A great year for television.
2022, the year prestige television well & truly surpassed films in terms of sheer quantity & overall quality – this feels like a true golden age for the small screen.
Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.
The types of series we’re getting are breaking the mould in terms of storytelling and structure, ranging from The Bear’s fast-paced 6-episode run, to Andor’s epic 12-episode season, spanning almost 3 entirely different mini-movies within.
10. The White Lotus/Only Murders In The Building
It’s cheating to have tied places, but with so much TV it was hard to cull. These two series pair well, because they both improved with the second seasons, started with a mystery that viewers could eagerly try to solve, and were set in destinations on rich people could afford to be.
9. The Boys/Peacemaker
Again, another tied place but in both cases, if you liked one then try the other. The Boys is literally going from strength to strength, with characters scarier for their personalities thantheir powers. Peacemaker is a spin-off of James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel, which elevated a fairly unlikeablecharacter into an unlikely favourite. Given that Gunn now helms the entire DCU, it’s exciting to see where he’ll take it from here.
8. Slow Horses
This is old-school television executed perfectly. Based on a series of novels by Mick Herron, about a failed group of MI5 agents, who have been outcast to their own division. It’s elevated by an all-star ensemble of English veterans like Gary Oldman & Kristen Scott Thomas, as well as exciting new talent, like Olivia Cooke & Jack Lowden. Series one & two filmed back-to-back, a testament to their confidence in the production.
It took me a long time to build up the mettle to watch Euphoria. I have kids and wasn’t sure I wanted to see how bad things could get for the next generation. But once the teen melodrama of it all sinks in, you can really start to enjoy the sheer talent & depravity on display. Zendaya deserves every award she’s given, as a drug-addicted teen struggling to get by, it’s worth watching for her performance alone.
This started slow but by about halfway through the season when the stakes become a little clearer, is such gripping television, made in the most stylish way. Directed by Ben Stiller, it’s got plenty of obscure humour and gets incredibly dark at times. The season finale is pure thrills, and without a release date set for season 2, who knows when we’ll get more answers.
It’s sad knowing that there’s no more Atlanta to look forward to, with the series ending after four terrific seasons. Many will argue that season three lost its way, but Atlanta was never tied to the traditional rules of episodic television, and that’s what made it so refreshing. With every season and episode you had no idea what you were about to see, and somehow it managed to peak in the very last instalment.
For a comedy series, Barry is so bloody dark. This season delves deeper into Barry’s PTSD and depression, which makes it even heavier. What lifts the third season into prestige level, is not only Bill Hader’s incredible lead performance, but also his work behind the camera.
3. Reservation Dogs
This kept creeping higher on the list with every episode. While the first season of this Taika Waititi-produced series took some time to find its feet, the second season patiently deals with core central themes of loss, family & tradition. It’s like a mature version of Bluey, given that there are as many glassy-eyed moments as there are laughs.
2. The Bear
This show became the unlikely phenomenon of the year.Short, sharp, smart, funny, dramatic & surprisingly intense… it crammed so much into such a short season of only 30-minute episodes. The detail is authentic, and the characters are as meaty as the dishes they produce.
Who would have picked this as the greatest Star Wars property since the original trilogy? Helmed by Tony Gilroy, who wrote the original Bourne Trilogy and Michael Clayton, he brings his whip-smart dialogue and genius plot staging to a galaxy far, far away. There are no Jedis or Siths here, just humans, aliens and robots either trying to orchestrate an uprising against the Empire or simply struggling to survive.Even after the culminating peaks that happen every 3 or 4 episodes, it somehow manages to stick the landing, with a finale set piece that doesn’t rely on cameos or cliché cliff hangers. If you didn’t watch Andor because of its disappointing predecessors, in Obi-Wan and Boba Fett, think of this as third time’s a charm.
The Patient, The Old Man (the first 3 episodes only), Winning Time, Outer Range, The Dropout, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, House Of The Dragon, Ozark
The Walking Dead, Moon Knight
Pachinko, Better Call Saul, We Own This City, Abbot Elementary, Bad Sisters, The Rings Of Power, Tokyo Vice, Minx