Exclaim!'s 10 Best TV Shows of 2022
Published Dec 05, 2022This year, we said goodbye to some beloved shows that have entertained us for years, as Vince Gilligan's tremendous Breaking Bad world concluded with Saul Goodman finally reaping what he sowed and Donald Glover closed out his groundbreaking chronicle of life in his hometown. But TV lovers needn't worry, as a bevy of new shows stormed onto the scene this year — a craicing Irish whodunnit, Nathan Fielder and super-intense sandwich shop in Chicago have us excited for seasons to come.
Some A-list names made it to our airwaves, too. Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee were given the miniseries treatment (much to the former's dismay), and Guillermo del Toro and Ben Stiller respectively led gripping and unique shows.
The pretentious label of "prestige television" has thankfully fallen by the wayside in recent years, but TV's importance to entertainment hasn't diminished in the slightest. Big budgets and compelling narratives continue to make up some of the best stories Hollywood and beyond have to offer.
Here are Exclaim!'s 10 Best TV Shows of 2022:
10. Pam & Tommy
Created by Robert Siegel
Who knew that the leaking of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's sex tape would turn into an interesting crime drama? In Pam & Tommy, the how, the why and the aftermath are entertaining and upsetting, as the show speaks to the mistreatment Anderson experiences during her heyday. The objectification and shaming of women are front and centre. The transformation of Lily James into Anderson is nothing short of impeccable, and Sebastian Stan as Lee is a perfectly chaotic screen partner.
9. Cabinet of Curiosities
Created by Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro's diverse horror anthology works best when taken as a conduit for its endearing creator's infectious enthusiasm for horror in all its shapes and genres. An eccentric assemblage of directors (Jennifer Kent, Panos Cosmatos, David Prior, etc.) channel this enthusiasm into a collection of haunting shorts, which all feel markedly distinct and attuned to each director's unique approach to the horror genre. This delightfully macabre and varied compilation will hopefully be more than a one-off.
8. Better Call Saul
Created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould
Creator Vince Gilligan and showrunner Peter Gould somehow pulled off the impossible: creating a successful spinoff of one of the greatest shows ever made that stands on its own and is every bit as compelling and thrilling. The final season of Better Call Saul closed the loop on Jimmy McGill's transformation into Saul Goodman, and gave a sometimes shocking and sometimes satisfying end to Kim, Nacho, Howard and Lalo's stories. The end of Saul may mark the end of the Breaking Bad universe (for now), but we'll always have Cinnabon.
7. Bad Sisters
Developed by Sharon Horgan, Dave Finkel and Brett Baer
This year brought a some excellent whodunnit series — The Afterparty, Season 2 of Only Murders in the Building — and this Irish comedy is the best of them all. After a man dies suddenly (but not suspiciously), two life insurance agents try to avoid paying out by investigating his widow and her four sisters, believing one of them to be the murderer. Flashbacks reveal the deceased to be the biggest piece of shit imaginable, making this an engrossing cat-and-mouse game where you don't need to feel bad for the victim. Seriously, fuck that guy.
Created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader
Barry is TV's hottest show. This show has everything: wicked one-take tracking shots of Sally with lighting reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, an even wickeder motorcycle sequence through L.A. while Barry's being pursued by the motocross gang, and one of television's funniest assassination attempts. Bill Hader reminds us season after season why he was born to direct and what a damn fine actor he is. Add in comedy legends Stephen Root and Henry Winkler, along with Sarah Goldberg and scene-stealer Anthony Carrigan, and Barry remains one of the best made and best-acted shows on television.
Click "Next" to continue reading.