I love this time of year, not because of Christmas, even though it doesn’t hurt. No, I love this time of year because everyone releases their “best of this year” lists. Best songs, albums, and movie lists make some of my favorite reads at the end of the year. It always shows what tastemakers think of the entertainment that’s come out this year. Sometimes I wholeheartedly disagree with their choice, and sometimes they hit the nail on its head. I swear, some people like things just because it’s artsy and make them look cool. (I have done this before, but now I just want to watch things I enjoy. Not trying to waste what little free time I have on something I’m pretending to love.) So instead of listing 20 shows that all the fancy critics think are the best, here are my five best TV shows in 2022.

The Bear

It’s been a fat minute since I’ve truly binged a show the way I did The Bear. Not that the show is very long, to begin with, but I binged it in one sitting on a Friday night instead of going out with friends. The show has a dark sense of humor; if you don’t enjoy it in the first 15 minutes of episode one, you might turn it off. Otherwise, it was cool to see how a kitchen runs. I’ve never worked in a professional kitchen, so it was eye-opening how toxically smooth that place ran. (Also, prepare for everyone to be called chef or cousin.) 

3.8 out of 5 (There was a lot of yelling, and I was over it after a while, but other than that, it is great.)

Andor

Without a doubt, Andor is my favorite show this year. It is everything Star Wars should be in a show. I love a storyline where the world or universe is in absolute danger, and some hero swoops in and saves the day. Sometimes, a lot of the time, I want a smaller-scale story. Maybe the small story gets bigger, and things unravel, but an espionage mission later linked to something big in the Star Wars universe is *the chef’s kiss.* Andor does a great job building on a resistance we are all familiar with in a universe we all love while still expanding the lore of Star Wars. Although I said this is my favorite, I admit I pushed off watching Andor until it was done. (The Star Wars burnout is real, but once I started it, I couldn’t stop.) 

4.9 out of 5 

Abbott Elementary 

This is my Office. I’ve watched most of the Office, and while I found pieces of it funny, I never understood its cult-like following. On the other hand, Abbott Elementary is a top-tier workplace comedy. And while this show didn’t come out this year, season 2 did, and that counts in my book. Quinta Brunson is a genius, and I’m glad she is getting all the recognition that she is. I won’t lie. I didn’t love the show at first. It’s one of those shows that gets better the more you watch it. You start to like the characters, but at first, awkward interactions make you cringe. Once you buy into the characters, the show is top-tier. If you enjoy shows like The Office, Parks, and Rec, and Brooklyn 99, then you should give Abbott Elementary a watch. (And if you’re a teacher or work in the school system, you’ll love it even more.)

4.2 out of 5

House of the Dragon

HBO went from fumbling the ending of the greatest tv show ever to making us all excited to be back in Westeros. It went from zeros to heroes and gave us one of the best TV shows of 2022. I don’t know how they did, but someone deserves an award. House of the Dragons was spectacular. I know there are vast differences between the show and the book, but I, for once, haven’t read the book, so ignorance is bliss. What I enjoyed the most about House of the Dragons that made Game of Thrones much harder to watch was how women were treated. In GoT, most women are treated as objects to be dominated or traded for power and are constantly defined by their trauma. (There are exceptions to my generalized statement, but the sentiment stands.)

In House of the Dragon, we see less of that weird world lens of women. (Again, a big generalized statement.) Even the first birth scene is more of a commentary on how women were/are treated instead of being a scene of flexing male power. 

4 out of 5 (Matt Smith must be the most charming human ever. He has chemistry with every single person he is on screen with on this show and all the others he has ever been on in the past.)

Obi-Wan Kenobi

There are two types of people in this world, people who loved Obi-Wan and those who hated it. (There is technically a third type of person who didn’t watch the show, but they are weirdos who don’t like Star Wars, so their opinions are valid.) I understand your points for those who hated the show, but I don’t care about inconsistencies anymore. I went into Obi-Wan with the same mentality as I did Pacific Rim. All I wanted to see was Obi-Wan Kenobi be his awkwardly charming, funny self while spinning his bright blue laser sword around in circles. 

Also, the show is visually beautiful. The final fight scene between Kenobi and Vader was amazing. (Enter Space Jesus meme here.) Also, the use of blue and red lighting on Vader’s face to show how Anakin was still somewhere deep behind the mask was stunning. Plus, we also got to see a more comic book-accurate version of Vader when he stopped the one ship from taking off by using force. (Darth Vader has some of the coolest moments in Star Wars, whether in comics, books, shows, or movies.) 

3.9 out 5 (It’s a fun ride if you aren’t a lore lawyer who ruins the enjoyment of Star Wars installments for yourself and others around you.)

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