A half-assed assessment of the best TV of 2022


If you have been around here for a while, you might know that I hate making lists. It gives me hives. I know that readers understand that a list of the Best Of Whatever is inherently subjective, and that part of the enjoyment of reading a Best Of list is disagreeing with the author’s choices. And I think that’s exactly the problem: I am too busy and too cranky to argue with you people.

That said, when I realized that I hadn’t made a Best Of list for 2021 — because apparently I just couldn’t be bothered — I found that 2023 Me was very irritated with 2022 Me for being so lazy.

So here I am with my weird-ass, This Is My Favorite Thing I Watched Each Month of 2022 List despite myself. Please note that I also include the other shows I enjoyed that month, as well as a list of the best-reviewed shows that I didn’t have time to watch because THERE WERE 599 SCRIPTED SHOWS ON TV LAST YEAR AND I AM ONLY HUMAN, MY GOD.

As for why I publish these lists in the middle of January instead of in early December like every other outlet?



Look, right off the bat, I’m breaking the rules. Technically, Yellowjackets is a 2021 series — it premiered in November of that year, and only three of its episodes actually aired in January of 2022. But I don’t care. My blog, do what I want.

Yellowjackets is a fascinating murder mystery/horror/generational trauma drama series split between two timelines: in 1996 when a girls’ high school soccer team’s plane crashes in the wilderness, and in the present day, when the adult survivors of that event appear to be targeted by some malicious force, seemingly looking for revenge. The series is a wild ride: a mishmash of Lost, It, Lord of the Flies, all with a Gen X sensibility, humor, and weariness. The casting alone is a work of art, bringing together a terrific collection of actresses of my generation, including Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis, and Christina Ricci. And it is the best use of multiple timelines since the early days of Lost.

Other shows that I enjoyed in January:

  • Single Drunk Female
  • Archive 81
  • The House
  • The Gilded Age
  • The Afterparty
  • Search Party
  • Righteous Gemstones
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race
  • We Need to Talk About Cosby
  • Euphoria

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • As We See It
  • Astrid and Lilly Save the World
  • Women of the Movement
  • The Expanse
  • Gomorrah
  • All of Us Are Dead



I’m going to be honest with you: it took me a minute to appreciate, much less enjoy Severance. This surreal workplace satire? dramedy? sci-fi experiment? starts off a little cold, icy, disengaged, and emotionally unavailable. It felt, especially in the first few episodes, a little too clever, a little too impressed with itself, with its sharp visuals and eerie silences. But once I settled into the mystery of it, once I allowed myself to become invested in the characters and their heartbreaking stories, I found myself under its hypnotic spell. Like the conceit of the show itself — in which a mysterious corporation separates its employees’ work memories from their non-work memories — I was left wondering what was real and what it all meant. 

Other shows that I enjoyed in February:

  • Pam & Tommy
  • Better Things
  • Raised By Wolves
  • Inventing Anna*
  • And Just Like That*

*I don’t actually think either of these shows was particularly good, but I also watched every episode of both of them. Just being honest.

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • From
  • KIMI
  • Reacher


Our Flag Means Death

The other day I saw a complaint on a social media site about how gay and lesbian stories tend to be Disney-fied, featuring protagonists who are wholesome and never do anything problematic. This person wanted more stories about trans people and bi people and gay people kicking ass and being rad without those trappings that make them more palatable and harmless to straight folks.

WELL DO I HAVE THE SHOW FOR THEM — and, somehow, also for your older aunt. Our Flag Means Death is a charming comedy about a foppish gentleman who runs away from his family to become a pirate, only to fall in love with the fearsome pirate Blackbeard. It’s first and foremost an adventure comedy, but the love story at its heart — and all of the other queer relationships, including one with a nonbinary character played by a nonbinary actor — are treated respectfully by the characters. It is the embodiment of love is love is love and why that’s no big deal.

Also, again, I can’t stress how charming and goofy this show is. Just a goddamned delight.

Other shows that I enjoyed in March:

  • Minx
  • American Auto
  • Welcome to Flatch
  • The Dropout
  • Shining Vale
  • The Boys Present: Diabolical
  • The Thing About Pam
  • Top Chef: Houston
  • Winning Time
  • Mr. Mayor
  • The Many Saints of Newark
  • Atlanta
  • Lizzo: Watch Out for the Big Grrrls

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • Pachinko
  • Life & Beth
  • Julia
  • Killing It
  • The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
  • WeCrashed
  • Moon Knight


The Offer

Look. If you’re not a Godfather fan — the kind of fan who can recite along with the entire movie beyond “leave the gun, take the cannoli”; the kind of fan that will stop and watch it for the 57th time when they come across it on cable; the kind of fan who, I don’t know, might have just purchased parts 1 & 2 digitally, making it the fifth time she’s purchased these same movies on some form of media — this series might not be for you.

But if you ARE that obsessed with the single greatest American movie of all time, you need to see this series about the incredible true story of how it was made. It’s funny and outrageous, the casting is stunningly accurate, and the depiction of Bob Evans alone — Y’ALL, MATTHEW GOODE AS ROBERT EVANS — it’s just the ultimate Hollywood insider series, babe.

Other shows that I enjoyed in April:

  • Barry
  • The Baby
  • Outer Range
  • Russian Doll
  • Shining Girls
  • Under the Banner of Heaven

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • Heartstopper
  • Slow Horses
  • Tokyo Vice
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth
  • Gaslit
  • We Own This City


The Boys

I confess: I did not give The Boys a chance when it first came out. In fact, I didn’t watch the first season until shortly before the second season was set to be released. I just am SO BORED with Marvel and DC, and I assumed The Boys was going to just be more run-of-the-mill superhero shit, but with more violence.

I could not have been more wrong. The third season of the best political and cultural satire that is currently in production somehow became darker, funnier, and even more insightful. And also somehow more shocking — between one of the most explosive first episodes of any season of television I’ve ever seen, and the … um … memorable Herogasm sequence, The Boys is neither for the faint of heart nor easily offended. But if you are looking for the sharpest take on our current state of affairs, in terms of politics, culture, and media, The Boys wields a laser-honed scalpel.

Other shows that I enjoyed in May:

  • Breeders
  • Stranger Things
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Pistol
  • This Is Us
  • The Staircase
  • Candy
  • Hacks

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • This Is Going to Hurt
  • Fire Island
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife
  • Love on the Spectrum U.S.
  • The Essex Serpent
  • Angelyne


The Bear

Easily regarded as one of the best shows of the year — if not THE best — I know this is not a particularly original choice. But The Bear is a tense gem of a dramedy about a young chef from the world of fine dining who attempts to keep a family-run sandwich shop from going under. Jeremy Allen White (who was always my favorite on Shameless) plays another intense, talented, and self-sabotaging Chicagoan who finds himself drowning in problems he partially inherited from his family. The Bear can be anxiety-inducing — you feel the heat of that kitchen — but it is also deeply human and very funny. Don’t be intimidated by its fierce claws and teeth.

Other shows that I enjoyed in June:

  • Evil
  • Only Murders in the Building
  • Westworld
  • For All Mankind
  • Rutherford Falls

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • Chloe
  • Irma Vep
  • Ms. Marvel
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty
  • First Kill


The Rehearsal

No show has ever broken my brain quite like The Rehearsal. I still don’t entirely know what I watched, and I have been spinning with theories about what — if anything — was real. The concept of The Rehearsal is that comedian Nathan Fielder helps real people work through difficult situations or conversations by rehearsing them ahead of time with sets and actors. Except that conceit, which is played out to its fullest in the first, cringe-inducing episode, becomes something completely else in the subsequent episodes.

Nathan Fielder is best known for his Comedy Central series Nathan for You, in which he would offer real business owners profoundly stupid or insane marketing and business ideas. In The Rehearsal, Fielder seems to be exploring the ethics of making reality television; of making real people and their real lives fodder for entertainment. He seems to be turning a critical eye back not only on himself for his work on Nathan for You, but also back on the audience who consumes this media without regard for the actual human cost of any of it. It remains one of the most intelligent, wildest, and weirdest things I’ve ever seen on television and I can’t stop thinking about it.

BUT! I have to also acknowledge another series whose second half debuted in July:

*Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul nailed a profound final season to a quietly intense prequel — and sequel — to the groundbreaking Breaking Bad. Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn gave master classes for acting and were robbed at the Emmys this year.

Other shows that I enjoyed in July:

  • What We Do in the Shadows
  • Black Bird
  • FBoy Island. No, I’m not kidding.

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • Rap Shit
  • Paper Girls
  • Boo, Bitch
  • Moonhaven


House of the Dragon

Game of Thrones fans were split on this one: For some, the series that focused on one Targaryen family 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones felt too small, lacking the epic scope of the original series. For your trusty blogger, I feel the series is not just a fascinating glimpse into the history of Westeros, but an explainer for those Game of Thrones fans who were upset at Daenerys’ seeming heel-turn at the end of the series. Maybe the Targaryens, whose family history is long and bloody and who rely on fire-breathing dragons to maintain authoritarian control over a powerless populace … maybe they aren’t the good guys?

That all said, House of the Dragon is telling its own story — a violent family tragedy set into motion by jealousy, ambition, and The Patriarchy. It’s a fun and compelling series anchored by impressive performances and lovely VFX. And it is a worthy successor — and predecessor — to Game of Thrones.

Other shows that I enjoyed in August:

  • Mo
  • The Sandman
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
  • A League of Their Own
  • Reservation Dogs
  • The Princess
  • Welcome to Wrexham
  • Bad Sisters
  • Tuca & Bertie
  • The Patient

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • Industry
  • Prey
  • Five Days at Memorial
  • Little Demon
  • Sprung
  • This Fool



One day, probably sometime in 2123, I’ll make a list of the best shows of the 21st century, and Atlanta will be somewhere in the top ten, maybe the top five. The Donald Glover series was funny, insightful, dark, surreal, and — despite Glover saying he wanted it to be his Twin Peaks — completely original.

The third and fourth seasons both aired in 2022. And while the third season, set in Europe, was interesting with occasional flashes of brilliance, the fourth and final season was a return to the original magic, firmly set in the chemistry between Earn, Van, Paper Boi, Darius, and the city of Atlanta itself. The final two episodes were utterly some of the best episodes of TV I’ve seen this year and will stay with me for a long while.

Other shows that I enjoyed in September:

  • Andor
  • Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power
  • Los Espookys
  • Interview with a Vampire
  • Reboot
  • Chef’s Table: Pizza
  • Abbott Elementary
  • Ghosts

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • The Serpent Queen
  • Vampire Academy


The White Lotus

What is left to say about this incredible, hilarious social satire disguised as a light meringue? The White Lotus is one of those wonders of a show that has much to say about everything — money, power, class — and manages to deliver it in such a deliciously campy, gossipy, sexy package that you don’t realize that you’ve been fed a political manifesto of sorts until long after you have digested it.

This season was a perfect storm for online speculation. Set in Sicily, the series specifically explored sex, gender, and power, while leaving a breadcrumb of mystery about what did or did not happen between the hotel’s guests. It was a bright, citrusy, sea-sprayed affair, filled with memorable performances, particularly from Jennifer Coolidge, Aubrey Plaza, and Sabrina Impacciatore. (And yes, I am in the camp that thinks something definitely happened between THOSE two couples.)

Other shows that I enjoyed in October:

  • The Midnight Club
  • Kevin Can Fuck Himself
  • Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities
  • Derry Girls
  • Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy
  • Avenue 5
  • Unsolved Mysteries
  • Werewolf by Night
  • Barbarian
  • Documentary Now!
  • The Winchesters

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • Let the Right One In
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • The Good Nurse
  • A Friend of the Family
  • From Scratch
  • God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty
  • Deadstream
  • High School


Fleishman Is In Trouble

I will grant you that the main characters of this relationship dramedy are not particularly likable. People going through midlife crises typically aren’t. But Jesse Eisenberg, Claire Danes, and Lizzy Caplan are so damn good at bringing Toby, Rachel, and Libby to life that you can’t look away even while these people are being selfish, messy assholes. The limited series based on the novel of the same name explores the end of a marriage and all the ugliness that ensues. And somehow, it manages to never stoop to being mean. If anything, it manages to find empathy for characters who often feel like they are deliberately attempting to alienate themselves from everything and everyone, including the audience itself.

Other shows that I enjoyed in November:

  • Dead to Me
  • Wednesday
  • We’re Here
  • The English
  • Mythic Quest
  • Ziwe
  • The Sex Lives of College Girls

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • Willow
  • Welcome to Chippendales
  • The Crown
  • Warrior Nun
  • Tulsa King
  • Yellowstone
  • Limitless with Chris Hemsworth


Glass Onion: A Knives Out Movie

This is cheating and I don’t blame you if you’re irritated with me on this one. After all, Glass Onion is a movie, not a TV series, and it was actually in a theater for like three days or something before streaming on Netflix. But I would argue that 1. Considering how much money Netflix spent on the Knives Out sequels ($450 million for two movies) they would very much want us to think of this as a Netflix project and not a movie in a traditional theatrical sense, and 2. Frankly, it was just the best thing on my TV in December.

Sure, there’s an argument for Three Pines, which features a very quiet performance by Alfred Molina in an aggressively Canadian mystery series; or for The Witcher: Blood Origin, which is a blessedly abbreviated fantasy series in a sea of overly long (and overly boring) fantasy dramas; or for Baking It! which is the exact sweet treat of a baking competition that you want to nibble on over the holidays.

But none of them were as light on their feet, wickedly satirical, and delightfully entertaining as Rian Johnson’s second installment of the Benoit Blanc series. I don’t want to give anything away, it is a mystery after all, but between the characters, plot, and hilarious series of cameos, Glass Onion was far and away the best thing that showed up on my TV in December.

  • The Witcher: Blood Origin
  • Baking It!
  • Three Pines
  • Harry & Meghan
  • Letterkenny
  • The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari
  • I Hate Suzie Too

Shows I Missed but Are Highly Regarded:

  • George & Tammy
  • 1923
  • Riches
  • Sort Of
  • Slow Horses
  • White Noise
  • This Place Rules
  • Emancipation
  • The Best Man: The Final Chapters
  • His Dark Materials

ALL RIGHT. THAT’S IT. Feel free to yell at me in the comments.


2 thoughts on “A half-assed assessment of the best TV of 2022

  1. Sooo much TV. Great list! I can’t argue with any of your choices (sorry). In my much more limited TV viewing I saw a few other shows worth noting:
    George Carlin’s American Dream (May)
    Les papillons noirs (Black Butterflies) (October) – dark sexy French murder miniseries
    Enola Holmes 2 (November)
    Neal Brennan: Blocks (November) – I’m guessing you excluded stand-up specials, because that would be a whole list by itself
    The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (December) – nice little half-hour animated children’s special

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