It’s been a great year for television. Teen hearts were stopped, dragons were hatched. And with the return of so many fantasy shows, the amount of spectacle is a bit overwhelming.
To help you decide on what to select, here are my top 5 television picks for 2022:
5. The White Lotus: Sicily
I mean… it doesn’t get better than staying at a White Lotus chain!
After a PHENOMENAL awards season, the anthology returns for a topical matter in a tropical setting. Gender politics take up the entire plot of the second season while desires are used to convey the meaning of its underlying theme.
What’s interesting is that creator Mike White seems to shift the gear on how realistic the ending should feel. While ‘Hawaii’ shows us that the systemic problem with class will not be resolved, ‘Sicily’ makes sure that the price of being rich is taxed. Most notably, the ending for Tanya and Dominic are not the most financially desirable ones. But with a funnier script, and the emphasis on Tanya’s character arc, ‘Sicily’ is an enjoyable vacation from hell!
4. The Bear Season 1
Speaking of hell, my number 4 pick is a kitchen nightmare that surprises me when it first aired.
‘The Bear’ follows Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto who was left with his family’s sandwich shop after the death of his brother. What ensues, however, is a massive chaos, especially since Carmy did not come from the same background as the other chefs.
From the one-take nightmare to the actual nightmare, there are so many intriguing scenes that the showrunner was aiming for. A notable highlight is how they use a WandaVision formula, where Carmy’s cooking show glitches and widens up to reveal his broken psyche. It’s stylish and compelling, with a riveting plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat!
3. Abbott Elementary Season 1
But careful when you’re seated for my number 3 pick because this one… this one’s gonna make you fall from laughter.
With the brilliant Quinta Brunson behind the show, Abbott Elementary is a fresh take on the workplace sitcom that continues its use of the mockumentary format. It corrects the past sins of Modern Family by making sure that the “documentary crew” has a purpose and it adapts to what a Michael Scott character would be in 2022.
What intrigues me the most, however, is the inclusion of Twitter jokes that feel realistic and not forced. Often times, you would see this as a train-wreck formula that reduces the quality of television. However, Quinta and the team are able to make it work by casting the right actors for each role. The pacing helps as well and the comedic timing is just IMMACULATE.
Now, onto the darker side of workplace television.
2. Severance Season 1
In the first half of the season, ‘Severance’ is revealed to be a name of a medical procedure. It separates your work memories from whatever is going on in your personal life. As a result, the employees who partake are given two conscious beings: an innie and an outie. They share the same body, but not the same character traits, which result to a conflict of interest.
Perhaps the best character to represent the conflict is the new recruit Helly R. Her innie and outie represent the struggle between morality and conformity, as well as what ought to be and what actually is. With her consistent drive to expose the harmful effects of the procedure, the first season is a gripping watch that is packed with great direction, good performances, and well-written commentary.
And while those elements are good enough to make it to number 1, there is another show that people overlook for its quality and astute commentary.
1. This Is Going to Hurt
And that show is a medical dark comedy.
‘This Is Going To Hurt’ is based on Adam Kay’s HILARIOUS memoir, and you can see his comedic wit throughout the series. His humor is told by breaking the fourth wall, which allows the audience to know what his TV version is thinking about.
However, what the miniseries excels at is the balance between telling and showing. While the TV version of Adam breaks the fourth wall quite often, there are moments where he refuses to be vulnerable. This feeling is captured through his body language, the puzzled editing trick, and the haunting atmosphere that makes us believe that Adam is in a crisis of faith. Whether it tackles his faith on relationships or the public health care system, every story beat is MAGNIFICENT.
I could definitely say more about this, but I’d rather let you guys experience the whole thing. Enjoy!