The ten best TV shows of 2022

I didn’t realize until I tried to put together a list of the top 10 shows of the first half of 2022 just how much big TV we’re enjoying right now. It’s not just that there’s too much television; There’s too much great television and I, for my part, hate to miss it.

I could have easily put together a list of the top 20 shows of the year, so far, but I didn’t, because criticism is all about not being on the lists so people can be angry against you ! A word about this particular list: The original (linked) reviews were written by the staff, but the list is mine, just so you know who to get mad at. Also, we didn’t write any new blurbs because blurb writing is hell and nobody reads blurbs anyway. They just skim through them looking for omissions, so some of the blurbs are from recaps and some from early reviews of shows before we knew how good they would be. Feel free to click on the links and read the full reviews!

ten. Pachinko — There are many diasporas around the world, each of them unique, but sharing a number of commonalities. These mass migrations are usually triggered by prolonged and brutal hardship, often due to war, colonization or the horrible combination of the two. In Pachinkothe cross-generational epic drama based on Min Jin Lee’s bestselling novel of the same name, we see this specific identity portrayed by a Korean family over an 80-year period as they pursue their survival and, over time, attempt to thrive as it remains unmoored from their homeland, creating fragile but lingering roots in unexpected places. -Kaleena Rivera

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9. Heart stroke – Everyone should be able to see themselves in the flickering lights of their screens and not just as outcasts or weirdos – although that’s fine too – but also as cool kids, the people you want to hang out with. They need to understand that their feelings about love – and who that love is for – are not just normal but amazing and wonderful and that they should be incredibly proud of who they are and who they love and that it is never acceptable to say that it is not. OK to talk about it. That’s what Heart stroke Is. It’s phenomenal, and everything about it lives up to its title. —RD

8. Under the banner of heavenUnder the banner of heaven is a solid murder drama, especially for fans of real detective or true crime, or for those interested in Mormonism and cults. It’s a dark series, but Garfield brings some light and thought to it while subverting the toxic masculine tropes we often associate with these shows, all the more ironic given his character’s place in a patriarchal religion. . It’s a beautiful adaptation and fascinating exploration of a religion that’s only been around 75 years longer than the state of Utah. —RD

seven. Our flag means death – Humor, while not groundbreaking, finds unique rhythms along the way, with toxic masculinity being the frequent target. The Bonnet crew are hesitant to make their own pirate flag as they fear the stitching will be too feminine, but they are also hesitant to launch their mutiny plans as they really like the way Bonnet reads them bedtime stories. It all falls squarely into a sort of mildly amusing laugh zone most of the time. Where the show picks up steam, however, is when it applies complications to the formula. — Tori Preson

6. You better call SaulYou better call Saul is still good for a laugh once in a while – Saul taking advantage of his false Jewish identity at the country club is offensive and extravagant behavior, but “it’s wall to wall mayonnaise!” made me laugh – but the anxiety-inducing countdown has officially begun when it comes to uncovering the fate of those who have no place in the world of breaking Bad. —KR

5. Umbrella Academy – The world is ending, and the super-powered siblings of The Umbrella Academy are the only ones who can stop it… if they stop drinking and arguing and generally fucking long enough to concentrate. It’s the premise of the hit Netflix series, rinsed and repeated with each season – and it’s unlikely to keep getting better… Even when the show’s plot gets a little too repetitive at times, the brothers and delightfully dysfunctional Hargreeves sisters provide all the reasons you need to keep watching. — TP

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4. Abbott Elementary School – The catchy writing and cast chemistry are already generating a healthy dose of buzz on social media. It seems to position itself as a comfort watch despite the difficulties of the trade. There’s plenty of material that feels extremely familiar here, including sweet substitute teacher Gregory Eddie (Tyler James Williams), who is clearly the other half of what is sure to be a “will/won’t they” dynamic. with Janine, who so happens to be in an unsatisfying long-term relationship (you’d be forgiven for thinking about Pam and Jim with this scenario). But so far, none of the more recognizable elements are to the show’s detriment. There’s too much promise here, and even if there wasn’t, Walter and Ralph’s pairing alone deserves a half-hour sitcom. —KR

3. This will hurtThis will hurt is an authentic, unflinching look at what it’s like to work in a British public hospital, but it’s not all dark. There’s plenty of dark humor and pathos to liven up the harsh reality, and it’s almost impossible not to encourage these neglected doctors and nurses who are given so little and who ask for so much. There’s a lot of heartache, but also a few moments of joy, while Whishaw and Ambika Mod are so engrossing that the 45-minute episodes feel like 15. It’s a remarkable series not only for what it says it but for the way she says it, but above all for the efficiency with which it highlights the real human issues of medicine. This is not a show about attractive doctors fucking in a broom closet. It’s about what it looks like when the health care system virtually fails the people it needs most.

2. the bear — FX’s latest series deals with anxiety – among other emotions, many of which are overwhelming in nature – to the point of causing some viewers to hesitate. Most of the episodes, with the exception of an incredible children’s birthday party, take place mainly in the kitchen. If you’ve never worked in one, it’s no surprise that these scenes cause some anxiety. Loud noises, dangerous tools, and constant near-collisions as multiple bodies move in and out of the notoriously cramped spaces found in the average restaurant (take a photo every time “behind” or “corner” is shouted) don’t make up for relaxing viewing. On the other hand, if you’ve ever worked in the restaurant business, chances are it still causes some anxiety – a scene involving an online ordering system spitting out dozens and dozens of tickets brought me on the verge of hyperventilation. Combine all of this with the manifestations of grief and unease that come with encroaching gentrification, and you have a one-of-a-kind pressure cooker with tasty results. —KR

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1. Breakup “What if you, for all intents and purposes, were a whole person at work?” Free from distractions from your personal life, but able to go home without thinking about the workday while you do laundry, make plans with loved ones, or prepare meals. It sounds wonderful in theory, but seeing it in practice in the workplace thriller, Breakup, forces me to reconsider my position. Because in this not-too-distant future, being able to have two separate existences means undergoing the rather permanent process of “separation”, resulting in half your life’s complete unconsciousness, and, with it, a ton of horrific implications and too many mysteries to count. —KR

Honorable mentions (in no particular order): Mr Jack, Old man, hacks, dark winds, someone somewhere, We own this town, the after party, Reach, slow horses, Naughty, The peacemaker.


Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You can email him here, follow him on Twitteror listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.



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