The Best TV Shows to Watch in 2022

New and returning shows in 2022 that you will need to binge.
Odin Odin (147)
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In 2022, there are going to be a whole host of new television series, as well as a bunch of returning stars, that will sate your need for a good binge. With the great Streaming Wars still underway, the age of television has hit a strange new peak. Hulu, Netflix, Apple+, Amazon, Disney+, Paramount+, the list goes on. Many of these streaming services offer constant content updates, with some, like Netflix, banking on their ability to create some game-changers in the field (Stranger Things, anyone?).

Of course, money doesn’t guarantee success. As Apple found out with its incredibly mediocre Foundation series, it’s impossible to make something good just by throwing money at it. Indeed, some of the shows most likely to be successful hits in 2022 are those with lower budgets and more passion; shows that don’t have a studio bearing down on them at every turn. And yet, some of the most-anticipated television series of 2022 are those that do come from a massive studio. Disney, and Disney-owned Marvel, are both capitalizing on their relatively innocuous and highly successful current franchises (there are rumors of some new Disney-owned franchises gracing the silver screen, too, though, beyond the Marvel name).

Likewise, Lord of the Rings is coming to Amazon… but will Bezos-corp be able to throw enough money at the project to undo the damage of repeatedly firing the writers, the actors, and the one man who brought some credibility to the whole venture (Tom Shippey, the renowned Tolkien scholar who’s initial involvement seemed to portent good things, but whose exit bodes ill).

Not all TV series need to be big-budget science fiction hits, either. National Geographic has an exciting new offering for us, HBO is bringing some new dramas and some new reality shows, and Apple TV+ is widening its offerings by a massive amount.

Clearly, the future of streaming is not a panacea to the past problems faced by studios trying to produce new and exciting content… but the sheer scope offered by these new streaming services means that there are very likely going to be some surprising hits along the way.

As always, with these articles, I love hearing your feedback in the comments section, or on Twitter @indubitablyodin. Let me know what your favorite shows are and which ones you think I should have included in this list!

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The Lord of the Rings (2022)
The Lord of the Rings (2022)
Platform Actors
Amazon Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Morfydd Clark

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The Lord of the Rings (2022) is aiming to be, possibly, the most expensive show in history (once the cost of purchasing the rights and further marketing have been factored in). But will that save it from a rash of writer and actor firings and the exit of Tom Shippey, the world-renowned Tolkien scholar whose initial presence gave the Bezos-corp productions some degree of credibility?

The Tolkien estate, thankfully, keeps a tight rope on what is allowed in a TV series… but perhaps not tight enough. According to the Tolkien estate, this new show cannot touch on anything from the Third Age (keeping the Peter Jackson films completely unrelated). But, the series can add a vast swath of new characters and storylines, as long as they maintain the over-arching storyline as set down in Tolkien’s expanded work.

I’m leery, personally, but only time will tell if this turns out to be a billion-dollar flop or something worthy of the Tolkien name. Either way, we get to find out on September 2nd, 2022.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)
Platform Actors
Disney+ Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen

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Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) follows the Jedi master’s adventures after surviving Order 66 and retreating to Tatooine to watch over Luke Skywalker, Anakin Skywalker’s son. According to the original writer for the concept, the series would contain elements of the works that originally inspired Lucas, such as Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Samurai history and culture, and Buddhism. Regardless, it will just be wonderful to see Ewan McGregor back in the roll for at least these six episodes (with the hope that we get a second season down the road).

Willow (2022 )
Willow (2022 )
Platform Actors
Disney+ Warwick Davis, Erin Kellyman, Erin Kellyman, Tony Revolori

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Willow (2022) is the exciting sequel series to the original 1988 film of the same name, one of the unsung greats of the fantasy genre. We don’t have a ton of details about the story in this sequel series yet, but we do know that it will concentrate on a princess who assembles a party of adventurers to join her on her quest to rescue her twin brother.

Since it’s still got Warwick Davis involved, I’m there for it one-hundred percent.

Reservation Dogs (2021)
Reservation Dogs (2021)
Platform Actors
Hulu Devery Jacobs, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Lane Factor, Paulina Alexis

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Reservation Dogs (2021) is an Indigenous American teen comedy-drama created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi. It’s a massive deal for Indigenous representation, with the majority of the writers, producers, cast, and crew all hailing from indigenous communities.

The series follows a group of Indigenous teens living in rural Oklahoma who wrestle with their desire to move to California, the funds needed for such a venture, and the problems of life and crime that surround them.

It premiered in 2021 and was quickly given the go-ahead for a second season, due in 2022.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2022/2023)
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2022/2023)
Platform Actors
Netflix Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio Tarbell, Daniel Dae Kim, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee

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Avatar: The Last Airbender (2022/2023) still doesn’t have a release date, nor any meaningful information from the production as of this writing, but we can infer from the production timeline that the release will either be very late 2022 or sometime in 2023. This is a giant project, and Netflix has, unfortunately, shown that it can end up flailing a bit with adaptations of beloved work.

The series' original creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, were both on board as Executive Producers in the beginning, but left due to a "negative and unsupporting" environment created by the studio. Jeremy Zuckerman, the original composer, also left.

The casting, at least, seems on-point, and we can keep our fingers crossed that this will be something special. But, it’s hard to see how a live-action version could bring anything new to what is easily the best animated series ever produced.

Station Eleven (2021–2022)
Station Eleven (2021–2022)
Platform Actors
HBO Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel

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Station Eleven (2021–2022), about life on Earth 20 years after a flu pandemic kills most of the population, is precisely what we all want to watch while a flu pandemic kills a non-trivial portion of the population. What saves this is the original source material by Emily St. John Mandel, which, despite its post-apocalyptic setting, strives to explore a far more real and important element of human experience than other stories of its ilk.

Combined with a great cast and some solid screenwriting, this show offers a post-apocalyptic experience that might actually help us process what we’re going through, rather than feed off our collective trauma for capitalism’s sake.

The miniseries started at the end of 2021 and finishes up in January 2022.

Limitless (2022)
Limitless (2022)
Platform Actors
Disney+ Chris Hemsworth

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Limitless (2022) takes Chris Hemsworth on the journey of a lifetime as he and an international team of coaches and health experts explore different ways to live better for longer: regenerating damage, maximizing strength, building resilience, shocking the body, supercharging memory and confronting mortality.

Honestly, half the people tuning in will be there just because Hemsworth rarely wears a shirt in the series, but the content looks pretty intriguing as well.

Chapelwaite (2021)
Chapelwaite (2021)
Platform Actors
epix.com Adrien Brody

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In Chapelwaite (2021), Captain Charles Boone (Adrien Brody) relocates his family to their ancestral Maine home. Charles has to soon confront his family's sordid history and fight to end the darkness that has plagued them for generations. **Based on Stephen King’s short story "Jerusalem's Lot”, this looks like the thriller series of a lifetime.

House of the Dragon (2022)
House of the Dragon (2022)
Platform Actors
HBO Matt Smith, Emma D'Arcy

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House of the Dragon (2022) is based on George R. R. Martin's 2018 novel Fire & Blood and tells the story of the Targaryen dynasty some 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones obviously revitalized interest in the fantasy genre as something mainstream audiences would fall head over heels for, but with the rather halfhearted flop at the end of the original series, it’s hard to say if the same level of fervor will exist for this prequel series. Regardless, we’ll get a ten-episode first season to test the waters.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2022)
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2022)
Platform Actors
Paramount+ Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, and Ethan Peck

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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2022) is taking Star Trek back to its roots, concentrating on the ten years of adventure undertaken by the Enterprise crew before Kirk arrived. Given the widespread success of the new Star Trek series, it’s likely that Strange New Worlds will continue to pull a high viewership. The franchise is Paramount’s most precious resource, after all, so it’s likely that they’re going to mine it for everything they can.

Personally, I don’t like the new Trek series very much. Despite great casting choices, the writing consistently veers toward the “grim-dark” style so popular these days, and I kinda hate that. And let’s not even start into the terribleness that is Lower Decks. But I remain, perhaps foolishly, optimistic that this new series will start to feel a little more like Roddenberry’s vision. We shall see.

Andor (2022)
Andor (2022)
Platform Actors
Disney+ Diego Luna

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Andor (2022) takes us back to the character Cassian Andor five years before the events of the film Rougue One. The Rebellion against the Empire is taking shape in this show, and Cassian is likely to play just as major a role in this phase as he did in the delivery of the Death Star plans. We get twelve episodes in mid-to-late 2022 to explore the Star Wars universe’s grittier side, and since Rogue One was one of the most popular films, it seems likely that the show will also be a hit.

Welcome to Earth (2021)
Welcome to Earth (2021)
Platform Actors
Disney+ Will Smith

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Welcome to Earth (2021) follows Will Smith has he accompanies experienced National Geographic Explorers, to remote and fascinating environs, including remote islands in the Pacific, and the Namib Desert. Smith’s charisma, and the sheer beauty of the places he’s exploring, are likely to combine and make anyone excited to see this.

Okay, so sue me, this aired all at once in December 2021. It’s still fantastic, and you should check it out.

The Old Man (2022)
The Old Man (2022)
Platform Actors
Hulu Jeff Bridges

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The Old Man (2022) follows a retired intelligence officer content to live off the grid until he’s targeted for assassination and finds himself drawn back into the world he left behind.

Look, I’m there for anything Bridges is in, to be honest, and who doesn’t love a good spy thriller?

Invasion (2021)
Invasion (2021)
Platform Actors
Apple TV+ Sam Neill

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Invasion (2021 ) failed to wow critics, but managed to garner enough interest that a second season was cleared by Apple! With the first ten episodes taking a super slow-burn approach to the alien invasion, it will be interesting to see if season to can capitalize on that set-up and give viewers something to remember. Of course, no matter what, Sam Neill is sure to be wonderful.

How I Met Your Father (2022)
How I Met Your Father (2022)
Platform Actors
Hulu Hilary Duff

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How I Met Your Father (2022) is, I’m going to be real with you, the How I Met Your Mother sequel that we probably didn’t need. But, pessimism aside, there’s always room for something like this to surprise us. Duff’s not a bad actress, and the original series had charm that the trailers for this sequel might simply be missing. We shall see.

I think the biggest problem, here, is setting anything in a weird alternate world where the pandemic just… doesn’t exist. I can understand it for shows that started before Covid-19, but for a new show, especially one so grounded in current culture… well, it’s odd.

Still, I know a lot of fans are hopeful that there will be some of that same magic that the original series contained. Fingers crossed.

The Legend of Vox Machina (2022)
The Legend of Vox Machina (2022)
Platform Actors
Amazon Prime Matthew Mercer, Ashley Johnson, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Liam O'Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, Marisha Ray, and Sam Riegel

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The Legend of Vox Machina (2022) is set in Matthew Mercer’s fictional world of Exandria, and will be a mix of new story content and adaptations of content from the first Critical Role campaign.

This is a pretty massive deal, as Critical Role has managed to elevate RPG tabletop gaming to a whole new level. It’s exciting to see all that great storytelling and worldbuilding come to the screen like this, and even more awesome that all these professional voice actors get to go all-out for their new animated character portrayals. This one’s due out at the end of January!

Moon Knight (2022)
Moon Knight (2022)
Platform Actors
Disney+ Oscar Issac

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Moon Knight (2022) brings Marc Spector to the MCU. Spector, a former U.S. Marine with dissociative identity disorder, becomes a conduit for the Egyptian moon god Khonshu.

One of the more gritty and violent Marvel characters, with similarities to the Deadpool franchise, it’s nice to see Issac in the role to lend it some extra weight and gravitas. I’m glad to see that this won’t be TV-MA because we frankly don’t need more Deadpool nonsense, but there’s potential here to really explore the darker side of the MCU which I know a lot of fans have been clamoring for (personally, I say bring me ten more seasons of Hawkeye).

Bel-Air (2022)
Bel-Air (2022)
Platform Actors
Text Jabari Banks, Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman

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Bel-Air (2022) is the dramatic re-imagining of the classic sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Like the sitcom, the drama follows “Will Smith” (a fictionalized version of the actor Will Smith, in this case played by Jabari Banks), a street-smart teenager born and raised in West Philadelphia who is sent to move in with his wealthy uncle and aunt in their Bel-Air mansion.

My first impression on hearing about this remake was “why?” quickly followed by “cash grab.” But then I saw the trailer. There’s something potent in the works here, something that could be really good. Plus, Will Smith is heavily involved, and that means that this series is going to have some heart to it. That I’m there for.

Peacemaker (2022)
Peacemaker (2022)
Platform Actors
HBO John Cena

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Peacemaker (2022) charges to the front as the first DC Extended Universe (DCEU) television series, spinning off from the 2021 film The Suicide Squad. So far, the DC universe has been spectacularly lackluster compare to Marvel’s venture, though Doom Patrol remains one of the better superhero TV series to come around.

Personally, I don’t think we need another hyper-violent superhero black comedy, but I’ve been outvoted. Fans of The Suicide Squad and Marvel’s Deadpool will no-doubt love this one.

Pam & Tommy (2022)
Pam & Tommy (2022)
Platform Actors
Hulu Lily James, Sebastian Stan, Seth Rogen, Nick Offerman

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Pam & Tommy (2022) is a biographical drama miniseries based on the release of a sex tape created by Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee and actress Pamela Anderson.

This will definitely appeal to fans of reality TV and Nick Offerman. Will it be a hit? Hard to say.

Reacher (2022)
Reacher (2022)
Platform Actors
Amazon Prime Alan Ritchson, Willa Fitzgerald

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Reacher (2022) is a TV series adaptation of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books, beginning with Killing Floor. Reacher is a former United States Army Military Police Corps major who now spends his days trekking the United States in search of odd jobs, jobs that occasionally lead him into the path of criminals and conspiracies… which he then solves through judicious punching.

There was a version of this made as a film a while back with Tom Cruise starring. Since Tom is a tiny, tiny man, this version definitely fits the vision of Jack Reacher far better.

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2022)
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2022)
Platform Actors
Netflix Essie Davis, Luke Roberts, Andrew Lincoln, F. Murray Abraham, Glynn Turman, Ben Barnes, Elpidia Carrillo, Hannah Galway, Crispin Glover, Demetrius Grosse, David Hewlett, Tim Blake Nelson, Sebastian Roché, and Peter Weller

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Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2022) has a huge cast, as befits an anthology series, and that combined del Toro’s street-cred as a unique and powerful filmmaker is sure to inspire interest. There will be eight individual tales intended to “challenge our traditional notions of horror.” We know from del Toro’s book of the same name a little bit more about how he thinks about horror and his narrative creations, and seeing that name applied to a series is really exciting.

The Last of Us (2022)
The Last of Us (2022)
Platform Actors
HBO Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey

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The Last of Us (2022) is pretty exciting when you consider that the source material, the video game of the same name, is considered one of the best narrative games in modern history. With a post-apocalyptic setting, deep emotional character building, and plenty of suspense-filled action, this is likely the show that fans of other modern horror-type dramas have been eagerly waiting for.

She-Hulk (2022)
She-Hulk (2022)
Platform Actors
Disney+ Tatiana Maslany, Mark Ruffalo, Tim Roth

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She-Hulk (2022) has me excited because Tatiana Maslany is an incredible actress, and because I’d love to see some more comedy enter the MCU amid all these darker and grittier releases. There are so many Marvel characters to tap for the MCU, but She-Hulk makes perfect sense for Phase IV, so I’m hopeful that the creators get this one right. We’ll get ten episodes to see the titular character take on the world.

Suspicion (2022)
Suspicion (2022)
Platform Actors
Apple TV+ Uma Thurman,

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Suspicion (2022) is the English-language remake of Israeli thriller False Flag. It follows the disrupted lives of five people who have been identified by the London police as under suspicion for the abduction of American media mogul Katherine Newman's son. Looks dark, twisted, and drama-y.

Interview with the Vampire (2022)
Interview with the Vampire (2022)
Platform Actors
AMC Sam Reid, Jacob Anderson, Bailey Bass, Kalyne Coleman

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Interview with the Vampire (2022) is coming to the small screen, adapting Ann Rice’s famous gothic horror novel for a new generation. The novel focuses on a vampire, Louis de Pointe du Lac, who tells the story of his life to a reporter.

Reframed: The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (2022)
Reframed: The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (2022)
Platform Actors
CNN Jessica Chastain

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Reframed: The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (2022) takes a stab at exploring the life and work of Marilyn Monroe from a better perspective than is usually provided, nixing the male-centered peephole in favor of an all-female perspective.

Marilyn has long been a favorite figure of mine, specifically because she was both extremely intelligent and passionate in the achievement of her goals. It’s certain to be good to see a more comprehensive look at her life and time.

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai (2022)
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai (2022)
Platform Actors
HBO Izaac Wang, A. J. Locascio

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Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai (2022) ressurects one of the most-loved horror comedy franchises of all time by going back to the story’s roots. The animated series is set in the 1920s in Shanghai, and tells the story of how 10-year-old Sam Wing meets the mogwai Gizmo.

We already know we’re getting two seasons, with the first season of ten episodes coming out in 2022.

Cobra Kai (2018)
Cobra Kai (2018)
Platform Actors
Netflix Ralph Macchio, William Zabka

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Cobra Kai (2018) is definitely my favorite show on television right now. Not only were the original films a huge part of my childhood, but this series does such an amazing job of bringing the essence of the original to the modern age. Too many “reboots” fail to pay homage to the spirit and soul of the original work (see: literally all of the depressing Star Trek reboots), so it’s been exceptionally wonderful to see a series do so well.

Cobra Kai, season 5 was cleared for renewal before season 4 even debuted, so that’s a great sign for the longevity of this great story. Season 5 has already entered production, so it’s entirely likely that we’ll see it land toward the end of 2022.

Halo (2022)
Halo (2022)
Platform Actors
Paramount+ Pablo Schreiber, Natascha McElhone, Jen Taylor,

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Halo (2022) has been a long time coming. Honestly, I’m not sure there has ever been a more anticipated TV series in all of history so, uh, no pressure on the showrunners.

Halo tells the story of a future in which humanity has colonized part of the galaxy. While a corporatic government crushes the life out of the outermost colony worlds, an alien invasion of human space is undertaken by the fanatical Covenant, who believe that ancient alien technology is key to their religious ascension.

The Spartan program of super-soldiers, originally developed to kill the freedom fighters on the outer colonies, is the only chance humanity has to avoid total annihilation.

I’m excited to see where they take the story because there is so much material to cover. From novels by authors like Tobias Buckell, to a prior live-action web series, to the content of the video games themselves, there is a huge science fiction landscape to explore. Let’s hope that Paramount is up to the task.

Another incredible season for Witcher fans!
Britt Britt (137)
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Just in time for the holidays, The Witcher returned with another spectacular season!