There’s no doubt that House of the Dragon was the best series of 2022, but I’ve spoken several times here about many that I considered being highlights of the year. Choosing the five that effectively “is the best” was no easy task. But let’s try, separating it into genres.
The Best of the Best
Not necessarily in order of preference, the top 5 were:
House of the Dragon (HBO)
The White Lotus (HBO)
Andor (Disney Plus)
Moon Knight (Disney Plus)
After Party (Apple TV Plus)
It would be hard for House of the Dragon to get it wrong, to be honest, but the anticipation was so massive that there was room for error or criticism. But it was unanimous. Success with the public and critics, the prequel to Game of Thrones was born a phenomenon.
Something similar happened with The White Lotus: the second season surpassed the debut and ended the year flirting with the fever condition. The world has spent the last month trying to figure out who was going to die, creating theories, and evaluating characters. Success in everything.
Andor is finding a place for herself in the Star Wars universe, and having “played” with heavyweights like The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi, coming out as champion was a small surprise. However, what the script did was bring elements that were overshadowed by the others by so many references to Jedi culture or fantasy. With Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), we have an everyman, an unwitting hero and a less idealistic side of politics, whether Rebel or Imperialist. Deservedly nominated for multiple awards.
Moon Knight is a standout in Marvel content almost solely for the show and stunning talent of Oscar Isaac. With a dense, tragic, and complex character, the actor played more than a single personality, making us forget that he was alone. Amazing for that and more.
If you haven’t seen After Party (The After Party) you missed one of the most original and fun contents of the year. Each episode with a different narrative, a crime to be solved, and many laughs in the investigation process. In a word? GENIUS. The creative script is tied, light, and smart. A vice and perfect,
Also in Highlight
The year was practically divided between extreme fantasy, biopics, and historical or period dramas. And within the biopics, a strong tendency towards crimes or scandals. I liked a lot of things, but let’s recognize the best ones, without “reducing” them to genre or order of preference.
The Serpent Queen (Lionsgate Plus)
The Gilded Age (HBO)
Only Murders in the Building (Star Plus)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Both The Gilded Age and The Serpent Queen are expensive, period series with great performances. While the series about Catherine de Medici is a scathing, up-to-date look at the life of the Queen of France, the HBO series is inspired by real people, with the creative freedom and intelligence of Downton Abbey’s successful formula. Both had second seasons announced, but they are at risk. At least The Gilded Age has already been taped, so it will air on HBO’s schedule in 2023. After the cut of Dangerous Liaisons, I fear for the Serpent Queen‘s future, keeping me rooting for her future.
Barry, Stranger Things, and Only Murders in the Building are still alive thanks to the talent of their stars. Innovative episodes, sensibility, and iconic moments may not have been as highlighted as my Top 5, but they were big in 2022.
Honorable Mentions: the “warms”
In the year in which we say goodbye to Peaky Blinders, we go back to living with the Vikings: Valhalla, we embark on the ambiguous obsession of Physical, we find out more about Elizabeth I’s youth with Becoming Elizabeth, the return of Carrie Bradshaw in And Just Like That, a new stage de Bridgerton, The Crown, The Great, The Russian Doll, The Flight Attendant, Slow Horses, Emily in Paris, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Billions, were murderers like Dhamer, or Michael Peterson (Colin Firth) in The Staircase, or scandals like Dropout (Star Plus) the awards will even be around biographies. In this scenario, the small disappointment with The Lord of the Rings – Rings of Power (Amazon Prime Video) and the cancellation of Westworld (HBO) – another disappointment – is the cancellation of the surprising and daring Raised By Wolves that leaves 2022 as a year with Q of sadness for having been cut without pity and at the turning point.
Starring the always charismatic Travis Fimmel, produced by Ridley Scott, Raised by Wolves was responsible for unimaginable moments in which one of the main characters was transformed into a tree, cyborgs had more emotion than humans, a snake flew through the air and threatened humanity, all of this obviously made no sense but left us guessing and yearning for more. I’m part of those who were still rooting for the third season – on any platform – but with the announcement of Travis in the cast of Dune, it becomes less and less likely some conclusion of the bizarre, but interesting story about faith and science. One of the losses of a year, on the other hand, is incredible.
The 2022 series occupied our space much more than the films that started to return to cinema. Looking forward to 2023?