Best/Worst Television Series 2022
Updated: Jan 22
By Derek May:
It's been a while, I know, since we presented our annual wrap-up grading the entertainment quality of the year—but we're back now!
I felt a particular compulsion to post my thoughts against given the widely varied selections I'm seeing across the net. I'm not so much posting in contradiction of anything but more to give our readers a more eclectic curation of what is out there. Tastes naturally vary, and certainly I've made an attempt to see as much as I could. But what I present here, as from my admittedly subjective opinion, is what I hope sparks you to either give something a chance you might not have considered OR to save you some precious time on those not worth it.
Please check out the lists below and see if one of your favorites to love or hate made the cut.
And be sure to also check out the Best and Worst in Film 2022.
Best Television Series
#1 - Reservation Dogs
One of the most brilliant, original shows on television, this series has you crying one moment and laughing hysterically the next. Somehow, it manages to balance drama, comedy, tragedy, and absurdity into one delicious mélange. Even while providing a window into modern Indigenous American culture, it never fails to feel universal and accessible.
#2 - Interview with the Vampire
Easily the most faithful adaptation of Anne Rice’s literary series despite the inspired idea to move the timelines up for a more modern sensibility. Taking just enough liberties to keep familiar fans guessing and engaged, it’s the relationships brought to life by these amazing actors that cements the journey. And we finally get a proper Lestat in all his vicious glory (sorry, Tom) thanks to Sam Reid’s flawless performance, and Bailey Bass breaks out with a thunderous arrival as clever Claudia.
#3 - Peacemaker
It was a dubious gamble to center a show around a dirtbag previously left for dead, but maestro James Gunn stays true to form by turning a-holes into heroes. The high-wire act to keep titular Christopher Smith heavily flawed yet understandable, relatable, and dare we say sympathetic is a wonder to behold. Peacemaker shouldn’t work, and yet it absolutely does.
#4 - Reacher
Another adaptation that redeems a previous Tom Cruise character (huh, how about that?), we finally see the Reacher of the novels in all his massive glory. Alan Ritchson combines brains and brawn to solve a mystery both personal and political. Clever, brutish, and fun, this series satisfies on every level and leaves you ready for round 2.
#5 - Stranger Things
It’s been a minute since we last saw this band of 80s misfits, but the series roars back with one of its most compelling seasons yet. Taking the story into exciting new directions with a new and dangerous villain, the past and future are colliding, testing what we know about each character and moving everyone forward on the board. And let’s not forget the addition of a few new friends that have already carved out their place within the zeitgeist.
#6 - Welcome to Wrexham
You don’t have to be a fan of soccer (sorry, football) to get into this dramatic documentary series following Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney as they struggle to lift a Welsh team out of the lower-league depths and back to prominence. But as we’re constantly reminded, it’s not really about how the team performs as much as how a small Welsh town is reinvigorated spiritually and economically by the attempt. Well, that and the budding bromance between Ryan and Rob—every show needs a love story, after all.
#7 - The Boys
As long as this show continues to tackle issues from misogyny to the dangers of right-wing propaganda to the seductive abuse of power in clever and honest ways, it can get away with all the octopus-loving, blood-spattering, coke-snorting debauchery it likes.