The Ten Best TV Shows of 2022…So Far – DelmarvaLife
Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this review are solely those of Marlon Wallace and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of WBOC.
ten. DOPESICK (2021) (Hulu) – Michael Keaton has already won the Golden Globe and SAG Award for this series. He’s likely to be nominated and win the Emmy for the same performance. Because the series has been nominated for the PGA and DGA Awards, it is likely to get Emmy nominations as well, especially for Danny Strong who is the creator of this series and head writer. That being said, this series reminded me of the Oscar-winning film Traffic (2000). Yes, Keaton is the star, but this series is a package that tackles the real-life Purdue Pharma scandal from different angles and feels very comprehensive. Particularly good cast members are Kaitlyn Dever as a drug addict, Rosario Dawson as a DEA agent, and Will Poulter as a Purdue salesman.
9. QUEER AS FOLK (2022) (Peacock) – In 1999, Welsh writer Russell T. Davies created a British series about three gay men living in Manchester, a young man new to the gay community, a man who was a hopeless romantic and another who was very promiscuous and cynical. then. In 2000, Showtime made a remake that followed the same formula as the original. Yet it focused on five gay men living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Now, over 20 years later, we have another remake. This time, the series focuses on a diverse group of people from the LGBTQ community. We have people of color, including non-binary and transgender characters, as well as people whose sexuality is just fluid. It’s a big step up in representation, but it also has strong writing beyond its casting, which addresses the issue of a mass shooting, akin to 2016’s Pulse Nightclub.
8. WE OWN THIS CITY (HBO) – This series was directed by the same writer who created HBO’s Thread (2002). Based on a book by a journalist, it tells the story of Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force, a corrupt police unit. The series revolves around Wayne Jenkins, played by Jon Bernthal who gives a great performance. Jenkins was a sergeant in GTTF. The series begins in 2017 when Jenkins was charged with a series of crimes. The series then goes back in time, to 2003, when Jenkins first became a cop and we see how he got corrupted. The series also cuts a timeline beginning in 2015, the year Freddie Gray died. In this timeline, we follow a DOJ agent as she pursues an investigation into the Consent Decree, which was intended to improve policing regarding the civil rights of the city’s citizens.
seven. LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: SEASON 23 (NBC) – This show has run hot and cold over the decades. It was pretty cold for a few seasons, until it got a jolt of energy in 2021 when Christopher Meloni returned to the show. Meloni’s character left the show in 2011 after the 13th season. He returned for season 22. He was given his own series but it kind of reinvigorated this one. This final season yielded some incredible episodes, including “The Five Hundredth Episode” and “Confess Your Sins to Be Free.”
6. PROMISED LAND (ABC) – This is a prime-time soap opera or telenovela that turned out to be one of the best-written dramas I’ve seen in a while. They were a Latino family that operates a vineyard in northern California wine country. The main character is a Mexican immigrant named Joe Sandoval who is now in his fifties. The series is told in two timelines. One is the present where Joe’s adult children who are in their twenties are vying to take over the business. The second is where Joe was in his twenties himself and how he came to this country and took over the vineyard. It’s a powerful story with good characters that really hooked me.
5. THE ORVILLE: SEASON 3 (Hulu) – What started out as a parody of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) has now become the best star trek series which is not star trek on TV right now. This season continues some of the issues established in the previous season. Each episode focuses on a different crew member and explores their character in a deep and deep way. Creator Seth MacFarlane also brilliantly uses science fiction to tackle real-world issues, such as transphobia and even Trump-era politics.
4. SUPERMAN & LAWS: SEASON 2 (CW) – There are plenty of superhero TV shows out there. Most of them focus on young people discovering that they have powers and how they deal with them. I don’t think I’ve seen too many shows dealing with the question of whether a superhero has children, especially teenagers. This one shows Superman as you don’t normally see him. You see Superman as a father.
3. OUR FLAG MEANS DEATH (HBO Max) – Rhys Darby is a New Zealand comedian who is probably best known for Flight of the Conchords (2007) or his brief role in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017). Here he plays the role of a gentleman living in the 18th century who has a wife and child but he abandons them to become a pirate. Still, he doesn’t like the uncivilized way the pirates operate, so he tries to bring them a more civilized way. Things change when he meets the infamous Blackbeard, played by Oscar-winning actress Taika Waititi, in what turns out to be an incredible gay romance.
2. STRANGER THINGS 4 (Netflix) – Yes, the hit series is back and it’s bigger and definitely longer than ever. This is 80s nostalgia at its peak. Yes, there are always references to Stephen King and Steven Spielberg throughout. There is great horror and a great thrilling spectacle. There’s also an incredible heart that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The first episodes of this season may feel a little slow, but they culminate in what is a jaw-dropping tale. If anything, this season pays the most for freddie (1984) with a villain à la Freddy Krueger. Robert Englund, who played Krueger for decades, is even a guest this season. It’s scary yet sentimental and it’s incredibly good.
1. THIS IS US: SEASON 6 (NBC) — The final season of this hit drama went down on the sweetest note. The build up to this finale, however, did what every good episode in this series has done and it got audiences to the tissues. Yes, each episode continues to make me cry. It’s not that it’s ugly. It’s just that the drama is so well rendered. It’s heartbreaking but in a good way as we watch the Pearson family deal with breakups, breakdowns, and ultimately death. However, there is so much life here, as there has always been with a large ensemble cast that is handled so well. Sterling K. Brown was the standout actor at the Emmy Awards. This year, it has to be Mandy Moore whose performance as Rebecca Pearson really knocked the house down.
Honorable mentions: MacGruber (2021) on Peacock and 4400 on the CW.