22 Best New Shows of 2022

The TV industry has fully recovered from COVID.

BY ZACH  DECEMBER 15, 2022 - Updated JAN 3, 2023

It's that time of year again and oh boy, 2022 was a big year for TV indeed. In addition to the many new shows that premiered this year, we also had a massive tidal wave of shows returning after a hiatus extended by the difficulties of shooting during a pandemic. I will chronicle my top returning shows in a separate list, but this one is all about brand new shows or limited series that debuted this year.

But first, some interesting trends... While traditionally this list is dominated by limited series, this year marks a notable increase in great shows that will be continuing. In one category, you have the big IP shows (LOTR, Star Wars, Game of Thrones) all of which will likely continue for multiple seasons. As I compiled this list, there were even a handful of shows which I had no idea were renewed for another season (some probably should have been limited series). 

And if anyone still cares about the so-called "streaming wars," Apple is winning. 5 of the top 10 on this list are on Apple TV+.  While HBO and HBO Max combined still have the highest number of shows with 6, none of them cracked the top 10. Hulu is still going strong with 4 shows on the list, the better half of which were (unsurprisingly) developed by FX. Finally, Netflix still only makes 1 new good show a year.

About this list

As with all my annual "Best New Shows" lists, a series is included if:

This year, I started 34 new tv series. These are my picks for the best 22 of 2022...


Best of the Decade Series

22. Around the World in 80 Days

BBC / European Alliance | Ashley Pharoah & Caleb Ranson

Gentleman adventurer Phileas Fogg sets out on a quest to travel around the world and back home in a period of 80 days.

Genre:  Adventure, Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  50 min

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  David Tennant

The Jules Verne classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days might just be the most adapted novel of all time. By my count I see 5 films, 4 television series, 2 video games, and a board game. Why does the world need another version of this story? Because this one stars David Tennant and it's pure fun television.

21. Interview With the Vampire

AMC | Rolin Jones

Based on Anne Rice's iconic novel, follow Louis de Pointe's epic story of love, blood and the perils of immortality, as told to the journalist Daniel Molloy.

Genre:  Drama, Supernatural Horror

Time Investment:  7 episodes  x  1 hour

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  Hannibal, vampires

This adaptation of Anne Rice's novel is a bit like over the top fan-fiction, but it's extremely well directed as you'd expect from an AMC production. It's no Succession in terms of writing, but it's a fun show and the modern day part of the timeline with Eric Bogosian (who you may recognise from Succession) was a compelling commentary on memory and rewriting one's own past.

20. Julia

HBO Max | Daniel Goldfarb

Inspired by Julia Child's extraordinary life and her show The French Chef, which essentially invented food television.

Genre:  Biographical Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  45 minutes

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, cooking shows

I never would have expected to be so interested in the story of Julia Child, but the production design and acting of this series was so on point it made for a very easy watch.

19. Minx

HBO Max | Ellen Rapoport

In 1970s Los Angeles, an earnest young feminist joins forces with a low-rent publisher to create the first erotic magazine for women.

Genre:  Comedy

Time Investment:  10 episodes  x  30 min

Continuation:  Renewed, then cancelled mid-production. 

Must-watch if you like:  Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, New Girl

I was quite skeptical that the gimmicky premise would hold up after more than 1-2 episodes, but Minx pleasantly surprised me and continued to build interest over its 10 episode run. Be warned however, if you have an aversion to seeing a lot of male genitalia, this show has an above average amount of dicks, even for an HBO production.

18. 1899

Netflix | Jantje Friese & Baran bo Odar

Multinational immigrants traveling from the old continent to the new encounter a nightmarish riddle aboard a second ship adrift on the open sea.

Genre:  Mystery, Sci-Fi, Period Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  1 hour

Continuation:  Not officially renewed yet. Cancelled on Jan 2, 2023. (In my opinion, the first season stands just fine as a limited series.)

Must-watch if you like:  Dark, Westworld, Sense8

Can't really say much about this show without spoiling things, but if you're a fan of "puzzle box" shows, this is the new series by the creators of Dark, which I consider the gold standard of the puzzle box style. It's also worth noting that you should, under no circumstances, use Netflix's option to watch with English dubs. The plot features characters who speak over 10 different languages and what language someone is speaking is relevant.

17. The Staircase

HBO Max | Antonio Campos

The story of Michael Peterson, a crime novelist accused of killing his wife Kathleen after she is found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their home, and the 16-year judicial battle that followed.

Genre:  Crime Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  65 min

Continuation:  Limited Series

Must-watch if you like:  American Crime Story, Unbelievable, The Undoing

If you've seen the classic documentary, you may wonder why it's worth watching this new series. Without spoiling too much, I will say that this series is not simply remaking the documentary as a dramatised series, and in fact the making of the documentary is a large part of the story of this new series. 

16. Gaslit

Starz | Robbie Pickering

A modern take on the 1970s political Watergate scandal centering on untold stories and forgotten characters of the time.

Genre:  Political Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  1 hour

Continuation:  Limited Series

Must-watch if you like:  House of Cards, Veep, Mrs. America

How do you tell a story about Watergate without Richard Nixon? It turns out, the story is much more interesting without him. Julia Roberts delivers an incredible performance as Martha Mitchell, one of several lesser known characters in the most famous political scandal of all time. 

15. Our Flag Means Death

HBO Max | David Jenkins

Loosely based on the true story of Stede Bonnet, a pampered aristocrat who abandoned his life of privilege to become a pirate in the early 18th century.

Genre:  Comedy

Time Investment:  10 episodes  x  30 minutes

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  What We Do in the Shadows, Flight of the Conchords, The Great 

I started this show expecting the pirate version of What We Do in the Shadows, but the actual story evolves to be much more than that. Although this series is primarily comedy, it has elements of adventure, tragedy, and romance, all of which are delivered with the camp turned up to 11. 

14. Fleishman Is in Trouble

FX/Hulu | Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Recently divorced 41-year-old Toby Fleishman dives into the brave new world of app-based dating , but just at the start of his first summer after divorce, his ex-wife Rachel disappears leaving him with their two children and no hint of where she is or whether she plans to return.

Genre: Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  48 min

Continuation:  Limited Series

Must-watch if you like:  Jesse Eisenberg, the 2019 novel of the same name

Most of the descriptions of this series focus on the part where it's about Jesse Eisenberg going on dating apps for the first time and having tons of casual sex with other middle aged women. That's like what half of the first episode is about. The series as a whole has a few of the best episodes of the year that deal with significantly heavier topics, including an intimate portrayal of how two people can slowly fall out of love over 15 years, how every divorce story has two sides, how fucking hard parenting is now, and an incredible episode focused on Lizzy Caplan's character narrating her way through her own mid-life crisis. 

13. The Dropout

Hulu | Elizabeth Meriwether

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes attempts to revolutionize the healthcare industry after dropping out of college and starting a technology company.

Genre:  Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  50 min

Continuation:  Limited Series

Must-watch if you like:  Dopesick, American Crime Story, Silicon Valley

2022 had a massive rise in what critics have called the "wikipedia series." The Girl From Plainville, WeCrashed, Inventing Anna, Super Pumped, and probably a few more I'm forgetting all debuted this year. The only one of these worth watching is The Dropout and there is one reason for that: Amanda Seyfried. Who would have guessed that the Mean Girls star would win an Emmy and be nominated for an Oscar (Mank) 16 years after giving us the iconic line, "There's a 30% chance it's already raining." 

12. House of the Dragon

HBO | Ryan Condal & George R. R. Martin

The story of the Targaryen civil war with King Viserys Targaryen's children battling for control of the Iron Throne. Set nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

Genre:  Fantasy Drama

Time Investment:  10 episodes  x  1 hour

Continuation:   Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  Game of Thrones, Matt Smith

House of the Dragon was quite good, but suffered from the lack of expansive worldbuilding that its predecessor offered us every Sunday night for nearly 8 years. The opening sequences of both shows are a perfect metaphor: they have the same theme music, but while Game of Thrones zoomed around an entire world of 2 continents, its prequel follows a bunch of CGI blood flowing around King's Landing. However, what this new series lacks in scale, it partially makes up for in standout performances from Matt Smith and Millie Alcock. Every time either of them were on screen it was the highlight of every episode. Unfortunately, the latter half of the season loses half of this duo and becomes significantly more predictable, which is very off-brand for the universe of Thrones.

11. Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Amazon Prime Video | J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's history of Middle-earth's Second Age: the forging of the Rings of Power, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, and the last alliance between Elves and Men.

Genre:  Fantasy Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  65 minutes

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  Lord of the Rings (but not if you like it too much)

This Lord of the Rings prequel debuted at almost the exact same time as House of the Dragon, igniting hundreds of click-bait articles comparing the two in some kind of contrived war of big fantasy IP. Where House of the Dragon lacks scale, Rings of Power thrives. The ridiculous sum of money Amazon spent to make this show is evident in every frame of all eight episodes. The plot and writing are notably weaker than LOTR, which has caused many die-hard Tolkien fans to tune out. But television is primarily a visual medium, and this show is one of the most visually incredible things I've ever seen. 

10. Under the Banner of Heaven

Hulu | Dustin Lance Black

A devout detective's faith is tested as he investigates a brutal murder seemingly connected to an esteemed Utah family's spiral into LDS fundamentalism and their distrust in the government.

Genre:  Crime Drama

Time Investment:  7 episodes  x  70 minutes

Continuation:  Limited Series

Must-watch if you like:  True Detective, Broadchurch, Andrew Garfield

I would describe this show as Mormon True Detective. Andrew Garfield is no Matthew McConaughey, but in this series he comes pretty close. Like the novel its adapted from, Under the Banner of Heaven interweaves historical controversies of the founding of the LDS religion with a modern day murder investigation in a way that it both hard to watch and impossible to look away from. 

9. The Patient

FX/Hulu | Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg

A psychotherapist who recently lost his wife, finds himself held prisoner by a serial killer with an unusual request to curb his homicidal urges.

Genre:  Drama, Psychological Thriller

Time Investment:  10 episodes  x  30 min

Continuation:  Limited Series

Must-watch if you like:  Steve Carell, The Americans, Mindhunter, Dexter

This is Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg's first project since they finished The Americans (the Required Viewing podcast's pick for #1 best drama series of the the 2010-2019 decade). It's also the second time in recent years that Steve Carell has really impressed me in a dramatic role, the first being on The Morning Show

8. Bad Sisters

Apple TV+ | Sharon Horgan, Dave Finkel & Brett Baer

After their brother-in-law, John Paul, dies under unexpected circumstances, the Garvey sisters find themselves at the center of a life insurance investigation.

Genre:  Dark Comedy

Time Investment:  10 episodes  x  55 minutes

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  Big Little Lies, Fargo

One tv critic came up with a way to describe this show that is better than anything I could come up with: Imagine if the Coen brothers made Big Little Lies and it was set in Ireland. 

7. Black Bird

Apple TV+ | Dennis Lehane

As Jimmy Keene begins a 10-year prison sentence, he gets an incredible offer: if he can elicit a confession from suspected killer Larry Hall, he will be freed.

Genre:  Crime Drama

Time Investment:  6 episodes  x  1 hour

Continuation:  Limited Series

Must-watch if you like:  Mindhunter, serial killer or prison dramas

This series provides some reprieve for the pain caused by Netflix's abrupt cancellation of its psychological serial killer drama, Mindhunter. Paul Walter Hauser's performance as real world serial killer Larry Hall is incredibly eerie in the most compelling way. 

6. Pachinko

Apple TV+ | Soo Hugh

Based on the New York Times bestseller, this sweeping saga chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations as they leave their homeland in an indomitable quest to survive and thrive.

Genre:  Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  1 hour

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  Minari, historical/cultural dramas

Pachinko is a bit slow to start (I initially churned off after the first two episodes, but came back to it later in the year) but by the end of the third episode I was so invested in every character. The series is simultaneously intricate, jumping back and forth across at least 4 time periods, and intimate, deeply focusing on all the tragedies and joys of life for its main characters. 75 year old lead actress Youn Yuh-jung (who won an Oscar for Minari) is truly an international treasure. 

5. Slow Horses

Apple TV+ | William Smith

Follows the British intelligence agents of "Slough House" which serves as a dumping ground department for MI5 agents who made career-ending mistakes.

Genre:  Drama, Spy Thriller

Time Investment:  2 seasons x 6 episodes  x  45 min

Continuation:   Renewed for a 3rd and 4th season.

Must-watch if you like:  Gary Oldman, 24, The Night Manager

Slow Horses is the first show I've seen debut 2 seasons in the same year. I genuinely considered putting it on both this list and my top 10 returning shows of the year. Gary Oldman's portrayal of Jackson Lamb makes for one of the best characters on tv this year.

4. This Is Going to Hurt

BBC | Adam Kay

Focuses on a group of junior doctors working on a busy obstetrics and gynaecology ward of an NHS hospital in London.

Genre:  Drama

Time Investment:  7 episodes  x  45 minutes

Continuation:  Limited Series

Must-watch if you like:  Fleabag, A Very English Scandal, House

Based on the real life memoir of the showrunner and former NHS doctor, Adam Kay, This Is Going to Hurt is not something you want to watch if you dream of becoming a surgeon, or birthing a child. It's dark and tragic, but also bitterly funny as only a British miniseries can achieve. Ben Wishaw's performance is the driving force of the series, proving his worthiness of a lead role after he won numerous awards for his supporting role in A Very English Scandal

3. Andor

Disney+ | Tony Gilroy

Prequel series to Star Wars' Rogue One. The story of Rebel spy Cassian Andor's formative years of the Rebellion and his difficult missions for the cause.

Genre:  Drama, Sci-Fi

Time Investment:  12 episodes  x  40 minutes

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  The Expanse, Battlestar Galactica, The Americans

While the internet was bickering over whether House of the Dragon or Rings of Power was the better big franchise show of 2022, Disney was cooking up what turned out to be not just the best Star Wars tv show, but also one of the best tv shows of 2022. Also arguably the best Star Wars, including the original trilogy. Andor is equal parts spy thriller, sci-fi adventure, and prestige drama.

2. The Bear

FX/Hulu | Christopher Storer

A young chef from the fine dining world comes home to Chicago to run his family sandwich shop after a heartbreaking death in his family.

Genre:  Drama

Time Investment:  8 episodes  x  30 minutes

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  Succession, Shameless, any of the 100 reality shows about people yelling in kitchens

The Bear is a cinematic masterpiece. It would probably be #1 on this list if I were completely unbiased and ignored my own personal taste in this ranking. Certainly, if I were making a list of the best episodes of television this year, episode 7 would be at the top. It feels like a prestige miniseries despite the fact that it will return for a second season. I hope it keeps up the quality and sticks the landing but whatever the future holds, season 1's ending is near perfection on its own. 

1. Severance

Apple TV+ | Dan Erickson

It's better if you know nothing about it.

Genre:  Mystery, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller

Time Investment:  9 episodes  x  55 minutes

Continuation:  Renewed for a 2nd season.

Must-watch if you like:  Lost, Black Mirror, Office Space

I have been personally thanked by multiple people for telling them to watch this show without giving away anything about the plot. It truly is a different experience to watch the first episode not knowing the basic premise of the show. So I will continue to recommend this show by simply describing the tone as Black Mirror meets the 1999 classic Office Space