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  • Martin Cheney

Top 5 TV Shows of 2022


While I admittedly didn't get to spend much time at home watching TV last year, these are my top five TV offerings from what I managed to catch in 2022. Only shows with air dates or streaming release in Australia between January 1 and December 31, 2022 were eligible. They also had to have a multi-episode format (either limited series or extended seasons — films and one-off special events don't count. See my top ten 2022 films list for those).


There's something in here for everyone, so if you didn't catch them all, take this list as fervent recommendations. Do please enjoy.


I'm also sorry to say I didn't have time to fit in the last season of The Good Fight, because I'm absolutely certain it would be listed below if I had.



Honourable Mentions: After Life [S3] and Cheer [S2]



5) Archive 81

This one slipped under the radar, which must have been reflected in its viewership since Netflix cancelled it after the first season. It gets off to a slow start, which might go some of the way to explaining why people didn't stick around. For those who did, though, it's a cracking little cult thriller about a video archivist who becomes entangled in the story of the woman whose tapes he is tasked with restoring. The cliffhanger end to its first and only season will remain unresolved, but it actually works.



4) Dead to Me [S3]

The final season of this black comedy starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini might not be as tight as the first one, but it's a cathartic and bittersweet conclusion for its loyal viewers all the same. Some of the subplots don't get the satisfying finality they deserve, but the performances from our leading duo (especially Cardellini) make it all worth it.



3) Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

This anthology series curated by one of the all-time masters of horror, Guillermo del Toro, is the textbook definition of 'hit and miss,' but the episodes that hit absolutely slap. If you don't have time to watch them all, prioritise The Viewing (pictured above), The Murmuring, The Autopsy and The Outside. The other four episodes are mediocre to terrible (Rupert Grint, you deserve better than that).



2) Alice in Borderland [S2]

Sneaking stealthily onto Netflix in the last couple of weeks of the year, season two of the Japanese sensation Alice in Borderland was destined for a high ranking purely by virtue of its existence. Now, the survivors still remaining in the cruel alternate reality are tasked with beating the face card games, which are the highest level of difficulty and emotional stakes. The end of this new season is a game changer, but we'll likely have to wait another couple of years to find out to what end.



1) Ozark [S4]

The long-awaited end of Ozark was everything I hoped it would be. Cruelly split into two parts, the final season of this gritty, agonising crime drama masterfully hurtles towards its inevitable conclusion without letting its trademark sense of dread ease for even a second. Career-best performances from Julia Garner (the series' MVP), Laura Linney and Jason Bateman ensure an absolute riveting watch from the first frame to the last. Every technical and creative element of Ozark is staggeringly good and deserves your time, even if it's not an easy watch.




 

Thank you so much for your continued support. If you like what I'm writing (or even if you don't), please share it around and consider subscribing to my mailing list. Happy New Year!


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