of the year? What did you think of 2022 for TV + streaming in general? Please share your thoughts in the comments (no spoilers please). If you have any ideas for future articles, or any questions, let me know. Also be sure to Like this article on Facebook and share if you enjoyed!
Till next time,