2022 has been a tumultuous year in many regards, but we’ve truly seen some of the best TV in a while. From House of the Dragon to Archive 81, here are some of the TV shows we loved the most this year.
Wednesday offered us a long-overdue glimpse into what The Addams Family would look like if directed by Tim Burton. Jenna Ortega is pitch perfect as the titular Wednesday and the series separates her from the rest of her family, allowing for some much needed character development. The show’s creature design was particularly good and the mystery of who is the murderous monster was well kept until the very last episode.
Heartstopper might just be 2022’s most charming TV show. It approached queer love with sensitivity and inclusivity and features show stopping performances from Kit Connor and Joe Locke. Connor and Locke play Nick and Charlie respectively, whose friendship blossoms into something more in this Netflix offering.
The Rings of Power
The most expensive TV show ever produced, The Rings of Power was well worth the wait. Set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings trilogies, the series gave fans a chance to see how the rings of power were forged and how the alliance between men and elves fell apart. Essential for all Lord of the Rings fans, The Rings of Power also felt easy enough for total Tolkien beginners, bringing in a whole new set of fans.
Oscar Isaac starred in a dual role in Marvel’s Moon Knight, as both Marc Spector and Steven Grant, two identities living in one man. They’re pulled into a fantastical adventure involving Egyptian gods as Spector, a mercenary, is in fact an avatar for the god Khonshu. Moon Knight promised to be a more violent offering from Marvel and it didn’t disappoint. The fight sequences were brilliantly chorepgraphed and the entire series was weird and wonderful.
Amanda Seyfried secured a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes famously founded Theranos, a biotechnology company. Holmes and Theranos claimed that they could diagnose diseases such as cancer from just a few drops of blood with their new machine. The real Holmes was recently found guilty of fraud, as none of her inventions worked.
House of the Dragon
House of the Dragon arrived with plenty of expectations and those were not easy to meet. A prequel to Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon more than meets those expectations with its intriguing, violent narrative. House of the Dragon felt like it brought glory back to Game of Thrones as the first season of the prequel seemed to almost mirror the first season of the acclaimed TV show, both in style and some events.
Premiering in early 2022, Archive 81 might not be as flashy as Andor or House of the Dragon, but this supernatural horror series has lingered in my mind ever since. Mamoudou Athie stars as Dan Turner, who is hired to restore old video tapes to uncover a mystery involving a grad student and a building which burned down. While we won’t be getting any more Archive 81, this one-season wonder is something to revisit in the future and features exemplary episodes directed by Benson and Moorhead.
James Gunn now has the keys to the entire kingdom of DC and we can only hope he makes it as entertaining and enticing as Peacemaker. A spin-off of Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (aka the good one!), Peacemaker stars John Cena as the titular superhero/villain as he is recruited on a secret mission involving… butterflies? From that opening credits dance sequence to the very last minutes of the last episodes, Peacemaker was an excellent example of gripping superhero TV.
Dropping on Boxing Day on Netflix, Treason is a late entry to the Best TV of 2022 but it shot straight to top 3. Charlie Cox stars as Adam Lawrence, the deputy of MI6, who is then made chief of the organisation following his superior’s poisoning. His past comes crashing into his present as an old flame begins blackmailing him. Who needs James Bond when you have Charlie Cox right here?
Who would have guessed that the very best TV show of 2022 was going to be a Star Wars one? Or, more specifically, Andor over Obi-Wan Kenobi which saw the return of both Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen as the titular jedi and Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader? Andor is nail-bitingly tense and features a Golden Globe-nominated performance from Diego Luna. Essential viewing for all Star Wars fans, Andor feels like a quietly revolutionary entry to the franchise. Andor is truly some of the best TV we’ve seen in years.
Honourable mentions: The Midnight Club, Inventing Anna, Ms. Marvel, The White Lotus, Westworld