It’s time. I’ve seen everything that I feel like I need to see before I can publish my best TV/streaming shows list for 2022. Today, I’ll list ten shows that I think were absolutely fantastic last year. You’ll find a lot of different shows on this list. Some of them are big franchise entries, but there are also new favorites and an experimental show that I was obsessed with last year. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Counting down from ten to one, these are the best television shows of 2022.
#10 – Atlanta
- Atlanta — Seasons 3 and 4 — FX / Disney+
Although I felt pretty confident about entries nine through one and in which order each show should be listed, the tenth place was a real toss-up for me. It was between Under the Banner of Heaven, an amazing faith-based true crime show starring an incredible Andrew Garfield, and the show that I ended up going with, which is Donald Glover’s already pretty iconic Atlanta series.
Almost every time I’ve seen a season of this show, it’s been after I’ve already released my best shows of the year lists, so it feels right to, this time around, save a spot for the show now that it has come to an end. Over the course of the last year, I got to see both the third (the season where they are on tour) and fourth (where they return home) seasons of the show, and they were both really great with entertaining regular episodes and outstanding ‘standalone’ stories. I’m not sure either of these seasons is the best of the series, but they were terrific all the same. As a whole, it’s a strange but undeniable masterwork of a show that I highly recommend.
#9 – Barry
- Barry — Season 3 — HBO
“Its creators should be commended for how far they’ve taken the show. Few comedies can stand the test of being dragged into such dark and depressing material and come out the other side still being really funny. That said, you don’t remember this season for the chuckles. Instead, you remember it for the places the showrunners have dared to take these characters, as well as the intense performances that have been delivered throughout this season by Hader, Goldberg, and Winkler.”Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen, in my review of Barry: Season 3.
#8 – House of the Dragon
- House of the Dragon — Season 1 — HBO
“Just when I thought I was out, House of the Dragon pulled me back in. In spite of the problems relates to the excessive time jumps, I think this is an epic and super confident season of television. I would even argue that it might be superior to the first season of Game of Thrones. I really loved it.”Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen, in my review of House of the Dragon: Season 1.
#7 – For All Mankind
- For All Mankind — Season 3 — Apple TV+
“Once again, For All Mankind didn’t disappoint. It continues to be one of the best streaming shows out there and is arguably the best show on Apple TV+. It deserves so much more attention than it is getting. Admittedly, it must be said that it has carried over my issue with season two to season three, but, at the same time, it is still an epic, suspenseful, and ambitious show about space travel and the people – at home and in space – who can make it happen. If you like science fiction, space, or alternate history stories, then this is still a must-see show.”Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen, in my review of For All Mankind: Season 3.
#6 – The Bear
- The Bear — Season 1 — HULU / Disney+
“Instantly hooked by the brilliant way the frenetic and energetic cuts add to the show’s pace (and further excited by the Danish references and excellent ‘food porn’ on display), I am thrilled to be able to confirm that you should believe the hype. The Bear is awesome. Well directed, edited, and acted. I can’t recommend this enough. It has all the right ingredients that make up a must-watch series. Don’t skip it.”Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen, in my review of The Bear: Season 1.
#5 – The Afterparty
- The Afterparty — Season 1 — Apple TV+
“Outside of it being a quite funny show – Ben Schwartz and Dave Franco were sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, to me – I think the hook of the show is that each episode, which sees Tiffany Haddish’s detective questioning an individual, is different. In each and every episode, we see another person’s perspective on the night that preceded the murder, and we also see the night through the lens of a different cinematic genre. There is an animated episode, a musical episode, an episode designed to be like a Vin Diesel-esque action-flick, and more. Is the payoff as good as the individual ‘mind-movies?’ Perhaps not, but nevertheless I thought this show was absolutely terrific.”Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen, in my bite-sized review of The Afterparty: Season 1.
#4 – Severance
- Severance — Season 1 — Apple TV+
“If you stick with the show (and I know the first episode’s tone and pace can be challenging, to some), then you are treated to the best mystery-box show since Westworld: Season One. It is both incredibly creative and fascinating, as well as wildly entertaining. The show also features career-best work from its lead Adam Scott, and memorable performances from Patricia Arquette, John Turturro, Zack Cherry, and Britt Lower. To add to all of this, the final episode of the first season is one of the very best and most tense episodes of television that I’ve seen all year.”Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen, in my bite-sized review of Severance: Season 1.
#3 – The Rehearsal
- The Rehearsal — Season 1 — HBO
I never got around to writing about The Rehearsal on the blog last year, but, make no mistake, it was an obsession of mine last year. It’s such a strange show to describe other than to say that it is this absolutely wild Nathan Fielder-style docu-comedy where Nathan Fielder — of Nathan For You fame — blurs the line between comedy and reality as he ‘rehearses’ several human experiences including confessing to a dark secret, raising a child, and what it’s like to listen to a class you’ve already taught. It’s fascinating and mindboggling, and it’s really, really good. Oh, right, and apparently it’s coming back for another season. Can’t wait.
#2 – ANDOR
- ANDOR — Season 1 — Disney+
“It is a show that embraces that Star Wars has always been political, and it is also a show that reminds you that the Empire is a despicable fascist dictatorship. It sees representatives of the Empire commit injustices through everything from the way they talk about other cultures to physical atrocities like torture, and I suspect many people will be reminded of the way some governments and law enforcement officers treat law-abiding citizens today. In that regard, it isn’t the safe cookie-cutter show with its edges sanded off that you may have imagined. Rather it is a smartly written (by Tony Gilroy but also Nightcrawler’s Dan Gilroy, The Americans’ Stephen Schiff, and House of Cards’ Beau Willimon) and brilliantly scored (by Nicholas Brittell, who has even made a Miami Vice-esque Star Wars theme) series that reminds you exactly how powerful Star Wars storytelling can be. It is exactly what Star Wars needs right now, and it features some of the best storytelling we’ve gotten for this franchise in years, if not decades.”Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen, in my review of ANDOR: Season 1.
#1 – Better Call Saul
- Better Call Saul — Season 6 — AMC / Netflix
Better Call Saul came to an end in 2022. It’s a show that I loved from the get-go and which, I think, is just as good as its in-universe predecessor Breaking Bad and possibly even better. Reviewing the show’s episodes has been a great joy to me, and I, frankly, think of it as one of the best series ever made. It is funny, it is dark, it is heartbreaking, and it is a top-notch production in every way imaginable. There isn’t a weak spot or a weak season here. This show just got better and better until it came to a satisfying end last year. Gilligan, Gould, Odenkirk, Seehorn, and everyone else involved with this show should be proud. A masterpiece from beginning to end. You owe it to yourself to watch this show.
But what was your favorite show of 2022? Feel free to write your own list in the comments below.
– Article, Reviews, and List by Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen.