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By David Young · January 3, 2023
The year has had some ups and downs all over the place. Twitter may now be unusable, but at least we got some amazing shots through the James Webb telescope. That said, one of the biggest wins of the year involves the number of great debuting TV shows entering the arena. There are also series that have brought strong new seasons this year! Whether it’s a romantic comedy, high fantasy, or something far more real and gritty, here are some of the best TV series of 2022 — at least, the ones we have script downloads for!
Blackbeard is a pirate, but he’s also a thief of hearts in this historical fiction series. In it, an 18th-century aristocrat discovers his new ambition — to become a buccaneer. He soon finds himself falling in love not only with the lifestyle but with the infamous pirate captain Blackbeard himself. Loosely based on a real-life story, this narrative brings together so many astounding elements as a period piece that sheds brand-new light (and expounds on some very real features of 18th-century piracy) on Edward Teach and his pirate crew!
A little sci-fi thriller never hurt anyone’s chances of catching interest, and Severance did just that. There’s plenty of excitement around its score, its production design, and more, but this show’s concept is one that really fits the here and now. After our contemporary struggles with work-life balance, it’s truly amazing to see a sci-fi concept that brings that struggle to our attention in such detail. In Severance, characters undergo mindwipes that separate their work selves from their non-work personas, called “outies.” This controversial method of productivity enhancement hits all too close to home in our 2022 reality, which is why this series has earned such appreciation already!
Situational comedy and drama have evolved alongside each other for some time now, but many of the most successful shows combine the two genres — as does The Bear. This series follows an award-winning haute cuisine chef who takes up the mantle of his late brother in a Chicago sandwich shop. Surrounded by the culture shock regarding the quality of food, facility, and personnel, Carmy is stuck with the family’s debt and forced to make do. This story makes the most of showcasing the city life in Chicago and the desperation that only a run-down sandwich shop can convey — and it does so with excellence.
Symbiotic relationships exist in every industry — even in the world of comedy. It’s too bad that Deborah Vance and Ava Daniels don’t have that kind of relationship. In fact, Deborah’s comedy career is in the gutter when she takes fledgling writer Ava under her wing, and Ava’s own reputation has dwindled. What could they possibly learn from each other? In Hacks, these two characters find themselves at odds more often than not, but they struggle toward their goals to be relevant again — something that has never felt more important in the modern world.
This true crime series follows the person behind the persona “Anna Delvey,” a con artist who stole millions pretending to be an heiress on Instagram. Couched in the perspective of a disgruntled journalist, this story of grand larceny showcases the willingness of others to believe in a person’s self-deluded confidence. It also shows the power that social media has on our current lives, to an extent never before seen. It’s no wonder this show helped impact audiences this year, if not also infuriate them.
Set in 1970s Gallup, New Mexico, Dark Winds follows the story of Navajo Tribal Police detectives Jim Chee and his superior, Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn as they set out to solve a double murder connected to a high-profile bank robbery. This show has so much to chew on, from deep familial trauma to riveting crime investigations, but the thing that ties it all together is Zahn McClarnon’s incredible portrayal of Leaphorn — a character that looks like your typical “tired and troubled cop” on the surface but is leagues deeper and more arresting the more you watch.
You can always find new shows each year that enrapture you. Whether they take you to new, fascinating worlds or ground with dark realities, the stories you watch at home fill your heart for a reason. It’s because of their real people, their compelling conflicts, and the overall sense of purpose that each one of the series above resonated with audiences this year!