2022 Was a Ridiculously Good 12 months for TV. These Are the Finest Reveals


It was a implausible yr for tv. I most likely mentioned that final yr — and probably the yr earlier than — however info are info. Tv has by no means been higher. 

This yr, nevertheless, was particularly compelling for its selection. Massive-budget reveals like Home of the Dragon delivered, however we additionally received compelling sci-fi with The Peripheral, genius comedies like Unhealthy Sisters and subversive anime like Spy X Household. Even the down-in-the-doldrums Star Wars franchise received itself a real masterpiece in Andor

So, with out additional ado and in no explicit order, listed here are the CNET crew’s favourite reveals of 2022.

Learn extra: CNET’s favourite motion pictures of 2022



I’ve fantasized about dwelling within the Star Wars universe for many years (who hasn’t?) and Andor reveals what it’d truly be like. On this present, you may neglect that this can be a galaxy run by an area wizard that shoots lightning from his fingers.

As a substitute, you may be centered on the grinding actuality of life underneath an oppressive regime’s boot, the hazard of attempting to climb its company ladder and the ability of collective motion in dealing with overwhelming odds.

Attending to comply with Diego Luna on the trail to changing into his morally grey Rogue One hero is a deal with, however Andor’s actual joys are the unseen tales of rebels, Imperials and one unnervingly obsessed house cop. Andor is one of the best Star Wars story since The Empire Strikes Again.

—Sean Keane

Home of the Dragon

A mid shot of Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra standing outdoors with a crowd of people (who are blurred out)

Ollie Upton/HBO

Home of the Dragon was probably the most nice TV shock of 2022. Sure, the present has pacing points and a few episodes had been manner too darkish. However suppose again to the start of the yr, when Home of the Dragon was a thriller. Contemplating the foul style Recreation of Thrones’ eighth season left in lots of mouths, there was an simple inclination to suppose Home of the Dragon would inherit the worst attributes from its predecessor and few of its strengths. 

Home of the Dragon is completely different sufficient from Recreation of Thrones to face by itself, however comparable sufficient to remind you of why you liked Recreation of Thrones within the first place. That is a giant win.

—Dan Van Growth

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners' main character broods


Some reveals simply don’t have any proper being good. 

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners – an anime primarily based on an formidable, buggy online game the web dunked on for months – should not be the most effective TV reveals of 2022, however it’s. Simply. 

The top results of a collab between recreation developer CD Projekt Pink and Studio Set off, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a neon-drenched train in pure hyperstyle. It is nearly as good as any anime I’ve watched within the final decade. A compact, well-told story concerning the penalties of poverty and the pursuit of pure capital in any respect prices. I believe I will be watching and rewatching this masterpiece for years to return.

—Mark Serrels

Unhealthy Sisters

Five sisters standing in a church with other funeral attendees

Apple TV Plus

This excellent Irish black comedy comes from the pen of prolific sitcom author Sharon Horgan (Pulling, Disaster, Motherland). 4 sisters plot to kill their brother-in-law Jean-Paul after he mistreats every of them, together with his spouse Grace. Jean-Paul is probably one of many best villains on TV — his pet title for Grace, “Mammy,” will hang-out your days, lengthy after you down this insane cocktail of homicide thriller comedy thriller. An absolute gem.

—Jen Bisset

The White Lotus, season 2 

Midshot of Greg and Tanya standing outside a hotel


HBO closed out the yr with seven weeks of candy, candy schadenfreude, making me lengthy for the proverbial water cooler so I might dissect every The White Lotus character’s chance of dying. This season’s rich-people playground: a resort in Sicily with requisite crashing waves on craggy shores, crumbling palazzi, and “influential native households.”

Throw in a few enterprising intercourse employees, some spouse-swapping and drug induced foibles, and you bought your self some appointment tv. Not solely did the sophomore season of The White Lotus deliver the denizens of Twitter collectively in scrumptious shared suspense, it was additionally simply a particularly effectively made entry into the status TV canon, with onion-y layers of subtext and a humiliation of Emmy-worthy performances.

—Karisa Langlo

The Bear

The cast of The Bear in a kitchen, looking weary


I’ve by no means labored within the meals business, and The Bear confirmed I made the best resolution. This frantic Hulu/Disney Plus slice-of-life drama performed like an prolonged panic assault, but managed to even be humorous and in the end heartwarming. Anchored by successful performances from Ayo Edebiri, an incendiary Ebon Moss-Bachrach, and Jeremy Allen White’s tight white T-shirt, The Bear irresistibly cooked up a portrait of a piece household you could not assist rooting for. Sure chef!

—Richard Trenholm 


Adam Scott and Britt Lower in Severance

Apple TV Plus

Within the coronary heart of an Omicron winter that eliminated me from household and pals but once more, as I wrestled with emotions of dwelling a distant work life and coming again to an workplace that felt alien to me, Severance arrived like a psychological tuning fork to resonate with every little thing I wanted. 

Apple TV Plus’ breakout crucial hit present received me from the primary trailers: its bleak, absurd, retro type, which jogged my memory of every little thing from Netflix’s Maniac to Charlie Kaufman motion pictures like Being John Malkovich. The thought of employees discovering their dwelling and work lives severed from one another did not ground me (I’ve a excessive ceiling for weirdness). However the tone, the relentless dedication to the unfolding thriller, is unforgettably hypnotic. I performed the online game The Stanley Parable: Extremely Deluxe shortly after, and located it spoke to comparable obsessions: a way of time vanishing, life repeating, psychological anguish and combating repression and despair. 

Additionally, Severance is enjoyable. The solid is stellar, and I might watch all of them without end. It is slyly humorous, way over I believed it could be. The ending of season 1 let me down solely as a result of I used to be prepared for this to go a lot additional. I assume that is what season 2 is for.

—Scott Stein

The Peripheral

Chloe Grace Moretz in The Peripheral

Prime Video

Some science fiction reveals disappoint me. As a lifelong William Gibson fan who’s learn all his work, I anticipated The Peripheral, an adaption of Gibson’s 2015 ebook that is a part of a three-volume trilogy, to let me down. It did not.

The Prime Video collection is every little thing I might need: disorienting storylines,  unusual close to and farther-future settings, and loads of large concepts (robotic telepresence, technological time journey) made this must-view TV for me. The thought of individuals leaping into different our bodies utilizing VR-like telepresence units is one thing I’ve obsessed over since Avatar, and nonetheless feels forward of its time. 

However The Peripheral will get loads odder than that. My spouse received hooked, too, which isn’t any simple feat. We do not all the time agree on reveals, however The Peripheral works as a mirrored image on our cracked, damaged present world, fears of disasters but to return, and likewise serves as , tangled sci-fi action-thriller. I used to be really unhappy to be left on a Season One cliffhanger, however Season Two already guarantees to be very attention-grabbing. If you would like extra, simply go learn Gibson’s two books which can be already accessible.

—Scott Stein

Abbott Elementary 

Abbott Elementary title screen


All hail, Quinta Brunson, creator, star and Emmy-winning author of this hit comedy. Set at a Philadelphia public college that is predominantly Black, the mockumentary collection follows a handful of academics and their social media influencer of a principal (Janelle James) who’re simply attempting to do one of the best for his or her children with the very restricted assets they’ve. Sheryl Lee Ralph, who performs veteran trainer Barbara, additionally received an Emmy this yr. (And if there’s an award for finest acceptance speech ever, give her that one too.) Abbott Elementary is that uncommon present that is hilarious and heartwarming. Simply attempt to sustain with all of the popular culture references. Plus, Gritty visitor stars. Sufficient mentioned. 

—Anne Dujmovic

The Final Film Stars 

Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman


Within the ’80s, Paul Newman launched into a memoir mission. Buddy and screenwriter Stewart Stern carried out interviews with the actor and people closest to him, together with spouse Joanne Woodward, administrators, well-known pals and even his ex-wife. Newman later deserted the mission and burned the audiotapes, however 1000’s of pages of transcripts survived. This six-part documentary collection about legendary actors Newman and Woodward makes use of these transcripts to take a loving but unvarnished take a look at the couple, their private and non-private lives, and their 50-year marriage. 

Actor Ethan Hawke, who directed the collection, brilliantly weaves movie clips along with voiceovers from the likes of George Clooney (reciting Newman’s phrases) and Laura Linney (studying as Woodward) amongst different well-known actors. Hawke additionally contains excerpts of his Zoom interviews with the actors he recruited, in addition to the kids of the long-lasting Hollywood couple, whereas he was placing the collection collectively. The phrases “compelling” and “Zoom conferences” aren’t phrases you’d anticipate to see in the identical sentence. However these conferences are simply that, giving viewers a window into Hawke’s artistic course of as he wrestles with methods to sort out a mission of this magnitude and through a pandemic too. 

—Anne Dujmovic


Bill Hader as Barry


After I first began watching Barry, I believed the objective of government producers Invoice Hader and Alec Berg was to create a wacky comedy a couple of hitman attempting to change into an actor. Now I am satisfied Barry is likely one of the finest reveals on tv. 

In the course of the present’s run, The Ringer had a weekly recap with Hader on The Status TV Podcast. You would pay attention Hader breaking down complicated pictures and deep material virtually nonchalantly. He broke down his inspiration for sure parts of the story, discussing how writers on the present would resolve plot puzzles, whereas ensuring the present was nonetheless humorous all through. Watching season 3 had me saying to myself, time and time once more, that this present should not be this good — however it’s. 

—Oscar Gonzales

SAS: Rogue Heroes

Title screen for SAS Rogue Heroes


I used to be laid up sick a few weeks in the past, so a present about World Conflict II commandos from the man who wrote Peaky Blinders was a wonderfully timed responsible pleasure. Rogue Heroes took the rousing heroics of Saturday afternoon classics like The Nice Escape and The Weapons of Navarone and mashed it up with the anarchic vitality of Inglourious Basterds plus AC/DC on the soundtrack. I smashed the entire collection in a day. Sure, I’m a middle-aged dad, why do you ask?

—Richard Trenholm 

Extraordinary Lawyer Woo 

Splash screen for Extraordinary Attorney Woo


Magical. That will sound ridiculous, however that is what involves thoughts once I take into consideration this South Korean authorized drama/comedy collection. While you enter the world of Woo Younger-woo, you enter a world the place a captivating, quirky younger lady who has autism spectrum dysfunction is compelled to problem individuals and society’s thought of “regular” each single day. The magic comes from watching Woo Younger-woo be herself — she makes errors, she misses social cues, she solutions questions actually, she follows routines that consolation her however annoy others. She additionally wins case after case as a result of she’s an excellent and unique thinker with a robust sense of justice who cares deeply about individuals — a counter to a persistent stereotype that people with ASD are emotionally disconnected. 

There’s additionally magic in watching her household, pals and colleagues slowly overcome their prejudices and, to the collection’ creators credit score, change into characters as totally fleshed out as our heroine. At a time when it appears the unhealthy guys win greater than they need to, watching Woo Younger-woo win authorized battles, and pals, simply makes you are feeling good. The 16-episode season 1, with a soundtrack that jogs my memory of the music from Pixar’s Wall-E, was one of the vital in style worldwide collection on Netflix in 2022. Watch it with the subtitles on. You need to hear from these characters in their very own voices.

—Connie Guglielmo


Splash screen for Netflix's Wednesday


If, after the Addams Household motion pictures and ’60s TV collection, you felt Wednesday deserved a present of her personal, you are not being kooky (or mysterious or spooky). Directed by Tim Burton, the eight-part Netflix teen melodrama collection follows the nihilistic Wednesday’s adventures as she’s expelled from one college (her eighth in 5 years) and strikes on to Nevermore Academy, her dad and mom’ alma mater. Whereas the college is crammed with outcasts and monsters of all varieties, Wednesday (a task Jenna Ortega kills) nonetheless manages to face out together with her pale pores and skin and black uniform. “She’s allergic to paint,” explains her mom, Morticia, performed by Catherine Zeta-Jones. 

Wednesday’s flat look and clear and witty disdain for her friends will maintain you in stitches, however there is a thriller to unravel: one thing is killing off college students and townsfolk within the small city of close by Jericho. The entire household performs supporting roles, together with Factor, the disembodied hand that may now roam freely as Wednesday’s sidekick sleuth. Christina Ricci, who performed Wednesday within the Addams Household motion pictures of the Nineties, returns to the story as Marylin Thornhill, the college’s solely “normie,” or nonmagical trainer, who serves as Wednesday’s dorm mom and someday mentor.

—Steven Musil

Higher Name Saul

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul


This Breaking Unhealthy spinoff took a one-note facet character — drug cartel lawyer Saul Goodman — via six seasons of more and more prison mayhem to create one of the vital multifaceted TV characters of the last decade. In his final season, Saul, aka James McGill (aka Slippin’ Jimmy, aka Viktor St. Claire, aka Gene Takavic) lastly met up with Walter White and Jesse, mentioned farewell to Kim Wexler, Mike Ehrmentraut and Howard Hamlin, and obtained his final judgment in a collection finale that hit all the proper notes.  

Higher Name Saul’s ultimate season delivered twists, suspense and a effectively executed decision that dipped expertly forwards and backwards between a number of timelines earlier than, throughout and after Breaking Unhealthy. An understated flip by comedy legend Carol Burnett as an aged mark who brings about Saul’s downfall was considered one of a number of deft visitor performances this season. A love story disguised as against the law thriller, Higher Name Saul was all about Jimmy and Kim ultimately and the present’s inevitable, heartbreaking conclusion put a becoming bow on their absolute catastrophe of a relationship.

—Peter Butler 

Magpie Murders

Two characters in Magpie Murders

Prime Video

Should you’re on the lookout for a whodunit accomplished proper, do this pleasant time-traveling homicide thriller primarily based on Anthony Horowitz’s 2016 best-selling ebook of the identical title. Its story-within-a-story format investigates the suspicious loss of life of profitable thriller author Alan Conway whereas concurrently unfolding occasions in Conway’s newest novel, titled Magpie Murders. You get to play detective for greater than a single case right here, with impressively interwoven storytelling seamlessly connecting the parallel and more and more intersecting timelines. 

The six-episode collection is grippingly suspenseful and splendidly witty. Plus, a part of the motion takes place in a Nineteen Fifties English village that will harbor darkish secrets and techniques, however has the type of small-town appeal that makes you need to wander its quaint tree-lined streets.

—Leslie Katz

Derry Ladies 

The cast of Derry Girls


Derry Ladies premiered its third and ultimate season in October, so now you can binge watch the complete award-winning collection in per week like I did. On the floor, this can be a teen sitcom a couple of group of highschool women within the Nineties, dwelling within the small city of Derry, North Eire, on the finish of The Troubles. Most teen women in TV reveals (the fabulous Wednesday Addams apart) are portrayed as self-absorbed, foolish and clueless, solely caring about being in style and courting boys. Collection creator Lisa McGee drew on her personal upbringing to ship a easy message: Yeah. So what? 

The Derry Ladies are loyal, trustworthy and infrequently sensible past their years. They’re additionally humorous as hell, with the quick episodes (lower than half-hour aside from the finale) specializing in one ridiculous scenario after one other. The group attend a Catholic college run by the weary, sarcastic and superb Sister Michael, who grew to become considered one of my favourite characters. That is one other one the place you are going to want the subtitles on. They’re talking English, however I used to be flummoxed by the accents.

—Connie Guglielmo

The Previous Man 

Title screen for The Old Man


This has been yr for reveals about spies of a sure age. Over the summer time we received season 1 of The Previous Man, starring the formidable Jeff Bridges, with ever-excellent John Lithgow as a foil. Bridges performs a 70-ish retired CIA agent and man of motion haunted by his previous and compelled again into the sport — and he proves that he is nonetheless received the chops for it. (We additionally meet his youthful self in prolonged flashbacks.) 

It is a tangled story, in fact, with tendrils winding tighter and tighter via his private {and professional} life. It tends towards the somber and will get talky at occasions — like, philosophy seminar talky about deception, obligation, id, household — however there’s loads of motion throughout the seven episodes, too.

—Jon Skillings

Gradual Horses

Splash screen for Slow Horses

Apple TV

The place The Previous Man takes us to areas throughout the US and elsewhere, particularly Afghanistan, Gradual Horses largely confines itself to London. It provides us a shabbier set of spies as effectively, in profession purgatory as a result of they tousled large time, underneath the do-nothing management of the brilliantly boozy, rumpled and acid-tongued Gary Oldman. However they stumble their manner right into a mission, begin uncovering secrets and techniques and present they’re to not be dismissed so frivolously in spite of everything, to the chagrin of the higher-ups at shiny MI5 headquarters, together with a crisp Kristin Scott Thomas. Season 2 kicked off originally of December, and if that you must make amends for season 1 from earlier this yr, it is a fast and really pleasant six episodes.

—Jon Skillings


Greg Davies and Alex Horne

Channel 4

Having simply aired its 14th season, Taskmaster has been considered one of my favourite reveals for years now and I’m nonetheless continually rewatching all of the episodes on a repetitive cycle due to how a lot it makes me giggle. The multi-award-winning present sees a panel of 5 comedians from the British comedy scene participate in a wide range of weird duties (“Eat probably the most watermelon” and “Impress this mayor” to call however two) which can be then scored and hilariously critiqued by host Greg Davies, assisted by collection creator Alex Horne. 

Not like most panel reveals, Taskmaster sees the identical set of contestants participate in all 10 episodes all through every collection. It not solely helps you are feeling really invested within the journey towards the ultimate, but it surely actually permits you to get to know the entire solid alongside the best way — discovering out you like some comics beforehand unknown to you (for me, Fern Brady, Chris Ramsey or Sarah Kendall) or getting a deeper appreciation of the weird minds of these you already cherished (Bob Mortimer, Rhod Gilbert, Sally Philips). 

Whereas it is actually foolish and typically puerile in its nature, it is also extraordinarily good-natured, all the time encouraging you to giggle with the crew at each their successes and frequent embarrassing failures. It is why I’ve discovered the present to be such type of escapism that by no means fails to carry my temper and make me cry with laughter. As a result of how will you not giggle at a person attempting so arduous to fart on cue that he dislodges a hemorrhoid on TV? For a bonus, try the companion podcast, hosted by Collection 9 winner and excellent comic Ed Gamble, that analyzes every episode with a earlier contestant or associated particular visitor. Just like the present, it is laugh-out-loud humorous and an on the spot temper lifter.

—Andrew Lanxon 

Spy X Household

Characters in Spy X Family


An anime a couple of slick, ruthless spy, a violent murderer and a bit of lady with psychic powers make for probably the most stunning and heartwarming present I’ve seen in a very long time. The present, which has the three major characters arrange a pretend household for infiltration functions, takes a playful take a look at the double lives they stay and the way, regardless of all of it, they’re in a position to construct a heat and supportive household unit out of the facade. 

Spy X Household blends and twists a number of genres — household, comedy, motion, thriller — in ways in which should not work, however completely does. That is the proper gateway present for anybody intimidated by anime — there are not any over-the-top vitality blasts, large robots or different tropes of the medium. The present is offered to stream on Hulu and Crunchyroll.

—Roger Cheng




Heartstopper is the LGBT present I want existed once I was an adolescent, and that is an opinion I am constructive many different homosexual adults share. Its tremendous candy, PG-rated tackle a homosexual love story leans into optimism whereas together with loads of thematic prospers that harken again to the unique internet comedian by Alice Oseman.

I really like that this is not a coming-out story for major protagonist Charlie (Joe Locke), however one about how he develops a friendship along with his classroom crush Nick (Package Connor) that evolves into one thing extra over the course of the season. Their relationship — and different relationships that develop of their wider circle of pals — is handled as one thing they’re discovering and navigating. Much more encouraging for younger audiences, almost each grownup character launched within the first season, whether or not father or mother or trainer, shows compassion and help for the principle solid.

Main bonus factors to the soundtrack, whose playlist of bouncy punk, rock and pop has fully taken over my Apple Music Replay checklist for 2022

Whereas there are actually many LGBT motion pictures and TV reveals getting a large launch on streaming providers like Netflix and in cinema, I am merely obsessive about all of the joyful beats Heartstopper hits.

—Mike Sorrentino

Star Trek: Decrease Decks


Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

This one was a shock for me. I am not a Star Trek fan by any means — I noticed the Chris Pine model once I was youthful and preferred it, but it surely did not spark something. However let me inform you, Decrease Decks truly received me curious concerning the Star Trek universe. It is approachable, has an unimaginable solid and delivers a hilarious tackle Star Trek. The tales take very acquainted Star Trek/house exploration conditions and present them from the angle of the cadets from the decrease elements of Star Trek ships. The collection reveals the grunt work, the forms and rivalries and I am laughing each episode — not simply because the writing is nice, however as a result of the present makes enjoyable of the Star Trek universe in such a manner that even somebody who is aware of subsequent to nothing about that world can respect it.  

—Alexandra Ready 

Fleishman Is in Bother

Jesse Eisenberg as Toby Fleishman stands in a doorway with one hand on the frame.

Michael Parmelee/FX

Today, there is no higher tv style than the bait-and-switch. Since each story has supposedly already been informed, reveals like Hulu’s Fleishman Is In Bother, primarily based on the favored novel of the identical title, have turned the tables and defied viewers expectations in probably the most satisfying of how.

The titular Fleishman is both a divorced NYC liver physician navigating his newfound courting success on “the apps,” or his ex-wife, who has gone lacking. All of it comes collectively underneath the judgmental eye and sardonic narration of Toby’s buddy Libby, who finally ends up being rather more integral than she appears.

—Karisa Langlo

The Provide

Miles Teller and Matthew Goode star in a Paramount Plus drama about the creation of epic gangster movie The Godfather.

Miller Mobley/Paramount Plus

Fifty years after The Godfather’s launch, the film and the mystique surrounding it nonetheless captivate audiences. The Provide presents a dramatized behind-the-scenes take a look at the battle to get the film made. Based mostly on producer Albert S. Ruddy’s expertise making the film, The Provide is a 10-part restricted collection on Paramount Plus that usually weaves a lot of the film’s plot into the TV collection. Not coincidentally, Paramount can be the studio that made the 1972 hit film. It is also the studio that nearly did not make the film everyone knows. 

Ruddy, a former laptop programmer on the Rand Company, is handed The Godfather by legendary movie producer Robert Evans, introduced again to life spot on by Matthew Goode, who typically places the screws to Ruddy and director Francis Ford Coppola over casting selections. (Marlon Brando was a monetary wild card, and Al Pacino was too quick for Evans’ tastes.) Then there’s the Mob. They make it clear in no unsure phrases they do not need the film made, till Coppola agrees to make adjustments to the ultimate script. 

Apart from, to Coppola the artist, it isn’t a mob film however “a metaphor for American capitalism.” It is also price tuning in to see what transpires with Frank Sinatra and the notorious horse head.

—Steven Musil

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