HomeTelevisionBest of 2022: The Best TV Shows of the Year

Best of 2022: The Best TV Shows of the Year

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Television was absolutely stacked in 2022. You could not move without running into a season of prestige television — whether it was brand new high drama, IP-related content or the continuation of something incredible.

The staff of Pop Break got together to talk about their favorite shows of 2022.

Twenty-Five-Twenty One
Watch It On: Netflix
Chosen by: Avani Goswami
Original Review

This year was iconic for K-Dramas, from All of Us Are Dead to Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Twenty-Five Twenty-One tops the list. The story is nostalgic from episode one, depicting the different journeys people go through during youth and the bittersweet feeling of growing up.

The drama stars iconic actors like Kim Tae-Ri and Nam Joo-hyuk as the two leads, and the supporting cast is nothing short of stellar. While everyone undoubtedly fell in love with Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Tae-Ri as Na Hee-do is one of the best drama protagonists yours truly has ever seen. She is truly the heart of the show. To add to the magic, all of the dynamics are compelling and well-developed.

This series is charming, hilarious, exciting, and emotional from start to finish. The only thing that will have you aching for more is the conclusion of the show, which some fans pretend does not exist. Truly, the ending is the only thing that takes away from what is otherwise an excellent viewing experience and a top-notch drama that should be on everyone’s watchlist.

Watch It On: Disney+
Chosen by: Bill Bodkin
Listen to the Socially Distanced Andor Finale Episode.

This was the Star Wars series you were looking for. After The Book of Boba Fett and Kenobi underwhelmed, the thought of a dramatized prequel from Rogue One didn’t seem promising. Yet, when the dust settled on this series in November, it turned out Andor was one of the best Star Wars creations since Disney purchased the property from George Lucas. Diego Luna gives an absolutely mesmerizing performance as Cassian Andor — a lovable rogue who is thrust into the early days of the rebellion. Stellan Skarsgaard and Andy Serkis give career performances in supporting roles, elevating this series from a good Star Wars into a wonderfully rich dramatic series (and that shouldn’t come as a surprise as Tony Gilroy is the showrunner and there’s plenty of people from Chernobyl are involved).

The Owl House
Watch It On: Disney Channel, Disney+
Chosen by: Avani Goswami

As far as animated shows go, The Owl House Season 2 (and start of Season 3) was a true show-stopper this year. Every episode is packed with magical fun. What stands out about The Owl House is that it’s an innovative story about belonging and discovering yourself, with incredible animation and an intense plot to match. Not to mention, The Owl House is a pioneer for representation.

Of course, being a Disney series, The Owl House is also funny and light, making it the perfect comfort watch for cozy days in or pick-me-up for any stressful nights. For anyone who adored the She-Ra reboot or wants something cute and magical to make them smile, this series is an absolute must-watch.

Watch It On: Showtime, Showtime Anywhere, Hulu, Pluto, Paramount+
Chosen by: Micaela Cabrera
Read the Original Review here.

Described as “Mean Girls meets Lord of the Flies,” Yellowjackets is a must-see for fans of mystery and psychological horror. The Showtime series tells the story of a high-school girls soccer team from New Jersey trying to survive in the deep Canadian wilderness after their plane crashes. The narrative shifts between the past and the present, where the adult counterparts of those girls grapple with the trauma of their experience while fighting an unknown party threatening to reveal the truth about their survival.

The creative minds of showrunners Ashley Lyle, Bart Nickerson, and Karyn Kusama manage to pull off the perfect mix of horror, mystery, comedy, and teen drama. Yellowjackets encapsulates the best features of these genres while addressing serious topics like addiction and mental health, portrayed flawlessly by its talented cast. Sophie Nélisse, Samantha Hanratty, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sophie Thatcher star as four of the teen survivors, while Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci, Tawny Cypress, and Juliette Lewis play their adult counterparts. The series received many accolades for its first season including seven Emmy nominations. It will return for its sophomore season in March 2023.

Watch It On: CBS, Paramount+
Chosen by: Allison Lips

CBS’s Ghosts may not be a groundbreaking show, but it is a well-done sitcom. Based on the British show of the same name, the American Ghosts manages to be better than the original. With a 22 minute runtime per episode, the American version is 8 minutes shorter than the typical British episode, which forces the writers to create tighter storylines. And they rise to the occasion. 

Like The Office, both Ghosts versions are better appreciated when they are taken as separate entities. While the premise of inheriting a random old house in the middle of nowhere and finding out it’s haunted is the same, the American version focuses on Samantha (Rose McIver, iZombie) and Jay Arondeka’s (Utkarsh Ambudkar, Never Have I Ever) challenges in turning the house into a B&B while juggling the needs of some strong personalities: the ghosts. 

The first season introduced the ghosts, but the second season is more interesting because American Revolutionary War soldier Captain Isaac Higgintoot (Brandon Scott Jones, Isn’t it Romantic) and British Revolutionary War soldier Nigel Chessum (John Hartman, Young Sheldon) finally start a relationship after having a crush on each other for hundreds of years. 

The Rehearsal
Watch It On: HBO, HBO MAX
Chosen by: Alex Marcus

No series in 2022 did more to push the limits of what TV as a medium could do more than Nathan Fielder’s inexplicably singular series The Rehearsal. While lots of series received splashy headlines for bringing to the small screen A-List movie stars and blockbuster visual spectacle, Fielder reminded us that the most compelling spectacle comes where we least expect it. In this case, it was Fielder’s vision for a world where practice truly might mean perfect, allowing his documentary subjects (and eventually himself) the chance to put his HBO budget to work to help them practice relatable, somewhat mundane social interactions with actors playing the people closest to the real life subjects’ lives in facsimiles of their natural environment.

What starts out as a cute idea about preparing for the hard moments in life that typically don’t provide us a do over, careens wildly into an unpredictable ride through social anxiety and existential dread; all while deconstructing the artifice of life and plunging into the deepest vulnerabilities of its subjects and Fielder, himself.

Is it exploitative or is it deconstructing the exploitative nature of all art and the ways in which art informs the artifice of our own lives? Tune in to find out.

Stranger Things Season 4
Watch it On: Netflix
Chosen by: Ronnie Gorham
Listen to the Stranger Things Season 4 Episode of Socially Distanced

When you talk about TV shows that made a massive impact in 2022, I don’t think any show was bigger than my personal favorite, Stranger Things Season Four. Much darker and emotional in tone, Stranger Things season four swings one helluva gut punch to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and the rest of the stellar cast of the show in the form of Vecna, a major big bad played brilliantly by Jaime Campbell Bower. The fourth season tells us more about The Upside Down, The Mindflayer, and how everything connects back to Hawkins and Eleven herself, and did I mention it has a killer soundtrack? The finale left most fans with their jaws on the floor, including me, so without question Stranger Things season five will be highly anticipated for sure.

The Offer
Watch it On: Paramount+
Chosen by Ben Murchison

Truly a film lover’s dream series; The Offer tells the story of bringing 1973’s Best Picture winner The Godfather to the screen. Based on the experiences of the film’s producer Albert S. Ruddy, portrayed by Miles Teller in the show, it’s a brilliant and shining example of truth being stranger than fiction. It’s a series that at its core is about movie making, from hiring director Francis Ford Coppola (Dan Fogler) and adapting Mario Puzo’s (Patrick Gallo) novel into a screenplay, to location scouting, casting, filming, and working with the mob? 

You certainly root for Teller as Ruddy, watching him grow within the business and to the point where making this film is all consuming, but there are countless standout performances, including Juno Temple as Ruddy’s assistant Bettye McCartt, and Matthew Goode as Paramount studio executive Robert Evans. Goode especially sells the time-period and lifestyle with his inspired mannerisms and way of speaking. John Papsidera, the casting director for the show, deserves a ton of credit as well for finding actors that really capture the look and essence of so many high profile people that were involved with the production.    

Even if some of it is highly sensationalized, it still manages to give you an even greater level of appreciation for one of the most beloved films of all time. Despite knowing that the finished product is one of the greatest accomplishments in cinema, The Offer delivers heightened anxiety with each episode, and an equal amount of heart. You have to love movies to create something as beautiful as The Godfather, and their love is tested and prevails against every obstacle they encounter. 

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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