We here at AIPT have been reflecting on the year and choosing our top picks in different mediums. We’ve already shared our lists for comics part one and two, video games, and movies. Now it’s time to reveal our Best TV of 2022.
With more audiences cutting the chord and the rising influence of streaming platforms, it’s no surprise that the likes of Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV+ dominate our Best TV of 2022. However, don’t count cable out yet since HBO continues to produce high quality prestige programming. Let’s dive into AIPT staff’s can’t miss television this year.
With no sign about the future of Star Wars movies, the TV shows are a different matter. From the good (The Mandalorian) to the bad (The Book of Boba Fett), Star Wars is thriving on Disney+, but Andor is on a whole other level. Whilst the previous shows relied on fan service and a familiar Star Wars feeling, Andor feels so standalone in its tone and presentation, feeling more like a mature political thriller.
It feels like perfect territory for showrunner Tony Gilroy, best known for writing the original Bourne trilogy. Despite my initial worries about this prequel to Rogue One, since we know the fate of its titular character, Andor has many surprising elements throughout, not least in its grayish exploration in the early days of the Rebellion. This is Star Wars at its darkest and best it has been for a long time.
The Bear (FX on Hulu)
The Bear was the most pleasant surprise of 2022. The story seems too cliched to work. A successful chef from the world of fine dining returns to Chicago after his brother’s suicide. He has been left his brother’s failing restaurant, high debt, and disorderly staff.
The ensuing eight episodes are funny, sad, and heartwarming. Jeremy Allen White is fantastic as “Carmy” Berzatto, the award-winning chef who spends most of the season trying to keep his head above water. The supporting cast are fantastic and the chemistry is off the charts between them all.
The Bear will have you laughing out loud at the exploits of Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) — a highlight of the season is when he gives a group of children some Xanax — and then follow it up with a single take episode that is the most anxiety-inducing watch of the year. Everything comes together in a great finale. The rare show that has you craving another season, but satisfied if it ends at just the one.
Black Bird (Apple TV+)
Telling the true story of Jimmy Keene Jr. and Larry Hall, Black Bird follows drug and arms dealer Keene (Taron Egerton) into a prison for the “criminally insane,” where he is tasked with befriending inmate Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) in exchange for a lighter sentence. Egerton gives a great performance, but Paul Walter Hauser is incredible as the terrifying serial killer Larry Hall. He is sweet at times, almost eliciting sympathy; he’s a truly vile character, but one you can’t take your eyes off.
While Black Bird would be worth watching for Hauser’s performance alone, it’s also a great story. Told in just six episodes, the writing is completely engaging. The score by Mogwai is a perfect accent for this true crime/psychological thriller. Between Black Bird and Severance, Apple TV+ really came through this year.
House of the Dragon (HBO)
This HBO show was excellent. Serving as a spin-off from the critically acclaimed Game of Thrones (GoT), House of the Dragon instantly transported me back to Westeros in the best way. I was a little apprehensive when I started watching House of the Dragon since the last season of GoT left such a bad taste in my mouth. But, when the theme song started playing, my fears instantly melted away.
I cannot speak highly enough about this show. While it was a slow burn for the first couple of episodes, it built to a crescendo that left me speechless. The season finale had arguably one of the most tense scenes in the entire franchise. I am gutted that we must wait for two years for the next season — it is that good. I guarantee that I will find myself rewatching this at least once before season two comes around.
The Lincoln Lawyer (Netflix)
Based on the novel of the same name, this Netflix series was more of a sleeper than a blockbuster hit. Staring Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as the titular character, Mickey Haller finds himself back in the courtroom when a fellow Hollywood lawyer is found murdered.
This show was unpredictable, yet fairly grounded at the same time. Each character was meaningful and had fun personalities that were explored throughout the season, which was underlined by an exceptional chemistry. I found myself laughing throughout the ten episodes and when the finale came to an end, I wanted more. This is an easy binge well worth your time and will prepare you for the upcoming season two.
— Shane Martin
Peacemaker (HBO Max)
Peacemaker serves as the DCEU’s first foray into television. The Suicide Squad spin-off has John Cena return in the titular role where he is recruited by an A.R.G.U.S. black ops team to take out high profile targets. Cena’s comedic chops are on full display with his foul mouthed one-liners, but he delivers a surprising dramatic performance as Peacemaker confronts his tragic past while also growing a conscience and reconsidering the whole cold blooded killing thing.
The series also boasts a colorful rag tag cast of characters including Freddie Stroma as the over-the-top sociopath Vigilante. But it’s Danielle Brooks’ Leota Adebayo that really shines providing the heart and soul of the team. Throw in exciting action sequences that didn’t hold back on the violence, a rocking soundtrack, and the best opening credits scene ever, Peacemaker set a fun high bar for TV when it released back in January.
The Rehearsal (HBO)
It’s difficult to describe The Rehearsal or what makes it so great. Have you watched Nathan for You, particularly the finale film Finding Frances? This is not that, but it’s the next phase of genius creator Nathan Fielder’s quest to investigate humanity and to what degree one can manipulate it.
The Rehearsal asks the questions, “What does it mean to be human?” by pitting Fielder and his manipulative machinations against individuals and the difficulties in their lives. It takes a look at everyday interactions and asks, “How much of life is actually real? Are we in control at all, or are we just transacting control from one person to another, until we settle for what we have or we get what we want?” And it does all of this while being the funniest show on television, to the point where it feels like it’s inventing new comedy.
Severance (Apple TV+)
Severance is a brilliant psychological thriller and science fiction nightmare that feels equal parts Philip K. Dick and Franz Kafka. This isn’t big, high-budget special effects sci-fi but more in line with the stripped down, mind-bendy, cerebral sci-fi recently seen in the limited series Devs or the better Twilight Zone stories. Its premise of office employees who split their personalities in half so their outside work personas have no memory of what they did from 9 to 5 – while their work identities don’t know anything about their lives when they leave – takes the abuses of the workplace to a whole new extreme.
The cast is terrific, and the season delivers a finale that will make you hungry for season two. Even just the main title sequence is among the best of any TV show and belongs in the annuls of great title sequences next to Mad Men and Game of Thrones. I think this show is off a lot of people’s radars because it’s on Apple TV+, but it deserves to be in the conversation for best of the year.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!
You must be logged in to post a comment.