Culture
best tv shows 2022

Netflix/Hulu/HBO/ABC/Leah Romano

We have to give 2021 its props for blessing us with shows (or, as we like to call them, pandemic-era distractions) like Mare of Easttown, WandaVision, and The White Lotus. But 2022 is already posing some steep competition in the TV department: With a Games of Thrones spin-off, Bridgerton’s long-awaited second season, and several buzzy new prestige dramas on the way, this year’s slate is keeping our eyes glued to the screen.

From classic revivals to new installments of our favorite series, here are the shows we’re looking forward to (and already watching) in 2022.

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Euphoria Season 2

After an almost three-year wait, we’ve reunited with TV’s most popular—and perhaps wildest—high schoolers. Starring Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, and more, this provocative series takes another hard look at teenage addiction, sexuality, identity, and relationships. With maybe a little less glitter this time around. —Erica Gonzales, senior culture editor

Watch Now on HBO Max

Ozark Season 4

Netflix’s beloved crime drama, co-starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as Marty and Wendy Byrde, has its flaws, but there’s no denying its slate of characters are torturously thrilling to watch. In season 4, the Byrdes are finally eyeing an escape from the Ozarks money-laundering business they’ve built since season 1, but a new threat from the Navarro cartel—and a few dangers closer to home—threaten to derail their efforts. —Lauren Puckett-Pope, associate editor

Watch Now on Netflix

Abbott Elementary

A delightfully warm but sharp take on the joys and perils of public school education, cable mockumentary Abbott Elementary is one of the first surprise hits of 2022. Created by and starring Quinta Brunson, the show revitalizes the deadpan approach of Parks and Recreation and The Office to follow a chronically under-funded Philadelphia school and its nevertheless determined teachers. —LPP

Watch Now on Hulu

Peacemaker

John Cena suits back up as Peacemaker in this James Gunn-produced series. Like he did in The Suicide Squad, Cena is joining a black ops squad called “Project Butterfly” to defeat strange extraterrestrial creatures. But rest assured, there are still action-packed scenes, graphic violence, and dry humor, despite the show’s eccentric plotline. —Melanie Curry, editorial assistant

Watch Now on HBO Max

Pam & Tommy

This Hulu limited series is a wild ride that revisits how Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s infamous sex tape was stolen from their home and leaked in the late ‘90s. While the eight-episode project covers the former couple’s whirlwind relationship and the lawless early days of the internet, it also explores how we view privacy, celebrity culture, and how Anderson was treated as a sex symbol. —EG

Watch Feb. 2 On Hulu

Inventing Anna

If you, like most of the world, were riveted by journalist Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine story from the spring of 2018, welcome to the unabridged version, in television form. Shonda Rhimes’ newest Netflix drama has Julia Garner in the role of fake German heiress Anna Delvey, but it’s the characters around her—including Anna Chlumsky in the Jessica Pressler role, renamed Vivian Kent—who sharpen the edges of this juicy sure-to-be hit. —LPP

Watch Feb. 11 On Netflix

Bel-Air

We’re going back to Bel-Air, but Will Smith isn’t joining us on-screen this time. (Instead, he’ll be behind the scenes producing.) A reboot of the ‘90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, this Peacock series re-envisions the original show in a more serious, modern-day lens. With more drama than comedy this go-around, Bel-Air is sure to be a hit for new and old fans alike. Oh, and did we mention how the show has already been renewed for two more seasons? —MC

Watch Feb. 13 On Peacock

The Dropout

2022 seems to be the year of con artists on television, and Hulu’s The Dropout is no exception. Following Amanda Seyfried as disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, the series takes a psychological dive into what—and, perhaps, who—transformed Holmes from a promising Stanford student into a fraudster. —LPP

Watch March 3 On Hulu

Pieces of Her

Based on the book by Karin Slaughter, Pieces of Her stars the inimitable Toni Collette in a twisty thriller about Laura, a mother with a dangerous, violent (and as yet undiscovered) past. When a mass shooting at a mall forces Laura into action, her daughter realizes she has no idea who her mother really is. —LPP

Watch March 4 On Netflix

Outlander Season 6

The cult-favorite time-traveling series is finally back, this time with protagonists Jamie and Claire settled in North Carolina as the American Revolution peeks over the horizon. LPP

Watch March 6 On Starz

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

Samuel L. Jackson stars as the grizzled Ptolemy Grey in this adaptation of the 2010 book by Walter Mosely. At 91 years old, Ptolemy’s mind is beginning to slip away from him; his caretaker, the teenaged Robyn, is the only person on which he can rely. But when he’s granted the chance to briefly restore his memories, he has the unexpected opportunity to right a past wrong. —LPP

Watch March 11 On Apple TV+

WeCrashed

Based on the eponymous Wondery podcast, WeCrashed follows the rise and ultimate demise of WeWork “and the narcissists whose chaotic love made it all possible,” according to the synopsis. Starring as said narcissists are Jared Leto as the startup co-founder Adam Neumann and Anne Hathaway as his wife, Rebekah. —EG

Watch March 18 On Apple TV+

Atlanta Season 3

Donald Glover has finally answered our calls—Atlanta is returning for a third season this spring. Most of season 3’s storyline is under wraps, but there’s one thing we know for certain: Paper Boi’s team isn’t kicking it in ATL anymore, but living it up in Europe on tour. We know someone is going to fuck it up–whether it’s Earl, Alfred, or Darius remains to be seen. —MC

Watch March 24 On FX

Bridgerton Season 2

As we say goodbye to the Duke of Hastings, Daphne’s brother Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) takes center stage with his own romantic pursuits. His eyes are set on newcomer Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran), but her older sister Kate (Simone Ashley) questions his intentions and tries to break up their union. As Kate intervenes, though, she and Anthony end up getting closer than expected. —EG

Watch March 25 On Netflix

Pachinko

Best on Min Jin Lee’s bestselling epic novel of the same name, the big-budget series follows a single Korean family over four generations in the 20th century as they strive to make a life for themselves in Japan. Written by showrunner Soo Hugh, Pachinko features a handful of international talent, including Oscar winner Youn Yuh Jung and superstar Lee Minho.—EG

Watch March 25 On Apple TV+

Moon Knight

Desperate for some superhero content now that Hawkeye has ended? Enter Moon Knight. This original Marvel series on Disney+ follows an elite mercenary named Marc (Oscar Issac) who becomes possessed by the Egyptian God of the Moon. Only Marc, who has dissociative identity disorder, doesn’t realize he’s been possessed. Unlike the other Disney+ shows, Moon Knight is darker and grittier with serious Conjuring vibes. —MC

Watch March 30 On Disney+

The Girl From Plainville

Elle Fanning strikes an uncanny resemblance to Michelle Carter in this adaptation of the 2017 Esquire article “The Girl From Plainville,” which chronicled the infamous “texting suicide” case of that same year. We don’t know much about how the series will expand on the case, nor what tone it intends to strike, but if the make-up department alone looks that good, we can expect this to be a prestige hit. —LPP

Watch this Spring On Hulu

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Amazon is capitalizing on some of the most precious IP of the century in this Lord of the Rings prequel, set to follow the forging of the 19 so-called Lesser Rings, as well as Sauron’s infamous One Ring—which perhaps you’ve heard of before.—LPP

Watch September 2 on Amazon Prime Video

Ms. Marvel

Kamala Khan has practically begged for her own TV show since she first exploded onto the pages of Marvel Comics in 2013. Now, she’ll be the superhero behemoth’s first Muslim character to headline her own series. Newcomer Iman Vellani is set to play the charismatic fangirl with the super-sized fists. —LPP

Watch This Year On Disney+

Barry Season 3

Had you forgotten about Barry? I’d forgotten about Barry. To be honest, I’m glad I’d forgotten—that made the sheer joy of hearing the series is finally, finally returning all the more palpable. If you need a refresher, the dark comedy stars Bill Hader as the titular protagonist, a hitman attempting to switch up careers as an acting student in Los Angeles. The series is one of HBO’s funniest, yet it carries a surprising emotional weight—and a truly fabulous cast. —LPP

Watch This Year On HBO

Interview with the Vampire

Fans of True Blood and Vampire Diaries, this one’s for you. Based on Anne Rice’s novel of the same name, Interview with the Vampire follows Louis de Pointe du Lac as he tells a reporter his journey from human to vampire—and the drama in between. The book was adapted into a film in 1994 starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Kirsten Dunst, but AMC’s new mystery and horror series will feature Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm on Game of Thrones), Sam Reid (Belle), and more as leads. —MC

Watch This Year On AMC

The Crown Season 5

After season 4 of The Crown ended with the collapsing “grotesque misalliance” that is Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage, season 5 is expected to cover their divorce, this time with Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West playing the estranged royal couple. Joining them in the cast are Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major, and West’s own son, Senan, as a teenage Prince William. While the show will surely tackle a new set of historical and political crises, it’s still unclear if the season will touch Diana’s death. (Debicki is set to appear in season 6, too.) —EG

Watch This Fall On Netflix

Stranger Things Season 4

Eleven and Will are in California. Their friends in Hawkins are sneaking around a haunted house. Hopper is somewhere in Russia. According to the teasers Netflix has given us so far, Stranger Thingsfourth season has a lot to tackle (supernatural and not), with bigger, darker mysteries set to be uncovered. What will come of the gang’s next encounter with the Upside Down? —EG

Watch This Year On Netflix

Love and Death

The latest entry from Big Little Lies and The Undoing creator David E. Kelley, Love and Death stars WandaVision‘s Elizabeth Olson as the real-life Texas housewife Candy Montgomery, who…well, killed her friend with an axe. Knowing Kelley’s penchant for slick domestic thrillers (and that big, beautiful HBO budget), this could easily become Twitter’s next conversation-starter. —LPP

Watch This Year On HBO Max

Wednesday

Jenny Ortega stars as Wednesday Addams, arguably the kookiest and creepiest Addams family member. Directed by Tim Burton, this Netflix series will follow a teenaged Wednesday through her day-to-day life at Nevermore Academy. Wednesday might be less creepy than past adaptations—it’s considered a coming-of-age comedy—but there’s still that eerie Burton aesthetic we all know and love. —MC

Watch This Year On Netflix

The First Lady

Too often, White House dramas focus solely on the president and their staff, but haven’t we learned by now the power of the first lady? Showtime’s upcoming anthology series shifts the narrative and follows the lives of Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt. With an A-List cast—including Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Lily Rabe—The First Lady is expected to bring a fresh perspective to these women’s historical successes. —MC

Watch This Year On SHOWTIME

Girls5Eva Season 2

It’s perhaps no coincidence that the pandemic era has brought us some of the best new comedies in recent memory, and Girls5Eva is one of them. Peacock might still be spreading its wings as a streaming platform, but Girls5Eva is fully-formed and rich in both humor and insight, following an aging one-hit-wonder group who reunite to give their dreams another go. —LPP

Watch This Year On Peacock

House of the Dragon

Even if the Game of Thrones finale left you disillusioned, perhaps there’s hope you’ll find your way back to Westeros with House of the Dragon, a spinoff series focusing on House Targaryen 300 years before the events in GoT. George R. R. Martin is still involved (the show is based on his book, Fire & Blood) and the cast includes Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, and Emma D’Arcy starring as the silver-haired dragon keepers. —EG

Watch This Year On HBO

Dark Winds

Based on the Leaphorn and Chee book series by Tony Hillerman, Dark Winds is set to follow two Navajo police officers as they scour the Southwest circa the 1970s. We don’t know much about the plot details, but the cast—and an all-Native American writers’ room—promise good things to come. —LPP

Watch this Year on AMC

Obi-Wan Kenobi

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Ewan McGregor was one of the (few) good parts about the Star Wars prequel series, in which he starred as Anakin Skywalker’s mentor and friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Well, the beard is back, baby: McGregor is owning his own Kenobi-centric series over at Disney+ later this year. —LPP

Watch this Year on Disney+

Russian Doll Season 2

Nearly three years after it first premiered, Russian Doll is coming back with its second season. The season 1 finale seemed to wrap everything up, ending with Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) and Alan (Charlie Barnett) escaping their time loop. But things aren’t always what they seem to be in this dark comedy from showrunner Leslye Headland. —MC

Watch This Year On Netflix

Conversations With Friends

If the craze around Sally Rooney’s Normal People adaptation on Hulu in 2020 was any indication, Conversations with Friends—an adaptation of Rooney’s first novel—could be an even bigger spectacle. The series stars Joe Alwyn (you might recognize him as Taylor Swift’s boyfriend) and newcomer Alison Oliver as Nick and Frances, who launch an unexpected affair while Frances is in college.—LPP

Watch This Year On Hulu

Hacks Season 2

HBO Max found a hit in this 2021 freshman series starring Jean Smart. When comedy legend Deborah Vance (Smart) is forced to work with a young writer, Ava (Hannah Einbinder), to freshen up her material, tensions and, ultimately, an unlikely partnership arise. Upon Hacksrenewal, Smart joked of a bigger rivalry next season: “I told Hannah it’s ‘No more Miss Nice Guy; from now on it’s Bette and Joan! And guess who’s Bette?!’” —EG

Watch This Year On HBO Max

The Last of Us

Transforming one of the best video games of all time into a successful television series will be no easy feat. But with Pedro Pascal set to play the rugged Texan Joel and Game of Thrones‘ Bella Ramsey as the fierce youngster Ellie, this zombie apocalypse show on HBO could be the real deal. —LPP

Watch (Possibly) This Year On HBO

The Idol

The Weeknd’s foray into TV is this six-episode series following a club owner (and secret cult leader) who develops a complicated relationship with a rising pop star. Abel Tesfaye himself will star—along with Lily Rose Depp, Troye Sivan, and more—and has co-created the series with Reza Fahim and Euphoria’s Sam Levinson. —EG

Watch (Possibly) This Year On HBO

Daisy Jones and the Six

Adapted from Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling 2019 novel, Daisy Jones & The Six traces the rise and fall of a fictional ’70s rock band (that’s overflowing with Fleetwood Mac influences). Riley Keough, fittingly cast with her rock ‘n’ roll lineage, will star as singer Daisy Jones while Sam Claflin plays The Six’s frontman Billy Dunne. Production just began in September 2021, so the show is expected to arrive this year, though a premiere date has not yet been announced. —EG

Watch (Possibly) This Year On Amazon Prime Video

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