I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m not the only person who has spent a decent amount of time, especially in the last couple of years, binging TV. After all, we are in the era of streaming. As more streaming services are created, more original content is created. And while not all of it is good, a surprisingly large amount of it is. This is a ranked list of 10 relatively random shows created in 2022.
Honorable Mentions—A couple shows that I did not include that people considered to be some of the best shows of the year: The Umbrella Academy (Season 3), Cobra Kai (Season 5), and for some reason The Batman (Movie).
Rankings are based on the community score, not my own opinion.
10. House of the Dragon
The first of HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-offs, House of the Dragon, is set in Westeros over 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones are set to have transpired. When both the wife and firstborn son of King Viserys Targaryen die unexpectedly, Viserys has no choice but to name his only daughter, Rhaenyra, heir to the throne. This triggers years of a slowly boiling family drama involving arguments. These subtle but heated arguments concerned those who have no rightful claim to the throne, and those who shouldn’t have any rightful claim to the throne. Throughout most of this we find ourselves simply watching the current king slowly decay on screen as all hell refuses to break loose.
Community Score: 5.85
Highest Rated Episode: Driftmark
My Opinion: I was surprised to see that this was the lowest-rated show. So far it’s had extremely high viewerships, overall good reviews from critics and audiences (scoring an 86% on rotten tomatoes, and an 8.6 on Imdb), and while it still hasn’t reached the heights that Game of Thrones did, it has still provided solidly entertaining viewing. So far, it’s featured very solid performances from all members of the cast and a particularly strong performance from Paddy Considine who plays King Viserys. Its cinematography is excellent, as would be expected from a Game of Thrones spin-off, and its direction seems to be relatively meticulous, always building up to something and ending every episode with a crescendo. While it may not be as good as some seasons of Game of Thrones, it’s still a nice return to Westeros after the disaster that was Game of Thrones season 8.
Verdict: A solid 8.5/10 (the same score I gave season 1 of Game of Thrones).
Summary: Adam Scott leads this superbly directed dark juxtaposition of the work-life balance. Mark S. (Adam Scott) is a high-level corporate archivist who had received a promotion that required him to undergo the Severance procedure, a mysterious operation that completely separates your memories from work and your memories from your outside life, essentially making you two people in one body.
Highest Rated Episode: Good News About Hell
Community Score: 5.88
My Opinion: I was extremely surprised by the low rating this show got. Critically acclaimed (97% rotten tomatoes) and regarded as a masterpiece by the majority of people that have seen it, Severance is arguably the best show of the year. Its cinematography and set design is beautiful, but also eerie and unnerving. Its writing and direction are superb, resulting in a perfect balance of dark humor and heart-racing suspense. The performances are outstanding, especially those of Adam Scott, Christopher Walken, and John Turturro. And the narrative is completely engrossing. While the show does move at a slower pace, it never feels like it drags, keeping you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Verdict: Absolute 10/10. It is one of my favorite shows and is arguably tied with Better Call Saul for the best show of the year.
8. Stranger Things
Summary: The fourth and longest return to Hawkins, Indiana seems to be the most disturbing entry yet. After 3 seasons based solely in a small Indiana town, the Duffer brothers decide to throw that all away and send us to California and Russia. With the introduction of a new villain, and multiple new characters, some of which are bound to die in the end, we constantly hop from narrative to narrative just long enough to see some grotesque imagery and even more horrifying dialogue. I can’t really summarize the plot without spoiling anything, but basically, most of the characters wait around doing very little as Eleven does some screaming and makes the monsters disappear, as always.
Highest Rated Episode: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab
Community Score: 6.00
My Opinion: This was a perfectly fine season of television. It definitely had its ups and downs, but it was still entertaining. The narrative was decent, and while it wasn’t nearly as engrossing or mysterious as the first 2 seasons, it still included some solid twists and turns thrown in with the predictability. The writing was awful. It featured a huge amount of MCU-esque jokes and dialogue that I can only compare to a Dhar Man video. It was honestly hard to watch at times. The cinematography and CGI was good, but it didn’t seem 30-million-dollars-an-episode good. Its soundtrack was great, so was its acting (from about half the cast). I liked it.
Verdict: At times good, at times bad, almost always entertaining. 7/10.
Summary: James Gunn’s follow-up to 2021’s The Suicide Squad (which is honestly one of the most underrated comic book movies ever) follows Peacemaker (JOHN CENA). When Peacemaker gets out of the hospital after being shot in the neck and crushed by a building, he is given the chance to stay out of prison if he joins a black-ops team that’s tasked with killing people called butterflies. Along the way he has to deal with numerous other problems, such as the ethicality of murdering people, trying to be a nicer person, and not getting killed by his white supremacist supervillain dad known as the White Dragon.
Highest Rated Episode: Murn After Reading
Community Score: 6.14
My Opinion: This show was awesome. The Suicide Squad (2021. Not to be confused with the 2016 garbage) was one of my favorite movies of the year, so I was extremely excited to learn that it was getting a spin-off about my favorite character from the movie. It did not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. All I wanted was a violent and funny anti-hero show, and it gave me that. But it also added layers to the character of Peacemaker, painting him as a sensitive man who wants to be loved rather than a peace-loving killing machine. It was colorful, gory, hilarious, and featured an unexpectedly strong performance from John Cena. This was no question one of the most wildly entertaining shows of 2022.
Verdict: 8/10. While not perfect, I highly recommend it to everyone who likes fun.
Summary: The long-awaited third season of Atlanta brings our main characters out of Atlanta and into Europe. But don’t worry, it’s still as trippy as ever. The first 2 seasons followed the adventures and struggles of rapper Paper Boi and his manager Earn as they try to survive in the rap business. However, in the third season, it feels like all of their financial struggles have ceased and allowed them to really do whatever they want. 6 episodes of tripping in Amsterdam, and another 4 episodes with a very Jordan-Peele-Get-Out feel that focus on the absurd and strange interactions with Caucasians and African-Americans in our modern society.
Highest Rated Episode: (7 way tie)
Community Score: 6.37
My Opinion: While this season is probably the weakest so far, it still provides entertaining but layered viewing that at times does actually make you question the world we live in. The cinematography is great as always, the humor is still hilarious, and the characters are as deep as they’ve always been. But what really stands out in this season, and every season if I’m being honest, is the absolute surrealism that the show is able to access. In every episode, something always feels off. You can’t put your finger on it, but you feel it. And so do the main characters. It’s as if they walked out of our world and into a strange and dreamlike reflection of it. It never fully enters the truly absurd, but it’s always on the brink of total insanity. This element of the show is what truly makes it one of the best programs on TV.
Verdict: The first 2 seasons were 10/10’s, no question. However, this season's slight unevenness brings it down to a solid 9/10.
5. Moon Knight
Summary: The MCU’s 5th show follows a guy played by Oscar Isaac, a nerdy museum gift shop employee who realizes that his body is the vessel for the agent of an Egyptian god. Weird pacing, poor dialogue, and an excellent performance from Oscar Isaac are all featured in one of the better MCU shows.
Highest Rated Episode: The Goldfish Problem
Community Score: 6.40
My Opinion: Oscar Isaac is one of my favorite actors alive, and he carried this show. Without him, it would be nothing. A forgettable entry on a long list of forgettable entries. A website might publish a list ranking every MCU project, and you would see it there in the middle to the lower area and say to yourself “I vaguely remember watching that a couple years ago”. That’s it. However, Oscar Isaac added layers and personality to the relatively bland character he was tasked to play. He gave this show life, or at least he tried. The concept is interesting, but the execution was far from perfect. Besides Oscar’s participation in it, this was a forgettable and mediocre entry into the MCU.
4. The Bear
Summary: When the brother of fine dining chef Carme dies and leaves the failing family sandwich restaurant to him, Carme has no choice but to decide to return home and take over the restaurant as head chef. Loud, fast paced, chaotic and stress inducing, the Bear provides one of the most realistic looks at what it feels like to work in a restaurant.
Highest Rated Episode: Dogs
Community Score: 6.63
My Opinion: This was 8 episodes of pure chaos that starts in the first seconds of the first episode, and ends in the last seconds of the last episode. While watching this, you feel like you have been thrust into the loud, exhausting world of food preparation. The direction of the show is meticulous, the cinematography is brilliant, the writing is exceptional, and the performances, especially that of Jeremy Allen White, are incredible. Funny, dark, sad, and tumultuous, the Bear is one of the best shows of the year.
Verdict: 9.5/10. Probably the fastest paced show I’ve ever seen.
Summary: Barry returns for the third time, and it’s darker than ever. Following up the cliffhanger ending of Barry season 2, we return 6 months later. Sally now has her own show, Cousineau is living with her son and grandson, and Barry is suffering from extreme depression. However, everything starts to go wrong when Cousineau decides to try and kill Barry in a bold act of revenge.
Highest Rated Episode: Limonada
Community Score: 7.00
My Opinion: Still one of the best shows on TV. The show fully embraces its darkest aspects this season, allowing Barry to absolutely lose his mind and embrace the darkness that has slowly been eating away at him. Every attempt he has made to better himself has resulted in the destruction of his relationships and his entire life, and it finally breaks him. The cinematography this season is great. The writing is excellent. The direction, especially the episodes directed by Bill Hader, is exceptional. The acting is, as always, top-tier. Because of this show, I consider Bill Hader to be one of the best actors alive. And the characters are more complex than we could have ever imagined. While the previous seasons focused more on the good in everyone, this season focuses on the bad. Even the “good guys” make ethically questionable decisions. This is one of the best seasons of television I have ever seen, and it was everything I had hoped for.
Verdict: Another masterful season of television. 10/10.
2. The Boys
Summary: After about a year of relative peace between the boys and the Seven, a surprising revelation causes everything to fall apart. Hughie, who has been working for senator Victoria Newman in order to keep the supes under control finds himself forced to rejoin the boys when he learns something terrible. Homelander, who has been kept in check because of the video taken in the season 2 finale finally calls the bluff and realizes that no matter what he does, he will have loyal supporters. So he begins to do a lot. Butcher decides that he’s tired of following the rules, so he makes a deal with Homelander that could only have Earth-scorching results.
Highest Rated Episode: Herogasm
Community Score: 7.33
My Opinion: While the first 2 seasons of the Boys were good, they were never truly great. However, this season was finally able to cut out any problems that were dragging the first seasons down. The writing was excellent; every character had a motive for what they did, and the surprising moments were integrated into the show perfectly, never sacrificing character development or logic in order to shock the viewers. Every episode was entertaining, and it always had a touch of the absurd to keep the viewers interested. But the standout element of this season was Antony Starr’s performance as Homelander. The way he portrays the character adds so much depth and complexity, and the subtlety in the performance gives the character a realistic feel. Homelander is quickly climbing up the list of greatest villains ever.
Verdict: The violent and fast-paced third season of the Boys is definitely the best yet. 9.5/10.
Better Call Saul
Summary: Better Call Saul returns in a tragic final season that masterfully concludes the story of Jimmy McGill. 5 seasons of slow buildup finally pay off as we see Jimmy cause the destruction of all of his relationships and eventually transform into Saul Goodman. The numerous narratives that have been set up throughout the show slowly converge into a heartbreaking and brutal series of episodes that give us a perfect melancholy and palindromic ending to one of the greatest shows of all time.
Highest Rated Episode: ‘Saul Gone
Community Score: 8.71
My Opinion: This was, in every possible way, a perfect season of television. Tragic yet funny, bleak yet hopeful, and completely infused with that “Better Call Saul” flare. Its direction is so superb that it really makes one wonder “how had it been planned out so perfectly?”. Every miniscule detail had a reason to exist. Every character arc was concluded masterfully. And every second of the show was as entertaining as possible. Its performances were amazing, and it’s criminal that Bob Odenkirk didn’t win an Emmy for his performance as Saul. Also, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Better Call Saul has the best cinematography of any movie or show I’ve ever seen. It’s not only that the imagery is creative and beautiful, but it’s also the way it’s able to tell a story through its imagery. The amount of complexity in every shot is immense. This is, as I stated previously, perfect. The only seasons that are arguably better than this are the first season of True Detective, the 5th season of Breaking Bad, the 6th season of Bojack Horseman, and the 2nd season of Fargo. The best of the best.
Verdict: Inconceivably good. 10/10.