Our previous end-of-year best lists mainly focused on films because there is too much TV to get even close to a definitive list. However, this year there were too many good shows out there not to engage with them.
So this year, we will look at all the shows we reviewed last year, SEE HERE, and pick our Top 10 of the 34 shows we reviewed. For a show to count, it needed to end its run or season in 2022.
10: The Recruit
If there was one show that demonstrated that I needed to be careful with my preconceptions, it would be The Recruit. But this show about a new guy in the CIA legal division bouncing from one disaster to another was utterly compelling. Noah Centineo hit that perfect mark of earnest determination, and it was great to see him get better as the season went on. It was a show that was a comedy first but then didn’t mind throwing in some more brutal moments. I hope we see more of it, but I won’t hold my breath, given Netflix’s track record.
Directed by – Doug Liman, Alex Kalymnios, Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour & Julian Holmes
Written by – Alexi Hawley, George V. Ghanem, Amelia Roper, Hadi Nicholas Deeb, Niceole R. Levy & Maya Goldsmith
Created by – Alexi Hawley
It feels like Alan Ritchson has been one of those actors who has been putting in solid supporting performances for a decade, waiting for his big break to come, and I am glad it was here. There is a physicality to his performance that is more than just his large stature. Reacher is a character who has the power to kill you with his bare hands and care and compassion for those around him. Dismantling an entire crime syndicate being backed by the police seems like a tough sell, but I believed 100% of the time that he could do it.
Directed by – Thomas Vincent, Sam Hill, Stephen Surjik, Christine Moore, Norberto Barba, Omar Madha, Lin Oeding & MJ Bassett
Written by – Nick Santora, Scott Sullivan, Aadrita Mukerji, Cait Duffy & Aadrita Mukerji
Created by – Nick Santora
Based on – Killing Floor by Lee Child
8: Ms. Marvel
The first of two MCU series on this list, one I know was divisive, and not just for all the usually nasty reasons people slag off projects featuring a diverse cast. But any issues aside, I deeply loved every moment I spent with Ms. Marvel. I loved her family. I loved her friends, and I didn’t care one moment that the bad guys were a bit naff. Discovering Iman Vellani might be one of the MCU’s best casting decisions in ages because she perfectly suits that role on and off the screen. There was a level of fun but also a level of authenticity on show here. I am glad the MCU is finally moving to tell the story of young women from Jersey City because the world is full of stories of people living outside of New York and Los Angeles.
Directed by – Adil & Bilall, Meera Menon & Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Written by – Bisha K. Ali, Kate Gritmon, Freddy Syborn, A. C. Bradley, Matthew Chauncey, Sabir Pirzada, Fatimah Asghar & Will Dunn
Created by – Bisha K. Ali
Based On – Ms. Marvel by Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona & Jamie McKelvie
7: The Sandman
Of all the shows I reviewed this year, nothing nailed the vibe of weird and wonderful quite like The Sandman. There are times when this deep gothic fairy tale was full of brooding and darkness. And then it could switch on a dime and bring Death into the sunlight and give a historically tragic character and a new voice. One episode could be about a brother and sister finding each other, about a convention for serial killers, and then an animated romp of cats forming a revolution. Add some oddball characters, a brooding Tom Sturridge, a menacing Boyd Holbrook, and a delightful Patton Oswalt. Well, you had a show that kept me coming back for more.
Directed by – Mike Barke, Jamie Childs, Mairzee Almas, Andrés Baiz, Coralie Fargeat, Hisko Hulsing & Louise Hooper
Written by – Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, Allan Heinberg, Jim Campolongo, Austin Guzman, Ameni Rozsa, Lauren Bello, Heather Bellson, Alexander Newman-Wise, Vanessa James Benton, Jay Franklin & Catherine Smyth-McMullen
Created by – Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer & Allan Heinberg
Based On – The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth & Mike Dringenberg
I have generally liked all the MCU shows we have gotten after its move to Disney+. Well, at least there were aspects of each show that I liked. However, none of them ever felt like they had secured what it was to be a Marvel TV show until She-Hulk came along. After Orphan Black, I knew that Tatiana Maslany would nail the role of a character who has to live two lives under very public scrutiny. But not only did she clinch it, but she also hit it out of the park like it was a bear that you were flinging to the Moon. The supporting cast was a joy. The villains were fun when they were meant to be fun and a perfect satire when they were meant to be satire. We also got that walk of shame and that ending. So what a run, and give us a season 2.
Nominated: Most Fun
Directed by – Kat Coiro & Anu Valia
Written by – Jessica Gao, Cody Ziglar, Zeb Wells, Kara Brown, Dana Schwartz, Melissa Hunter, Francesca Gailes & Jacqueline L. Gailes
Created by – Jessica Gao
Based On – She-Hulk by Stan Lee & John Buscema
Was I happy to be back in Middle Earth? Absolutely, but we have been burnt by that before. However, every moment in The Rings of Power was a delight. When they arrived in Númenor, I knew we were in safe hands as the production and music captured that world in all its glory. As well as being a visual spectacle and worth every dollar that Amazon threw at it. One thing stood above the rest; that was just how earnest it was. That is why we could have a rolling montage during the Harfoot migration set to a spectacular vocal performance. We could have elves catch arrows out of the air and fire them back. Why not? We can have a princess sing to the rocks asking for their benevolence in the wonder that was Khazad-dûm. Please give me more of this banter, more of this joy, and more of this world.
Nominated: Stunning Costumes & Fascinating Worldbuilding
Directed by – J. A. Bayona, Wayne Che Yip & Charlotte Brändström
Written by – Gennifer Hutchison, Jason Cahill, Stephany Folsom, Nicholas Adams, Justin Doble, J. D. Payne & Patrick McKay
Created by – J. D. Payne & Patrick McKay
Based On – The Lord of the Rings and appendices by J. R. R. Tolkien
Can lighting strike twice? Well, if your name is Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the answer to that question is very much yes. While I have enjoyed Star Trek’s more serialised stories over the last few years, Strange New Worlds shows just how good episodic television can be if you approach it with an explicit attention. It helps that Anson Mount is the very embodiment of charm, but everyone in the cast is bringing their all into their roles, even the ‘so mean’ transporter chief. We get to have body swap episodes or the time the ship got turned into a medieval castle. But more than anything else, it is a show where the premise is baked into the title, and it lives up to it.
Nominated: Stunning Costumes
Directed by – Akiva Goldsman, Maja Vrvilo, Leslie Hope, Dan Liu, Rachel Leiterman, Andi Armaganian, Sydney Freeland, Amanda Row, Christopher J. Byrne & Chris Fisher
Written by – Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet, Henry Alonso Myers, Sarah Tarkoff, Akela Cooper, Bill Wolkoff, Davy Perez, Beau DeMayo, Robin Wasserman, Beau DeMayo & Onitra Johnson
Created by – Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman & Jenny Lumet
Based On – Star Trek Created by Gene Roddenberry
3: The Expanse
Saved from an early death once, The Expanse’s season six became another swan song for the long-running Sci-fi show, and I was with them every step of the way. But they did not hold back and steamrolled forward with a commitment that can only happen when both those behind and in front of the camera and lock step with each other. Even for someone who has read the books they were based on, there was a tension throughout the season that maybe they would be unable to pull it off. Everyone gets a moment to shine, and more than anything, they stuck the landing. Though I hope this is not the end of our time in this world, if it is, I am glad we ended on a high.
Nominated: Explosive Action
Directed by – Breck Eisner, Jeff Woolnough, Anya Adams & Lewin Webb
Written by – Julianna Damewood, Wes Chatham, Glenton Richards, Naren Shankar, Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck & Dan Nowak
Created by – Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby
Based on – The Expanse by James S. A. Corey (Ty Franck & Daniel Abraham)
When I heard that they would do a prequel to Rogue One, which was already a prequel to the Original Trilogy, I was concerned. Add to that, it was going to be based on Andor, a character I wouldn’t say I liked all that much in Rogue One, and concern moved to real hesitancy. However, when I sat down to watch the first episode, Kassa, I knew instantly how wrong I was and what a ride it was.
When it needed to be uplifting, it was. When it needed to be subversive, it was, and when it needed to shine a light on the world, it did. There are no magic re-dos here. If you get shot, you’re down, and that happens a lot. It was a show that dissected the banality of evil and knew when to hit the emotions. Diego Luna has the space to work nuance into his performance of a man who has not yet chosen his fate. Stellan Skarsgård gives a masterclass in morally ambiguous speeches, and Andy Serkis might be giving the performance of his career here. It may start slow, but trust me. It takes you to places in a galaxy far, far, away from a time long ago.
Nominated: Beautiful Cinematography, The Emotion & Fascinating Worldbuilding
Directed by – Susanna White, Toby Haynes & Benjamin Caron
Written by – Dan Gilroy, Dan Gilroy, Stephen Schiff & Beau Willimon
Created by – Tony Gilroy
Based On – Star Wars by George Lucas
From January 2022, I knew who would be at the top of this list and who was the instigator for my making this list in the first place. I came into Station Eleven, not knowing what I was getting myself into. I had heard vague mentions that it was pretty good, and I knew it was post-apocalyptic, but not much more. So, I was completely unaware that I would inhale this show in a week and everything about it. It has been a long while since a show has affected me like this, and goodness, what a ride it was. I can’t understate that enough. This was a transformational show, something I have not experienced since maybe DS9 or Farscape.
Many shows have attempted mixing timelines and usually fail in the attempt. But Station Eleven builds its world upon those fractures in time. How the fleeting moment of giving two children a book could have such far-reaching repercussions. It finds beauty in everything, even in a world where 99% of the world’s population has died. Every character captures your heart, and you want to see their story right to the end. I know I will never get to go back to this world or even get to see it again for the first time. But I treasure my time when we got to go wandering under the Moon, for the stars are brighter now after the doom.
Nominated: The Emotion, Exquisite Musical Score & Fascinating Worldbuilding
Winner: The Emotion & Exquisite Musical Score
Directed by – Hiro Murai, Jeremy Podeswa, Helen Shaver & Lucy Tcherniak
Written by – Patrick Somerville, Shannon Houston, Nick Cuse, Cord Jefferson, Sarah McCarron, Kim Steele, Sarah McCarron & Will Weggel
Created by – Patrick Somerville
Based on – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
With that, our awards for 2022 end, it was an excellent year for cinema, and we look forward to continuing our coverage into 2023.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
What are your favourite cinematic moments from 2022?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images used were created by the respective studios and artists of each show