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The 15 best new TV shows of 2022

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2022 gave us a massive amount of killer television shows, so much so that we had to make separate our “best of” lists into “new” and “returning.” A chance to celebrate more of our favorite TV? We wouldn’t have it any other way.

The best TV shows of 2022 are an eclectic list. Dragons and vampires brush shoulders with chefs and aspiring rappers; major genre juggernauts number alongside quieter stories that still pack a punch. Whether you’re into sci-fi or realism, comedy or drama, we guarantee that you’ll find something to love in these, the cream of the 2022 TV bumper crop.

Here, in no particular order, are the 15 best new TV shows of 2022.

1. House of the Dragon

Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

2022 has been a great year for fantasy on television, and nowhere is that clearer than in HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon. This first season has the tough task of condensing decades of political buildup into ten episodes, but it delivers delicious dragon drama (and so much more) throughout.

House of the Dragon‘s epic airborne battles and sword fights lure you into an intimate portrait of the Targaryens on the brink of civil war. The stakes of family dinners are just as high — if not higher — than those of any armed confrontation, and it’s all thanks to the weight House of the Dragon places on its characters. While the season gave us plenty of memorable Targaryens to enjoy, the heart of House of the Dragon was always the relationship between Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. Played to perfection by Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Milly Alcock, and Emily Carey, Rhaenyra and Alicent’s oscillation between love and hate made for a powerful throughline to an excellent first season. From compelling character work to the sheer power of dragons, House of the Dragon proves we’re not done obsessing over Westeros just yet. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: House of the Dragon is now streaming on HBO Max.

2. The Rehearsal

Credit: Courtesy of HBO

In his brain-bending new HBO show, Nathan Fielder built upon the tortuously funny conceit behind his cult series Nathan For You: Make you ask “Is this for real?” and then escalate that until you feel your brain’s going to snap in half. We were lured in with the promise of an episodic show about Fielder helping real people to prepare for difficult life situations by “rehearsing” them in lifelike recreation, with actors playing their loved ones — and the end of the very first episode was a narrative mindfuck that should have given us more of a hint of what we were in for. As Fielder became not just the architect but also the subject of his own service/experiment/meta-reality show, The Rehearsal also forced its own audience to witness the layers of manipulation and artifice involved in the show’s production and reckon with how our entertainment sausage is made. Conceptually ambitious, shockingly funny, and heartrending in new ways every week, The Rehearsal was the scariest show on TV in 2022. — Caitlin Welsh, Australia Editor

How to watch: The Rehearsal is now streaming on HBO Max.

3. The Bear

Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX

The trials and tribulations of broken families and hectic kitchens are the main ingredients in The Bear‘s flawless recipe. Hulu’s original dramedy envelops you in the grimy underbelly of Chicago’s food scene, where one struggling restaurant finds itself at a crossroads.

Famed chef Carmy Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White) is forced to leave his Michelin-starred world and return to Chicago to take over his late brother’s Italian sandwich shop, The Original Beef of Chicagoland. The hectic pace of a working kitchen is matched by the juggling Carmy’s doing to cope with his brother’s death, as well as his own mental health struggles — not to mention the wild dynamics Carmy has with sous chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) and manager Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), who was also his brother’s best friend. The Bear is a stressful yet sensational feat of storytelling, brimming with as much heart as it is with Italian spices. You’ll be yelling “Yes, chef!” the next time you hit the kitchen. —Yasmeen Hamadeh, Entertainment Intern

How to watch: The Bear is now streaming on Hulu.

4. Interview with the Vampire

Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Anne Rice’s epic 1976 novel is re-imagined into a rapturous television adaptation that takes plenty of liberty with the specifics but has us by the jugular nonetheless. The original story’s major plot points remain familiar: A vampire deigns to tell a journalist his unusual life story, which involves a twisted love with his maker, a fierce loyalty to his supernatural sister, betrayal, and many, many murders. Giving this story fresh blood is an incredible cast and a shifted timeline.

While the novel’s tale began in 1700s Louisiana, Interview with the Vampire Season 1 is set in the 1910s, where Louis de Pointe du Lac (a mesmerizing Jacob Anderson) is a Black businessman who must code-switch and outwit to survive and thrive in a white supremacist America. This change pushed the show’s writers to dig into racial themes and further probe the complicated power dynamics within Rice’s vampiric found family. Louis’s connection with the strange and seductive Lestat de Lioncourt (a snarling Sam Reid) leads him down a path of invincibility, freedom, and death. Rounding out the awe-inspiring ensemble are the dazzling Bailey Bass as a captivatingly cruel Claudia and a world-weary Eric Bogosian as the journalist who has little time and no patience for sentimental bullshit. Together, they weave a tapestry of torment, lust, love, and terror that is as flushed with passion as it is caked in gore. — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor

How to watch: Interview with the Vampire is now streaming on AMC+.

5. Rap Sh!t

Credit: Alicia Vera/HBO Max

Issa Rae’s newest comedy hit, Rap Sh!t, is leading the train in pure, unadulterated fun as we follow two aspiring Miami-based rappers and their rise to fame.

Our new faves Shawna Clark (Aida Osman) and Mia Knight (KaMillion) have fared quite differently since they were friends in high school, making their new business partnership all the more entertaining to follow. Shawna is a hotel receptionist with a love for “conscious rap,” whereas Mia is trying to balance being a single mom with multiple jobs and just wanting to have some fun with it! The female camaraderie brings all the laughs, while the rap group’s insanely catchy songs drive this show all the way home. Alexa, play “Seduce and Scheme” by Shawna & Mia — and put it on repeat! — Kyle McWilliams, Entertainment Intern

How to watch: Rap Sh!t is now streaming on HBO Max.

6. Mo

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

The eponymous Mo, created by comedian Mo Amer for Netflix, hasn’t yet been renewed for a second season by the streaming service. But it should be: This was one of the important shows made this year, as I wrote in my review

The series focuses on the struggles of Mo, who, alongside his Palestinian family, has a pending asylum case, mounting bills, and a history of displacement. The hero, who oscillates between lovable and frustrating, has to take odd jobs (including one in a strip club), balance his relationship with his family’s expectations, and navigate his own identity on the daily. But the show handles each of these scenarios, in every half hour-long episode, with touching humor and depth. Ultimately, Mo is about faith and belonging – and is a prime example of how representation should be tackled on screen today. — Meera Navlakha, Culture Reporter

How to watch: Mo is now streaming on Netflix.

7. Andor

Credit: Des Willie/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Once you get past Andor’s good (but exceptionally slow) first three episodes, you’ll be treated to what is hands-down the best Star Wars show yet. Part political thriller, part heist, part prison break, Andor charts Rogue One character Cassian Andor’s journey to the Rebellion. Andor (Diego Luna) isn’t the only one who joins the Rebels: The entirety of Andor concerns itself with characters’ acts of defiance in the face of the Empire, no matter how big or how small.

As Andor ponders fascism and the price of revolt, showrunner Tony Gilroy makes the refreshing choice not to nostalgia-bomb viewers. You’ll find no Jedi or Sith here. Instead, scrappy Rebels butt heads with Imperial worker bees like Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) and Dedra Meero (Denise Gough), who may just be the most chilling Star Wars villain yet. Add in some astounding speeches and suspenseful set pieces, and you’re looking at an all-time great entry into the Star Wars canon — and one of the best shows of the year. — B.E.

How to watch: Andor is now streaming on Disney+.

8. Bad Sisters

Credit: Apple TV+

Sharon Horgan’s dark dramedy about a group of sisters teaming up to kill their abusive brother-in-law is as much a howdunnit as it is a whodunnit. We start off knowing that John Paul (Claes Bang), truly one of the most unpleasant TV characters of the year, is dead. But it’s only through a series of flashbacks that we find out what happened to him, learning the ways he wronged each of the Garvey sisters and their various misjudged attempts to take him out of the picture. The characters are well drawn and amusing, the show is incredibly tense, and Horgan seamlessly weaves together comedy and tragedy.

“Timelines and characters are woven together without force, thanks to strong writing implemented by directors Rebecca Gatward, Josephine Bornebusch, and Dearbhla Walsh,” I wrote in my review. “Despite the fact we know where the flashback scenes are ultimately headed, there’s still a horrible amount of tension, frustration, and humour in the sisters’ many failed attempts to put an end to their brother-in-law, as well as a building sense of injustice as we watch John Paul’s smug and sadistic schemes roll out.” If you’re worried about the ending of a show that’s already revealed some of its cards, don’t be. Bad Sisters holds back some of its biggest shocks and secrets to the very end. — Sam Haysom, Deputy UK Editor

How to watch: Bad Sisters is streaming now on Apple TV+.

9. Severance

Credit: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s excellent drama Severance is “an anti-capitalist fable with a Black Mirror twist.” It imagines a world where workers can “sever” their work memories from their civilian memories, resulting in a bizarre, sterile office world that only exists when employees are physically in the office and “regular” people who have no idea what they do in their hours at work. Led by Adam Scott in a tremendous performance, the Severance cast often plays double duty — portraying their work selves and their out-of-work selves as two entirely different characters.

The creeping mystery of what exactly their company does with their labor maintains suspense through the show’s nine episodes, complete with twists no one can see coming and a cliffhanger ending that guarantees a thrilling second season. — Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Severance is now streaming on Apple TV+.

10. Our Flag Means Death

Credit: Aaron Epstein/HBO Max

Do you love pirates? Do you love rom-coms? Then you’re really going to love the excellent pirate rom-com Our Flag Means Death. Creator David Jenkins and executive producer Taika Waititi bring the Golden Age of Piracy to life with a healthy dose of irreverence, following the comedy of errors that is rich landowner Stede Bonnet’s quest to be a pirate. Along the way, Stede (played by frequent Waititi collaborator Rhys Darby) crosses paths with legendary swashbuckler Blackbeard (Waititi), and their ensuing relationship is what really drives the show. Lauded for its killer ensemble cast and thoughtful portrayal of queer relationships, Our Flag Means Death is worth all the hype and more. — B.E.

How to watch: Our Flag Means Death is now streaming on HBO Max.

11. Pachinko

Credit: Apple TV+

One of the most ambitious new shows of 2022 is also among its most rewarding. Based on Min Jin Lee’s best-selling novel, Pachinko spans not only decades but also generations, following a family line from an impoverished community in 1915 Korea to a prosperous Japan in 1989. The center of this moving saga is matriarch Kim Sunja, who grows from an intrepid child (Yu-na Jeon) to a pregnant, unwed teen (Minha Kim), to a grandmother (Academy Award-winning star of Minari, Youn Yuh-jung) too often patronized by her doting son (Soji Arai) and hotshot banker grandson Solomon (Jin Ha).

Created by Soo Hugh, this sensational drama series slides back and forth across its timeline, paralleling Sunja’s journey with Solomon’s. Though she was raised in poverty and he in prosperity, both face challenges of racism, weighty family expectations, and impossible loves. Incredibly, though Pachinko hits on many dark elements, it’s resiliently hopeful, delivering on the promise of its exhilarating opening title sequence. If you’re looking for a series to grab you, heart and soul, Pachinko is a safe bet for satisfaction. — K.P.

How to watch: Pachinko is now streaming on Apple TV+.

12. The Afterparty

Credit: Apple TV+

The Afterparty is essential 2022 viewing. It’s a sprawling whodunit led by an utterly bonkers ensemble of young comic dynamos — Sam Richardson, Ben Schwartz, and Ilana Glazer, to name just a few — who are all suspects in the murder of a pop star (Dave Franco). 

There’s a twist here, though: Each episode amounts to a retelling of what happened from different perspectives, and those accounts all lean on specific genre and blockbuster tropes that reflect the personality of the suspect being questioned, from big action romps to creeping thrillers to lavish musicals. All of that sits on top of the actual mystery, an elaborate puzzle that only the sharpest viewers will solve before the finale pulls all the pieces together. — Adam Rosenberg, Senior Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: The Afterparty is now streaming on Apple TV+.

13. Somebody Somewhere

Credit: Matt Dinerstein/HBO

Somebody Somewhere is an exceptional dramedy about finding community and the people who really understand you. Sam (Bridget Everett) is mourning the recent death of her sister, and she’s struggling to view her hometown of Manhattan, Kansas, as her home. Enter former classmate Joel (Jeff Hiller), who invites Sam to an open mic night disguised as a church choir practice. Their ensuing friendship, through all its ups and downs, is the core of this sweetly moving show, in large part due to stellar performances by Everett and Hiller, as well as Everett’s real-life pal (and NYC drag king royalty) Murray Hill. Do yourself a favor and watch: Somebody Somewhere is something special. — B.E.

How to watch: Somebody Somewhere is now streaming on HBO Max.

14. I Love That For You

Credit: Tony Rivetti Jr./SHOWTIME

I Love That for You is a rare glimpse at comedic lightning in a bottle. Every character is perfectly cast, with quirks and personalities that exquisitely complement each other. [Jenifer] Lewis, in particular, shines as a fiercely independent woman who loves Rolos more than people and gives her one-night stands “fuck baskets” to encourage them to leave her house. And of course, the series would be nothing without [Vanessa] Bayer, who could teach a charming master class on how to be painfully awkward. Joanna’s beaming smile, over-the-top reactions, and rogue body language are endlessly amusing. Her random sound effects, voices, and flustered word salads could easily make one snort. And her unnaturally abbreviated words — from “gelat” (short for gelato) to “thank” (short for thank you) — are so cringeworthy you can’t help but love them. — Nicole Gallucci, Entertainment Reporter *

How to watch: I Love That For You is now streaming on Showtime.

15. Station Eleven

Credit: Ian Watson/HBO Max

Station Eleven may have premiered in late 2021, but since it concluded in 2022, we have to include it here. Put simply, Station Eleven is one of the best miniseries in recent years. It presents viewers with a spellbinding tale of how art endures and connects us through even the darkest of times.

Based on the novel by Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven does the unthinkable and presents us with an optimistic take on the apocalypse. The year is 2040, and a flu pandemic has wiped out most of humanity. Survivors have formed their own communities, and the Traveling Symphony theater troupe travels and performs among them. However, the series doesn’t spend all its time in 2040. Instead, it flits back and forth in time to before the pandemic, weaving a web between its far-flung characters through unlikely personal connections, Shakespeare, and an extremely rare graphic novel. Bolstered by tremendous performances from Mackenzie Davis, Matilda Lawler, Himesh Patel, Gael García Bernal, and the always-brilliant Danielle Deadwyler, Station Eleven is a miracle of a miniseries that deserves to be watched over and over again. — B.E.

How to watch: Station Eleven is now streaming on HBO Max.

*The asterisk indicates that this blurb was pulled from another Mashable review.

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